5 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Ticks in Your Yard [UPDATED]
Update: Dr. Richard Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies spoke to Boris and Robyn on Thursday, April 23 to talk about what we can expect from tick season in 2015 and what methods are actually effective in preventing ticks from making your yard their stomping grounds.
The Hudson Valley is bracing for an infestation of ticks this summer. There are some easy and simple things you can do, however, to keep them away.
Because of the large amounts of snow that blanketed our area this winter, experts warn that there will be more ticks than usual. Apparently, all of that snow doesn't kill the ticks... go figure.
But fear not, we've combed the Internet in search of simple ways to keep those disease-carrying critters away from you and your family. Here are our top 5 favorite tips:
Mow and clean up your yard often
Ticks love to hide in piles of leaves and yard debris. Most experts agree that simply keeping your grass trimmed and tidy will severely reduce the number of ticks that congregate on your property.
Turn mice into tick exterminators
The folks at Houselogic.com have an interesting way to tackle your tick problem. They suggest getting mice to do the work for you. Create "tick tubes" by stuffing cotton balls soaked in pesticide into toilet paper tubes. Leave several of the tubes in your yard for rodents to discover. Mice will use the cotton to build their nests all over your yard, killing ticks in the process. They suggest you use a chemical called Permethrin, which kills ticks but are safe for the mice.
Use plants that naturally keep ticks away
Did you know that some plants actually repel ticks? According to The Gardening Cook, Chrysanthemums have a high level of natural pyrethrins that keep the ticks away. Other plants that repel ticks are geraniums, lavender and peppermint.
Keep deer away
This sounds like a no-brainer, but a deer can carry thousands of ticks and leave them in your yard. Even if you never see deer on your property, they may come to visit when you're not around or sleeping. Fencing in your property is one solution, but you can also purchase cheap and effective deer repellent. Just make sure to apply it often, as rain and dew will wash it away.
Create a tick barrier
Ticks travel to your property from wooded areas. Much like a fence keeps out deer, a simple barrier will keep the ticks from wandering on to your property themselves. A wide strip of rocks, mulch or gravel around your yard will be enough of a blockade for ticks that could potentially make their way onto your property.
Of course, there's no sure-fire way to entirely eliminate the risk of having ticks in your yard, so be extra vigilant this year and make sure to check pets, children and yourself every day after coming in from the outside.