A Child-Safe Solution for Ticks in your lawn

Ticks are more than a nuisance; they can carry harmful and potentially deadly diseases such as Lyme disease and spotted fever. Chemical pesticides are readily available to keep ticks out of your lawn. However, the chemicals used to control ticks from the lawn can cause more harm than good. According to the New York State Department of Health, kids are more likely to develop an adverse response to tick-repellent chemicals. But there are several different options for controlling vandalism which won’t harm children, pets or wildlife.

Cultural Control

Ticks are more inclined to be located in shaded regions of the lawn. By raising the total amount of sunny locations, you will lessen the favored habitat of ticks. In addition, create a boundary with tree bark, dry wood chips or gravel between wooded regions and your yard. This will help reduce the amount of ticks that migrate in the yard. Furthermore, often mowing grass and keeping the lawn well maintained with no leaf debris or litter will keep ticks out of the yard. In case you have swing sets or play places, move them as far away from wooded areas as you can. Deer and other wildlife may carry ticks to your lawn when they see searching for food. To discourage deer, incorporate deer-resistant plants, shrubs and trees at the border of this property. Rodents are another common host for ticks and can introduce them to your yard and house. Properly sealing your house can help to keep out rodents and any parasites that they may carry.

Beneficial Nematodes

In 1998, researchers at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a research on the effectiveness of beneficial nematodes as a biological control for ticks. They discovered that when the ticks were exposed to beneficial nematodes, they became infected with bacterial proliferation that led to tissue degeneration, reduced egg production and finally death. Beneficial nematodes are readily available at garden centers and are utilized to control different pests in your yard, including ticks. Nematode application generally involves blending with water before spraying the liquid over the lawn. These microscopic roundworms aren’t harmful for children, pets or wildlife.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a powder-like substance made of sedimentary rock which contains the fossils of diatoms, an algae-like plant. When applied to residential lawns, the DE causes pests that crawl over it — including ticks, fleas, aphids, earwigs and slugs — to dehydrate and die. It is safe to use around pets, wildlife and children. But take care when applying DE, as inhaling the dust may cause throat and nose irritation. Once the dust has settled, it will have no adverse effects on your loved ones. Use only natural DE and not the type used as a pool filtration medium, which can be bad for humans and animals.

Chemical Control

There are a couple options for chemical management of ticks which are considered less toxic than other chemical tick-control solutions. But chemical control ought to be considered as a last resort, and cultural control combined with organic methods ought to be exhausted before attempting chemicals. Pyrethroids and carbamates are a bit safer than other pesticides, as stated by the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. When applying pesticides, always follow the suggested directions printed on the pesticide label, and keep children and pets out of the lawn before the pesticide has completely dried.

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