Warm weather brings with it lots of good things including longer days spent enjoying our yards with our families. Unfortunately, more time spent outdoors also means an increased risk of contracting a tick-borne disease.
The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that Illinois should be on the watch for a potentially severe tick season: “Health experts and scientists have warned this summer could be one of the worst seasons on record for tick-borne diseases. Some local blood testing laboratories have already seen double the cases of Lyme disease that they had by this time last year.”
The article includes a quote from our own Andrew Keppel, district manager of the Chicago region for SavATree, who noted an increase in calls in the last month from Chicago and the northwestern suburbs regarding tick concerns.
Deer ticks are known vectors of Lyme disease, which, according to the Tick Borne Disease Alliance, is the number one tick-borne illness in the US. The CDC has reported that there are nearly 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the US each year. Ticks are also well known as vectors for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, and more. For these hungry parasites, our increased outdoor activity means more opportunities for them to find their next blood meal and potentially infect us.
Ticks can enter your landscape any number of ways, including being carried in by animals such as deer, birds, or rodents, but once there, the majority of ticks will reside in what is called the ecotone area. Research shows that approximately 90% of deer ticks on a property will be found in this transition area between your yard and the woodline, while less than 2% will be found in lawn areas.
So what options are available to protect your family and pets from a potentially dangerous infection? For customers who prefer a green solution to managing tick populations in their landscape, Organic Tick Control treatments are an effective option. SavATree currently offers an organic solution that uses active ingredients such as cedar oil and raspberry extract to kill ticks on contact and provides residual control that lasts from 30 to 60 days. Organic treatments offer a minimum risk solution that does not require EPA registration because its ingredients are considered to be nonhazardous.
Protecting Your Children and Pets
The threat of contracting a tick-borne illness is very real for humans as well as for our beloved pets. Remember to check your children and pets for ticks after they’ve been outside. For both children and adults, learn more about warning signs of a tick bite at the CDC website. For dogs and cats, warning signs of a bite include a stiff, painful-looking gait. It’s also important to note that certain breeds of dogs, including Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers, are more susceptible to potentially life-threatening kidney complications so if you suspect that your animal has been infected, contact your vet immediately.
To learn more, visit our Organic Tick Control page at www.savatree.com.