How to Prevent Ticks In Your Yard Through Landscaping
Tick-Proof Your Yard With These Preventative Measures
Ticks suck. They’re stealthy carriers of infectious disease, and because they live off of blood, they put you, your family, and your pets at risk. But, with some preventative landscaping and general avoidance practices, you can lessen your chances of picking up Powassan disease, Babesiosis, and the dreaded Lyme disease. Here’s how to prevent ticks, as best as possible, through focused and conscientious landscaping.
How To Prevent Ticks Through Landscaping
You’re really going to want to go with a two-pronged landscaping approach for avoiding a tick invasion of your yard. The first thing you’ll want to consider is how you can ward off the host animals that tend to cart them in. Next, you’ll want to make your yard as inhospitable as possible for the ticks themselves.
Lose the Animals
You can reduce the number of ticks that enter your yard by finding ways to keep the animals that carry them away. Deer, rodents, and raccoons have a pretty good track record of playing host to ticks and mites. They also have a rich history of not really respecting property boundaries. But, with a little bit of careful planning and planting, you can keep the animal invasion to a minimum.
As it turns out, there are plants that will repel both ticks and the animals that carry them. Rosemary, mint, sage, lemongrass, lavender, garlic, onions, chrysanthemum, marigold, and juniper will provide a deterrent to your yard. And, as a bonus, many of these plants look pretty and add some flavor in the kitchen.
You should also consider either moving your bird feeders to the edge of your property or losing them altogether. The problem with them, as it relates to how to prevent ticks, is that birds have a tendency to fling seeds around. These seeds will inevitably attract rodents, which will undoubtedly taxi around a tick or two.
Become A Terrible Host
Next, you’ll want to do what you can to make your yard an unappealing place for ticks and their carriers to set up camp. Ticks tend to prefer moist, dark places, which means you’ll want to limit that as much as possible.
Where to start? The easiest place to start is with general yard maintenance.
You’ll want to clear your yard of old leaf debris every spring and fall. Keep your grass mowed pretty short. Any woodpiles should be stacked on top of dryer surfaces like gravel or treated wood instead of directly on the ground. Keep your trash and compost in animal-proof containers; again, you don’t want to give critters a reason to get onto your lawn.
You can also install tick-repelling landscaping solutions. Fencing off your yard is one time-tested way to reduce the amount of animal traffic. Stone and bark mulch won’t break down to provide ticks a warm place to huddle up in. Raised planters and stone paths also reduce the viable places for ticks to exist.
How to Prevent Ticks: Dress for Success
Since there’s no way to completely eliminate ticks from your yard, and it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to Lyme disease, you’ll still want to take some preventative steps to keep ticks from finding the chance to burrow into your skin.
Particularly if you live in a woodier area, wearing long pants and long-sleeve shirts will help. Tucking your pant legs into your socks is a good idea. Wearing a tick repellant is an even better one.
Finally, check yourself out after spending any time outside. As previously mentioned, ticks enjoy dark and moist places. So, at the risk of sounding indelicate, spend some time checking out the places on your body where the sun doesn’t shine.