There are thousands of species of ticks but essentially they all fall into two categories-hard and soft. The standard American dog tick and deer ticks are both hard varieties of ticks which make their homes in our yards. While male ticks die off shortly after mating, the female tick is capable of laying a single batch of nearly 10,000 eggs. Needless to say; ticks multiply rapidly and can create havoc on your property. Let us study exactly what kills ticks in the yard:
1. Mow the lawn
If you want to get rid of ticks on your dog and in your house, start by mowing the lawn. Tall grasses and bushes are ideal hiding spots for ticks, especially near the edges of the lawns. So ask your landscaper to mow grass regularly and keep it just a few inches tall. Clean up all leaf litter and instead of tossing that and cut grass in the garbage; compost it. You can use the compost to fertilize your garden. Dry grass clippings also make great mulch-they keep weeds away and help the soil retain water. So this is a great way to keep ticks and bugs out of your yard and also keep your garden in top condition.
2. Irritate their feet!
Ticks hate walking across wood chips and gravel. It is exactly like it is for us humans walking barefoot on glass. So the best way to prevent yard ticks from getting indoors is to create a buffer zone between the lawn and our property using gravel or wood chips. This helps prevent ticks from walking over into the home.
3. Keep wood piles dry
If you have wood piles which remain moist all year round, they are a surefire invitation to wildlife that carries ticks. So place wood piles in the sun so they can dry completely. If you are wondering how ticks get in the yard then the answer is stacked wood piles in shaded areas. Be a neat freak when it comes to stockpiling your wood piles.
4. Plant tick repellent herbs and bushes
You can always spray DEET around your yard but DEET is harmful to humans and pets and ticks are also resistant to it. Instead, plants some American beauty-berry bushes-they look good and their leaves also repel ticks. You can also plant citronella, sage, Artemisia, santolina, lemongrass, mint, and other insect repelling herbs in your garden as a natural home remedy to get rid of ticks in the yard. Top tip: avoid planting deer attracting bushes on your property.
5. Invest in tick eaters
Naturally this is not an option for everyone but it is a great natural way to get rid of ticks on your property, without harming the environment. Chickens will not only peck away at ticks-you can also get fresh eggs from them. If you decide to use this method to eliminate ticks, you may want to research on building a chicken coop along with ways to keep the birds healthy. Other natural tick predators are robins, ground feeding backyard birds and guinea hens. You can easily make your back yard bird friendly by planting flowering bushes and keeping a bird feeder. (Top tip: place bird feeders away from the property otherwise you are at a risk of tick dropping birds coming close to your home).
6. Eliminate clutter from the yards
Clutter such as wood piles, old toys, bike tires, swing and slide sets provide excellent hiding places for ticks. SO eliminate all of this clutter. Clear the area under your patio and decks; they can be nesting grounds for squirrels, rodents, possums and raccoons that often carry ticks. Remove nests of these animals if you see them. Move recreational equipment like swing sets into the sun and away from shaded areas.
7. Nix ticks in their nests
Collect some lint from your clothes dryer. You will also need some flea/tick repellent pet shampoo containing permethrin and some empty toilet paper cardboard rolls. Soak the lint in tick shampoo and insert small wads in empty toilet paper rolls. Keep these rolls in bushy areas where deer mice can find them. The mice will take the lint to line their nests where the permethrin will kill ticks.
8. Starch them away!
Mix potato starch and water and put the paste at the bottom of the trees. Ticks will climb onto it and get stuck.
9. Fence your yard
A study conducted by Yale University has shown that fencing the yard could reduce risk of contracting Lyme disease caused by ticks. Fenced yards keep deer tick out of your property and they also keep people away from the edges of lawns where ticks generally breed.
10. Perform body checks
If you love going on hikes along woody, grassy trails, you might bring ticks in your yard. Ticks are excellent hitchhikers so they can easily hide on your backpack, clothes and even your hair. So perform thorough tick checks on each family member after coming from woody, grassy and tick infested areas. Also inspect your pets for ticks. Shower within 2 hours of coming home; wash your hair with antibacterial shampoo. Bathe your pets every 15 days using a tick repellent shampoo. In warmer months, always administer tick drops, pills, sprays or powders on your pet, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors.
11. Use homemade tick repellent for the yard
There are many tick repellent sprays available in the market and many brands claim theirs is the best tick spray for yards. However most of them are filled with chemicals like permethrins which could harm pets and humans. Here is an easy spray recipe without harmful chemicals:
- 1 tsp dishwashing liquid soap
- 1 gallon of rain water or soft tap water
- 2 cups rubbing alcohol
Mix the dish soap with water in a 6 gallon hosed sprayer jar then add the alcohol. Spray the mixture on ticks during the cooler part of the day. Make sure the nozzle is turned on high-blast the plants from top to bottom and get the lower side of the leaves. Do not use this homemade tick repellent for yard during the day time-the combination of sunshine and alcohol will cook your plants. Repeat as often as needed.
12. Use homemade tick repellent spray on you and your pet
Before heading out for a walk, use the following spray to spritz your clothes, socks, shoes and skin and on Rover’s fur. (Avoid the eyes-it will sting):
- 1 tbsp Bronner’s liquid soap in peppermint
- 1 cup water
- Few drops of essential oil of peppermint, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, cedarwood etc.
Mix the soap, water and essential oils and store the mixture in a clean spray bottle. Spray all over the skin, clothes and on your pet’s fur to repel fleas and ticks.
13. Try mentholated rubs
Rub mentholated rubs (used for treating nasal congestion) on exposed skin of before heading out into the great outdoors. This is sure to repel ticks and fleas.
14. Sprinkle herbal powder
Grow some pennyroyal and rosemary bushes in your yard. Dry the leaves of these herbs and grind them to a fine powder. Dust the powder liberally on your pet’s fur and in your socks and shoes to keep ticks away.
15. Clear away dog feces
Dog waste is a breeding ground for pests; clear it away from the yard regularly.
Also use the easy ways to get rid of ticks in the house including vacuuming. Ideally you should vacuum 3 hours after sprinkling a mixture of food grade diatomaceous powder, boric acid and salt on rugs and carpets. Also check behind frames and bed boards for ticks. Use these easy ways to get rid of ticks on your property.