How to Get Rid of Ticks in Your Yard
March 24, 2023
Ticks are one of the most anxiety-inducing pests out there. Unfortunately, they’re also among the most common pests throughout the US, and several varieties make residential yards their homes. If you find ticks on your property, getting rid of them is a top priority to protect the health and safety of your family and pets. Read this quick guide to learn how to spot and kill ticks in your yard and help prevent them from returning.
What are ticks?
Ticks are arachnids (like spiders) with flat, oval bodies and eight legs. They’re blood-sucking parasites that feed on human and animal blood. Ticks are tiny, with adults only reaching the size of an apple seed (unless they’ve swelled up after a recent feeding session). Their small size makes them difficult to spot, making it easier for them to move into your outdoor space without getting caught.
You’ve likely heard how ticks can spread Lyme disease, but they can transfer several other diseases. They’re second to mosquitos in spreading diseases, including, but not limited to, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, Colorado tick fever, Powassan disease, and Tularemia. Depending on the species, ticks can live from three months to three years, and one can feed on a host for three to 10 days. Some can even live up to two years before needing a new host.
What time of day are ticks most active?
Ticks can be active any time of the day. They are prone to desiccation, so when the weather is particularly dry, they usually rest below the leaf litter on the ground where there’s moisture to rehydrate and conserve energy. Depending on the conditions of your yard, ticks may be more active when there is more shade and less heat.
How to get rid of a tick infestation in your yard
There are several measures you can take to keep ticks out of your yard. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station developed a comprehensive Tick Management Handbook for preventing bites. Below are some of their suggestions for reducing tick populations:
- Remove leaf litter: If your yard has a lot of decaying leaf matter underneath bushes, shrubs, or trees, use gloves and yard waste bags to remove it.
- Trim grass: Clear tall grasses and brush around your home and at the edges of lawns. Mow your lawn frequently.
- Create a barrier: Make a three-foot wide barrier of wood chips or gravel to separate your lawn from wooded areas. This helps restrict migration of ticks.
- Store wood properly: Keep wood neatly stacked and dry. Consider building a storage rack with drainage to prevent rotting wood.
- Stay away from edges: Keep playgrounds, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees. Don’t place sitting areas underneath trees that produce a lot of leaf litter.
- Keep it tidy: Remove old furniture, mattresses, or trash from your yard to reduce places ticks can hide.
Tick infestation FAQ
Are ticks common in lawns?
Thankfully, tick infestations are uncommon in well-maintained yards, as they typically prefer highly-wooded areas and undeveloped spaces. If your yard shares an edge with a wooded area, even if it’s small, the likelihood of ticks increases. Fences and barriers help delineate your yard from wooded areas to aid in tick prevention.
How do you check your yard for ticks?
First, you can use a bright flashlight to examine areas with dense or tall brush or grass. You can also attach a white towel to a rod or stick and slowly drag it over areas you suspect might have ticks, such as areas with a lot of leaf litter. They will usually climb onto the towel. Note: Whenever you look for ticks, keep your distance and cover your skin using long pants, long socks, shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and gloves.
What scents attract ticks?
Ticks are primarily attracted to the smell of your body and breath. The stronger your scent, the easier it is for them to find you. Ticks aren’t generally attracted to synthetic fragrances, sweet smells, colognes, laundry products, or deodorants.
Does mowing the lawn kill ticks?
While mowing doesn’t necessarily kill ticks, it does rid your yard of their preferred habitats. Keeping grass mowed, weeds managed, and brush well-maintained makes your yard a less attractive place for ticks to hide. If you miss a week or two of mowing, use a bag attachment to collect trimmings and dispose of them in yard bags. Leaving long clippings in the yard creates the perfect environment for ticks.
Tick pest control services
Your yard should be a place to spend time with family, pets, and friends without worry. The best way to solve a tick problem is by hiring a professional pest control company like Hawx Pest Control to handle the tick removal from your yard.
Hawx Premium Pest Control can effectively treat your property for pests like ticks. Using a three-fold process, proven expert methods, and qualified technicians, our experienced technicians will create a custom treatment plan to address your current infestations and help prevent future problems. Call us today for a free estimate so you can safely enjoy a tick-free property all season long.