As I walk around the hobby farm planning what do next, I think back to when my husband had to remove a tick from my shoulder that was engorged into my skin.
The tick’s head was so far in that I was literally digging it out piece by piece until he got the head out. I remember thinking… Am I going to get Lyme disease or another tick-borne illness? Is it going to get infected? Did we clean out the area well enough? Did the head come all the way out?
All of these questions I am asking myself are legitimate questions. I thought back to what my family had taught me over the years.
There are numerous kinds of ticks in Connecticut where my hobby farm is, especially deer ticks which is also known as the black-legged tick.
They are ticks in which most commonly transmit Lyme in approximately 50% of them according to sources and they are located among the eastern states.
Spring is definitely here and the ticks are out and about. We had such a mild winter so it didn’t kill them off so they are in full swing right now.
Everyone should take a moment to refresh themselves on the importance of tick prevention at least from the view point of the Farmers’ Granddaughter!
The top 10 things for tick prevention:
- If you have long hair wear it in a tight ponytail. This way it will be harder for the tick to get through to your scalp.
- Wear long pants if walking in taller grass or in wooden areas. It will take the tick longer to find your skin.
- Tuck your pant legs into your socks. This will make it almost impossible to get to your bare skin of legs and feet.
- Wear sneakers or boots instead of flip flops or sandals. Ticks love to hide in between your piggy toes!
- Keep your lawn around the homestead mowed frequently. Preventing tall grass from growing. Ticks love to climb up the blades of grass.
- If you have chickens have them free range if not all of the time, at least part of the time as they love to eat ticks. I remember reading an article that the average chicken in a tick-infested area can eat up to 80 per hour. Now that isn’t realistic in an average homestead but that just shows what they are capable of doing.
- Don’t shoot possums as they eat up to 5,000 ticks per season. That’s right…one possum according to sources. I personally haven’t tried to count never mind watch a possum for a whole year.
- Don’t sit on the grass! Ticks don’t fall from trees from my understanding, they live in the grass. They could easily go down the back of your pants and end up on your buttocks or worse your private area! GROSS!
- Wear a hat to protect your head. You should do this anyway to help prevent the sun from beating down on you.
- Most importantly… when you come inside for the day. Check your clothes as you take them off watching to see if they fall off on the floor. The last thing you want is one to linger around your house. When you take a shower check your body in all the cracks and crevasses. Ticks love hiding in dark warm places.
I hope these helpful hints help you prevent tick bites on your homestead.
They are still going to happen, but at least this will help decrease your chances of getting one engorged in your skin putting you in danger of a tickborne illness.
Chickens searching for ticks on the Farmers’ Granddaughter Hobby Farm!