Preventing Ticks Through Landscaping Practices
By Sue Seeley
We all know about the threat of ticks and the diseases they can spread. Besides protective personal habits such as wearing long sleeves and pants when hiking and doing tick checks, we can also plan our landscapes to be less hospitable to ticks.
Here are some landscape techniques that can help reduce tick populations:
Remove leaf litter. It can be composted or used as a mulch.
Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns, stonewalls and wooded areas to restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
Mow lawn frequently.
Restrict the use of non native ground covers, such as pachysandra, vinca or Barberry in areas frequented by people and pets.
Widen woodland trails.
Trim large bushes, trees, and shrubs to allow more direct sunlight in your yard.
Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (discourages rodents).
Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees and surround with gravel or wood chips.
Discourage deer from entering your yard by constructing fences and planting deer resistant plants.
Remove old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.
If you must consider a targeted barrier spray pesticide, remember to do your research and choose the least impactful Natural is not organic and most sprays will have some negative impact on pollinators, fish or the environment.