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How to Get Rid of Ticks in The Yard – Steps to a Tick Free Garden

These tips show how to get rid of ticks in the yard as well as a few natural treatment options.

Summer is a time for being in the outdoors. But ticks also love the warm temperatures and can be bothersome in your yard and garden. 

Ticks are a nuisance and can be dangerous as well, since they carry numerous diseases such as Lyme Disease. The bugs are drawn to dark moist places so there are steps that we can take to control them.

Most tick bites don’t cause any harm and usually don’t require medical treatment.

However, because of their potential to transmit diseases that are harmful to humans, it’s a good idea to keep your yard free of ticks. Read on for some suggestions.

Closeup of a tick in a garden.

How to get Rid of Ticks in the Yard

If you want to have a tick free yard, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps in limiting the places where they might live. Here are some tips and tricks to help with controlling ticks in the yard.

Keeping ticks out of yard is easy if you follow a few tips.

Ticks love darkness and moisture

Ticks are drawn to certain areas of a garden.  You can help by limiting the areas where they might find a home. 

They especially like darkness and moisture, so messy firewood piles can be a home to them if you are not careful. How to kill ticks yard by keeping your wood piles tidy

If you leave the wood loose in an shady area where it will get rained on, it will become a tick magnet. Instead, keep your firewood neatly stacked in a dry location away from the rain if you can. 

A nice bonus is that the wood will also be dry when it is time to use it next winter.

Ticks love shade.  Damp and dark piles of brush and dead leaves are like tick heaven.  Don’t let vegetation build up in your yard. 

If you decide to compost garden refuse, use an enclosed tumbler, or keep the compost pile keep it away from play and pet areas and be sure to turn it often to keep it hot.

Keep Play areas Safe from Ticks

Locate swing sets, playhouses and other play areas in your yard away from the most densely wooded areas.  If possible position them in sunny areas.

This will give children and pets more protection and keep ticks out of the play areas.

Play ground areas in sunny spots won't attract fleas as readily

Use rocks or long cedar timbers as dividers from wooded areas. This will help to keep ticks away from areas most often used.

Regular Yard Maintenance Will Help to Repel Ticks in Yard

Mow your grass regularly so it won’t be a haven for ticks. If possible use a catcher on the mower that removes the grass clippings so they won’t attract ticks.Regular yard maintenance helps to repel ticks

Remove garden refuse away from the most often used area of the yard. Trim trees of dead branches and remove piles of old leaves. Any untended areas of a yard can attract ticks.

Barriers such as a foot of bark chip or rocks around yard in common areas will make it harder for ticks to enter from the woody areas nearby.

Try not to have standing water near wooded areas.  These will attract ticks. Remember to keep bird baths clean and free of refuse.

Avoid over watering

All gardeners love the look of a garden bed that is lush and beautiful because it has been watered well.  But remember that ticks prefer moist environments.Take care not to overwater lawns as this can attract ticks

If you have a tendency to over-water, and have poorly draining lawns this can act as an invitation to these insects. Water as much as your plants need, but be on the look out for areas that don’t drain well and take steps to aerate them.

Landscape to repel ticks

Ticks travel on deer, so choose plants wisely and stay away from those that are likely to attract them.  It’s not uncommon to find tick nests in grass, so keep garden beds away from grassy areas.

Also install fences to keep deer out if you have a big tick problem in your yard.Ticks can travel on deer so take steps to keep them out of the yard

Plants that keep ticks away from a yard

If you would like to try and control ticks without using chemicals, try planting Chrysanthemum cinerariae folium.  This plant has a high level of natural pyrethrins and helps to dispel ticks naturally.10 Plants that help to repel ticks

There are many other plants and herbs that are natural tick repellents. Try planting some of these:

  • Lavender
  • Geranium
  • Garlic
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Beautyberry
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Catnip
  • Mint

Tips and Tricks to Rid your Yard of Ticks

Keep away rodents

If you see a lot of mice in your yard, be sure to find a way to control them. Mice are carriers of ticks. Where there are mice, there will be lots of ticks too!Mice are hosts to ticks. Try and keep your yard free of them.

Garbage cans attract host animals like rodents so be sure to store it away from areas of  your year that you want to keep tick free. The first step in repelling ticks is simply to make sure your yard is nice and clean.

Natural repellents to Kill Ticks in the Yard

What kills ticks in the yard? There are lots of repellents for sale but many of them contain harmful chemicals. I like to take a more natural attempt to keep them under control.

