Dog Ticks Around the House

This week there are questions about how to rid dog ticks around the house. Good question. Dog ticks survive in tall grassy areas with shade because they like humid, sheltered locations waiting for some animal to pick them up.

The easiest way to reduce the number of ticks is to keep the grass cut, especially under trees and shrubs. There is less population of ticks on a well-groomed lawn than on a weedy lawn. The broad leaf weeds provide more shade.

If you have overgrown shrubs, next spring prune them to open them to sunlight. It will be good for the health of the shrubs and hedges. Remove any trashy areas in the backyard.

If you wish to spray with a chemical, do it in the evening. We do not want to be killing beneficial insects like honeybees. Spray especially the brushy areas, along the perimeter of the lawn especially in the country, and groundcovers. Permectrin sprays are good as a repellent for the lawn.

One organic control is a spray with Metarhizium brunneum, which is a fungus found in the soils being effective in reducing tick populations. You would have to order this from a nursery catalog or online. According to consumer reports, the Wondercide yard spray with Natural Oils works as a treatment and repellent which is safe for pets and people.