How to Prevent Ticks in Your Yard. The dreaded tick! Chances are you, or someone you know, has been bitten by one of these critters, right? More than a blood-sucking pest, ticks can also be linked to several diseases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tick bites can cause various diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), tularemia, ehrlichiosis, and Lyme disease. Tick bites are also usually accompanied by symptoms such as muscle aches, fatigue, joint pain, and headaches.

Studies show that 75 percent of Lyme disease cases are due to tick bites right in people’s backyards. Due to this, homeowners must find an effective tick yard treatment. If you already have an ongoing infestation on your property, the process will be two-fold. First, you must eliminate all ticks and their eggs in your yard. Next, you need to deter them and keep them from coming back.

Find out how to get rid of ticks, what type of pests they are, their variants, why they infest specific locations, and the most effective tick control for the yard and other areas of the home.

What Are Ticks?

People often see ticks as small, blood-sucking bugs. However, they’re actually parasitic arachnids, which means they have a lot of things in common with spiders, mites, and scorpions since they belong to the same family.

Depending on their sex, age or species, they can grow from 3 to 5 mm and have eight legs. These bugs are external parasites and live off the blood of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.

These pests love to live in beds, blankets, pillows, and sheets. These are areas where they can attach themselves to human hosts. They can attach to you and remain attached for several days without you even noticing them.

Types of Ticks

Proper tick control for the yard also requires correct identification. You need to know if the bugs you find on your property are ticks or some other kind of insect. Different species can often be found in various locations in the country:

  • Eastern United States: black-legged ticks, lone star ticks, groundhog ticks, gulf coast ticks
  • Southern and Southeastern States: lone star ticks, gulf coast ticks
  • Midwest: black-legged ticks, gulf coast ticks
  • Mid-Atlantic States: black-legged ticks
  • Rocky Mountains: American dog ticks, brown dog ticks, and rocky mountain wood ticks
  • Upper Midwest: black-legged ticks, gulf coast ticks
  • Western United States: black-legged ticks, soft ticks, western black-legged ticks
  • Pacific Coast States: western black-legged ticks 

Tick species come in various colors, such as yellow, reddish-brown, black, brown, white, and gray. Adult ticks are wingless, oval-shaped, and have flat bodies. However, when they have had a blood meal, they turn round in shape and look like corn kernels.

Their larvae will only have six legs. However, when they grow into adulthood, they will grow eight legs. Nymphs can be challenging to spot since they’re only as big as a grain of sand. However, ticks can bite you during all life cycle stages.

Why Do They Hang Out in Backyards?

As you learn how to get rid of ticks, you should determine the different ways they can get to your property. Yard ticks often get transported into your yard through various animals, such as rodents or birds. This means preventing wild animals from entering your yard can be a tick deterrent; however, this is not always possible.

Once they find a suitable location, they will settle there and reproduce. Ticks particularly love dark and moist surfaces. Due to this behavior, you will usually find ticks in sections of your backyard where there’s moist dirt, tall grass, and plenty of shade.

Mowing your grass can help control these critters. However, after the grass has been cut, they tend to move to places with plants and shrubs offering ground cover. This means apart from regularly mowing the grass, efficient tick yard treatment should include trimming low-hanging shrubs and plants.

Identifying a Tick Infestation

If you find critters and wild animals like rats and squirrels in your yard, you can assume that they carry ticks. However, there’s no definite way to find out except if you test your yard.

  1. Inspect Your Pets

If you have household pets, you should routinely inspect them to see if they carry ticks inside the house. Check their paws and see if any ticks have attached themselves.

Next, run your fingers through their hair, applying light, gentle pressure. Ticks will feel like a small mass or a bump on their fur. If you find ticks on your pets, there’s a good chance more are out in your yard.

  1. Tick Dragging

This is a simple technique that can help you determine whether you have a tick infestation in your yard or not. Find a light-colored towel or sheet you no longer use. Lay it in your yard and drag it around for a few minutes.

After pulling the fabric around, bring it to your driveway or any grass-free concrete floor. Inspect the fabric carefully to see if you can find any ticks attached to it. If you find at least one tick on the sheet, there’s a good chance you’ve had an infestation.

  1. Visual Inspection

You can use a flashlight to locate these critters if you suspect an infestation. This step is crucial for effective tick control in the yard. See if you can find ticks in the following locations:

  • Places where there are dead leaves, branches, and other organic debris.
  • Trees and other bushes that provide shade from the sun.
  • Areas frequented by your pets, such as shady areas, outdoor kennels, and dog houses.
  • Your firewood pile and other collections of materials and debris.
  • Retaining walls, bricks, and rocks.

