It's Spring, and tick season is officially here. The New York State Department of Health sent out an official warning this week on social media notifying people about the arrival of ticks, along with the start of the warmer spring weather.
"As New Yorkers return to outdoor activities, it's important to take precautions to protect against diseases that can be transmitted by infected ticks," said Acting State Health Commissioner, Dr. James McDonald. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness that is transmitted by infected black-legged deer ticks. They are most active when temperatures are above freezing and can affect people of any age.
Here are JP McHale’s 5 Top Tips to help prevent ticks in your yard:
Cut your grass frequently as ticks do not thrive in short vegetation.
Reduce leaf litter since this is one of the main places ticks like to hide.
Create a 3-foot barrier using wood chips or gravel around the perimeter of your yard to keep ticks out.
Trim large bushes, trees, and shrubs to allow for more direct sunlight in your yard (ticks prefer cool, moist areas and sunlight can make your yard much less hospitable!).
Apply essential oils like lemon, orange, cinnamon, lavender, peppermint, and rose geranium oils on the skin to deter ticks from latching on.
It’s important to check your children and pets for ticks anytime they come inside after playing outdoors.