As temperatures rise, the tick population rises as well. Right now you can prepare your yard for ticks because you can be bitten by a tick anywhere, not just in the woods. Ticks like damp, shady, bushy, leafy areas, where they can wait for a person or an animal to come by. The tick waits for direct contact with a passing person or animal. The goal is to create a tick-safe zone in your yard.
Reducing ticks in your yard means making your yard less attractive to ticks, and less attractive to animals like mice and deer that carry ticks. Keeping lawns mowed as low as practical will help. Ticks are more likely to be found in taller, unmown grass and shrubs. If your yard is damp with shrubs and shade, it will be attractive to ticks. Eliminating rotting leaves along fences, wood piles and rock walls will make your yard less attractive to ticks.
Using a 3-foot-wide mulch barrier were your lawn meets the woods will help. Ticks are less likely to cross the barrier into the lawn because they are prone to drying out. It also serves as a reminder that people who cross the barrier into the wooded area may be at higher risk of getting ticks.
To reduce tick populations:
- Remove leaf litter;
- Clear tall grasses and brush around home and the edge of lawns;
- Place a 30 ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas;
- Mow the lawn frequently;
- Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (discourages rodents);
- Discourage unwelcome animals from entering your yard by constructing fences;
- Remove old furniture, mattresses or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.
Here are some tips on using pesticides to reduce the ticks in your yard. Treat yards every four to five weeks will help reduce tick numbers. Tick control products labeled for homeowner use include: diazinon, dursban or sevin. Homeowners should read labels carefully to determine which chemicals can be used in the home and on pets. Check with a local veterinarian to have dogs and cats treated for ticks. Do not overdose your pet with too frequent treatments. This is expensive and harmful to your pet. Consider using a professional pesticide company to apply pesticides at your home.
Don’t forget to check yourself of ticks when you have worked in your yard. For more information on ticks and how to control them, contact EHS Pest Control.