If you have never had the unpleasant experience of removing a tick from your child, your pet or your own body, consider yourself lucky. These nasty little reddish-black insects bite, embed themselves in the skin and sometimes even carry Lyme disease.
Due to climate change (and generally warmer winters), tick populations are on the rise. And unfortunately, the number of cases of Lyme disease is also increasing every year. Celebrities such as Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Alec Baldwin and Bella Hadid are all suffering from the effects of Lyme disease, and the list seems to be getting longer every year.
If you are paranoid about ticks living in and around your garden, don’t panic. There are many safe and natural ways to keep these potentially dangerous pests away from you and your loved ones this summer.
1. Keep Your Grass Short
Ticks thrive in long grass, slightly damp conditions, and shade. If you mow any grass on your property regularly, it should keep ticks from hanging around your yard.
2. Put Down Cedar Woodchips
Part of the reason why ticks love long grass is because they hate the feeling of anything hard or rough on their legs. If you’re able to put down some cedar woodchips or gravel around your property, this will deter ticks from making your yard a home.
3. Be Mindful Of Tick Habitats
Yes, ticks love long grass and wooded areas. But they also love anywhere that’s a bit damp and shaded. If you have a woodpile, consider moving it to an open area that gets a lot of sunlight. Additionally, don’t leave piles of sticks or leaves lying around.
4. Plant Natural Bug-Repellants
If you have a garden, consider planting some bug-repellant plants to help ward off ticks. Catmint is known as the best tick-repellant, but lavender, garlic, mint, sage, and eucalyptus are also effective. If you have pets, keep in mind that some of these plants are harmful to them, too.
5. Invite Tick-Eaters To Your Yard
Chickens love ticks. If you live in an area that allows keeping chickens, consider getting one or two to keep the population down. This obviously doesn’t work for many people’s lifestyles, so robins and other birds are your next best bet. Set up a bird feeder to attract these birds and they will also scavenge for ticks when visiting your yard.
6. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth
You don’t want to scatter a ton of harsh chemicals around your yard since you, your family, and your pets spend time there. Instead, scatter some diatomaceous earth around tick-prone areas to kill off populations. It’s safe for household use, and the food-grade version will also work to kill tick larvae.
7. DIY Essential Oil Spray
Ticks hate certain essential oils. For a skin and clothes-friendly solution, mix a few drops of geranium, cedarwood, lavender, and lemongrass essential oils with one cup of water. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and spritz on the solution before spending time outdoors.