Adult stage deer ticks become active every year in the fall.
High risk fall activities for getting bitten by a tick include raking leaves, viewing and playing sports such as soccer and golf, hiking, gardening, yard work, playing in one’s yard, school recess and field trips, and just about any activity that places you in the tick’s domain.
Why treat your lawn in the fall to eliminate ticks?
Fall treatments not only eliminate adult deer ticks that are looking for a host, but also prevent them from laying eggs in the Spring. We recommend having three to four organic property sprays around your home between the months of September and November. This is especially important for families with outdoor pets.
Source: TickEncounter Resource CenterComments
It does help eliminate no-see-ums, but the residual of the product (that repels them over time) is really focused on mosquitoes so we have had mixed results. Some people see a great difference, and others see just a reduction in the population. Feel free to email us (email@example.com) and we can talk to you in more detail about the solution. Thanks! -Molly
Hey everyone! My name is Isabelle Wigon, and I am the newest member of the Pure Solutions team! As part of my senior year in highschool, I am doing a market research internship at Pure that takes my education out of the classroom to experience the working world first hand. It has been a rewarding experience so far, and I have yet to stop learning. My research and projects have taught me a lot already about ticks and Lyme disease, especially in horses.
My horse, Petunia, was diagnosed with Lyme earlier this year. As a horse lover, I am trying to learn as much as I can about ticks, Lyme disease, and how to prevent it, so other horses don’t have to experience what she did. The whole experience is tough on not only the horse, but the owner as well. I’ve learned of some great tips about preventing tick bites for the both of us, like how and when to do an effective tick check (included below). I’ve also learned that about 50% of adult blacklegged ticks carry the Lyme disease bacterium. Since the northeast has a very high population of Lyme disease carrying ticks, prevention is crucial to protect you and your pets against Lyme.
Tick checks are a highly effective way to locate a tick that has, or is ready to, bite you for a blood-meal. Performing tick checks can drastically reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease as ticks need about 24 hours to infect you. If you remove a tick shortly after it has bitten you, your chances of catching Lyme are very small. For your horse, it is important to check along their legs, under the tail and belly, around the ears, and near their stifle. These are the common areas for tick bites on horses.
I hope everyone has a great, tick-free summer this year!
At Pure, we know just how serious Lyme disease is. The northeast is a very high-risk area for tick-borne diseases, especially Lyme. Although Lyme disease is a very serious problem in New England, many people are still unsure exactly what it is. In order to raise awareness we wanted to compile some quick information on Lyme disease.
What exactly is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (pictured below).
When infected with Lyme disease you may initially experience flu-like symptoms, along with fever, chills, headaches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, and/or muscle aches. Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of a Blacklegged (Deer) tick. There are other types of ticks in the Northeast area such as Dog ticks, but they have not been shown to transmit Lyme disease. Additionally, one cannot catch Lyme disease from other insects, such as mosquitoes, flies, or fleas.
Ticks go through three stages in their development; larvae, nymph, and adult. Nymph stage ticks and adult females all seek blood meals.
Not all blacklegged (deer) ticks carry Lyme disease. About 50% of female adult blacklegged and about 20% of nymph stage blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease according to the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center. Ticks are not born with Lyme disease, they acquire the bacteria through biting an infected host, most commonly deer or mice.
If bitten by an infected tick, 70-80% of people will develop a bullseye-like skin rash called erythema migrans. If you do not develop this rash there is still a chance you have contracted Lyme disease.
Where is Lyme disease found?
About 97% of Lyme disease cases happen in the northeast and north-central states. In 2012, 95% of Lyme disease cases came from 13 states, including; Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
How can I prevent it?
The number one way to prevent contracting Lyme disease is to avoid getting bitten. This can be done by wearing tick-conscience apparel when active in tick friendly areas, such as; tall grass, brush, leaf-covered areas, or unkempt vegetation. Tucking your pants into your socks when active in possible tick inhabited areas is a highly recommended practice to avoid tick bites.
When on a trail, keep towards the center to avoid contact with tick infested areas.
Spray your property to kill and repel ticks. Although most tick sprays are synthetic chemicals which may pose potential health risks, there are organic options. Organic alternatives to chemical insecticides do not harm or pose risk to humans (including children), pets, wildlife, beneficial insects, or the environment.
The second best way to prevent Lyme disease is to quickly identify and remove a tick from your body before it has a chance to transmit the Lyme bacterium. If you can remove the blacklegged tick within 24 hours of getting bitten your chances to contract Lyme disease are drastically reduced.
The proper way to remove a tick is to:
Disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol.
Use pointy tweezers (this is important as normal tweezers are not effective) to grab the tick as close to the head as possible.
Pull slowly but firmly upwards until the tick has been removed. Do not be alarmed if the head remains attached as the tick cannot transmit any disease without the body.
Disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol again.
If the tick has been on your skin for over 24 hours, or if you are unsure, or just want to be careful you can save the tick and have it tested at a lab for disease.
How can I help support?
Help support the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA) and the 2nd Annual Kink the Tick Lyme Disease Awareness and Support Group 5k Walk in south Hadley, MA here: 2nd annual kick the tick 5k walk
Learn more about Lyme disease from these helpful resources:Comments
What Really Makes you Attractive to Mosquitoes
A whopping 85% of your attractiveness to mosquitoes is predetermined from your genetics, so you can safely blame your parents for those nights of itching agony. Mosquitoes use carbon dioxide to sniff out their victims. Mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide up to 30 meters away. Because of this, pregnant woman are more susceptible to mosquito bites as they give off more carbon dioxide. Not only do pregnant women exhale more carbon dioxide, they also have higher body temperatures and more blood circulating in their bodies, all of which make them attractive to mosquitoes. Adults are also more likely to get bitten as they produce more carbon dioxide than children, oh to be young again.
