Ticks carry a long list of infectious viruses and illnesses, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis and many more.
It’s no surprise that you’d want proper tick control for your lawn to protect your family from the dangerous pests.
So how do you keep ticks off your yard?
It’s simple: you tick ‘em off.
Let’s explore a few natural tick repellent tips to keep your property tick-free:
1. Mow Your Grass Short
Just as keeping your grass short can help you maintain a healthy turf, regularly maintaining proper blade height can eliminate one of tick’s favorite breeding grounds.
Long grass also creates hiding spots for rodents, so your trimmed lawn could welcome fewer taxi rides for fleas and ticks as well. Not to mention— think of how sharp your yard will look with consistent cuts.
2. Add a Buffer Around Your Perimeter
Cats cringe at the idea of stepping on aluminum foil, garden slugs won’t touch eggshells and ants don’t like the citrus smell of oranges or lemons.
Every critter has something they avoid. For ticks, it’s rough, dry surfaces.
Ticks are in the same class as arachnids— not insects, like you might assume. Ticks have eight legs like spiders, not six like most insects.
Let’s just say their extra legs don’t like difficult surfaces to crawl over, so add wood chips, tree bark, mulch or gravel to your landscape. Additionally, these surfaces don’t retain the moisture like leaf litter that the ticks need to survive. Most ticks can be found within nine feet of the edge of your property line, so create a barrier by making a border around your lawn.
3. Naturally Repel the Buggers
There are a lot of natural tick repellent solutions out there.
For example, much like their blood-sucking cousins, vampires, ticks don’t like garlic. Plant some in your garden to ward off the pests or encourage your kids to eat some garlic bread before going outside; their skin will excrete an aroma that ticks hate.
Cedar oil, eucalyptus, neem and citronella oils, apple cider vinegar and many other natural products can act as natural tick repellants too. Create a DIY spray to spritz around your patio or on yourself before doing yard work.
Also, get your hands on some cedar mulch or cedar wood chips, which ticks avoid for both the texture and smell.
There are a number of plants that naturally repel ticks too like American beautyberry bushes, which produce stunning purple berries, and Pyrethrum, which is a type of chrysanthemum, commonly called “mum” flower.
4. Invite Some Sunshine
Ticks love hanging out in shaded, moist areas. In this case, the sunshine can work in your favor.
Although you want to keep your turf lively by maintaining a certain level of moisture, you’ll need to find the right balance between keeping your yard lush and creating a breeding ground for pests. Trim or remove bushes, trees and shrubs that create too much shade, but don’t go crazy with the clippers.
5. Remove Any Debris
For the same reasons that ticks like long grass, they too thrive in moist piles of sticks, leaves, stacks for firewood— anywhere they can burrow away from the harsh sun.
Keep any sort of trash or food hidden away as well, for these could attract small animals who can carry ticks. It’s really just another reason to increase your curb appeal and maintain a clean property!
6. Keep Tick-Ridden Animals Away
Sometimes it helps to repel the animals that bring ticks in instead of solely targeting the ticks themselves. Although we love seeing rabbits and songbirds, certain animals can act as hosts to carry the bloodsuckers onto your property.
Deer can be kept at bay by installing proper fencing, netting or adding physical deterrents like floodlights or sprinklers. Install an owl box and let them take care of the rodents for you.
Get creative with ways to ward off tick-carrying animals in your area.
Don’t forget to treat your own pets too! Putting flea and tick medicine on your dog or outdoor cat won’t stop ticks from inhabiting your yard, but it will sure stop them from coming inside your home.
For organic tick prevention, check out this rosemary-infused pet spray.
7. Opt for Organic Treatments
Even the best DIY tips work best when paired with additional protection.
There are many natural solutions for tick control treatments. Organic fertilization treatments don’t always have to be expensive or ineffective— in fact, people who opted for our “Premium Organic” options have seen incredible results eliminating ticks and other pests.
Swazy & Alexander’s premier division of turf experts, Green Sphere, offers some hybrid or fully natural tick treatments.
Oftentimes, Continual Maintenance is Your Answer!
Ticks thrive in unkempt lawns. Although even well-maintained yards can have pest problems, careful attention can help you catch a tick problem before it gets out of control.
Our 12-Month Massachusetts Home Landscape Calendar includes monthly tips and reminders to help keep your property tidy and insect-free.