FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Northeast Indiana is experiencing an uptick in ticks, and it’s starting to affect homeowners.
While ticks are most commonly found in wooded areas, their population increase means they’re creeping onto lawns and yards.
So what caused the rise of ticks in the area? Kelly Broyles, owner of Mosquito Squad in Fort Wayne, attributes the rise of ticks early this year partly to the warm blast that swept through Northeast Indiana a couple of months ago.
“We started receiving phone calls as early as mid-March,” Broyles said, “Customers are concerned with the ticks in their yard. They were already seeing it.”
However, the ticks have been in the area since the wintertime. A common misconception, Broyles said that ticks law low and feed on wildlife in the cooler seasons.
“What people don’t realize is that ticks are actually active in the winter still. They feed on rodents and small animals in their dens.”
Long grass is one of the most appealing features to ticks because they can’t crawl very fast, and it makes it’s easier for ticks to latch onto passing animals—or humans.
This is why it’s important to keep grassy areas around homes short, especially if there are pets and children around.
“Typically, I find ticks more in heavy foliage areas, but that is not a black and white statement. We get phone calls from people in very nice populated neighborhoods as well as people that are in the country.”
Additional preventative measures are necessary to avoid bringing ticks back home after a venture to the great outdoors.
“If you are going to be out in areas with tall grass like a field or grassy area, make sure you’re wearing long sleeves and have pants that go all the way to the top of your shoe.”
Even if someone were to catch a tick, Broyles assures that there’s a simple method to pull it safely from the skin.
“Take tweezers directly at the base of the skin as close as you can and pull it out slowly and sternly.”
On the bright side, not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but it’s important to seek medical care if there’s a serious concern.