Summer Months Bring Increased Threat For Tick-Borne DiseaseNPMA Staff
Thursday, June 18, 2009
By NPMA Staff
During the summer, families that embrace fun in the sun, hikes
through the woods and even running through sprinklers will be back
at risk from an age old parasite, the tick. Tick season peaks at
the height of summer's heat, and the incidence of tick-borne
disease follows a similar bell curve that spikes in summer
The blacklegged tick transmits Lyme disease, the most common
tick-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease most often
occurs in the Northeastern states of Connecticut, Rhode Island,
Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey; in the upper mid-western
states of Wisconsin and Minnesota; and in the Western states of
California and Oregon. However, the CDC showed confirmed cases of
Lyme disease in 45 states in 2007.
Other, less common, tick-borne illnesses include Rocky Mountain
Spotted Fever and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness
According to National Pest Management Association (NPMA)
Technical Services Director Jim Fredericks, ticks are often
associated with deep woods but many thrive in habitats near homes
and businesses, especially where tall grass, weeds, and brush might
"Ticks usually do not prefer neatly trimmed lawns but will
populate gardens or overgrown areas including woods," says
Fredericks. "Pest control technicians can treat grass/vegetation
near homes or businesses where people may come in contact with
ticks to help protect people from illnesses like Lyme disease."
The NPMA offers the following five tips to help protect
homeowners from tick encounters this summer:
- Avoid tick habitats, if possible, such as low-growing brushy
vegetation along the edge of the woods or a trail.
- Wear light-colored clothing, and tuck your pant legs into your
socks and your shirt bottoms into your pants, to make ticks more
- Apply repellents with DEET (n, n-diethyl-m-toluamide) to
clothing and any exposed skin.
- Check yourself thoroughly after you have been in known or
potential tick-infested areas.
Ticks must be attached for more than 24 hours before they can
transmit any pathogen, therefore finding and removing all ticks in
a timely manner is critical to preventing disease.