There are several natural repellents for controlling ticks in your garden. Some common ones are:

  • Neem spray
  • Cedar oil
  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Tick Tubes
  • Natural Tick Repellents

Make your own Tick Tubes. These are biodegradable, cardboard tubes  filled with permethrin-treated cotton balls.

Mice will collect the cotton to build their nests; when the deer ticks that feed on the mice are exposed to the permeation, they die. 

Create a citrus based repellent

One of the questions I am often asked is “How to get rid of ticks in yard naturally?” This citrus tick spray for yards (and people) is one way.

Ticks avoid all types of citrus plants, which makes citrus an effective weapon. Home remedies for ticks in yards often make use of natural ingredients. To make a citrus based repellent:

Boil 2 cups of water, and add two chopped lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruit. Let it boil for a minute or so, then simmer for an hour.Citrus fruit

Strain the fruit out, let it cool, pour into the sprayer, and squirt it on you, your kids, your pets, your yard and anywhere ticks might be found in your yard.

Follow these tips to get rid of ticks in the yard and garden

The main thing to keep in mind is that a clean yard, free of refuse and well tended is far less likely to have ticks become a big problem. 

Admin Note: This post first appeared on the blog in July of 2014. I have updated the article to add new information, photos a printable check lists card and a video for you to enjoy. 

Yield: Keep your yard tick-free

Check List for Keeping Ticks out of Yard

Keeping ticks out of yard

Ticks love the warm days of summer too. This check list will help you keep your yard free of ticks this summer.

Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $10


  • Print out this check list so that you will know what to do to keep your yard tick-free this summer.


  • Make a natural citrus based Tick Repellent:
  • Ticks avoid all types of citrus plants, which makes citrus an effective weapon.
  • Boil 2 cups of water, and add two chopped lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruit. Let it boil for a minute or so, then simmer for an hour.
  • Strain the fruit out, let it cool, pour into the sprayer, and squirt it on you, your kids, your pets, your yard and anywhere ticks might be found in your yard.



  1. Limit dark and moist areas in your yard.
  2. Keep play areas in a sunny location.
  3. Do regular yard maintenance to keep garden refuse at a minimum.
  4. Avoid over watering plants. Ticks love moisture.
  5. Landscape to avoid plants. Keep garden beds away from grassy areas.
  6. Use these plants that have natural pyrethrins: GARLIC, GERANIUMS, ROSEMARY, CITRONELLA, EUCALYPTUS, CATNIP AND OTHERS.
  7. Keep away rodents, which carry ticks.

Some good natural tick repellents are:

  1. Neem oil
  2. Cedar Oil
  3. Diatomaceous Earth
  4. Tick Tubes
  5. Other Tick Repellents labeled natural.

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Jennifer Gildred

Friday 8th of May 2020

Oh dear, does this mean I should have all the arbor wood mulch removed from my gardens? I had the landscaper disperse it to control weeds. Now I am wondering if I just created a bigger problem. If removal is recommended, then what to apply instead? Thanks for the tips.

Carol Speake

Sunday 10th of May 2020

No you should be fine with mulch. Wood piles are more of a problem than mulch that is in the sunlight all the time.

jennifer Kimball

Sunday 8th of March 2020

Just an FYI....I know citrus can make you burn badly in the sun. I’m not sure if it is diluted if it can cause same reaction, but may want to test a small spot on skin. I’m sure it’s just for clothing.

Elisabeth Southgate

Friday 12th of July 2019

Thank you for your tips on keeping ticks out of the yard. I never new moist dark places are an attraction for them. My grandpa has a pile of wood that is in a shady spot. I'll have to let him know is might need to be moved.

denise comeau

Saturday 1st of June 2019

Not sure if this made a difference but I sprayed Avons Skin-So-Soft on me last 2 days to keep away the black flies-and I only had 1 tick.Hubby did nothing and had 5. We have a big trash can full of the food grade Earth stuff to spread today,and I'll be heading uptown for some plants to help deter them. We do have a wood pile drying in the full sun but nether of us went anywhere near that,we concentrated on cutting the grass. We have had alot of rain though,and its just been the last 3 years we've had any ticks,we've been here for 16 yrs. I'll be getting some Citrus spray for hubby to spray himself..


Wednesday 19th of September 2018

Song Bird safety can be quite different from pet safety. And bird safety is frequently not thought of when discussing what to put all over the yard. Are any of these products safe for birds and frogs?


Wednesday 19th of September 2018

My article only discusses household pets, so I'm afraid I don't have that information but perhaps another reader might be able to help. Carol

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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