Keys To A Tick-Free Yard

Ticks are a major problem in some areas, especially in regions where Lyme disease is prevalent. It can be a real bummer to have a beautiful yard but no way to enjoy it because the tick population is out of control. Fortunately, you can fight back. The following are the three keys to enjoying a yard free of ticks.

Key #1: Improve your landscape

Landscaping is the most important key to tick control. An inhospitable landscape goes a long way to excluding the majority of ticks. Ticks prefer shaded, moist brushy areas. By keeping grass well trimmed, especially around the perimeter of the yard, you can remove the majority of the tick habitat. Dead brush and debris and leaf piles also need to be removed promptly so they don't host ticks. Low tree branches can sometimes host ticks, so trim up the trunks of trees to remove them. There should be no standing water on your property. Remove anything that could hold water and minimize the use of water features in the yard. Finally, have your tree service thin out the canopy of your landscape trees if you have a lot of trees on your property. This will allow in more sunlight and reduce the shade that ticks prefer.

Key #2: Exclude known vectors

The main tick vectors in the home landscape are wild animals that wander through. Deer, stray cats, raccoons, and even birds can all bring ticks into the yard. You can't do too much about birds, other than avoid putting out bird feed or bird houses so their visits are discouraged. Minimize food sources that would lure other animals into the yard. Cover garbage cans with tight fitting lids, don't build exposed compost piles, and never leave pet food outside. Deer fencing may also be necessary if there are a lot of these animals in your neighborhood.

Key #3: Have your yard treated

Use a combination of treatment options to battle ticks. Diatomaceous earth is fatal to insects and arthropods because this natural fossilized sand material abrades their exoskeleton and dehydrates them so they can't survive. Sprinkle this around the perimeter of your yard, particularly if you have pets or small children and don't want to use insecticides in areas they can access. Commercial pesticides are also an option, particularly if you aren't concerned about pets or children accessing the treated area. You will need to have the pesticide reapplied at regular intervals throughout tick season.

For more help, contact a pest control and a landscaping company in your area.