Frequently Asked Questions

Resources

Following are a series of Frequently Asked Questins (FAQ's) that we routinely receive from prospective customers. We pride ourselves on attention to detail...understand that to significantly reduce the number of ticks and/or mosquitoes on or about your property requires a partnership between you, the homeowner, and Mainely Ticks. That effort begins with education and awareness.

While the following represents a good mix of initial questions, it is by no means a complete or comprehensive list. Jot down any additional questions or concerns that you have and they will be addressed during our site visit to your property, or forward an email to my attention at bob@mainelyticks.com.

Thank you for your interest and for visiting our educational website.

How do you determine pricing for your treatments?
  • Application pricing is determined by the total area (square footage) of perimeter and lawn area of your property to be treated. This figure will be determined during our site-visit to your property.
  • In 2017, the average Mainely Ticks customer paid $180/treatment.
  • A proactive investment in prevention rather than reactive expenditures for Lyme treatments.
How many treatments are required?
  • Our crews coordinate four applications spaced 6-8 weeks apart throughout the April-October timeframe-we specialize in protecting people, pets and properties on a permanent basis, not short-term.
What treatment plans are available?
  • Our "Perimeter Protection" tick program features four treatments which targets adults in the early spring, nymphs in the late spring, larval ticks in the summer and adults in the fall. Our high pressure spray penetrates and agitates leaf litter 20 feet into the perimeter, helping to establish and define a "Tick Safe" barrier surrounding your home.
  • Our "Perimeter Plus" protection plan treats the above perimeter plus additional lawn areas of your property to address any existing tick population and ongoing mosquito control and usually includes areas frequented by the homeowner, including pools, grills, children's play areas, etc.
What's the difference between tick and mosquito treatments?
  • While we employ the same chemistry for both our tick and mosquito area sprays, tick treatments are applied horizontally...all of the spray is directed at ground level where ticks reside.
  • Mosquito treatments include both horizontal and vertical applications. When treating a perimeter for mosquitoes, our spray is directed not only at ground level, but as high as 15 feet into the surrounding foliage to discourage mosquitoes from harboring in those areas.
  • Beginning in the early spring, tick treatments are effective for 6-8 weeks or longer, while mosquito protection will noticeably decrease after 3-4 weeks.
What's a Party Spray?
  • One or two yearly applications of either a tick, mosquito or tick/mosquito treatment is considered a Party Spray. This is typically applied early in the season and/or several days before home-based events, such as birthdays, weddings, graduation parties, etc. You can expect protection from ticks for 6-8 weeks and mosquito reduction for 3-4 weeks.
How do you determine which areas to treat?
  • We know from experience that the perimeter of your property is the source of your tick population and where ticks thrive.
  • After arriving at your property, we use our measuring wheel to determine the total perimeter distance surrounding your property.
  • As an example, if you have 500 linear feet of perimeter surrounding your property, and we treat 20 feet in, we will be treating 10,000 square feet of the perimeter.
  • Additionally, we will measure all lawn areas to provide you with a total perimeter and lawn area figure.
  • Lawn areas frequently used by children and pets will be treated on the initial application of the year if ticks are already established. These areas are also treated for our "Perimeter Plus" protection customers to reduce the mosquito population.
  • Large property? We can provide combined tick and mosquito relief by focusing our lawn treatment only in the immediate areas used most by your family. We will discuss these options upon our visit.
Which areas do you avoid treating?
  • We do not treat herb or vegetable gardens when there is emerging growth present. We'll define these specific areas to avoid treating during our initial walk around with the customer.
  • If your property hosts wild strawberries and blueberries, we will avoid those areas after the berries appear.
  • It is important for the homeowner to alert the technician of herb, vegetable and fruit areas to avoid during the initial site survey so that detailed notes of these areas will be part of the formal proposal.
What happens if it rains after you apply the treatment?
  • Our product dries to the touch within an hour or so. Once dry, the chemistry bonds directly to the turf and/or foliage and leaf litter and will not be displaced by rainfall. The best analogy would be to consider a coat of latex paint applied to the exterior of your home. Once allowed to dry, rain will not impact the product.
  • We do our very best to judge the weather conditions before beginning any application. A light shower directly following the application would have no impact whatsoever in the efficacy (initial knockdown) and residual (lasting qualities) of the product. A mid-summer downpour would only impact the application if the product had not had time to thoroughly dry.
  • Pesticides are naturally broken down by sunlight and precipitation, thus our periodic re-application schedule. Application will be effective for a longer period of time during weeks and months of normal precipitation, with less residual during periods of above average rainfall.
