Treatments aimed at reducing the tick population have been a hot topic lately as Loudoun County’s Lyme disease epidemic has risen to the forefront of public health concerns. Blake Landscapes is finishing up the first round of tick treatments in county parks, and numerous residents and homeowners associations are enrolling in our tick control program.
But treatments are just one aspect of a comprehensive approach to protection against Lyme disease. To get a handle on the problem, residents must also consider the reasons our area has so many of the tiny black-legged ticks that carry Lyme:
One of the main reasons we have so many ticks is because we have an enormous population of whitetail deer. The following appears on the Fairfax County government’s website:
“A relationship exists between the abundance of deer and the abundance of Ixodes ticks in the County. Tick populations do not decrease substantially unless deer are eradicated or considerably reduced. Constructing physical barriers and removing food, such as spilled bird seed, from you yard will discourage deer from entering your yard. In addition, removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers may help discourage tick-infested deer from coming near homes. Lists of deer-resistant plantings are available from garden centers, nurseries, or local extension agents.”
Right now–in the height of tick season–tick treatments are the fastest and most efficient way to keep ticks off your family and pets. But as summer approaches, you should be thinking about taking a more comprehensive approach that includes making necessary modifications to your landscape aimed at keeping deer away.
If you have a larger property and a lot of deer in the area, you may also want to consider taking steps to actually reduce the deer population.
For more information on how you can do that and on how you can “tick proof” your landscape call Blake Landscapes residential services manager Tom Tyler at (703)777-5596 x. 106 or email email@example.com.