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Old 05-19-2012, 10:23 AM
12 posts, read 25,958 times
Reputation: 11


Hey guys,

Ive been reading that ticks are a very real concern in the triangle area, and would like to minimize any tick issues as much as possible.

I keep reading that anytime the kids or dogs are outside playing we need to check them for ticks when they come inside. Can you guys tell me if this is a worry EVERYWHERE or is it minimized by the type of yard you have..?

For example... if your backyard looks like this, I'd expect ticks would be more likely...

than if it looks like this...

Am I deluding myself in thinking that if we look for a more open / less woodsy type of home that it will be less of an issue? Letting our kids play outside is a huge thing for us, so I was just curious if you guys could offer any help, advice or experience on the somewhat paranoid worry I have.

Thanks so much!
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:29 AM
12 posts, read 25,958 times
Reputation: 11
Not sure why my thread was moved since it was specific to the Raleigh, NC area and not gardening in general, but I still hope someone from the triangle area can / will help.

Thanks <3

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Old 05-19-2012, 10:58 AM
273 posts, read 410,689 times
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I think they would be better in a less wooded lot, but you may still have some depending on the area around your yard (the trees come right up to the fence in the picture, and overhanging limbs may be an issue). Also, ticks can be carried into any area with wildlife... Squirrels, raccoons, deer, etc that may come into your yard. Another concern is pets, and whether you walk them in other area where they might get ticks. In our experience, we get more ticks from areas with high grass and weeds than we do in the woods. We live on a very wooded lot with no fence, and have found ticks on us and the dog. It just takes a few minutes to check yourself and pets after being outside. The deer ticks are hard to see, though.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:02 AM
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I would think your logic makes sense, but I would still do routine checks even if your yard has few trees, short grass, etc.

Some of my tick experiences show that even suburban/urban settings can be problematic when it comes to ticks:
  • About ten years ago, I was walking through a parking lot, walked under a scrawny tree that was on the median, and felt something drop onto my head. It was a large tick.
  • About seven years ago, I visited my aunt and uncle and came home with FIVE deer/seed ticks embedded in my abdomen. I had to have picked them up in the airport, the car, or my aunt and uncle's VERY manicured, VERY well-maintained with SHORT grass and no trees, house.
  • I walk along a sidewalk with one of my friends and the grass on either side of the sidewalk is short (no more than 4" tall). Yet, that walk has led to me getting about six or eight ticks. Thankfully, only one of those actually bit me.
So, still be careful! But I do think your risk is lower in a grassy/well-maintained area than it is in a wooded area or an area with tall grass.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:02 AM
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They can be found anywhere, high grass, low grass, woods or not. There are products on the market which you can use to treat your lawn against fleas, ticks, etc. It is safe for pets and children once applied.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:06 AM
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 21,670,072 times
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agreed, while long grass or leaf litter is going to give you the higest tick populations, ticks are everywhere. keep your pets up to date on flea/tick prevention and keep your lawn nice and short, but generally ticks are well traveld hitchikers.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:46 AM
Location: Location: Location
6,518 posts, read 8,198,061 times
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I have had a lot of experience with ticks - my mother had Lyme disease from a tick bite. Our dog always had ticks on him. A tick, when it is empty, resembles a small brown freckle. When it burrows its head into your skin, it begins to feed on your blood. As it feeds, it begins to grow and when full, it resembles a large gray pea. Then it releases its hold and drops off - whether from you or from an animal host. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but unfortunately, they don't wear signs. Best to remove them as quickly as possible.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:28 PM
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Maybe the OP could consider keeping a few backyard chickens. They will help gobble up ticks and other insects in the yard. The fresh eggs would be a bonus.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:19 PM
Location: Pennsylvania
17,292 posts, read 11,068,554 times
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But they do present a health hazard: what to do with the poop?

A clue there's a tick present is an itching. Usually before the little critter is visible. Guess that depends on your eyesight.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:30 PM
Location: RTP area, NC
1,277 posts, read 3,193,981 times
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we are in Raleigh and we had one year where they were really bad when we had a very mild winter -- that year we had also put down pinestraw from a questionable source in our front yard and I swear, the tick problem we had that summer was due to that pinestraw not the weather -- we haven't had a problem before or since then. my dog got rocky mtn spotted fever from a tick that season. Since then, we have gotten pinestraw from reputable sources and have not had a problem. So...we "frontline" our cats/dog Feb-Nov each year and usually don't have a problem with fleas or ticks. We do a bit of hiking and do tick checks after each hike and pull off any that have climbed aboard - on occasion we see them but less here than at our in-laws up in NY. Hope that helps.
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