5 Tips For Keeping Ticks Out Of Your Yard

Ticks are more than a nuisance; these blood-sucking pesky pests are also known to spread various diseases that affect human beings. One of the most common ailments associated with ticks is Lyme disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme can cause severe joint pain, headaches, and memory problems if not treated immediately. While some homeowners assume they are only found in the woods, the unfortunate reality is that ticks are common in the U.S., and some species are willing to pitch camp right in your yard. For this reason, if you notice ticks in your yard, quickly preventing the spread and exterminating the existing ones is necessary. 

Ticks can find their way into our yard through different means; for example, some may be brought by deer while others latch on rodents and drop on your yard. The good news is that several approaches have proven effective for keeping ticks away without necessarily turning your yard upside down. You can use biological methods to eliminate them or use chemicals if all else fails. Having said that, here are some popular methods of keeping these nasty critters away from your yard.

Mow your lawn

One of the easiest ways of keeping ticks off your yard is by destroying their natural habitat. Ticks thrive in shade and moist environments; growing your grass too long provides the necessary shade and protection that these pests seek. Therefore, allowing grass to grow tall is not a good idea if you live in a tick-rich area. Consider mowing your lawn regularly and trimming overgrown bushes to keep ticks away and maintain an aesthetic appeal. 

Right after mowing the lawn, be sure to remove the grass cutting and use it to create organic manure or allow it to dry for mulching. Typically keeping your grass shorter than 4 inches tall, preferably between 3 to 3 ½ inches, is ideal for proper growth and is short enough to keep ticks away, according to Consumer Reports. However, taking out a ruler and measuring the grass every day is not feasible, so consider mowing your lawn after every 10 days to keep the grass shorter all through.

Create a barrier

Ticks differ depending on species; while some prefer grasslands, others, like the black-legged, Lyme disease-transmitting ticks, prefer the woodland, mentions Popular Science. As such, you need to treat the woodlands close to your lawn as potential tick-harboring spots. You must provide a tick-proof barrier to prevent this arachnid from crossing over to your lawn. Consider creating a 3-foot barrier with wood chips or gravel, notes the Landscaper Locator. Ticks prefer moving on soft, moist surfaces of the woodlands. However, coarsely chopped wood chips or gravel are not only hot when the sun is out, but also have a sharp texture that is a natural deterrent to ticks. Wooden chips will be ideal if you are looking for a cheaper option of the two materials. 

Also, for anyone in your household, the barrier can warn them to be careful once they step past that point into the woods. When traversing tick-prone regions, be sure to put on shoes and don't stop to smell roses or flowers on the way. This is the perfect opportunity for ticks to cling and hang for dear life.

Keep wild animals and rodents away

Ticks are hitchhikers; they depend on unsuspecting host animals to carry them from one point to the other. They latch on to deer, dogs, or even rodents like rats and raccoons and drop off in your yard, via Innovative Pest Control. Stopping wild animals and rodents from getting into your yard and your home is a good way of keeping these pesky pests away from your yard. The first order of business is to seal any existing holes around the roof rafters. If you don't have a fence, consider building one to keep the deer and stray dogs away from your property.

However, if you already have rodents around your property, set traps to eliminate as many as possible to help reduce the tick population. Typically, it isn't that difficult to know if you have rodents tucked away in some dark, dirty corner of your house. However, if you don't know what to look for, keep an eye out for rat droppings and chewing marks on random items around your home, especially food packages.

Use biological exterminators

Before using chemicals to remove ticks from your yard, consider employing tick eaters to help you with your tick problem. While this might not be possible for everyone, rearing a few birds known to feed on ticks will go a long way in eliminating most of the ticks hiding in the lawn and the nearby woodlands. Some of the popular farm birds that are known to feed on ticks include chicken, turkey, ducks, and even guinea fowls, according to Outdoor Happens.

Rearing some of the birds mentioned will help you eliminate ticks from your yard and give you eggs, which are a great source of protein. You don't necessarily need to breed all the aforementioned birds, do some research and pick one that you fancy and is also easy to raise. Other than keeping farm birds, other wild birds like robins also feed on ticks. Although it's a long shot, having a bird-friendly yard will attract different birds, including robins, that will help eliminate ticks in your yard.

Clear debris

Proper lawn hygiene is among the simplest things you can implement to keep ticks away from your yard. Ticks will take cover in anything that protects from the glaring sun, whether leaves, thick brushes or even forgotten furniture and lawn equipment. While allowing the fallen leaves to nourish the lawn might be a good idea, they provide the necessary harboring ground for ticks. Rake fallen leaves from your yard and pick them up immediately. Remember, it does not just tick that love hiding behind a mound of dirt and debris; rodents also appreciate an excellent hideout. 

Once you are done with your mowing equipment, go ahead and store it indoors, away from moisture. Remember, ticks thrive in a dark and moist environment, mentions Felton Veterinary Hospital. While tidying up your yard, put extra effort into the region around the edges of your lawn. As mentioned earlier, this is where ticks cross over, and you want to keep this region clutter free especially if you haven't installed or created a barrier.