Keeping pests out of your home starts with keeping them off your property. Many pests cause problems for trees, bushes, flowers, and grass. Others are simply a nuisance to you, your family members, and pets. Most concerning are those unwanted invaders that pose health risks. Among them are ticks. These tiny arachnids can be smaller than an eraser on the end of a pencil, however, their bites can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Untreated, both of these conditions can be serious.
Ticks thrive in certain environments. Typically, they live in wooded, grassy areas at high elevation, though it is not uncommon to find them in urban areas or near beaches. Ticks prefer to be in places near animals such as dogs, cats, deer, and rodents. Your yard could be an attractive place for ticks, so it’s important to follow certain guidelines to keep them away.
Avoid Storing Wood on the Property
For people who have fireplaces, keeping a woodpile around is a common sight. There’s nothing quite as cozy as a blazing fire on a cold evening or a winter’s day. The problem is ticks love hanging out near wood, especially moist wood. If you must keep wood in your yard, cover it to keep moisture off. You can also store it in a shed or another secure place.
Cut Your Grass Regularly
Consistently mowing your lawn isn’t just for looks. It could discourage ticks from coming onto your property. Ticks are much less likely to stay on your lawn when the grass is short. Typically, these creatures live in tall grass and wait for people or animals to pass by and hitch a ride. In most areas, weekly mowing during the summer is vital. In the spring and fall, less frequent mowing is acceptable. Just be sure to keep the grass at about three inches high.
Rake Those Leaves
Anyone who has trees on their property knows how challenging it can be in the autumn when leaves start to fall. Depending on how many trees you have and what types are on your property, you could spend a lot of time raking once summer ends. Your efforts will be worth it when it comes to preventing ticks from showing up. Ticks enjoy leaf-covered grounds, so removing leaves is a good way to tell these pests to move on. Also, make sure you clear your flower beds of leaves and other debris.
Photograph by Kamaji Ogino for Pexels
Be Wary of Shade
When outside on a hot summer day, you’ll likely head for the shade to find some relief. Unfortunately, ticks also like the shade—a lot. Ticks hate the heat, so they, too, will seek refuge under bushes and trees. As nice as it is to have tall vegetation to provide shade in your yard, be careful not to have too much.
Use Tick Repellent
Just as you can find sprays that fend off spiders, ants, bees, and a host of other bugs and pests, there are products to get rid of ticks as well. Start with tick repellent from your local home improvement store that you can apply yourself. If this isn’t solving the problem, consider calling a professional. Pest control companies like Terminix have the experience and the right tools to keep you and your family tick-free all year long.
Consider Using Gravel Around the Property
While ticks like traveling and staying in grass and bushes, they hate gravel. One of the biggest reasons for this is that gravel becomes very hot when the sun is out. If you have gravel as a natural barrier on your property, ticks will likely skip your yard and look for a new place to live and feed.
Keep Some Predators Around
Ticks seek out certain animals but will avoid others. Some animals eat ticks and help to keep the population under control. Chickens are among the most popular tick-eaters. Robins and other common backyard birds are known for adding them to their diets.
You can avoid the dangers of ticks and create a safe place for your family to live and play throughout the year by incorporating these tips.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
To learn more, click here .
Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!