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 and moist places so there are steps that we can take to control them. These tips show how to get rid of ticks in the yard as well as a few natural treatment options.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the common areas in the yard 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.
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. Also install fences to keep deer out if you have a big tick problem in your 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.
There are many other plants and herbs that are natural tick repellents. Try planting some of these:
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!
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.
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How to Kill Ticks in the Yard
There are several natural repellents for controlling ticks in your garden. Some common ones are:
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
Ticks avoid all types of citrus plants, which makes citrus an effective weapon. 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.
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.
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 and photos.
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."