You’ve heard about ticks and the problems they cause. We all have. The kind of ticks that are native to Santa Barbara cause serious issues, not just because they’re bloodsuckers that are hard to see, but also because they spread disease and can cause infections. Unfortunately, you don’t have to go wandering through tall grass in the wilderness to pick up ticks. They can live and even thrive in your yard. You need to know what ticks are, how to identify them, and, most importantly, how to keep them out of your yard to protect yourself and your family.
Why are there ticks in my yard?
You’re probably wondering how ticks can get into your yard. Ticks can live on your property in tall grass, mulch beds, among large rocks, along wood lines, and under ivy and brush. You can easily have ticks in your yard if you have excessive leaf litter, a damp and messy woodpile, or brush. Ticks love these places, so even if you keep your grass short, you might have a tick problem.
Additionally, if you live up against a heavily wooded area or part of your yard is wooded, you can get ticks in your yard. Ticks hitch rides on local wildlife, including rodents, squirrels, deer, and more. They can fall off of the animal and drop into your lawn, living where conditions are right. Once you or your pet brushes up against a tick, they can latch on and begin feeding on your blood.
What kind of ticks live in Southern California?
There are over 40 types of ticks in southern California, but the four most common tick species are:
- The Western blacklegged tick
- The Pacific Coast tick
- The American Dog tick
- The Brown Dog tick
Ticks are arachnids, and they’re only a few millimeters long, so they look much like tiny, flat, oval shaped, reddish-brown spiders. Unfortunately, these arachnids are much more dangerous than their spider counterparts.
Since ticks are so small, you may not notice you have one until it’s fully fed. At that point, you’ll see something that looks big, brown, and loaf-shaped. You must remove it as soon as possible and very carefully to avoid health complications. Click here to learn about proper tick removal practices from the CDC.
Why are ticks dangerous?
Ticks can spread serious diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and more. These diseases are transmitted when a tick feeds on a host (humans and animals). If you don’t practice tick prevention, you could fall victim to these illnesses.
How to Keep Ticks out of Your Yard
Try these top tick prevention tips to keep your family and pets safe.
- Create a gravel barrier between your yard and any wooded areas that’s at least three feet wide.
- Keep your woodpiles neat, clean, and dry.
- Install fencing to help keep wild animals out of your yard.
- Remove tall brush from the edges of your yard.
- Keep recreational furniture and play areas away from wooded areas and the edges of your yard.
- Remove and dispose of leaf litter regularly.
- Maintain your lawn and avoid keeping it too long.
When you’re spending extended periods of time outdoors, try wearing light colored clothing. Remember, ticks are very dark in color so they’ll be easier to spot on white or light colored clothing. Use store-bought products that contain the active ingredient DEET. DEET acts as a repellent for both ticks and mosquitoes. Check yourself and your pets when you get back from a walk outdoors or a park. Ticks tend to lodge themselves where they can find the most warmth. This includes armpits, groin, and behind ears. For dogs, check under their ears, between their toes, and around their nose and eyes.
How can O’Connor Pest Control prevent ticks in my yard?
If you have ticks in your yard, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of them on your own. At O’Connor Pest Control, we provide tick control services that target breeding areas around your property. We know how dangerous the ticks are, and we want to help protect you and your family. Call us or fill out the contact form on this page for a free tick inspection and estimate today!