The April Showers bring May flowers which are welcome after the winter months, but this is the time of year when people should be looking for another less than pleasant herald. With the increasing temperatures, the ticks wake up too.
The bite of these small, resistant parasites can transmit the bacterial infection that causes Lyme disease, as well as certain other bacterial and viral infections. While ticks are present all year round, when temperatures rise in spring and summer, the ticks become more active and seek new hosts for food. These include deer, small rodents, such as the white-footed mouse and squirrel, birds, dogs, and, of course, humans.
We are going to discuss the ways to keep those nasty parasites at bay and how to get rid of ticks without having to resort to harsh chemicals.
Organic Tick Control
Cedar Oil Spray
Cedar oil is non-toxic, Organic, and Insect Repellent that comes from cedars. But not only cedars, trees with needles and pine cones. It has been used for thousands of years because of its antibacterial properties and because it keeps insects of all kinds away. Cedar oil kills not only ticks but also fleas and mosquitoes.
Cedar oil is safe for your children and pets. Get pure essential oil and dilute with water or buy a product like Cedarcide. Cedarcide is made with only a few natural ingredients and is already perfectly diluted for your garden. Spray the entire yard with and redo after the recommended period of time to see your tick-free garden for the summer.
Cedar oil is also safe enough to be used as a topical insect repellent. Keep a small spray bottle diluted with water around and be sure to spray before going out. You will notice that errors of all kinds are in store for you!
Neem oil will not kill ticks, but it is an effective way to get rid of ticks in your yard. It comes from a shade tree commonly found in Asia and India, usually from its seeds. It is used for many things, but it is widely known as a very effective Organic Pesticide. It will not help kill adult ticks if they are already on you, but it will keep them away if you are treating your lawn and yourself.
Interestingly, it will kill tick eggs and prevent female ticks from laying fertilized eggs. While it does not kill, it disrupts the life cycle of ticks. As an added benefit, neem oil is also great for repelling other pests, such as mosquitoes and ants, making it perfect for use anywhere on your lawn and garden.
Like cedar oil, neem is an essential oil, so you can buy it in its pure form and dilute it. You can also buy it in a premixed formula, perfect for spraying your lawn. Safer Brand Neem Oil Concentrate is available in large quantities so you can cover your lawn and garden in one go. Bonus, it’s also a fungicide!
Get rid of Ticks with Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is safe for pets and humans but deadly for ticks and other insects. What we think is dirt is actually tiny sharp objects that pierce insects and dehydrate them to death. A strange way to kill insects? Yes, but it works!
However, the operation of diatomaceous earth means that ticks must come into contact with it for it to work. Therefore, for diatomaceous earth to work on its own, you need to cover every inch of it in your garden. Since this is probably not an option for you, I would recommend creating a barrier around your patio using diatomaceous earth, then using one of the other options on this list to complete the protection of your patio.
A particularly good place to have diatomaceous earth is between wooded areas and grass to prevent ticks from entering. Remember, you will likely have to reapply throughout the summer.
Eucalyptus oil is another essential oil ideal for keeping ticks away. Because it usually comes in small bottles, it’s not the best for spraying the Yard. However, you can mix it with vinegar in large quantities and spray it on your Yard.
The best way to use it is to dilute it with water and keep it in a spray bottle. You will appreciate the thick and earthy smell of the essential oil and will have a very effective tick repellent to spray.
As a bonus, it is also ideal for repelling mosquitoes! Just make sure you don’t use it undiluted as it is very concentrated and can cause irritation if applied directly.
Garlic is good in all situations (especially at dinner), but it turns out also as an incredible insect repellent. Ticks and other insects hate the smell and taste of garlic.
So what are you supposed to do, grow a bunch of garlic for organic tick control? Well, you could and certainly would help. Or you can pick up garlic essential oil. You can also make your own garlic oil if you feel like it.
Like the other essential oils on this list, garlic essential oil should be diluted with water, or oil, with vinegar. Garlic oil can severely irritate your skin, so I recommend using it only to spray your garden. If you are looking for a faster or simpler solution, you can buy a garlic barrier that lasts 3-4 weeks and is not harmful to your children or pets.
Create Tick-Safe Landscape
Alone, landscape changes may not be as effective control over certain chemical applications, but very effective when used in combination with other measures. Also, a complete landscape overhaul can be expensive, so you must decide how much money will be spent to create a landscape protected from ticks.
Tick populations are directly related to the amount of habitat available for ticks and their hosts (mice, squirrels, birds, deer, etc.). The more habitat there is, the more ticks there will be, and the more we will be exposed to it. Fortunately, we know a lot about ticks and their habitats. Take, for example, that most grass ticks are within the first nine feet of the grass perimeter, and most often near stone walls, woods, beds, and curbs. We also know that ticks favor moist, shady conditions such as those found under trees, shrubs, ground cover, or leaf litter.
Here are some steps you can take to minimize exposure to ticks in your landscape:
- Prune trees and shrubs for better air circulation and better sun exposure.
- Mow the lawn according to the type of grass and its use.
- Grow plants that repel ticks.
- Install an insect hotel to attract beneficial insects that eat ticks mulch.
- Create a wood-to-grass transition area with a four-foot-wide edge of wood chips or mulch (but no planting)
- Remove fallen leaves from grass, grass perimeter, driveways, nearby basements, or other stone structures and recycle them.
- Repair of stone walls, foundations and walkways.
- Install a deer fence (the most effective) or other deterrents to keep wildlife out.
- Grow deer-resistant plants (the success of “deer-resistant” plants varies due to deer populations and food availability in the area.
- The goal here is to keep ticks and their hosts out of the most used areas – their outdoor living areas.
Plants To Get Rid Of Ticks
There are many other plants and herbs that are natural tick repellents. Plant some of the following plants to get rid of ticks:
How to Protect Yourself From Ticks
There are many ways to get rid of ticks and to prevent ticks from affecting you and your pets naturally. In addition to the strategies below to find ways to naturally keep ticks away from your garden, it also helps keep the garden clear of dense undergrowth and unwanted weeds and creates as little attractiveness as possible for rodents and other small mammals.
- Mix a homemade spray with essential oils
- Spray homemade repellant on your clothes, shoes, and skin before going out.
- Use a natural tick repellant on your Pets, regularly inspect their fire for tick investigations.
- Wear light-colored clothing so that you can see tick more easily and always check yourself, your children when you come home
- Take your clothes off when you enter your house and immediately put them in the dryer at the highest temperature. Ticks will not drown in the washing machine and will survive the cycle if the temperature is too low. However, they will die after only 5 minutes in the high-temperature dryer.
- Remember not to neglect tick protection in winter. At low temperatures ticks fall into a dormant stage, but as soon as the temperature is 45 degrees or above they become active again and look for a host