With tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease on the rise, repellents and pesticides are more highly sought after than ever before. But while these products are effective in eliminating ticks, there is also the option to protect your property from ticks naturally through gardening.
Plants are a food source for a great variety of animals – however, they do resist being eaten. Most plants resort to chemical weapons to fend off attackers, as they produce essential oils and toxins that work as a natural deterrent to predators. Luckily, there are a multitude of cost-effective plants that should send ticks scurrying away from your property. Note that most of these plants must flower first to produce the essential oils required to keep ticks away, so a bit of patience is required.
Garlic: Garlic can be planted easily in your garden, and its strong spell repels many pests including ticks. Surrounding your garden with crushed garlic cloves should help to keep ticks away.
Catnip: Known for its intoxicating effect on cats, its intense smell also works to deter ticks. The plant is low growing, easy to cultivate, and contains nepetalactone, a substance that most insects hate.
Rosemary: Rosemary is easy to cultivate in gardens, and insects abhor the smell, so it will help drive mosquitoes and fleas away in addition to ticks.
Rue: Rue is an evergreen herb with metallic, blue leaves and has antimicrobial, antifungal, and insect repelling properties. These plants drive off bugs and cats alike.
Wormwood: Wormwood is a bitter herb that has many traditional uses such as tea, but also works as a great insect repellent. However, keep in mind this plant grows up to three feet, so if space is a concern, considering opting for a smaller plant.
Chrysanthemum: Chrysanthemum is one of the most popular garden and balcony plants due to its aesthetic features, and as a bonus it repels fleas, ticks, bugs, and moths from the yard.
Geranium: Another great tick deterrent, however all parts of the plant are toxic to dogs and cats so if you have stray animals in the area, or if you have an outdoor pet, it is best to avoid growing this plant.
Additional property related tips include keeping your lawn mowed regularly since ticks love hiding in tall grasses, and growing plants with strong odours that deter deer (infamous for carrying many ticks) such as sage, oregano, and black-eyed Susan’s. Keeping animals out of the yard that tend to attract ticks will in turn reduce the tick population in your area.