At BCK Earth & Turf we provide organic and conventional tick control with high pressure and high volume sprayers. Our spray schedules are based off the tick’s lifecycle. They penetrate deep into the woods and disrupt vegetative and organic debris to provide superior seasonal tick control.
Ticks have become increasingly problematic and worrisome in Fairfield County. As blood feeders, their host consists of a variety of birds, large and small mammals. Research has shown that three-quarters of all Lyme Disease infections are from ticks picked up from activities around the home. Children and pets are most vulnerable to ticks. Because of our wooded geography, animal host populations, and warmer winters, tick populations have remained high. Reducing and managing tick populations must be taken with an integrated approach. Many factors, including tick biology and the landscape need consideration when implementing a successful tick management program.
Tick Control & Prevention
The issue of ticks and the bacterial diseases they cause, primarily Lyme Disease, is well known to those of us who work and enjoy the outdoors in Connecticut. Timing is critical when targeting ticks and knowledge of their lifecycle plays a critical role when designing an integrated tick management program.
Current research indicates that perimeter sprays are highly effective at reducing tick populations. It is not necessary to spray your whole yard. Ticks are typically not found in open turf areas, or in mulch beds. An organic cedar oil perimeter application is extremely effective at controlling tick populations.
Tick Prevention Tips For Homeowners
- You can reduce tick habitat by pruning low hanging limbs on trees and shrubs around wooded boundaries
- Try and minimize the amount of brush and leaf litter near the home
- Avoid attracting wildlife, especially deer, into your yard via feeders etc.
- Consider planting deer-resistant plant varieties
- Install deer fencing
- Apply deer repellents
Our high pressure/high volume sprays are designed to reach deep into woods, reach tree tops and penetrate and disrupt dense vegetation.
Tick Prevention Programs: Typically 4-5 Applications Per Season
Late March – Early April
Our spraying targets active adults when the temperatures start to rise
Late May – Early July
Targets egg laying females and nymphs which are seeking small mammals and birds as a host. Nymphs reside on low hanging branches and the tips of grasses and plants.
June – July
Depending on the severity of the tick population, a second early summer application may be needed.
Mid-August – September
Targets larvae that hatch and begin to feed. Larvae are the beginning phase of the life cycle and reducing them will help reduce tick populations in the future
October – Early November
We target adult ticks that start seeking large mammals, such as deer, as a host.
Off Season & Other Reasons
We will work with you year-round to maintain a solid control plan. Another reason to consider a spraying program is if you are hosting an outdoor event. Whether you are having a birthday party, a wedding or any other outdoor event, give yourself the peace of mind that you thought of everything.
There are over 80 different species of ticks found in the U.S. In the Northeast, the most common species for carrying Lyme disease are the black-legged deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis). These ticks have a multi-stage and host life cycle before reaching adult maturity. Ticks begin as larvae, find a small host, engorge, fall off and molt and molt to a nymph. As nymphs, they find a larger host, engorge, fall off the host and molt into adults. Once adults, they find large mammals as a host and engorge and fall off. Adult females will then lay their egg masses which can have up to 18,000 eggs laid by one female. Understanding this multi-host life cycle is critical in making time-sensitive applications throughout the season when ticks are most vulnerable to our high pressure and high volume spray applications.
When seeking a host, larval, nymph and adult ticks will ascend to the tips of grasses, leaves, and shrubs waiting for a potential target. Our applications focus on them in-between life-cycles. These are the moments when ticks are not on a host but vulnerable in the open. Our sprays kill and repel ticks, but due to the violent impact of the high pressure, it also disrupts vegetation and debris, which physically removes ticks from where they prey. Our sprays also penetrate deep into the woods and trees to ensure thorough coverage.
Aside from liquid spray applications, there are other components to an integrated tick management program. Drag mats are effective at locating and determining ticks populations. Research shows the majority of ticks found in the home, originally located just three yards from the wood line. Ticks preferred habitats are heavier, denser, vegetative areas that retain moisture and provide coverage from predators. Ticks are less common in maintained areas with little shade as opposed to densely wooded and high grass areas. Wooded locations are tick-rich environments due to cover and host presence.
Some cultural control measures for the landscape are to keep the grass mowed, remove leaf litter, brush and organic debris, keep stone walls free of organic build up, use deer resistant plantings, prune lower branches of trees and keep shrubs pruned off the lawn. Pruning and removing trees will allow more sunlight into the landscape to reduce tick habitat as well as limiting and removing ground cover such as pachysandra. Thick mulch around the perimeter of the lawn will discourage ticks from crossing over from the woods. If your home is in a high traffic deer area, consider installing deer fencing along the perimeter of the property.
Ticks and the diseases they carry, primary Lyme, are a serious health hazard and shouldn’t be taking lightly. With every application and as licensed Connecticut applicators, we understand the importance of a thorough, precise and time sensitive spray to your home and the impacts it will have a protecting your family and pets.
Mosquitoes are not only nuisances, but they can carry dangerous vector-borne diseases. Keeping your property free of stagnating water, ideal for mosquito breeding will help reduce mosquito populations. Mosquitoes are more mobile than ticks. We recommend shorter time frames between sprays, especially during peak mosquito activity. As a point of note, our tick sprays are effective for mosquitoes as well and may be sufficient.