Local news and social media have done a pretty good job alerting us to the news that the tick population is on the rise in Ohio. I won't belabor the prevention and protection information that is readily given in those news articles and posts. But if you'd like some resources on tick bite prevention should your Summer plans include spending time in the woods, the Ohio Department of Natural Resourses has a great article on ticks that you can visit here. And if you're worried about your furry friends picking up ticks and bringing them inside, the Pets and Parasites website gives prevention and treatment info here.
But what I really want to talk about today is how - in a few easy steps - you can make your lawn safer for your family and pets, by making it unappealing to ticks!
How to Create a Tick-Safe Zone Through Landscaping
- Clear tall grasses and brush around your house and at the edges of your lawn.
- Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between your lawn and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment. This will keep ticks from travelling to your recreation areas.
- Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked.
- Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (this discourages rodents that ticks like to feed on).
- Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees and place them in a sunny location, if possible. Ticks do not survive well in direct sunlight.
- Remove any old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.
Tick pesticides, known as acaricides, can reduce the number of ticks in treated areas of your yard. However, you should not rely soley on spraying to reduce your risk of infection. Always check your clothes and body if you have spent time in tall grasses or wooded areas, and check your dogs over after walks.
If you have concerns about applying pesticides in your lawn, you may check with local health officials who can point you to specific EPA rules and regulations related to residential application. Or you may prefer to contact a professional. Weed Pro offers Surface Insect Control sprays that are effective in combating all types of ticks. For information on this program, please contact us here.
For more tips on tick identification, prevention and first aid, please click below for a free, downloadable Tick Safety Guide.