With experts warning of an explosion in the tick population this spring and summer, many homeowners are wondering if they should have their property treated.
The answer isn't always yes.
"We don't have any ticks. They're not allowed in my yard," said Tim Doyle.
Doyle avails himself of a pest control service every spring. His yard backs up to a rail line that's lined with just the kind of debris ticks and mosquitos love.
"I have a dog and I have kids. I have eight grandchildren so they come over and play, too," said Doyle.
But what works for Doyle, may not work for everyone. It all depends on the yard.
One thing to remember about ticks is that they don't like the open sunlight because it can dry out their bodies and kill them. So you're not likely to find them in the middle of your yard. Instead, they're likely to be on the edges. As one pest control professional tells us, where the low meets the high.
Having that low/high edge is key when considering spraying for ticks.
"The effectiveness of that application is going to be to the degree you have that good vegetative barrier," said Dave Lawson, Norfolk County Mosquito Control District.
The second thing to consider, Lawson says, is the product you're using.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates conventional pesticides used by pest control companies, but many now offer organic options.
The New England Pest Management Association says these should be used in areas near water or where animals are nearby, but cautions they may be less effective and more expensive.
So, how often does the product need to be applied?
"There may be situations in which people have to get just one application maybe in the spring," said Lawson.
Unnecessary applications should be avoided.
"What are you doing to protect pollinators when you do applications in my yard," said Lawson.
Pollinators as in bees. One thing they should not be doing, Lawson says, is applying pesticides to the places those pollinators frequent; the flowers.
Cox Media Group