Did you know tick-borne diseases have more than tripled in the last 12 years? Each year, there are more Lyme cases than the year before! Eek! Because of that, we need to be more careful than ever.
Of course, that means you should use a repellent spray or repellent-treated clothing when you’re out in the woods. But you should do your best to minimize the population around your home, too.
That’s where you spend the most time outdoors, so make sure you do all you can to keep the nasty buggers away!
Ticks 101: When They’re Most Active, Where They Live and How to Get Rid of Them
Is there a worst time of day for ticks?
As long as it isn’t freezing, they can be out and about. Some are more active in the morning, others at dusk. But if you’re around, chances are they are, too. They’re always looking for their next host, no matter the time of day.
When are ticks active, and when do they die off?
They’re most active in the spring and at the beginning of fall. Immature ticks emerge in late spring and early summer. At this stage, they’re only the size of a poppy seed, which makes them easy to miss. Plus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say most humans are infected through bites at this stage.
Also, get this. Contrary to what you may have heard, frost actually doesn’t kill ticks, but it does make them less active.
Where do ticks live outside? Do they live in pine trees?
They love hanging on high grass and shrubs more than anything! In our lawns and gardens, they gravitate towards the edges of stone walls or shady, moist spots on the ground, like shrubs or bushes.
They usually don’t live in trees. Though, it is possible that they could hitch a ride up a tall tree on a bird. Mostly though, they lay low and will almost never be higher than chest level.
Steps to Keep Ticks Out of Your Yard
“Remember: no natural, vegetated area can be considered free of ticks,” said Auxilio Tovar of The Care of Trees, a Davey company, in Chicago. "Instead, the goal is to give these pests fewer places to hide."
Tovar shares a few ways to do that!
- Take away the places they love. They prefer damp, humid areas and are extremely susceptible to dehydration. So, have an ISA certified arborist® prune your trees and shrubs. When done correctly, this reduces your property's humidity by improving light and air circulation.
- Add a border. Ticks do not like to cross barren, sunny areas. So, place a mulch border that’s four to six feet wide around your property’s perimeter.
- Clean it up! Get rid of brush piles or areas with lots of green debris. If you see any other overgrown areas of your garden, cut those back as well. Also, keep firewood stacks at perimeter locations.
- Deter deer. Add a physical barrier, like a fence if practical, to keep deer and other hosts out of your yard. Deer repellant spray may also be applied onto plantings around your home but cannot be totally relied upon to keep deer away.
- Keep birds far away. Birds, too, can carry ‘em. It’s smart to move bird feeders and bird baths away from areas where you and your family congregate in the yard.
- Treat your yard. Just like you spray yourself, you can do the same to your yard. At Davey, we apply an EPA-registered treatment to the ground level of your yard, which covers all the spots ticks or hosts would gravitate.