Preventing Ticks in the Yard

One of the crucial steps in tick yard treatment is to prevent an infestation. You can make your yard less appealing to these pests through landscaping techniques. The goal is to create a tick-free zone so your family and pets can safely run around and play in your yard. The methods mentioned below will help reduce the number of ticks on your property:

  • Mow your lawn regularly and make sure fallen leaves are raked away.
  • Clear all the tall bushes and grass at the edge of your lawn.
  • Get rid of old mattresses, furniture, and garbage.
  • Redesign your yard so that decks, barbecue areas, benches, and the kids’ playground equipment are in the sunny section of your yard. Ticks tend to shy away from the sun’s heat.
  • Stack your firewood in a dry location to prevent rats and other animals from using them as shelter.
  • Install a three-foot wide barrier between your patio and wooded areas. You can make it out of gravel or wood chips. This layer of wood or gravel will prevent tick movement into places where people gather in your yard.
  • Apply pesticides to known areas where ticks are located. Make sure to follow local regulations on the use of pesticides. If you’re unsure about this step, work with a seasoned pest control company to eliminate ticks in the yard.

How To Get Rid of Ticks and Prevent Ticks

You can’t always prevent ticks and other pests from entering your yard. However, there are conventional and natural methods to get rid of them. Natural remedies are preferred if you have kids and pets in the house. Traditional methods used by professional pest removal companies may pose a hazard, and your yard will be off-limits for a certain time.

Natural Tick Remedies to Prevent Ticks in Your Yard

Natural tick repellents are based on plant materials, oils from herbs, and other plants that naturally drive away these pests. As a result, they’re generally safe to use when people and pets are around.

  1. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) naturally kills ticks by dehydrating them. It becomes effective within a few hours of contact. DE comes in powder form and is made from fossilized diatoms.

You can sprinkle them in all areas where you suspect ticks are present, and they can create a barrier between your yard and grassy and wooded areas. In addition, DE is deemed perfectly safe for cats, dogs, and people.

The only downside to using DE is that you must reapply it to all infested surfaces every few weeks or after rainfall.

  1. Tick-Repelling Plants

Certain landscaping plants naturally repel ticks, such as beautyberry, marigold, rosemary, lavender, mint, sage, and garlic. Not only do these plants deter ticks, but they also make your yard smell and look beautiful.

It is best to plant these natural deterrents along the edge of your yard. You should also plant them along the perimeter of your decks and patios. In addition, plant them in play areas to protect kids and pets when they go out to play.

  1. Neem and Eucalyptus Essential Oils

Certain types of essential oils, like those from neem and eucalyptus, kill ticks on contact. First, fill a spray bottle with four ounces of water to create a natural spray formula. Next, add 30 drops of the essential oil you want. Shake the oil and water mixture well and then use it to spray on areas where ticks are located.

  1. Cedar Oil Spray

Cedar oil effectively repels ticks and is non-toxic. It can be sprayed on clothes, wood, other surfaces, and even human skin. You can also spray it on your pets to prevent ticks from hanging on to them.

You can find cedar oil sprays in many garden stores and home centers. However, you can also make your spray and save some money. Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of an ounce of alcohol, 60 drops of cedarwood essential oil, and water. Shake it well and spray in areas where you suspect to find ticks in your yard.

Conventional Tick Remedies

It is best to work with professional tick and pest control experts for more severe tick infestations. The pest removal process begins with an inspection of your yard. Certified pest control experts will assess your property for tick activity and determine the causes for entering your home.

After the assessment, conventional tick treatments will be used, including applying pesticides in your yard. The type of treatment will vary depending on the severity of the tick infestation on your property. Various products, such as liquid chemicals, aerosols, and dust products, can be applied to get rid of ticks at every stage of their life cycle.

Follow-up treatments will be necessary, which will be scheduled accordingly. Further treatments are essential to prevent ticks and other pests from coming back. The goal is to stay ahead of these pests, so they don’t infest your premises.

Work with Tick Removal Experts to Prevent Ticks

Oftentimes, it’s best to leave pest control up to the professionals. At Pest Control Unlimited, we apply the latest techniques and solutions to get rid of ticks and prevent them from coming back. 

We provide custom solutions that fit your budget. Call (888) 649-9919 today or fill out this contact form to get a quote. We’d be happy to assist you in any way that we can. 

Want to learn more about other pests that come with having pets? Read more here.