- Appy pesticides to control ticks
- Create a tick-safe zone
- Tools for tick control
A pesticide designed to kill ticks is sometimes called an acaricide. Acaricides can be very effective in reducing tick populations. If properly timed, a single application at the end of May or beginning of June can reduce tick populations by 68-100 percent.
The Environmental Protection Agency and your state determine the availability of pesticides. Check with local health officials about the best time to apply acaricide in your area, as well as any rules and regulations related to pesticide application on residential properties. Or contact a professional pesticide company to apply pesticides at your home.
Use landscaping techniques to create a tick-safe zone around homes, parks, and recreational areas.
Ticks that transmit Lyme disease thrive in humid wooded areas. They die quickly in sunny and dry environments. Here are some simple landscaping techniques to help reduce tick populations.
- Remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edges of lawns.
- Place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration to recreational areas.
- Mow the lawn and clear brush and leaf litter frequently.
- Keep the ground under bird feeders clean.
- Stack wood neatly and in dry areas.
- Keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from yard edges and trees.
This diagram and information on integrated tick management, area-wide chemical control of ticks, organic land care and biological control can be found in the Tick Management Handbook, by Kirby Stafford.
Ticks that transmit Lyme disease can be found on deer. Actions to control deer movement or populations in communities are usually initiated at the local level in consultation with your state wildlife agency. However, there are actions you can take at your property that may help reduce deer populations around your home.
- Do not feed deer on your property. It may be necessary to remove bird feeders and clean up spilled birdfeed.
- Construct physical barriers to discourage deer from entering your yard.
- Check with garden centers, nurseries, or local extension agents to learn about deer-resistant plants.
- Bait boxes that treat wild rodents with acaricide (insecticide that kills ticks) are now available for home use. Properly used, these boxes have been shown to reduce ticks around homes by more than 50 percent. The treatment is similar to products used to control fleas and ticks on pets; it does not harm the rodents. Bait boxes are available from licensed pest control companies in many states.
- Other methods for controlling ticks currently under evaluation include vegetation and habitat modification, devices for applying topical acaricides to deer, fungal agents for biological control, and natural extracts that safely repel ticks.