Landscaping Tips: Preventing Ticks in Your Backyard

By HomeAdvisor

Updated May 17, 2019

tick on an living plant leaf

Ticks are brought by sunny and warm weather, especially during spring. It is during this time when most people are victims of these tick bites as a result of the increase in outdoor activities and the heat. There are various diseases associated with tick bites, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. To best protect yourself from tick bites during spring and summer, you need to learn where ticks are most likely to be found, how to control them in your backyard, and how to protect yourself from their bites.

Prevent Disease from Tick Bites

A tick can only pass on a disease to a host after it has been attached to its host for more than 24 hours. An understanding of outdoor preparedness and tick and bug identification can be very helpful in preventing exposure to ticks, detecting ticks on your body and removing it safely and quickly.

Use repellents for tick protection

The most effective repellent when it comes to eradication of ticks is DEET. This repellent should be used in low concentrations to avoid irritation of the skin and shouldn’t be used on children. Other repellents are applied directly to clothes and so are not in direct contact with the skin.

Avoid tick habitats

Ticks are found mostly on shrubs, tall grass, and bushes. They wait for hosts to brush against vegetation. Then, the tick attaches itself to the host. Walk in the center of paths and hiking trails to avoid coming into contact with ticks. Because ticks do not jump or fly, it is not easy to detect them, so you need to be careful in wooded areas. If possible, avoid sitting on the ground and near bushy areas with long grass.

Wear Protective Clothing

Wear protective clothing when you spend time in a place with ticks. Wear clothes that are light or bright colors; this makes it easier to spot ticks. It’s also important to make sure most parts of your skin are entirely covered. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are advisable. Make sure you tuck the pants into socks or boots to avoid ticks crawling up the pant leg.

Where to Look for Ticks

After spending time outdoors, check yourself for ticks before settling down in the house. It is almost impossible to feel a tick bite, so it is vital to check for them thoroughly, especially your:

  • underarms
  • waist
  • behind your knees and ears
  • in your hair and scalp
  • between your legs.

Inspect your clothes thoroughly after spending the day in a tick-infested area and make sure to wash your clothes in warm water and detergent. Using a dryer is also good because even if by mere chance ticks survive in warm water, they cannot survive a dryer cycle.

If you discover a tick on your skin, use tweezers to carefully but with just enough force, remove the tick. The tick’s head is the part that passes on the disease — using tweezers to grasp as close to the head or by the head as possible and remove it entirely.

Keeping Your Backyard Tick-Free

Spending time outdoors can be quite relaxing; don’t let the fear of ticks ruin that. If you are concerned about a potential tick problem around your home or yard, consider contacting local pest inspectors. Tick control ensures that there are no ticks in your backyard by managing your landscaping and outdoor space:

Ticks get shelter from the piles of leaves and brush laying in your backyard. Removing any debris on the lawns and clearing piles of leaves are excellent ways to ensure ticks have no place in your backyard. Keeping the grass short helps manage tick infestation at home. Plants can also be trimmed so that they don’t hang over into your property.

Giving special care and attention to edges and keeping tall grasses and bushes away from patios and play areas is also recommended as it denies ticks shelter and they go away eventually. Repairing any cracks and crevices is also an excellent way to keep ticks off your home as these are the places ticks hide.

Install fencing to keep animals that may carry ticks out of your yard and keep your pets away from wooded areas. Check outdoor cats and dogs for ticks regularly and use a tick treatment on your pets during spring and summer.

Tick Treatment

There are products other than repellents that are suitable for the treatment of ticks. Residential insecticides are used for mature ticks. Spray treat the following areas to keep ticks away:

  • room edges
  • pet areas
  • hard floors
  • cracks and crevices
  • behind baseboards
  • window and door frames

Use tick repellents on clothing and check your body at least twice after spending the day outdoors if you live in a tick-infested area.

For outdoor treatment, apply insecticides to bushy and grassy areas near the house. In addition to treating dog kennels, treat other areas where dogs spend most of the day, such as under porches and on the edges of lawns and gardens. You can also get professionals to help with tick and pest treatment by finding exterminators near you.

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