Guide To Backyard Tick Control

Posted on: 22 June 2021

Tick season is becoming worse in many areas, as natural predator populations drop and ideal tick conditions spread. The backyard is no longer a safe oasis from these bloodsucking and disease-carrying pests. Ticks can get on your pets and children when they play in the yard, or they may even be an issue when you try to enjoy the garden or patio. The following basics can help you overcome tick issues.

Hiding Spots

Although you typically find ticks high up on the body feeding, they typically begin their journey closer to the ground. Ticks naturally live and nest in tall grass and low brush until a possible host walks by. The pests then hitch a ride and make their way toward the upper body and head to feed. 

The ideal hiding spots for ticks in the yard are anywhere with long grass and overgrown weeds. They may also hide in ornamental plantings, such as flower borders or areas with bushes and foliage plants. Brush piles of dead branches and other plant materials can also provide ticks with the moisture-rich and protected cover that they prefer.

Cultural Control

Integrated management is best, which means you need to control the cultural conditions that create a safe harbor for ticks as well as use pesticide methods to destroy them. Begin cultural control by cleaning up tick-friendly areas. Keep the grass cut and the weeds eradicated. Haul away brush piles to the dump if you aren't able to properly compost them onsite. 

Bushes and ornamental beds need to be trimmed regularly and thinned out so that air circulation prevents the dense and high moisture conditions that attract ticks from forming. You can even add some natural predators to your yard if you feel inclined; for example, chickens and other fowl love to eat ticks.

Pest Treatments

If the ticks have already invaded your yard, perhaps from a neighboring property or from hitching a ride on your dog after a walk, then you will likely need to schedule a pesticide treatment. A pest service will spray the entire yard with a fast-acting tick killer, concentrating on those areas most likely to attract the pest.

Most tick pesticides contain a pyrethroids toxin. Most are safe within a few hours when it comes to children and pets, but you must check in with your service to verify. Some, like permethrin, can be toxic for cats, for example. 

Contact a pest control service immediately if you are concerned about ticks in the yard.