The diseases caused by tick bites can be serious and are more and more in the news lately. But, how can people avoid wood ticks and their bites? One way to avoid tick bites is to eliminate the ticks from your yard and know what places to avoid. There are several ways to get rid of ticks in a person’s yard, including keeping grass cut and not leaving debris piles around. Getting rid of tick hangouts can help limit the ticks.
What Harm Do Ticks Cause?
Tick bites are irritating and itchy at the least and dangerous in more serious cases. Some ticks carry dangerous diseases like Lyme disease. Ticks can transmit up to 11 different diseases, so it is important to control the pests. Some homeowners choose to use an organic tick control several times a year starting in the spring. Sprays containing a pyrethroid named Bifenthrin are effective. This treatment requires people to avoid the sprayed area for 24 hours. Organic sprays that contain cedarwood oil and other botanical oils can also be effective in getting rid of ticks.
5 Places Wood Ticks Might hang Out
1. Play structures should be kept clean and inspected for ticks before children use them. When neglected, they can provide a place for ticks to live. Ticks hate the sun, so locate play areas in sunny locations, not shade.
2. A dog run can be a refuge for ticks who then get on the dogs and are carried into the home. Keep the dog run in a sunny area and make sure it does not have standing water, refuse piles, or damp areas.
3. The driveway can harbor ticks if not kept clean and bordered with a tick resistant strip such as cedar chips or crushed rock.
4. Ticks live in tall grass and overgrown shrubs that are damp or in the shade.
5. Ticks live in leaf and litter piles and in piles of junk and refuse. A clean yard will have fewer ticks.
Homeowner Actions to Control Ticks
There are actions the homeowner can take to reduce tick populations. The number-one action is to check everyone, including pets, for ticks anytime they have been outside in warm weather. When children are old enough, teach them where to avoid and how to check themselves for ticks. Learn to properly remove ticks when they are found on the body.
Prune trees and stack firewood neatly in a dry area. This discourages rodents that ticks like to feed on. Clear brush and remove litter from the yard to eliminate nesting places for ticks and other vermin. Keep grass mowed and don’t overwater. Put grass clippings in a compost pile to make new soil or dry the clippings and use them as mulch in the garden. Erect fencing around the yard to keep out animals that carry ticks.
In addition, use rocks or wood chips to make a barrier between wooded areas and lawns. Also, use this barrier around play areas and patios. Eliminating bird feeders, salt licks, and birdbaths might be a way to limit ticks, but it would be better to manage them effectively and attract the kinds of birds that eat ticks and other insects.
Use safe, organic tick sprays on the lawn first thing in the spring and then several times during the summer. This might be better handled by professionals who know how to apply the sprays safely. Use tick treatments on dogs and cats that spend time outside so they do not bring ticks in the house. A little effort goes a long way to avoid ticks and their bites.