Enjoying a refreshing beer outside for a barbecue? You’ll risk being more attractive to mosquitoes. This is because mosquitoes are drawn to higher body temperatures and after a drink your body temperature raises.
How do Mosquitoes Survive Relatively Massive Raindrops?
Mosquitoes are struck with a force that is 50 times their bodyweight when struck by a raindrop. This collision should have the force of 300 times that of gravity, which is equivalent to humans as a full sized bus. Georgia institute of Technology researchers hypothesize that since the mosquito weighs very little and has such a small body with a flexible exoskeleton, the raindrops lose very little speed when they strike the mosquito and therefore do not transmit much force to the mosquitoes body. These findings may aid in the design of tiny flying robots.
There is a Mosquito We Can Get Along With
Finally a mosquito we can get along with. The mosquito species called Toxorhynchites, also known as elephant mosquitoes do not suck blood from humans. In a way, they protect us from other mosquitoes. The larvae of these mosquitoes eat the larvae of other mosquitoes that would eventually grow up to suck our blood. When the Elephant Mosquito leaves its larvae stage, it feeds on carbohydrate-rich food sources, leaving humans alone. The best of both worlds!
House Fans are a Very Effective, Natural Way to Combat Mosquitoes
Turning on your house fan can effectively prevent mosquitoes from feasting on your blood indoors. Mosquitoes are not exceptionally trong flyers. The wind makes it hard for the mosquito to land on your skin. It also dilutes the carbon dioxide in the air, which is one of the major chemicals that mosquitoes are attracted to. Finally, fans cool your skin which can minimize body heat, lactic acid, and sweat, all of which can attract mosquitoes. Turning on a fan while you’re outdoors is also a good natural way to prevent mosquitoes from being able to land on you.
Mosquitoes Don’t Just Suck Your Blood…
When feeding on your blood, mosquitoes must simultaneously urinate. Without urinating the mosquito would be overloaded with fluid and salt which would potentially kill them. It would also make the mosquito much heavier which would force them to fly slower, making them more susceptible to being swatted.
We all love a clean and fresh smelling home. Air fresheners and chemical cleaners are household staples, but these products can do more harm than good. Air fresheners and chemical cleaners contain harmful ingredients that make our indoor air unsafe, especially for children and people with asthma.
The main culprit to watch out for in air fresheners are phthalates, which can cause hormonal problems and birth defects. The Natural Resources Defense Council tested 14 common brands, none of which listed phthalates as an ingredient, to see how many actually contained phthalates. They found that 12 of the 14 tested contained some level of phthalates (a whopping 86%). The scary thing is even those marketed as “all natural” contained phthalates. You can view the findings of the study here.
Household cleaners are also known to contain toxic chemicals, and although they may rid your counter top or toilet of germs, they are also polluting your air and pose a risk to you and your family if inhaled, ingested, or simply touched. This is why DIY (Do-It-Yourself) green air fresheners and cleaners made at home are one of our favorite and most beneficial green DIY projects. Here is how to make your own!
Easy All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner (via apartmenttherapy)
Put your citrus peels to use with this easy Homemade all-purpose cleaner. Citrus contains d-limonene, which reacts with oil, causing the oil to break down. We like to use this cleaner especially to fight stove-top grease but it can be used for many purposes. Here are the step-by-step instructions!
Put orange or some sort of citrus fruit peels in an airtight glass container.
Pour distilled white vinegar into the glass jar until the peels are covered completely.
Seal the jar and wait two weeks so the vinegar has time to react with the citrus. When done the vinegar will have a yellow hue and smell citrus-y.
Strain peels and dilute with water if you’d like, a common ratio is 1:1.
Pour into a spray bottle and enjoy the natural scent of your cleaner and the peace of mind knowing your product is toxin-free!
Naturally Scented Air Fresheners (via The Yummy Life)
We love these DIY natural air fresheners because you can get creative and find the ingredients that work best for you. Here is what you will need to do:
Combine ingredients with water in a stove top pan, uncovered slow-cooker, or fondue pot. Stove top works best and provides the strongest fragrance.
For stove top- bring to a boil and then let simmer for as long as you desire, you will have to watch the water level.
For Slow cookers- heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes to jump start the fragrances and then leave in the slowcooker uncovered on a low setting.
For Fondue pots- heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes to jump start the fragrances and then leave in the fondue pot and place it wherever you’d like.
Here are some ingredient combos from The Yummy Life blog that seem to work the best (make sure to combine these with ample amounts of water!):
Oranges, cinnamon, and cloves (with optional allspice and anise)
Lemon, Rosemary, and vanilla
Lime, thyme, mint, and vanilla extract
Orange, ginger, and almond extract
Pine or cedar twigs, bay leaves, and nutmeg
We feel as though half of the fun is finding your own scent and ingredients that work for you to fit the mood you are in. Have fun with it; experiment with different ingredients and combinations. Above all else, enjoy the fresh scent of your home knowing your air is free of toxins and artificial ingredients. YES!! We hope you enjoy these DIY green projects to keep your home a toxin free zone.
Share with us your favorite DIY green projects.