Are Ticks A Problem In Maryland During October?


tick embedded in animal fur

Ticks can be a problem in Maryland at any time of the year. They live on warm-blooded mammals which must find protection from the cold. So, the bigger question is: are warm-blooded mammals a problem in Maryland during October? You're not going to like the answer.

Something less than magical happens in the fall. When temperatures drop, rodents look for a warm place to hide. If a mouse or rat senses heat coming out of your home, what do you think it will do? Yup. Find a way to get into that nice warm home of yours. When they do, they bring ticks in with them.

Do you know that a single mouse can have as many as a hundred ticks on its body? It is scary but it's true. It is important to point out that we're not talking about adult ticks; that would be really scary! We are talking about seed ticks. A seed tick is a newly hatched tick. It has only six legs and it is barely the size of a grain of salt. That is why a mouse can have a hundred of them.

Seed ticks can be a serious issue during the warm months when kids go outside to play. If a child lays on a group of newly hatched ticks, they can attach to the child's skin. This will look like hundreds of tiny specks that won't brush off. But, in October and part of the winter, seed ticks don't present a direct threat. They stay on their rodent hosts until they're ready to take another host. This is when things can become problematic for your family. Hundreds of tiny eight-legged ticks searching for hosts inside your home is not good. They'll attach to dogs, cats and humans.

Rodent Control

Now that you understand the rodent connection, it is important to consider how you can keep rodents from getting into your home this October.

  • Do a detailed inspection of your exterior foundation and walls. Use a caulking gun to seal up small gaps, cracks and holes. For large entry points, use an expanding foam or steel mesh. It only takes a hole the size of a nickel for a mouse to get in, so look closely. Some common entry points for rodents are door sweeps, rubber weather-stripping around doors, seals around door and window frames, and holes created by other wood-destroying pests.
  • Mice and rats hide in and under objects that sit in your backyard. Removing or storing items that don't need to be in your backyard will make your yard less attractive to rodents.
  • Mice and rats hide in vegetation and will use dense vegetation as cover while they chew a hole into your home. Trim your landscaping to give them less cover.
  • Mice and rats will get underneath decks, patios, and porches to create holes in the sole plates of a home. Seal these areas off by installing wire fencing. Make sure you put it at least a foot below the surface to prevent burrowing rodents, like the Norway rat, from getting under.
  • Food sources can lure mice and rats close to your home. Keep bagged trash inside covered trash receptacles. If you feed pets or livestock in your yard, pick food up after meal times and never leave it down overnight. If you have bird feeders, move them at least 20 feet from your home. Seeds are a primary dietary staple for mice. Protect gardens, berry bushes, and fruit trees with fencing that goes at least a foot below the surface of the ground.  

Get Some Help

The best way to keep rodents out of your Maryland home is to invest in Preferred Care, Preferred Care Plus, or Preferred Care Complete from American Pest. These residential programs include state-of-the-art rodent monitoring and control. When rodents enter your yard and explore your foundation perimeter, Preferred Care will immediately work to control them. The traps we use do not have bait, so you don't have to worry about toxins. And they are tamper-resistant so you don't have to be concerned about your kids or your pets getting into them.

If you have questions or if you'd like to learn more about how our certified professionals can help protect you and your family from the threat of tick-borne diseases, connect with us today and schedule a free estimate. We'll send someone over to take a look at the pest pressures around your home and guide you toward the right program for your specific needs and budget.

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