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Four (surprising) places ticks hang out 04/30/2012

Posted by thetickthatbitme in Media, TBI Facts.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Most people think you have to be hiking around in the woods to pick up a tick. In reality, ticks are a lot closer than you think. Here are four (possibly surprising) places where ticks hang out:

1. In your un-mown lawn. Ticks like to hide in vegetation to keep from drying out. Vegetation includes tall grasses, so don’t get lazy on the lawn upkeep!

2. In piles of fallen leaves. Yes, leaves are fun to jump in, and yes, the crunchy sound they make when you walk over them is lovely, but you (or your pet) could also be picking up ticks from leaf litter, so rake ’em up!

protect your yard mice

Ticks feed on and pick up diseases from mice. Image via tickencounter.org

3. Anywhere mice or other rodents live. This includes wood piles, rock walls, crawl spaces, ground covers, abandoned vehicles, garbage, bushes, and palm trees. Mice also like to eat fallen fruit, so if you have fruit trees, be sure to dispose of any fruit that falls. If you have mice or rats in your home, chances are you have ticks, too. Here’s a more detailed list of mouse hiding places and what you can do to keep them away from your yard and house.

4. On and underneath wooden picnic tables and benches. To me, this is the creepiest one, because I’ve been to countless kids’ birthdays and neighborhood get-togethers in the park, and the last thing on my mind was tick exposure. If you don’t believe me when I say the risk is real, here’s an article abstract for a study conducted by Kerry Padgett and Denise Bonilla from the California Department of Public Health.

grizzly bench tilden park

Park bench on Grizzly Peak, in the Berkeley Hills. Image via Wikimedia Commons. Credit: nickton.

They collected ticks (some of which tested positive for Borrelia) from various areas in Berkeley’s Tilden Regional Park and found as many on wood surfaces as in leaf litter. If you’re planning on a day in the park, I recommend long pants and repellent with Permethrin.

If you’re spending time outdoors, it’s a good idea to check yourself for ticks as soon as you come inside. The University of Rhode Island’s Tick Encounter Resource Center has a great multimedia tool, the Tick Bite Locator, which suggests common places to check for ticks. They also have images of a variety of disease-carrying ticks (although the soft-bodied ones are missing) at different life stages.

Got a dog and not sure how to check him/her for ticks? WordPress blog After Gadget has a detailed explanation of how to do a thorough tick-check.

Be careful out there, everyone!


1. Becki - 04/30/2012

Reblogged this on Bloody Lymey and commented:
Such good info – and the PICNIC tables! Wow. Thanks to thetickthatbitme for sharing!

2. Dogs and Cats and TICKS… oh my | Life on the Farmlet - 05/03/2012

[…] Four (surprising) places ticks hang out (thetickthatbitme.com) […]

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[…] Four (surprising) places ticks hang out (thetickthatbitme.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookPinterestEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Tags: Bird feeder, deployment, high school, homework, jewelry making, jewelry show, lyme disease, marijuana, Navy, snooping, student, tennis, Tick, whining Permalink […]

4. Carole Sweet - 10/18/2013

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) insists that the Borrelia hermsii carrying ticks, the Ornithodoros soft-bodied ticks, only occur above the 3000′ elevation in the Sierra Nevadas in California…(from my contact with them earlier this year). I have personal knowledge of those bit at sea level and contracting the disease, as well as other areas that are well below the 3000′ elevation of the Sierras. The CDPH is part of the problem contributing to misinformation to the public. They were adamant that they were the only ones with good information….not so. They are knowingly prejudicing their studies, leaving out critical coastal and inland areas from studies searching for B. hermsii carrying ticks..only looking at the higher elevations. Even I, personally, was bit well below the 3000′ elevation and contracted this disease. Until those with their public (government) presence open their eyes to the realities of these diseases, the public will remain at greater risk for contracting them. The CDPH was entirely unreceptive to the possibility that their information was incorrect…which it is…proof is in the numbers of individuals that I know, that have had to be treated for this disease and remain with long-term effects from a Borrelia hermsii infection…as do I.

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