Unfortunately there appear to be ticks in every state of the union – though not all carry diseases and not all carry the SAME diseases. The CDC has several graphics to explain which ticks carry what where. 🙂
There are steps we can take to protect ourselves and you can find plenty of articles explaining those steps such as Tick Populations to Explode in 2013 and Tick-Borne Illness on the Rise by Pestworld who also made this very informational and useful video.
Something new I learned as I researched these teeny tiny bugs is permethrin which is a chemical that is reportedly more effective against ticks than other commonly recommended items. You can read all about it at Healthy Living, where they've got plenty of excellent and factual links to back up their information in their article, Using Permethrin To Prevent Tick Bites. And the University of Rhode Island has a site, TickEncounter Resource Center, with additional information about Permethrin, including their article, How safe is Permethrin and Permethrin-treated Clothing? If you'd like some practical applications for this chemical, check out “Landers: Ticks are companions you don’t want.”
Prefer natural? One of my favorite resources, Mother Earth News, has an article with a subtitle I love, “Ticks: Natural Prevention and Remedies – Use these 10 tips to take the ick out of dealing with ticks this summer.” Even their author comments, though, “Even if you do use chemicals in your tick management plan, it’s still a good idea to back them up with sound natural strategies.” She also has permethrin on her list of 10 excellent suggestions, along with more of the history which explains why I heard so little about this tiny menace for so long. I especially liked another of her ideas and bet my mom and grandkids will too – a flock of chickens. (Hence the picture – much cuter than one of a tick, don't you think?) Hmmm, wonder if my house is zoned for that? 🙂
How about you? Got any suggestions, tips, happy stories, sad stories, or other tic-rified comments to help us protect our families and our homes from Ticks? We'd love to hear them in the comments.