10 Easy Steps to Prevent Ticks in your Backyard

Ticks bring more than a bite. They also bring Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Keep you, your kids, and pets safe with some of these tips to stay tick-free from Bill.

1. Reduce the leaf matter around the property

Mice love leaves. They will nest in it. Ticks love leaves. They lay their eggs in it. The eggs turn into larvae and feed on the mice. Mice are one of the biggest carriers of ticks, so you will want to stop them too.

2. Keep the lawn mowed

Ticks don’t like the sun – it dries them out. Keeping your lawn short will expose them to the sun, and force them to retreat in the woods.

3. Make sure your garbage is secured from rodents

No, ticks don’t like garbage! But mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons do – and they bring ticks!

4. Don’t leave pet food outside

Wildlife will come for dog food, too!

5. Reduce deer food options on your property

Deer love roses, hostas, and day Lillies. They also love juniper, dogwood, and holly. They also like rhododendrons and azaleas.

Plant fuzzy or hairy foliage, aromatic plants, and ornamental grasses instead.

6. Fence-in your lawn

Fences can stop most wildlife from using your property as a food source.

7. Keep furniture out of the woods

We’ve seen a lot of fire pits and lawn furniture that are located right on the edge of the woods. Ticks are sitting on the tall grass and bushes waiting to crawl onto you while you lean back in your chair.

8. Remove bird feeders

Ticks can fly! No, they can’t. But birds do. Young ticks feed on birds. The ticks will drop off the bird when they stop feeding, and can then attach onto you!

9. Have your pets treated for ticks

Talk to your veterinarian about the proper product for your dog or cat.

10. Hire a professional pest control company

By treating the “transition zone” (5-10 feet into the woods that surround the lawn) and shaded garden beds, a professional tick control company can reduce your exposure to ticks and Lyme disease.

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Bonus Blog Article

Tips to Stay Tick-Free [Updated 2022]

Before you go out and cover all your grass with concrete, consider taking these steps to prevent ticks in your backyard, from invading your home, and from crawling on your body:

  1. Keep your grass short. Ticks love to settle on high grasses and weeds so that they can snag a ride with a passer-by. Keeping your grass short prevents their ability to brush against you and your pets.
  2. Keep shady spots and piles of leaves away from your home. Ticks love cool, shaded environments. If your yard is shady, consider thinning out the trees and shrubs to allow more sunlight.
  3. Remove fallen leaves promptly from your yard. A pile of leaves is nothing short of Shangri-La to a tick.
  4. Wear light colored clothes and cover up your legs.  If you have to walk through high grasses, make it easier to spot ticks by wearing light colored clothes. Tuck your pants into your socks (not the coolest look, I know). Ticks move pretty slowly, so a periodic review of your legs should help you spot them in plenty of time.
  5. Try to stick to cleared trails. The less brush rubbing against you, the better.
  6. To DEET or not to DEET? Studies suggest that 20% DEET will prevent ticks. I’m not a huge fan of DEET, so I use a natural pest repellant that is heavy on the rosemary and eucalyptus oils. It seems to do the trick just fine, but it does make me crave chicken… Neem oil also seems to do the trick, though I haven’t used it personally. But if I was going camping, or taking a serious hike, I’d probably consider the DEET.
  7. Apply a tick repellent to your cats and dogs. Even if you think your pets are “indoor pets,” you’d be surprised. My little pup goes out into the yard to do his business and immediately comes back to the house. And still, I’ve found ticks on him.
  8. Get in the habit of nightly checks. Before you slip into your jammies, give yourself a once-over. Check your body’s hot spots, especially: arm pits, behind the knees, up under your hair, behind your ears.
  9. Get some guinea hens or chickens. Seriously. I have friends who have three or four chicken and/or guinea fowl roaming freely around their yard. These friends swear they haven’t seen a tick in years—not on their dogs, their kids, anywhere.
  10. Consult with a professional. Your local tick control company may be able to offer you the added expertise and tools needed to help you create a yard that is inhospitable to ticks.

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