Ticks are more than a nuisance. Not only do they feed on blood, but they can also transmit serious ailments such as Lyme disease and spotted fever. Since ticks like shaded and moist areas, you can typically find them in your yard. A simple trick you can do is to drag a piece of fabric across the lawn –they will naturally cling onto it. If you seemingly find ticks on yourself or pets when you spend time in the yard, chances are you have a massive infestation that needs urgent attention. And even if you don’t find ticks, it could pay to be proactive since their range seems to be expanding. If you don’t have ticks today, you might have them tomorrow. Here’s how to tick-proof your yard:
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Mow Grass and Trim Shrubs
Ticks like to hide in tall grasses and low coverage vegetation where they wait to make contact with animals and humans to latch onto and feed. Therefore, mow your lawn to eliminate the gathering of ticks. These pests also thrive in cool, damp, and shaded environments, so by keeping your lawn short, there will be less shade and moisture for them to hide in. Lawn experts suggest maintaining your lawn between 2-3 inches; anything shorter will put more stress on the grass.
Grass clippings, straw, and leaves lying around your yard can hold moisture and provide that shaded environment that ticks love. Piles of brick, lumber, old furniture, brush piles, trash, and discarded pots also provide the perfect habitat. Get rid of it all! No clutter means no place for these creatures to hide.
Keep It Dry
As much as water is needed for a healthy, lush, and beautiful-looking lawn, avoid overwatering since ticks love a moist environment. Also, watch out for areas that don’t drain well as they will attract ticks and take steps to aerate them.
Pay Attention to Wood Piles
Wood piles are notorious for housing these creatures as they provide an ideal environment for them. Therefore, if you have a heavily wooded yard, keep your woodpiles neatly stacked in a spot that gets enough sunlight where they can dry out faster.
One of the best tips for pest control is to keep them from entering your yard in the first place. Did you know that ticks don’t like walking through gravel or woodchips? By placing them around your yard’s perimeter, you can create a strong physical barrier to keep these pests from actually accessing your yard. Be sure to lace it with some natural repellents or pesticides.
Keep Wildlife Out
You might enjoy spotting wildlife in your yard, but these creatures carry ticks along with them, and before you know it, you have an extensive tick infestation in your yard. Building a fence is the first step to keeping tick-carrying animals away from your yard, if you don’t already have one. You can also erect your existing fence to keep the larger wildlife out. Deer are considered a reproductive host for ticks, so where they are a problem, consider using herbal deer repellents and avoid plantings that they like to eat like tulips. The next step is to remove the things that attract feral cats, mice, raccoons, squirrels, rats, and other forms of wildlife. This includes garbage, trash and debris, bowls left out for pets, bird feeders, rotting fruits from trees, etc.
Plant Tick Repellent Plants
Certain plants can actually act as living deterrents to pests. Chrysanthemums, for starters, contain natural insecticides known as pyrethrins and are, therefore, a great choice for dispelling ticks naturally. Other tick repellent plants include:
- Garlic, etc
Having these plants in your yard will not only keep ticks away but also add beauty to your outdoors.
If you’re dealing with persistent or severe tick infestation, a chemical treatment may be necessary to kill the ticks directly. You should only treat shady areas where ticks like to hide out, like under decks and shrubs. There are many factors to consider when it comes to chemical control, such as rules and regulations regarding applications on residential properties. For this reason, it’s best to consider professional tick yard treatment services as they will customize an action plan to properly clear ticks from your yard and prevent future infestations, all while keeping your family and pets safe.