Did you know that “close to 75 percent of Lyme-disease cases have been reported from bites that occur in people’s own backyards?” If you have found ticks in your yard, keep reading to see tips on how to get rid of these pesky pests, or get ahead of the situation by preventing ticks from entering your property.
What Are Ticks?
Ticks are ectoparasites, which means they live solely on the blood of humans and animals. They are also parasitic arachnids and therefore, relatives of spiders and mites.
These biting pests have an oval body, eight legs (larva have six), no wings, and can bite at all stages of their life cycle. They also transmit a variety of diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tularemia, and many more.
When Am I Most Likely To Be Exposed To A Tick?
Tick exposure can occur at any time of year, but ticks are most active during the warmer months (April-September). However, keep in mind that adult ticks could be searching for a host any time that temperatures are above freezing.
Approximately 98% of all tick bites are caused by immature, pinhead-size ticks called “nymphs”. From May to July, nymph activity peaks as does the transmission of tick-borne diseases.
How To Get Rid Of Ticks Naturally?
If you have kids or pets, you may want to try some natural remedies before taking a more callous approach. Below are some effective treatments that are safe for the whole family.
Cedar Oil Spray
The best thing about Cedar (or Cedarwood) Oil Spray is it is safe for use on both humans and pets. In fact, you can spray it directly on your skin or clothing if you will be outside where ticks might be hiding.
You can buy this type of spray at most home and garden stores, but if you cannot find it, you can also make it at home. To make this concoction, mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of cedarwood essential oil with 1 cup of water and approximately 1 ounce of grain alcohol in a darkly-colored spray bottle.
Shake it up and spray it along the perimeter of your property every couple of weeks to rid your yard of these nasty nuisances.
Neem oil, also known as margosa oil, is another natural remedy for ticks. However, this is potentially toxic if ingested, so it is best if sprayed along the perimeter (where most ticks tend to stay) while keeping kids and pets towards the center of the yard.
To prepare this remedy, mix about 30 drops of oil in 4 ounces of purified water in a spray bottle. Shake it up and spray it along the perimeter of your property, and especially in shady areas with grass and weeds.
Diatomaceous Earth is a soft, siliceous sedimentary rock found in nature that can be crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. This powder is completely safe for both humans and pets and is an extremely effective way of ridding your yard of ticks.
To keep ticks away, sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your home and yard. Make a 1 to 2 inch thick line around the perimeter to kill any ticks that try to enter.
How To Get Rid Of Ticks Traditionally?
If you’d like to take it up a notch, the following methods are extremely effective at vanquishing these vermin.
Yard foggers are ideal if you are looking for instantaneous results. As long as the fogger is EPA-registered and includes an insecticide formulated specifically for ticks, this is your best bet for quickly killing ticks of all life stages.
Permethrin Yard Spray
Permethrin belongs to the pyrethroid family of insecticides. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that mimic natural chrysanthemum flower extracts. If pests eat or touch this chemical, the nervous system is affected causing paralysis and death.
Acaricides are chemicals used to kill ticks and mites. Although not as effective as the previous options, when used in conjunction with other tick control methods, they can be useful in reducing tick populations. However, this type of pesticide can be highly toxic, so consider working with a professional for this type of application.
Lawn Care Tips To Discourage Ticks
Below are some simple things that you can do to prevent ticks from entering your yard.
Maintain Yard Hygiene
This list from CDC contains tips to prevent ticks:
To prevent tick migration into recreational areas, the CDC recommends placing a 3-foot-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas. Ticks prefer cool, moist environments with plenty of cover, so they’ll avoid passing through your barrier.
Growing Tick-Repelling Plants
There are certain plants that produce oils and toxins that will deter pests. Here are a couple that are especially effective on ticks:
Lawn Pest Control at Gecko Green
Although Gecko Green does not target tick infestations once they manifest, we do offer an insecticide application with our full lawn care program that aids in prevention. The best part about this is it helps to protect against other pests on your property as well.
Let us provide you with the confidence you need to ensure both you and your family will be safe in your yard!