Discovering that a tick has made itself at home on you, a family member or your pet can be extremely unsettling. If it got there by way of your own backyard, it’s even worse. Unless you’re looking for them with a magnifying glass, ticks can be almost impossible to detect. That’s why it’s important to know where ticks live and how you can make your lawn less friendly to these nasty and disease-carrying little bugs.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness MonthSupported by the Lyme Disease Foundation, May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. There has been a steady increase over the last few years of reported Lyme Disease cases in the US. Watch for events in your area to learn more about Lyme Disease and how to take steps to prevent it.
Types of Spaces Where Ticks LiveTicks are small, parasitic predators that lie in wait for larger, warm-blooded hosts. Despite their size, these tiny, eight-legged pests should never be underestimated. While they wait for prey, ticks seek out places where they can hide undetected and stay hydrated. These places tend to be damp areas with lots of shade and cover. Ticks can live in your yard’s perimeter areas, including:
- Bushes, shrubs, low-leaf trees
- Tall or clumpy grass
- Leaf piles
Tick Carriers (Where Ticks Live on the Go)An effective tick control plan not only targets the areas where ticks live in your yard – it also makes your lawn less friendly to tick carriers. Ticks feed by latching onto warm-blooded animals, then detach after several hours or days to find new prey. Because of this, tick-bitten animals are a leading cause for tick infestations on residential properties. The most common carriers of ticks are deer and small rodents, such as mice. Finding ways to make your lawn less friendly and accessible to these animals will help you reduce your chance of tick bites.
DIY Tick Control StrategiesMaking your lawn less hospitable to ticks is a key step in any tick control plan. Now that you know where ticks live in your yard (and how they reach your yard in the first place), you can maintain or eliminate these areas to protect your lawn against ticks. Some DIY tick control strategies include:
- Mulch, Gravel, or Woodchip Barriers. Creating a three-foot-wide barrier of mulch, gravel, or woodchips helps stop ticks, which avoid these dry, exposed areas.
- Regular Mowing & Trimming. Keeping your grass short and shrubs neatly trimmed reduces areas where ticks live in your yard.
- Routine Weeding. Thick clumps of weeds – such as those that build up around rock walls – can make an inviting home to ticks.
- Quick Disposal of Leaves. Getting rid of leaf piles gives ticks fewer options.
- Raise Wood Piles & Bird Feeders. Making wood piles and bird feeders less accessible to mice will attract fewer rodents, reducing tick carriers.
- Add Deer Fencing. This helps owners of large or partially forested properties keep deer out of yards and recreational areas.