When it comes to insect populations in your yard, ticks are one of the most dangerous. Small and difficult to spot, they can carry a host of serious diseases, including Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever and anaplasmosis. If you notice ticks in your yard, you should take measures to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Fortunately, you do not need to break the bank on expensive chemical insecticides or hiring an exterminator. There are several inexpensive ways to curtail the tick population in your yard and prevent them from returning so you and your family can enjoy the area safely.
Ticks are usually found in leafy bushes and trees that provide ample shade. Trim these plantings or remove excess plants entirely. Keep your lawn neatly trimmed so ticks cannot hide inside the grass blades, and remove leaf piles as soon as they accumulate. If there is a wooded area on the border of your yard, place wood chips between the area and your lawn to keep ticks from traveling across to your property. If possible, arrange the recreational areas of your yard so they are located at a distance from any shrubbery, brush or other grasses where ticks may hide.
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Set Mouse Traps
Mice are often responsible for carrying ticks into your home, so if you notice these pests in your yard, there may also be a growing tick population. As a result, getting rid of the mice can help solve your tick problem as well. Place traps throughout your yard and around your home. You may opt for traditional mouse traps from the hardware store that are relatively inexpensive, or scatter poison pellets around the exterior of your house if you do not have small children or animals that may accidentally ingest them.
In addition to mice, wildlife like deer can carry ticks onto your lawn. Taking measures to keep deer and other animals off your property can help get rid of ticks. Certain varieties of trees, shrubs and plants, such as dogwood, juniper, rhododendrons and wild geraniums, are known to attract deer because they eat the foliage. If you have any of these plantings on your property, remove them. Install inexpensive plastic mesh fencing along the border of your property to physically keep the deer out as well. Birds can also be tick carriers, so consider removing birdhouses or feeders from your yard.
Treat Lawn with Oils
Certain essential oils can serve as a natural insecticide. Spread them on your lawn and in your garden to kill any ticks that may be present. Oils that you can use to get rid of ticks include peppermint, wintergreen, lavender and rosemary. Spray the oils in the same way that you would apply more expensive chemical insecticides, and reapply on a monthly basis to keep ticks away.