Pine State's guide to tick treatments in Maine
According to the 2019 Maine Surveillance Report on Lyme disease, there were 2167 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease in our state. That’s 970 more cases or an increase of 55% from 2009. While we don’t have data for 2020 yet, clearly the deer ticks that spread Lyme disease as well as other types of ticks in Maine that also transmit disease to people and pets are not going away. That is why it is so important for Maine residents to take measures to protect themselves, their families, and their pets from these biting pests and that is why Pine State Pest Solutions provides seasonal tick treatments that are focused on the outside of the home and designed to significantly reduce tick activity.
Spring tick application
When you sign up for tick treatments with our locally owned and operated Maine pest control company, we’ll schedule your first service in May (or earlier as the weather dictates). Our goal during this first application is to target the ticks that are just emerging from their overwintering sites and that are VERY active in looking for a host, or in other words, a bloodmeal. Why is this important? A single mated female tick that took a bloodmeal in the fall can lay up to 3,000 eggs in the early spring. If you do the math, you’ll quickly realize the potential for your property to be saturated with these disease-spreading pests is great. What’s more tick nymphs that are wandering about the property will be looking for their second bloodmeal in order to molt into adults by the time fall arrives.
Where we treat for ticks in the spring
The first application is key to setting a base/foundation of control for the remaining season because we are effectively killing all ticks currently on or around the property, especially the adult females before they have a chance to take a bloodmeal and lay eggs. A better illustration – for every adult female tick we eliminate during that first application, we stop up to 3,000 new ticks from hatching during the spring and summer months.
Our main target during a tick treatment is the “Redzone” which is the 5 – 10 feet of transition from lawns to woods or fields where there is dense brush, leaf litter, and foliage. The high moisture content and humid conditions in these areas make them ideal harborages for ticks that dry up without moisture or humidity present. Once we’ve treated the property with powered mist blowers, we won’t have to return for two to three months because the product we use has a residual effect. In other words, it will continue to kill new tick activity for a period of time after applied.
Summer tick application
The second tick application is administered during the summer months, typically June or July. It is during this service that we’ll target tick larvae emerging from eggs and that are actively seeking their first bloodmeal. Also, the mid-summer months are when nymph activity is peaking and when approximately 65% of Maine’s human Lyme disease cases are reported.
Where we treat for ticks in the summer
During the second tick application (typically scheduled for September or October), we’ll apply product with a residual effect around the perimeter of the property, the 5 – 10 feet transition area, and about 20 – 30 feet out into surrounding woods or fields. This will result in the elimination of any newly hatched larvae as well as any adult or nymphs that have recently entered the property or that have dropped off on the property from wildlife.
Fall tick application
It may surprise you but adult ticks are very active in the fall and are intent on finding a large mammal host to get a bloodmeal from before winter arrives. Due to cooling temperatures and leaves falling, ticks are able to encroach further onto lawns and remain undetected. This makes it easier for them to attach to dogs, cats, and other domestic animals close to homes.
We consider this last application one of the most important ones because each tick we kill effectively reduces the potential of up to 3,000 new ticks hatching on your property once spring arrives.
Where we treat for ticks in the fall
Using powered mist blowers, we will once again treat the perimeter of the property, the transitional area, and the surrounding woods and fields (approx. 20 to 30 feet out) with a residual product that protects long after we’ve left and that targets both adult ticks and nymphs.
How you can help prevent ticks from taking over your property in-between service visits
While our treatments are incredibly effective in eliminating and preventing tick activity on your property, it will not necessarily stop all ticks. After all, we cannot control passing wildlife, stop your pets from roaming past the treated areas, or prevent you from bringing ticks onto your property after a hike or other outdoor excursion. The good news is that there are a few prevention tips you can employ in between our visits to your property. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Keep your lawn short so that ticks will desiccate (dry out) in the short blades of grass
- Remove leaf litter and clear out dense foliage so that ticks cannot escape the sunny/hot/windy conditions
- Speak with your vet about tick and flea treatments
- Perform regular tick checks on yourself, family members, and pets
- Look for ticks on pet beds, furniture, and any other places and spaces your pets like to occupy
- Don’t bring ticks home by staying on paths when walking or hiking in the woods