What if we find ticks after you apply?
  • Our treatment protocol looks to significantly reduce the number of ticks on or about your property. One can never guarantee total tick elimination. Keeping up with your periodic treatments will ensure the highlest level of protection.
  • If you're part of our "Perimeter Protection" or "Perimeter Plus" plan, we'll return to your property and re-apply those areas previously treated at no charge to you.
  • We often remind homeowners that ticks acquired after our treatments generally result from family members and/or pets visiting areas outside of our treatment areas, such as from visiting other neighborhood friends, walking the dog along the side of the road, or children and pets venturing beyond the perimeter areas treated.
  • Be aware that you can import ticks onto your property when applying mulch to flower beds. It is not unusual for dog ticks to be established in mulch, especially in "bulk" deliveries.
  • Be vigilant and perform daily tick checks even if we have treated your property.
Why is the early spring tick application so important?
  • Early spring finds perimeter foliage at its minimum, providing for a more concentrated, penetrating and effective perimeter treatment to tick habitat.
  • It is vital that this initial application occur as close to snow-out as possible. This is the time of year when people and pets begin spending more time outdoors and often become unsuspecting hosts to disease carrying ticks.
  • Female adult deer ticks who failed to acquire a blood meal in the fall will be poised to attach and feed in the spring. Surviving adult female deer ticks will lay up to 3,000 eggs by the middle of May, which will hatch-out in early August. In addition, springtime is peak for emerging Lone Star Ticks.
Is the chemistry that you use safe for children and pets?
  • Our chemistry is registered by the federal EPA and Maine Board of Pesticide Control.
  • When applied by professionals at the prescribed rate using proper application techniques, and honoring the appropriate re-entry period (staying off the property until the product is totally dry, which is usually less than 2 hours), our least-toxic caution category chemistry has an excellent safety record.
  • Assess your risk...are you more at risk of a targeted treatment directed at the perimeter of your property, or of a nymph deer tick nestling behind the ear of a child and never knowing about it?
Are all pesticides the same?
  • There are four major classifications of pesticides...Danger Poison (skull and crossbones), Danger, Warning and Caution. Mainely Ticks utilizes chemistry classified in the Caution or least toxic category.
What about organic options?
  • There is little evidence to support the claims that natural or organic products kill ticks. They may repel for a limited amount of time, but claims of efficacy (initial knock-down) and residual (how long they last), must be considered before contracting for such treatment. Do your homework.
  • Efficacy - EPA requires scientific evidence that registered products sold to control pests that are known to carry West Nile virus, Lyme disease, and other vector-borne public health threats are effective against the target pest.
  • In order to be registered by the EPA, a product must be proven to kill deer ticks, dog ticks and lone-star ticks, not simply repel them.
  • Most natural and organic products are exempt from EPA registration and classified as a minimum risk pesticide.
  • With minimum risk pesticides, the label cannot state or imply that the product can or will control or reduce organisms that pose a threat to human health, or insects or rodents carrying specific diseases.
Will your treatments impact our flower garden and pollinating bees?
  • Our chemistry is NOT classified as a neonicotinoid, a class of insecticides which research points to potential toxicity to bees.
  • We intentionally limit direct and wholesale applications to flowering gardens when bees are actively foraging in the summer months, often directing our spray to the base of the plants.
  • We've been treating scores of customers with beautiful flower gardens for over a decade, and have not had any reports of any change to the health of their gardens.
Where are ticks most likely to be found on our property?
  • Deer ticks are typically found at the interface of the lawn and wooded edge. Fact: 75% of all Lyme disease cases are contracted within 100 feet of the home. Source: CDC
  • Most immature ticks (larval and nymphal stage) are located low to the ground in shady environments, often near the interface of lawns and the wooded edge. Typically, the larval ticks (just hatched) first blood meal is from a rodent. Nymphal ticks also prefer rodents, but people and pets become frequent hosts during the months of May, June and July, the peak time for Lyme Disease.
  • Adult ticks will quest (cling to a low bush, blade of grass, shrub, typically 2-3 feet high or lower) until a blood meal passes by. They will then hitch a ride and climb until they find a suitable location to attach.
Do ticks fall from trees?
  • Ticks do not fall from trees. Ticks require blood meals from rodents, deer, companion animals (cats and dogs) and people. Outside of an occasional squirrel, there is little in the way of a blood meal found in trees.
We find ticks crawling up the side of our home. Is this possible?
  • Absolutely. Dog ticks are known to range much closer to the home, and are less likely to desiccate (dry out) when in a temperate environment.
