"spraying all open spaces for ticks"
Does it make sense to spray pesticide for ticks this week in Howard county? Maybe the nymphs are already active? Also, does it make sense to spray on areas where grass is cut to 3 inches or less and not in shade (turfgrass areas). I think our HOA may be overreacting to someone that found a tick the other day. Can you share any recommendations for an IPM approach to tick management? Thanks, Mike
Howard County Maryland
Good afternoon. We checked with one of our University of Maryland Extension entomologists who specializes in ticks. She does not recommend spraying for ticks on lawns. While ticks are out now they are not commonly found in a lawn setting unless they hitched a ride on a pet, person, or a wild animal from a more wooded area.
Not all insecticides work on ticks, so it is better to pay for a company that knows what they are doing, if the HOA decides to do a treatment. Chemicals should be applied to the border between a yard and wood, not a lawn. If chemical applications are being made they should be done by a professional company.
Also, it is recommend that residents who are really worried about ticks take the time to engage in personal protection -- wear outdoor clothing treated with permethrin, don't walk around barefoot, and use DEET repellant on open skin when they are outside in a tick habit.