This is a repeat of last year’s post with updates.
Part One: You and your Family
Here’s where some of the “Place” decisions come in. It’s something to think about. One way you can reduce ticks is to create a barrier at the edge of your yard. Mow the grass low and maybe add cedar mulch or plant herbs that ticks won’t like to cross (this is especially useful if you live on the edge of woods).
I try my best to be a steward of the earth. I do not use any pesticides in my yard. I like the bees and the butterflies and the other critters and I don’t want to walk in chemicals. Remember, pesticides do not just target the one, or two, pests you want to get rid of. It poisons everything…like the honeybees and the monarchs.
There’s an argument that the worst overuse of pesticides in our country is not big agriculture. It’s the collective individual, private use of pesticides (that’s something to ponder). We make a difference by what we choose to do in our own little place.
Another note: for those of you who have been to my practice, I live in the middle of the woods. One of the most important places for small critters and animals is that “edge” of the woods. It is healthier for your forests to have a transition from woods to open space. Particularly opossums who are the #1 tick eating critter. Another thing to think about.
Plant herbs and flowers in your borders that ticks don’t like. You can find a list of herbs and plants on line. I suggest using plants native to your environment to be supportive of your local ecosystem.
Notice that there are levels in the above. You can choose to keep that edge down, plant herbs and flowers that discourage ticks, add mulch, and/or maybe you choose to use pesticides (try to choose a pesticide that is as natural as possible). These are your decisions for you and your family and your place.
Neem powder is a great discourager of ticks to spread in areas that you are planning to spend some time in. Some people will burn sage to discourage ticks and bugs. Citronella.
Guinea Fowl eat ticks (they are loud!). Be kind to the opossums who come to visit.
Cats eat mice (well, in theory, mine just play with them). Mice are the #1 transporter of ticks.