One of the most commonly asked questions for homeowners and pet owners alike is “How can I get rid of ticks?” Ticks are not only a nuisance to both you and your pet, but they can also be carriers for serious diseases such as Lyme Disease. If you notice that your pets are picking up ticks, or you have been inconvenienced by their presence, then it is important to take immediate action.
Ticks are not as hard to eradicate as you may think. These pests enjoy warm, humid conditions and often thrive in areas that have a significant amount of vegetation. It is important to keep this fact in mind as you read this article. I am going to be concentrating on not only giving you the best methods for getting rid of ticks, but also the methods that can deter them from inhabiting your yard in the first place.
Step One: Cut and Clean
Since ticks prefer areas that have tall grass and/or debris, an important first step can be to get your yard in order. Grass shouldn’t be any higher then three inches tall. Actually, if your type of grass can be cut short, then I would recommend it. The shorter your grass, the lower the humidity in the grass. This decreases the chances that ticks will want to live there to begin with. Also, make sure that you keep all debris picked up. This includes leaf piles, tree branches or anything else that these critters can call home.
Step Two: Deter Tick Bearing Animals
This next step involves deterring the animals that are notorious for bringing ticks into your yard. These animals include rodents and deer. Both of these animals are known to be host to various forms of ticks. Rodents are known carriers for the common brown ticks and deer are often carriers for ticks that transmit Lyme Disease. Rodents can be deterred or removed with the use of traps and removing food sources, but deterring deer can require a little more effort. To keep deer off of your property, make sure that you create as much open-space as possible. Deer love forested areas, so if you live in a wooded area make sure that you cut back your trees and shrubs to create as much open-space as possible. Fencing can also be used quite effectively to deter deer from your property. There are also certain varieties of trees that you can plant, such as spruce and pines, that are known to be disliked by deer and will keep them from stepping foot on your property.
Step Three: Use Pesticides
The quickest and most effective to get rid of outdoor ticks is the use of pesticides. There are a number of popular pesticides that are available and these can be found in convenient spray bottles and in granular form. The main ingredient in most of these pesticides is pyrethrum or pyrethroid, both of which are highly effective in eliminating even the toughest of tick infestations. Always follow the directions on the label and be sure to wear the proper safety equipment when handling these pesticides, because they are highly toxic.
For more information on trees and shrubbery that can help deter ticks from your yard, then check out the University of Arizona publication on bug proofing your home. Not only do the offer great tips on getting rid of ticks, but they also offer advice on getting rid a number of common household pests such as fleas, cockroaches and silverfish.