A common misperception is that ticks, infamous for multiplying at a terrifying rate, are only an issue when entering unfamiliar areas such as forests or trails. However, studies estimate that around 70 percent of people that contract Lyme disease catch it from ticks in their own yards. Luckily, there are several ways to make your yard less attractive to ticks.

First, clearing tall grasses and leaf litter around the home and at the edge of your lawn will help clear away ticks, as they thrive in unkempt shaded areas. Pruning trees, clearing brush, and keeping a consistent lawnmowing schedule all go a long way in ensuring ticks look elsewhere for shelter. While time consuming and somewhat costly, it is also recommended to place a three-foot-wide (one metre) barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment, thereby restricting tick migration into recreational areas.

Another way to minimize the number of ticks frequenting your property is to make the lawn undesirable for animals known to host ticks – namely deer, birds, white-footed mice, and other small rodents. Eliminating bird feeders and bird baths, applying natural deer repellents such as garlic, stacking wood in an orderly fashion in a dry area (will discourage rodents), and  ensuring there are a minimal number of areas for mice to hide will in turn help reduce the number of ticks on your lawn.  

 Of course, there is always the option of pesticides. But while this method can be effective, it is not recommended unless applied by a licensed pest control operator due to the potential harm pesticides can cause towards humans, pets, wildlife and the environment if improperly applied. 

Now that you are equipped with several methods to protect your yard from ticks, you can put them into practice and decrease the risk of contracting Lyme disease or other harmful tick-borne illnesses.