Spring has sprung! Temperatures are moderating and now is the time to start planning for your vegetable and flower gardens! As you venture into your backyard, be on the lookout for ticks. They are most prevalent during the months of April through September.
The most common types of ticks in Virginia are the Lone Star tick, the American dog tick, the brown dog tick, and the deer tick. The most dangerous ticks to humans are deer ticks, a potential vector of Lyme disease, and the American dog and Lone Star ticks, potential vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
As Ben Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Here are some tips to help you avoid ticks:
• When possible, avoid tick habitats: long grasses, bushes, leaf litter.
• When hiking or walking in the woods, stay on the trails.
• When working in potential TICK ZONES, wear light colored long sleeve shirts and pants, tuck in your shirt, tuck your pants into your socks, pull back long hair, and when in the woods, wear a hat.
• Use light colored gloves when pruning so you can easily spot ticks.
• Wear shoes versus sandals.
• Use a spray of choice; always follow the manufacturer's directions.
• After hiking or gardening, shower well, inspect for ticks, wash and dry clothing.
• When relaxing in your yard, sit or lay in a chair.
• Inspect your children after they play in the woods or yard.
For more information about ticks, go to the Virginia Cooperative Extension website: