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Summer is here and that means people across the country will head outside to work in the yard, hike, or plant gardens. It also means that as the temperatures rise ticks will become more active and hungry too and they’ll be looking for new hosts to feed on. In fact, this summer is predicted to be one of the worst tick seasons in recent memory. This presents a problem for humans and our pets since ticks carry a variety of diseases, most notably Lyme disease. Did you know that ticks are the second largest carrier of diseases, just one spot behind mosquitoes?
Although ticks are most abundant in wooded areas, they can still be found in the lawns and shrubs of suburban neighborhoods. Wherever ticks can find cover from the sun and predators, then that’s where they will call home, until they find a warm body to attach to, that is. So what’s a homeowner to do?
Although it may not be possible to create a totally tick-free zone, taking precautions will greatly reduce the tick population in your yard. There are some steps one can take to reduce the number of ticks in the backyard. Here are just a few:
- Remove leaf litter, brush and weeds around the edges of the lawn. Ticks and their hosts, mice, chipmunks and other small mammals, need moisture, a place away from direct sunlight and somewhere to hide. The cleaner you keep the area around the house, the less likely your chances are of ticks moving into your yard.
- Mow your lawn often. Ticks typically can’t survive in sunny, well-clipped lawns. An application of Scotts Step 3 Feed & Treat for Insects in One Easy Step after you mow your lawn provides effective control for ticks, too.
- Create a tick-safe perimeter around your lawn. Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns. Place an appropriate barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick movement into more populated areas of your backyard.
- Stack any wood or other debris neatly and in a dry area in order to discourage rodents from building nests.
- Put up fencing to keep unwelcome and often host animals, such as deer, raccoons, and stray dogs, from entering your yard. Keep an eye on your pet’s whereabouts and activity in the backyard. Try to prevent your dogs and cats from going into the woods; this can help reduce potential ticks from being brought into the home.
- If you do plan on working outside in areas where ticks are probable, be sure to dress appropriately. Wear long-sleeved shirts tucked into your pants and tuck long pants into your socks to help keep ticks away and off your skin.
- Use a pest control like the Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer around your home's perimeter foundation, window frames and doorways, as well as on its porches and patios, along eaves and exterior siding. Ticks are more difficult to repel than mosquitoes. Repellents provide some protection against ticks, but it isn't 100% effective.
Cleaning up your yard and making the appropriate modifications can create an unattractive environment to not only ticks but also common hosts of ticks. By carrying out some of the above mentioned tips, you can help reduce the number of ticks present in your yard.
|Garden.com has the products you need to create a tick-free zone!