The single most effective way to reduce blacklegged (deer) ticks in your yard is by insecticide applications that are applied mainly to the yard perimeter, shady perennial beds or along trails and paths in woods. Watch our video about Perimeter Spray Treatments
Perimeter spray treatments are eco-friendly by limiting the amount of pesticide being applied, and targeting the areas where people most frequently come into contact with deer ticks. The chemicals used today for tick control are much less toxic than in the past, and are used in very low concentrations. Additionally, Bifenthrin and permethrin do not leach through soil; these chemicals are degraded by soil microorganisms within the top 4 cm of the soil surface. Note: Pyrethroid products should not be applied around fish-containing ponds or streams.
When larval blacklegged ticks hatch from eggs, they generally are pathogen-free (several studies from a number of laboratories have failed to detect any human disease-causing pathogens in newly hatched larvae). Ticks become infected with disease-causing pathogens when they feed on reservoir animals. Most studies support the notion that white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) are the main reservoir host for Lyme disease spirochetes, Babesia protozoa, and Anaplasma bacteria; in most settings, mice are the primary culprits for producing infected ticks. These mice are common and often quite abundant in rural, suburban, and semi-urban settings across much of the eastern United States.
Deer ticks are not out in the middle of your lawn, they live where yards border wooded areas, ornamental plantings and gardens, or anywhere it is shaded and there are leaves with high humidity. By raking leaves, trimming shrubs and low branches you can make certain areas where ticks cannot survive. Pay special attention to frequented border areas, woodpiles, stonewalls and sheds. Creating borders of wood chips stone or any other landscaping material helps to serve as a reminder between tick-safe and Tick-danger zones.
Ticks are brought to your yard by deer and become infected mainly by feeding on mice. Keep deer out by planting undesirable plants, installing deer fencing or applying deer repellents. Mice like to live in stonewalls, around sheds, woodpiles or any enclosed area they can get into. Clean up brush, keep stonewalls clear of leaves, move woodpiles away from daily activity. Birdfeeders also attract deer and rodents that may drop ticks off right where you are standing.