Just about every property owner has to contend with yard pests at one time or another. The battle fought may be against such foes as ants, bees, flies, rodents, or spiders. The situation even becomes worse when these critters maneuver inside your home entering the attic, crawlspace, or living quarters. One of the most troublesome pests a property owner can encounter is ticks. These little pests seem to thrive on wide ranging conditions from early spring through the late fall. The season even goes further for those living in the extreme south.
Combating ticks can be an exhaustive task. So much time and effort goes into inspecting kids and ourselves from head to toe to confirm the absence of ticks after spending hours outdoors. The same inspection is repeated if you have house pets that have access to the outdoors. So much time is consumed inspecting everyone to assure none of these little hitchhikers has worked their way into the home. Besides inspecting and removing ticks, greater emphasis should be made on how to keep ticks out of the yard.
Tick Prevention – Yard Maintenance
One of the best ways to keep ticks off property is to keep lawns mowed short. These little buggers detest short grass as low cut lawns become inhospitable with higher dosage of sunlight reaching the ground. The ticks will move on to other locations when they do not have tall reedy grass to cling on to. For those property owners that have lawns that adjoin forest or tall grass fields, consider a buffer zone of wood chip mulch or pea gravel. This demilitarized zone will make the crawling surface very unfriendly to the ticks and they will stay away from your lawn.
For those that want to take immediate and extreme measures, consider yard applications or pesticides such as Sevin dust or tick granules found at your local Home Depot or Wal-Mart garden center. Follow the manufacturer instructions carefully as the product may require more than one application to remove backyard pests. Another lawn application to consider is diatomaceous earth. This product consists of finely ground sea shells that can be broadcast throughout the yard. The granules create a very unfriendly surface for ticks to travel upon. If choosing a safer less toxic product such as diatomaceous earth, be sure to purchase the food quality and not the pool version which would be useless against ticks.
Tick Prevention – Keep Pets Protected
One of the most common ways ticks will find their way on to your yard or even inside your home is by hitchhiking on to family pet. Protect your dog and yourself by purchasing a flea and tick treatment early in the spring from your veterinarian. There are a wide range of products that are highly successful at killing the ticks when encountering the pet. These commonly known products include Frontline, Advantage, and Defend. The product is a small tube of solution usually applied to the back of the canine’s neck. The solution eventually is absorbed into the dog’s bloodstream making future tick bites useless against the animal while killing the parasite. It is of strict importance to adhere to scheduled re-applications of tick treatment to the pet throughout the season.
Tick Prevention – Natural Remedies
Other tick preventatives that are environmentally safe include such products as vinegar and tea tree oil. These ingredients when combined with a mild pet shampoo can be worked into your pets lather and be a natural defense against tick bites. These products will need to be applied once a week to be effective against ticks.
Other natural tick prevention includes the use of cedar. Cedar fencing placed around the perimeter of the yard will be a great way to keep ticks away. For added security, consider growing catnip along the border of the fence as this plant seems to keep the little parasites away.