Frequently Asked Questions
Following are a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that we routinely receive from prospective customers. We pride ourselves on attention to detail, understanding 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest and for visiting our educational website.
- For our area spray programs, 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.
- In 2018, the average Mainely Ticks customer paid $180/treatment.
- For tick reduction, our crews coordinate applications spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart from the April through October time frame. We specialize in protecting people, pets, and properties on a permanent basis, not short-term.
- For the combination tick & mosquito reduction, our crews coordinate the initial tick treatment as close to snow out as possible, and subsequent tick & mosquito applications every 3 weeks as soon as mosquitoes become established for the season. Our Party Spray is usually a single application for a specific event.
- Party Spray - One application - Combination tick and mosquito reduction, typically applied 2-3 days before your outdoor event such as birthday parties, graduations, family reunions, etc.
- T4 - Tick Reduction Program - Two to four tick treatments per season - Treatments scheduled every 6-8 weeks - our most popular program.
- TM7 - Tick/Mosquito Reduction Program - Up to seven treatments per season - Initial early spring tick application - Mosquito applications typically every 3 weeks during mosquito season.
- M7 – Mosquito Reduction Program – Treatments every 3 weeks during mosquito season, typically mid-May through mid-September. Also serves to reduce the tick population as well.
- Tick Reduction - Thermacell Tick Tubes and/or Tick Control System boxes (TCS) are available as add-ons to our area sprays or as a no spray option. Tick Tubes and/or TCS boxes are a long-term solution to reducing tick density, and are placed two times/year around the perimeter of your property, in areas such as flower beds, stone walls, under storage sheds, vegetable gardens and other areas that mice and chipmunks frequent.
- While we employ the same chemistry for our tick and mosquito area sprays, tick treatments are applied horizontally; most of the spray is directed at ground level and 2-5 feet up in surrounding perimeter foliage and shrubs, bushes, mulch, groundcover, etc., areas where ticks are most apt to harbor.
- Mosquito treatments include both horizontal and vertical applications. When treating a perimeter for mosquitoes, our spray is typically directed from ground level up to 10-15 feet high into the surrounding foliage to discourage mosquitoes from harboring in those areas.
- Beginning in the early spring, tick treatments are typically effective for 6 to 8 weeks, and mosquito reduction lasts for 2-3 weeks.
- Note on mosquito efficacy: Our focus is mainly ticks – to significantly reduce the number of ticks on or about your property - but a side benefit of our area tick treatments will be a reduction in the mosquito population – results will vary significantly from property-to-property depending on perimeter foliage, topography, weather trends, pest from untreated adjacent properties, stagnant water sources (known and unknown), areas treated (perimeter only or perimeter plus lawn), etc. It is typical for residual mosquito reduction to last 2-4 weeks after area tick applications, with many of our “tick only” customers observing a marked decline in the mosquito population immediate following the perimeter only tick applications.
One application of our combination tick & mosquito treatment is considered a party spray. This is applied several days before home-based events, such as birthdays, weddings, graduation parties, etc. You can expect reduction of ticks for 6-8 weeks, and mosquito reduction lasting for
- We know from experience that the perimeter of your property is the source of your tick population and where ticks thrive. Other areas such as low ground cover, mulched flower beds and shrubs are also addressed.
- 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.
- 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.
- We do not treat herb or vegetable gardens. For flower gardens, we direct our treatments near ground level during the blooming season. 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.
- Our most recent customer survey was mailed to over 1,300 customers immediately following our 2018 spray season. To date in January 2019, we have received 499 hand-written returns, many including suggestions and testimonials.
- Here are the Net Promotor Scores (NPS) from those returned surveys:
How likely is it that you would recommend the services of Mainely Ticks to a friend, family member or colleague? 0=Not at all Likely, 10=Extremely Likely
426 people gave us a 10
44 people gave us a 9
23 people gave us an 8
4 people gave us a 7
2 people gave us a 5
499 total surveys returned - many have been with us for over 10 years! Averaged all together, our NPS is 9.776 – We are extremely proud of these numbers!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Everyday products such a bleach, swimming pool chemistry, insect repellents, disinfectant wipes and tick and flea collars for your pets are all considered to be pesticides! Used at the proper dosage, they have 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.