When to Treat Your Yard for Deer Ticks

Deer Tick on Finger
An adult deer tick

By: Matthew Campbell

We all get the heebie-jeebies when we see a tick crawling up our legs. The feeling is worse when one is embedded in our skin. People call Modern Pest Services expressing how they’re scared to step foot in their own yards. No one should have to worry about being outside on their own property.

Deer ticks are common in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Dog ticks are also around, but the deer tick is the carrier of Lyme disease, which is why we do everything in our power to keep them out of our yards and off our bodies.

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Knowing the Deer Tick’s Life Cycle is Important when Treating

The deer tick’s life cycle occurs over the span of a year. Beginning in March and throughout April, adult ticks are laying their eggs. Several weeks later, the larvae emerge and must feed in order to molt into nymphs. The larvae will feed on small mammals like mice.

After the larvae have had their first meal, they will molt into nymphs. The nymphal stage is the most significant to people. Deer tick nymphs are very small (the size of the tip of your pen or a fine flake of black pepper) and are more likely to feed on larger mammals like dogs and humans. In the fall, the nymph deer ticks molt into adults and prepare to reproduce to start the cycle over again.

What a Deer Tick Treatment Involves

Deer Tick
A deer tick waiting for someone or something to grab on to

Tick treatments begin in the spring, but before your yard is sprayed, a tick drag is commonly done. This is to get an idea of how serious the tick population is in your yard. They’re done with a white, porous strip of fabric, like a bed sheet, that is dragged across the grass, usually next to tall grass and tree lines. Ticks hold on to vegetation and extend their arms out to grab onto whatever walks by. Therefore, when the sheet comes into contact with a deer tick, they instinctively grab hold.

After the tick drag a liquid is then sprayed around the perimeter of your yard. This acts like a barrier, killing any deer ticks that come into contact with it.

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When to Start Your Deer Tick Service

Deer tick treatments should begin in the spring since this is when females are laying their eggs. Wait until after the snow has melted and the ground has dried. Otherwise, a perimeter yard treatment would be ineffective.

Some pest management companies offer monthly tick treatments. The only time you will want a monthly perimeter treatment is if the tick population in your area is very high. Usually, a second treatment in the middle of the summer is sufficient enough to keep the ticks in your yard under control.

It’s also important to treat your yard in the fall since this is when the nymphs molt into adults and are getting ready to reproduce. The idea is to treat the ticks before they lay their eggs to reduce the chance of a tick explosion next spring.

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Every season brings a new threat from pests. Be prepared. Modern Pest Services offers a HomeCare Green Program for year-round pest protection, as well as Wildlife, Termite, Mosquito, Tick, and Bed Bug Control Services. 1-800-323-7378.


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