For many homeowners, ticks are a large concern during the summer months. With about 200 species of ticks at large, most of which can live up to 200 days without food or water, these insects are hard to escape, especially in wooded areas. Because they're so resilient, and so common, ticks and the diseases they carry pose a significant danger to your family and pets. Unfortunately for all of us, tick populations have increased dramatically since the 1990s, and scientists say climate change is accelerating this trend. Ticks love warm weather, and as a result there are more of them now than ever.
Homeowners typically aim to clear their yard of as many ticks as humanly possible. However, many worry about spraying their yard for ticks, as the solutions used may contain harmful or unhealthy chemicals. Those products can be dangerous, especially for children, cats and dogs. Thankfully, there are a number of natural ways to rid your yard of ticks, so your family can enjoy summer without worry.
Simple Ways to Prevent Ticks
There are a few simple measures you can take to limit the number of ticks taking residence in your space. These measures include keeping grass trimmed, and removing wood piles from yards during the warm weather months. Ticks are more comfortable in tall grass and piles of wood, so it’s smart to minimize or eliminate these potential habitats.
Discourage Deer Visitors
Deer are beautiful animals. Unfortunately, they are also major tick carriers. Discourage them from visiting your yard to prevent them from bringing ticks into your space. To keep these animals at bay, avoid feeding them, and remove vegetation they enjoy munching on, like lilies, impatiens, and hostas. If these measures aren't enough, consider installing fencing around your yard. To prevent agile deer from hopping over them, your fences should be about eight feet tall or higher.
Cedar Oil Spray
Cedar oil spray is a natural, non-toxic insect repellent. Safe to use for humans and pets, cedar oil spray discourages ticks, and sometimes kills them on the spot. This solution is widely available both online and at local hardware stores.
Another all-natural tick repellent is eucalyptus oil. Combine 20 ounces of this oil with four ounces of purified water, shaking it so that it’s thoroughly mixed. Spray on the outskirts of your lawn to deter ticks. You can also spray this on your skin and clothing when working in the yard, to ensure no ticks end up on your body. You can even use this solution on dogs, the members of your family most likely to bring ticks inside.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a miracle worker in many ways, including protecting your yard. Combine two cups of water with four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of organic neem oil and mix well. Then spray this solution on lawn furniture, plants, and even your skin to keep ticks away naturally.
Consider Yard Animals
Ground-feeding birds are an outdoor pet that can do a great deal of good in keeping ticks out of your yard. Chickens, ducks, guinea fowls, and geese will all gobble up insects. The more feathered friends you recruit, the fewer ticks your yard will have.
Opossums will also help keep tick populations in check. If you spot these nocturnal mammals in your yard, and they aren’t causing you any issues, let them be. Opossums can dispose of a whopping 5,000 ticks in one season, and have a very low chance of carrying rabies, so they don’t pose much risk in your yard.
Keep your family and pets safe this summer by using these natural tips, tricks, and remedies to rid your yard of ticks. Each step you take will increase your peace of mind, so you can relax and enjoy your outdoor space in the summer sun.