  • Deer ticks, on the other hand, require much higher ambient humidity in order to survive, thus are often found in dense, shady underbrush and leaf litter with little or no sunlight available.
Are repellents helpful?
  • Yes! A combination of skin-based repellents coupled with clothing treated with 0.5% Permethrin will serve to provide an extra level of protection.
  • Consider having your clothing treated professionally from Insect Shield
  • Don't forget protection for your cats and dogs as well, whether topical or oral.
Why do my animals pick-up so many ticks?
  • Cats and dogs are sentinels for ticks...they travel low to the ground in tick habitat...if there are ticks on or about your property, your animals will typically be the first to find them and bring them home.
  • Often, the head of the animal will be the most likely attachment point as this is the first section of the body to come in contact with the ticks.
  • Consult with your veterinarian for appropriate protection for your companion animals.
Is it true that ticks are active even in the winter?
  • Absolutely true. Deer ticks are active year-round, whenever the temperatures are above freezing. Hunters should take note that the fall months are peak for adult deer ticks.
  • Summer months are peak for the smaller nymph tick, responsible for transmitting the most cases of Lyme disease nationwide. Be especially vigilant during warm winter days with little or no snow cover.
  • In our location, the larger dog tick is only active from the April-September timeframe. Thus, if you find an attached tick on yourself, family member or pet outside of these months, more likely than not the tick is a deer tick.
Where are the safest places for our children and pets to play?
  • Keep children's play centers and activities confined to well mowed, sunlit areas of your property. Keep children away from the wooded edges, leaf litter, stone walls and wood piles (rodent hotels).
  • Let the sunshine in! Deer ticks cannot survive on a well maintained lawn in direct sunlight.
  • Consider a run, physical fence or invisible fence to limit animal activity into tick habitat.
What if I find a tick attached to myself or pet?
  • First, don't panic. Don't use your fingers to remove the tick (doing so will squish the tick and inject the contents of the tick's gut into your bloodstream). The safest way to remove any attached tick is utilizing a pair of fine-pointed tweezers. It is important that you grasp the tick at the attachment point closest to the skin and pull straight up with a firm yet gently motion.
  • Mainely Ticks distributes magnified fine pointed tweezers designed for just this purpose.
  • If possible, positively identify the tick.
  • Once removed, place the tick in a zip-lock baggie to show your doctor, vet, or for submission to tick-testing laboratory.
  • Promptly disinfect the area with alcohol and mark the date on a calendar.
  • Contact a physician or vet if you positively identify the attached tick as a deer tick.
Is it true that ticks can transmit multiple diseases?
  • Yes, ticks may contain a cocktail of pathogens that can be transmitted during one blood feeding, including Babesia, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and others. Attachment times vary for the transmission of each agent, with as little as 15-30 minutes documented for the transmission of the Powassan Virus, thus the strategy of removing any attached tick as soon as possible.
  • Perform multiple daily tick checks, especially on children and pets in your care.
Where can I send ticks to be tested?
  • There are several out-of-state labs that will test submitted ticks for pathogens. While there is a free service available, you might consider a New England lab for timely results, especially if your submitting a tick that was recently attached to a person or pet. Depending on how soon you require the results will determine your lab of choice. See our tick submission page for more info).
  • Consider contacting several labs to obtain guidance and timelines.
How can I decrease the number of mosquitoes on my property?

Mosquitoes are more than just pests...they harbor vector-borne diseases as well. To better protect your family, consider the following ways to reduce standing water on or about your property:

  • Dispose of old tires and empty buckets, pots, overturned toys, cups and other containers in your yard that may collect water.
  • Empty standing water from containers, including birdfeeders, at least once a week.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains. Flooded roof gutters are often overlooked and can produce hundreds of mosquitoes each season.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Store boats covered or upside down, or remove rainwater weekly.
  • Aerate ornamental pools. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.
  • Properly maintain swimming pools that are not being used. A swimming pool that is left for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to infest an entire neighborhood. Be aware that mosquitoes may also breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.
  • Keep drains, ditches and culverts free of grass clippings, weeds and trash so water will drain properly.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and let the sunshine in.
  • Consider using "Mosquito Dunks", available at most home centers, to treat large areas of standing water on your property which are typically applied monthly by the homeowner.

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Call Us Today 877-332-3842

We are always happy to help.