Summer is here in full swing – and so are the ticks. These dreaded seasonal pests are not only nuisances, but they can also carry serious diseases, namely Lyme disease. In fact, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, there were 1,176 reported cases of Lyme disease in 2015 alone.
Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to reduce the populations around your home. Below are several landscaping techniques to help minimize the number of ticks in your yard – and in turn your risk of tick bites.
1. Keep your lawn cut to the height of 2 inches.
Ticks love to hide in piles of leaves and clumped-up yard clippings. Keeping your yard tidy and manicured will severely reduce the number of ticks that congregate on your property. Cutting your yard to 2 inches is also the recommended practice for a healthy lawn.
2. Use plants that naturally deter ticks.
Certain plants, such as chrysanthemums, have high levels of pyrethrins, a natural insecticide that keeps ticks away. Other plants, including geraniums, lavender and peppermint plants, also repel ticks.
3. Keep deer away.
Deer wandering through your yard can cause tick activity. Consider fencing in your yard, planting deer-deterring vegetation or purchasing deer repellent. Note that deer repellent requires reapplication after each rainfall or heavy dew.
4. Create a tick barrier.
Ticks travel onto your property from wooded areas. Creating a tick barrier, such as a wide strip of rock or gravel around your property, will prevent ticks from wandering into your yard.
5. Leave the birdfeeders in the garage.
Generally speaking, attracting birds to your yard means enticing ticks. So as much as you may love watching birds in your yard, it’s best to keep birdfeeders and birdbaths in the garage.
Do you have questions about or need help reducing tick populations in your yard? We’re here to help.