There are several species of ticks that can inhabit your home lawn and not only do they cause irritating painful bites, but they can also transmit serious diseases.
Ticks are very hardy and can survive many months waiting for a suitable host. Depending on the tick species, they may seek several hosts before completing their life cycle starting with small animals or birds, then progressively seeking larger mammals such as people.
The following tips will help limit the potential for ticks in your lawn:
Ticks are usually brought into the home lawn aboard pets or other animals (including wild animals). Therefore, the first step is to control ticks on the animals that frequent the area.
- For your pets, applying appropriate collars, repellants and insecticides will help. Do not allow them to roam wooded areas and carry ticks back into the lawn.
- For wild animals and strays, limit their access by fencing, lights, etc. Keep vegetation cut low to discourage deer and other animals from entering the lawn.
And lastly, if ticks do infest your lawn, use appropriate insecticidal sprays to control them. It is best to treat the entire lawn, but the most obvious areas where ticks will be concentrated will be where pets rest, along paths or trails that are traveled by wildlife, around building perimeters and on any tall weedy vegetation.
You can also reduce the chance of being bitten by ticks by protecting yourself when working or playing where they may be. Tuck pants legs into tops of boots or socks. Keep shirttails in and use repellents such as permethrin or DEET.
Published September 19, 2005
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org