If you've grown concerned about the number of ticks you find yourself plucking from your dog -- or yourself -- after some time in the yard, you may be investigating your various tick control options. While commercial pesticides can often be effective, they're also highly toxic, and you're likely reluctant to apply this type of treatment to the grass where your pets and children play. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce your yard's tick population without resorting to chemicals. Read on to learn more about some ways to eliminate ticks from your yard without compromising your family's safety.
How can you make your yard unattractive to ticks?
Most ticks have no shortage of areas in which to hide, feed, and breed -- so making your yard as inhospitable to ticks as possible can encourage the bulk of the tick population to move elsewhere. Ticks are drawn to dark, damp areas, so trimming back overhanging trees, clearing out brush, and removing leaf piles should destroy their favorite habitats. Stone or brick walls that are crumbling or in disrepair can harbor dark, moist crevices in which ticks like to hide, so repairing (or tearing down) these walls may noticeably cut down on the ticks you see.
If you store firewood outside, you'll need to ensure it's in a waterproof box so that it doesn't take on the moisture that can attract ticks. You'll also want to ensure you set your lawnmower deck height as low as possible (without risking killing your grass) so that ticks fleeing their former hiding spots won't be able to retreat to tall patches of grass.
How can you kill remaining ticks?
While these steps should be enough to eradicate most of the ticks you've noticed in your yard, ensuring that you've eradicated all ticks and interrupted their life cycle should allow you to let your kids and pets play freely again. There are a number of effective organic pesticides on the market -- because these don't use the same chemicals present in pesticides, they're usually safe for moderate exposure.
Another type of tick repellent relies on a fungus that is harmless to humans and most animals, but toxic to ticks. This treatment may be one of the safest options for those concerned about pets inadvertently licking pesticides off their paws (or children dropping a food item and then picking it up to eat it).
For more information, or if you don't feel up to the task yourself, contact a professional like Greenwood Tree Experts or others in your local area.