Fighting An Extended Tick Season - 27 East


Residence / 1613885

Fighting An Extended Tick Season

icon 3 Photos
Brian Kelly, the owner of East End Tick.

Brian Kelly, the owner of East End Tick.

Brian Kelly, the owner of East End Tick.

Brian Kelly, the owner of East End Tick.

Brian Kelly, the owner of East End Tick.

Brian Kelly, the owner of East End Tick. Courtesy photo

authorHannah Selinger on Dec 15, 2019

As winters on the East End of Long Island get gradually — and not-so-gradually — warmer, the tick population, which was once controlled by consistent low temperatures, has extended its active season. Ticks, which hibernate at temperatures below 35, have renewed their bloodlust in recent years, encouraging many homeowners to seek winter treatment for a problem that used to be seasonal.

For Brian Kelly, owner of the 24-year-old East End Tick and Mosquito Control, the problem of winter ticks has also presented an opportunity.

This year, Mr. Kelly has introduced a granular winter tick treatment, as a response to requests from local homeowners. “We’re really excited about it,” he said. “It’s a new approach to tick control. Most tick control companies, this time of year, end service for their clients. But we’ve realized, over the last few years, [that] winters have been warmer. Clients have been calling and asking for December treatments, for January treatments. We tried to figure out a way to accommodate our clients.”

As a result, East End Tick and Mosquito Control has developed a product that can be applied on a property’s perimeter, where ticks hibernate during the colder months. The product comes out of a spreader, in tiny pellets that are slow-dissolving granules—as opposed to the spray commonly used on lawns. The treatment is delivered to leaf litter and mulch, where ticks live and emerge from on days that are above 35 degrees. “We’ve been working on this for a few years, and we’ve been testing it,” Mr. Kelly said. Those tests now complete, the winter tick solution is available for residents throughout the East End.

Last year, Mr. Kelly said, nearly every winter day was 35 degrees or higher. That means that ticks remained active throughout nearly the entire season. “Whenever the temperature is above 35 degrees,” he said, “the ticks that haven’t gotten a blood meal to survive the winter come out. Ticks are always active when the temperatures are above freezing.”

Because of the nature of the new treatment — slow decomposing granules that release pesticides over a long period of time — it is well suited for the season, remaining in the leaves and mulch for ticks to consume when they come up for a meal. “They will slowly break down, and, as they break down, they will leave a residue of pesticide on those leaves. It lasts a lot longer than a spray. [It has] much better residual,” Mr. Kelly said. The treatment lasts about 45 days. “One application in December will get you through January, no problem,” he added.

As far as children and pets are concerned, Mr. Kelly emphasized that the product is being applied in areas that are removed from daily traffic. “Another reason we’re spreading this product on the perimeter of the property is that kids aren’t playing in the woods,” he said. “Pets and kids can go right back outside after it’s done. Dogs would really have to eat a whole bag of this to be hurt by it.”

Ultimately, the granular winter treatment is, in Mr. Kelly’s view, part of a broad program designed to address tick issues in all months of the year. And although this granular treatment is not appropriate for lawns, it can help to control the nascent population before summer even begins. He suggests using it in addition to — and not in lieu of — a regular, warm weather season spray program.

The lesson inherent, of course, is that the ticks are not gone just because the weather has changed. Should this winter, and subsequent winters, look like last year, in which below freezing temperatures were an outlier rather than a norm, residents can expect more cold weather tick encounters.

As a result, Mr. Kelly expects year-round tick control measures to be a new standard for East End homeowners. “We’re considered the leaders in the industry out here,” he said of his business. “You’ll probably see other companies following [in] our footsteps with this granular control. People think summer is over, but tick season is not.”

You May Also Like:

Simple Ways To Make The Indoors Safer From Viruses

Even though the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has spread at an unbridled pace, and the public ... 1 Apr 2020 by Anne Surchin, R.A.

Insider’s View House Tour Delayed Until September

The Southampton History Museum’s annual Insider’s View House Tour, which had been planned for May, has been rescheduled to Saturday, September 12, due to COVID-19 concerns. The museum announced that the decision to postpone the event was made to “protect the health and wellbeing of our community and its visitors.” This year’s tour will be the 11th annual. Each year, historic and interesting private homes in Southampton open to visitors for the self-guided tour. Historic buildings including churches, hotels and stores have also been featured on the tour in years past. 19 Mar 2020 by Staff Writer

Growing Your Own Food During COVID-19 Isolation

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the effects that it’s having on our everyday ... 16 Mar 2020 by Andrew Messinger

Grow Figs In The Northeast

The number of unusual and exotic fruits that you can grow in our area is ... 12 Mar 2020 by Andrew Messinger

The Oddball And Unique Appeal To Collectors

Modern and mid-century modern furniture, lighting, art and accessories continue to be the story in ... by Jack Crimmins

Madoo In Manhattan

The Madoo Conservancy will present “Stephen Scanniello: The Rose Whisperer” for the seventh annual Madoo ... 11 Mar 2020 by Staff Writer

Expert Presents Case For Rain Gardens As Pollution Solution

To solve your stormwater runoff and pollution problems, put the land and its flora and ... by Peter Boody

POSTPONED: LongHouse Reserve Hosts ‘Joyous Daffodils’ Walk On March 21

Editor's note, March 16: LongHouse Reserve events, including "Joyous Daffodils," have been postponed indefinitely.   LongHouse ... 9 Mar 2020 by Brendan J. OReilly

Prickles, Thorns and Spines, Oh My!

I don’t know why I became obsessed over clarifying the difference between things on a ... 8 Mar 2020 by Paige Patterson

Save Money By Starting Perennial Flowers From Seed

If you have any gardening experience at all, you’ve probably grown something from a seed. ... 6 Mar 2020 by Andrew Messinger

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported