Next time you think you might have chiggers, you may want to think again. The population of Lone Star ticks has dramatically risen in recent years, which in result, has increased the risk of tick-borne disease on the East End. New anecdotal evidence has suggested that the larvae of these ticks are what’s causing those itchy red welts on your skin, not chiggers.
What To Know About Chiggers
Scott Campbell, an entomologist who is at the head of the Suffolk Country Department of Health Services Arthropod Borne Disease Laboratory, states that there has never been a chigger found anywhere on Long Island. Campbell has shared that chiggers are actually found in warmer climates in the south and west. Lone star larvae start to hatch in July and remain active up until the fall months and chiggers tend to be active in spring and summer months.
The larvae is laid by the female in clusters, which is why people often see dozens of bites in just one area of their body! Fortunately, the larvae does not carry the tick borne disease adults do, but as they mature, they become a threat to contract those diseases.
How To Guard Against Tick Infestations
To help curb the reproduction and maturation of larvae, Brian Kelly, a local tick and pest control expert, suggests continuing preventative spraying into the end of October. This will help limit the new batch of ticks that could potentially start hatching in the start of the 2020 season. East End Tick & Mosquito Control offers monthly sprays and non-spray applications which battle the constantly emerging tick population that lives on your property.
Kelly also recommends the following reminders to help curb nesting larvae that could potentially hatch on your property.
- Reduce leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of your lawn and around your house.
- Remove all brush and leaves around stonewalls and wood piles.
- Use wood chips to help keep the buffer zone free of plants and restrict tick migration.
- Time tree branches to let in more sunlight.
Check out the East End Tick Control blog next month to learn more about different insects, updated information on pest control, and more helpful tips on how to protect yourself and your family.