No one wants ticks in their yard. Not only are they creepy, but they can also carry dangerous diseases, including Lyme Disease. Given the chance, they'll attach to you, your family members, or your pets. If you don't see them right away, they'll usually stick around for several days, feeding on your blood.
Understanding what makes your yard a high risk for ticks is the first step to keeping them away. Here are a few of the things you'll want to avoid.
1. Thick Vegetation
Ticks don't jump or fly. Instead, they hang out on tall blades of grass, shrubs, or bushes waiting for a host to brush up against them. You can help avoid making contact by keeping your grass mowed. Generally, you don't want it to get taller than 2 to 4 inches. It's also a good idea to trim bushes and shrubs back so they're not too close to play areas, patios, or other places in your yard where you spend your time.
Some animals, like deer, squirrels, raccoons, and mice are known to carry ticks. If these animals find your yard attractive, it increases the chances that they'll come visiting and bring the ticks with them. Certain plants are known to attract deer and other critters, including berry-producing shrubs, red clover, and acorn trees. If you have a tick problem, you may want to research the plants you have growing in your yard and remove those that are most attractive to wildlife.
3. Piles of Debris
Piles of leaves or dead brush make great hiding places for ticks. They can't tolerate heat, so they're attracted to the shade. These piles are also prime hiding places for some of the smaller tick-carrying animals. Clearing your yard regularly will help ensure they don't take up residence there.
4. Moist Shady Areas
Ticks love spending their time in moist, shady areas. If it's too dry and sunny, they will die. Minimize attractive areas by removing things like old furniture and trash from your yard. Keep your garden beds clean and dry. If you have a woodpile, place it away from your main outdoor living areas. Stack the wood neatly and make sure it's in a sunny spot.
5. Wooded Areas
If your yard is surrounded by wooded areas, it's a good idea to put in a fence and trim back trees so the branches don't hang over your property. If this isn't an option, consider creating a barrier by putting three feet of gravel or wood chips around the entire edge of your lawn. This will create a dry, hot area that will deter ticks from creeping out of the woods and into your outdoor living space.
Know When to Call in the Pros
If you've taken the precautions listed above and still have a tick problem, it's time to call in the pros. At Thomas Pest Control, we're experts at eliminating ticks. Contact us today to learn more.