Ticks May Still Be Hanging Around Your Maryland Yard

December 16, 2019

This time of year, bugs are the last thing you want to think about. This month is all about celebration, gratitude, and family. However, a run-in with ticks may put a damper on some of that holiday spirit. As we move closer to the holidays, it's as important as ever to keep an eye out for ticks and to take steps to keep them from making your yard into their winter home. Read on to find out what you need to know about preventing ticks – even during the winter.

a deer tick biting a resident of frederick maryland

Common Ticks In Maryland

There are several different species of ticks in Maryland and five primary species that you might run into. All of these species are incredibly small and may be difficult to see. They range in color from tan to red to dark brown. The most common ticks in Maryland include the following:

  • American dog tick

  • Brown dog tick

  • Deer tick

  • Gulf Coast tick

  • Lone star tick

How Long Is Tick Season?

It's a common misconception that ticks can't survive in the winter. Unfortunately, this isn't true. The cooler weather may stifle tick activity, but it won't kill them all or guarantee your safety while trekking through the woods.

So how do ticks survive the cold? Some ticks will burrow into a hiding place and wait out the winter. Other species become dormant, almost like hibernation, and will resume activity once the weather warms up. Still, other ticks may survive by finding hosts and benefiting from the warmth of their bodies.

Problems Caused By Ticks

A lot of people don't know ticks are dangerous. Ticks need blood meals to survive. They'll wait, hidden in bushes, shrubs, or tall grass, for a host to come by. When one does, the tick will climb up and find somewhere to bite, often attaching itself to the host. This host could be you, your family, or your pets.

How will you know if a tick bit you? You may not feel the initial bite. However, you may spot the tick attached to your skin. It's important to carefully remove the tick with tweezers, pulling it straight out to make sure you've removed the entire head and body. The next step is to monitor the bite. Ticks are dangerous because they carry diseases, like Lyme, tularemia, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

In our area, Lyme disease is more well-known than other tickborne illnesses. So, how will you know if you have contracted Lyme disease? You may first notice flu-like symptoms. Lyme disease may result in a rash, and in some cases, can affect the nervous system. Other tick-transmitted diseases can cause fevers, fatigue, and rashes. If you start to develop any unusual symptoms after a tick bite, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Things That Attract Ticks To Your Yard

Ticks like to hide in plants and vegetation, such as bushes, tall grass, or shrubs. If you live near the woods or have expansive landscaping, you may want to trim some of these plants to give them fever hiding places.

Ticks may also come in if you have a lot of wildlife in the area. Deer, raccoons, and even squirrels can be a host for ticks. If you have pets, they may pick up ticks when playing outside and carry them back to your family.

Finally, you might even have picked up a tick yourself. If you spend time outdoors, you'll liable to encounter a tick. If you don't catch it, you could carry it back to your yard.

How To Keep Your Maryland Yard Free Of Ticks

While you can take some preventative steps on your own, such as trimming the grass, cutting back bushes, and sealing off your yard from wildlife, the best way to guarantee a tick-free yard is to invest in professional help. Royal Greens can help you make your yard less appealing to ticks, so that you won't be in for any unwanted surprises before the holidays. What are you waiting for? Let us keep your Maryland yard tick-free, all year long. Contact us today to request your free, instant quote!

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