Each year, ticks invade the lawns of unsuspecting folks around the country. These little monsters spread disease to humans and animals alike.
Ticks are a common pest in the spring, and they’re responsible for infecting victims with several parasites. Luckily, there are some easy ways to reduce their numbers close to home.
You don’t have to be in the deep woods to encounter them because they thrive in overgrown yards. Protect yourself with some simple hacks to keep these bloodsuckers at bay.
Let’s get to it!
What Are Ticks?
Ticks aren’t insects, no matter what you’ve heard before. They’re actually arachnids like their larger cousins, spiders. With eight legs and small, flat, rounded bodies, they don’t survive on bugs. Instead, they thrive on blood, both animal and human. To reproduce, females must gorge on blood.
While common in wooded areas, they’re just as at home in tall grass. These creepy crawlies plot your demise when you’re too lazy to mow. Most places in the United States have at least one native disease-carrying tick. Almost impossible to spot, these critters cause severe illness in over 300,000 people each year.
Do Ticks Live in Your Lawn?
Outdoorsy types know to check themselves for ticks after spending time in the woods. Because they don’t spin webs like other arachnids, they rely on their hooked feet to catch prey. As you walk through grass, they grab hold of hair or fabric and prepare to feed. Shockingly, most people who get sick from these terrifying creatures get bitten at home.
Your lawn isn’t the only place to find ticks; they thrive in several habitats. Stacked wood, fallen branches, debris, and bird feeders welcome the critters. Looking at your yard, anywhere overgrown is the perfect home. Spring is prime time for them, so they’re waiting for you as you start getting outdoors.
Pro Tip: We compared Essential Oil Versus Bug Spray to help you stay bug bite free!
Can Ticks from Your Lawn Make You Sick?
Most of the 300,000 annual cases of Lyme disease are caused by these bloodsuckers close to home. Even in suburban areas, your lawn is the perfect tick habitat.
Any bite can make you sick because of how they access your blood. Burrowing into your skin, they inject saliva that keeps blood from clotting. Parasites enter the body through the fluid during the feeding process.
Common tick-borne diseases cause fever and flu-like symptoms. People use several names, but you’re probably most familiar with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Lyme disease is the most dangerous because the symptoms are hard to catch early. If it progresses too far, the disorder can be fatal.
Will Lawn Maintenance Help Prevent Ticks?
Before you never go outside again, we’ve got hope for you. You can remove tick habitat from your home through regular mowing and some landscaping tricks.
Keeping your grass mowed is one of the easiest ways to keep ticks out. Clear away any tall grass or brush around your house and the border of your yard. Put a three-foot mulch barrier around your yard to keep them from migrating to play areas.
Ensure you keep your yard clear of trash and other debris that gives them places to hide. If you have spots with taller grass or wildflowers, steer clear during prime breeding time. They stay most active from April through early September.
Use Pesticides to Keep Ticks Out of Your Lawn
Several pesticides repel ticks from around your home. DEET-based repellents work, but only on clothes. After you’ve done everything you can to clear the habitat, you can still take steps to remove an infestation.
You can apply pesticides to your yard, but make sure you take safety measures. Terminix recommends hiring professionals. We’ll discuss this more later.
Permethrin, one of the most commonly applied to outdoor areas, is one you can do yourself. Suit up and use a sprayer to apply it to risk zones. Protect your pets, too. They shouldn’t come into contact with any of the chemicals.
Your best defense is to remove tick habitats before they become a problem. Ensure you take precautions because they’re a pain to remove once they bite.
Are There Natural Tick Repellents?
Natural insect repellents are our preference because of their low impact. Keeping pesky invaders away requires careful planning. These natural remedies are our favorites.
Several species of marigolds and lavender keep both ticks and mosquitos at bay. Strong odors confuse them and help mask human scent.
Encourage wildlife that eats these arachnids to frequent your yard. Several species of birds thrive on them. Providing bird habitat encourages them to live in or near your yard. They’ll help keep the population lower.
If you’re in an area where keeping chickens is an option, they love the little blood suckers. You’ll benefit from fewer ticks and fresh eggs in this scenario.
You can also discourage animals that carry them from moving into your lawn. Deer and mice both commonly have the pests. Installing fencing and keeping rodents out will help keep them at bay.
Hire a Professional to Prevent Ticks in Your Lawn
In the case of a severe infestation, calling in professionals is the last resort. A pest removal expert will identify areas where ticks thrive before applying poison. For best results, the pros have to use it throughout the season.
Pesticides like oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, and para-menthane-diol are all used to control them. These chemicals won’t discriminate between arachnids or your puppy. Keep pets and kids away from where they’re applied.
Pro Tip: If you want to keep your lawn in its best condition, these are 5 Reasons to Avoid Gas-Powered Lawn Mowers.
Don’t Let Ticks Ruin Your Backyard
These nasty critters can take a gorgeous day and ruin it for life. Your lawn may provide ideal habitat for most ticks, but a few steps can tip the scales. Keeping your areas clean and mowed go a long way toward removing these blood-sucking party crashers.
If you’ve got to go out into tick-infested zones, insist everyone do a full body check when you get home. Your family will thank you!
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