Treating Your Lawn for Ticks

by Perfect Puppy Care on December 22, 2009

Backyard

Ticks are unwanted yard guests that are best to get rid of to insure the safety of your puppy as well as the human inhabitants.

Deer and small rodents are two of the main carriers of ticks. The bloodsucking pests ride the host animals into your yard where they lay in wait for you and your dog. There are many species of ticks, but the one to be most concerned with is the deer tick, which is known to carry Lyme disease.

Mice are also good tick hosts and it vital to rid your property of the furry little creatures if you want to win the war against the bloodsuckers.

Research shows that about 90 percent of deer ticks on a property will be found in the ecotone areas. The ecotone is the area between grass lawns and wooded areas. Scientists say that only two percent of the ticks on any given property will be found in the grassy areas. Thus, it is important to treat the ecotone areas as well as the grass.

There are a few simple things you can do to treat your property for ticks. Start by raking all leaves in areas your dog frequents. Moisture is vital to the survival of a tick, so removing the leaves helps to dry out the soil.

Another option is to establish a “dry barrier” between your yard and adjacent properties. This can be accomplished by preparing a three-foot wide barrier around the edge of your property. Clear out any growth in the three-foot wide barrier. Once cleared, follow up by covering the barrier area with landscape fabric. Cover the barrier area with a thin layer of gravel or decorative landscaping pebbles. The dry barrier serves as a deterrent to ticks and makes it hard for them to crawl into the yard.

If your property is too large to consider a three-foot barrier, another option is to erect a deer fence. Although this may not be practical in most situations, it can help reduce ticks on properties in wooded areas.

Keep your yard clear of brush and thin out trees in areas frequented by your dog. Brush piles provide a good habitat for small animals, many of which are ideal hosts to ticks. Mow the grass regularly. This helps to keep the soil dryer.

You may have to resort to chemicals to win the war against ticks. The choice of chemicals may vary due to the location of your yard. It is best to confer with someone from a pest control company, your local extension agency, or a reputable lawn and garden center to determine available chemical treatment choices. Many chemical tick treatment products will contain carbaryl and pyrethroids. Also, make sure to mention to the company if you have children as they will typically use a different set of chemicals.

Timing is critical when using chemical control. The best time to apply chemicals is from late May to early June. This is successful because it hits the ticks while in the nymphal stage of their life. A fall application can also be beneficial.

Be sure to follow label directions carefully. Adding more chemical than is prescribed is not a good idea. This can lead to poisonous and extremely dangerous areas that are unsafe for humans to be around.

There is no method of tick control that is 100 percent effective. Your best hope it that treatment will curtail some of the tick population
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There are new tick treatments being developed. Scientists are currently looking at biological agents such as nematodes and fungi to help in the battle against disease-carrying ticks.

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