Gardening is the ultimate springtime reprieve. There’s ample sun and soil. It’s warm enough to stay outside for hours, and those flowerbeds are finally in bloom. And yet, with the whisperings of good weather also comes the emergence of insects—especially, ticks, which typically emerge just as outdoor activities hit full swing.
At Suburban Lawn, we’ve been thinking of all of our avid gardeners out there, so we decided to put together a quick guide on how to ward off ticks this spring. Happy gardening, folks!
Know Where They Go
Deer ticks (which cause Lyme disease) are most often found in wooded or grassy areas. They live in humid environments, and they tend to gravitate to natural fixtures such as leaves, bushes, trees, and gardens. To avoid ticks, it’s beneficial to steer clear of tall bushes or similar-sized vegetation, and garden or walk along areas with a clearly-defined trail.
Invest in Insecticides
This may be obvious to some of you, but a number of insecticides have been proven to effectively eliminate ticks without posing a threat to humans. Permethrin, for example, kills ticks in both their adult and larval stage, which is the likeliest time they will harbor Lyme disease. You can also purchase permethrin-treated clothing, socks, and shoes, which has proven to be more effective than chemical bug spray in repelling ticks.
Change the Landscape
Ticks tend to linger in the space between lawns and wooded areas. To manage their populations, it’s helpful to incorporate landscaping that deters deer, mice, groundhogs and other animals that may carry ticks. Similarly, you should make a point of quickly removing any leaf piles or brush left over from gardening, as these popular tick habitats.
Stay in the sun
Did you know tick nymphs can’t survive for longer than eight hours in environments with lower than 80 percent humidity? It’s true—nymphs have leaky cuticles that rapidly lose moisture, and as a result, they typically steer clear of sunny environments that may dry them out. What does that mean for you? Keep some sunscreen close at hand and avoid damp, dark environments.