Summer months are also good tick weather

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Insecticide effectiveness depends on water volume in application

By David Harrison

Ticks are a part of summer. Several species exist locally with the most common being the “dog tick.” Mowing can help with ticks, but they are mobile so mowing is not very effective.

If there is a tick problem in the yard, it can be treated with an insecticide but often people do not get the results they expected. The problem is not with the insecticide but with the amount of water used to apply it. It takes a large volume of water because all the plant tissue in the treated area must be covered with the insecticide.

If you know where the ticks are coming from, you can spray only in that area and force them to crawl through an insecticidal barrier.

When venturing out on hikes or fishing, try to stay away from tall grass to avoid chiggers and ticks. Undergrowth, not trees, are where the bugs are going to be. There are two types of protection that can be used.

One is the insecticide called permethrin for use only on shoes and clothing; there are also the types that can be put on the skin. The other is physical exclusion. These insects have a tendency to crawl up, so tucking in pants or shirts can help keep them from crawling under clothing. It is also helpful to wear light color clothes so you can see them moving around on you. 

If a tick is attached, try to remove all its mouth parts and try not to burst it sending blood and entrails out. The best way to remove it is to use forceps to get as close to the skin as possible and pull steadily on the tick and it will eventually let go. Leaving the tissue of the tick behind may lead to an infection.