a deer tick on a vermonter's skinAre you planning a hike through the Green Mountains – or perhaps you’re just looking forward to enjoying a picnic in your backyard? From the grandest places to the most local, Vermont’s outdoor areas offer plenty of opportunities for adventure or relaxation, but it’s important to acknowledge the potential dangers of ticks that come with exploring nature. Although Vermont was once known for being relatively free of ticks, that’s no longer the case. In recent years, tick populations have increased dramatically, and new species have made their way into the state. This means that there’s a higher risk of tickborne diseases, such as Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and more.

So, join us as we explore the world of ticks in Vermont, and learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from these pesky critters.

Three Ticks You Need to Know About in Vermont

To protect yourself and loved ones, you need to know about the three most common tick species in the state. While the lone star tick, American dog tick, and deer tick each have the potential to transmit diseases, awareness and preventative measures can help reduce your risk.

an infographic shows the different body types of common ticks found in vermont, as well as the diseases they can transmit

Deer tick

Most commonly found in wooded areas and tall grasses, the deer tick is known to carry several diseases, including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. The risk of contracting a tickborne illness from a deer tick bite increases the longer the tick is attached, making early detection and removal critical. If left untreated, these illnesses can cause serious health problems, including neurological and cardiac issues. Wearing long sleeves and pants, using insect repellent, and checking for ticks regularly after spending time outdoors can all help reduce your risk of tickborne disease from deer ticks.

American dog tick

Found in wooded areas, as well as grassy fields and along hiking trails, the good news about the American dog tick is that it does not transmit Lyme disease. The bad news is that it does transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, and tick paralysis. If you find a tick attached to your skin, don’t panic – but don’t wait, either. Remove the tick as soon as possible with tweezers by grasping it as close to the head as possible. Lift gently until the tick’s mouth releases. Do not jerk or twist or it risks breaking the mouth parts off. Wash the bite area with soap and water. If you experience any symptoms, such as fever or rash, seek medical attention immediately.

Lone star tick

A relatively new species to Vermont, adult females are easily identifiable by the white spot on their backs. This tick has been found along hiking trails and has been known to carry several diseases, including ehrlichiosis and tularemia. In addition, it can cause a severe allergic reaction to red meat in some people, a condition known as Alpha-gal Syndrome. While few instances of tickborne illness from the lone star tick have been found here in Vermont, it’s important to be aware of its presence and take measures to protect yourself. If you experience symptoms such as fever, headache, or rash after being bitten by a tick, seek medical attention promptly.

How Do You Prevent Ticks in Vermont?

Avoiding ticks is key to preventing tickborne illnesses. When exploring the outdoors in Vermont, take a few easy precautions to protect yourself. For example, expose as little skin as possible by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and closed-toe shoes. Applying tick repellent to your skin and clothing may also help deter ticks from latching onto you. 

Stick to well-traveled paths and avoid tall grasses, leaf litter, and wooded areas. These are all potential tick habitats where you may encounter large numbers of them. After you’ve spent time outdoors, carefully check your skin and clothing, paying special attention to areas like the scalp, armpits, and groin. If you do find any ticks latched on, removing them as soon as possible can help prevent transmission of disease.

Does Having a Dog or Cat Increase Your Risk of Exposure to Ticks?

If you have dogs or cats, you may be wondering if they increase your risk of getting ticks. Yes, your furry friends can bring ticks into your home and increase the likelihood of you getting bit. That makes it even more necessary to be aware of the possibility and take the proper precautions. Not only that, but tick bites can also harm your pets’ health and cause them to contract illnesses such as Lyme disease.

Here are some great habits to get into to reduce your risk of tick exposure if you have indoor/outdoor pets:

  1. Check your pets regularly for ticks, especially after they’ve been romping around outdoors.
  2. Use tick collars or medication if you find them frequently. This is to reduce the risk of tick bites on your pets.
  3. Keep your yard well-maintained and free of leaf litter and tall grass, as these areas are known to harbor ticks.
  4. Consider using a tick repellent spray on your pets’ fur before they go outside.
  5. Use a fine-toothed comb to remove any ticks you find on your pets. Make sure to get the entire tick, including the head.
  6. Wash your pets’ bedding regularly to reduce the risk of ticks hiding in their bedding.

Trust Vermont Pest Control for Tick Control in the Green Mountain State

We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. It’s only natural in the summer to want to get out and enjoy it. Unfortunately, these days that means risking some exposure to ticks. The good news is that with some planning and awareness, you can reduce your risk of tickborne disease.

If you’re dealing with ticks at your home, the pros at Vermont Pest Control can help. Our tick extermination services work by identifying tick habitats on your property and targeting those areas with treatments that kill ticks on contact. We also provide ongoing maintenance to ensure that your property remains free of ticks. Don’t let ticks ruin your outdoor adventures or put your health at risk. 

Call Vermont Pest Control today to learn more about our tick control services and how we can help keep you and your family safe.

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