Spring is finally here in New England and it's time for a spring yard clean up! Along with flowers and rain showers, female adult deer ticks emerge to lay thousands of eggs that will hatch later this year. Once a a new female tick is born, they have a two-year life cycle ending after they lay thousands of eggs of their own. Combined with wildlife, the two-year life cycle explains why some experience these creepy crawlers for the first time near a home they have lived in for years.
Beginning a routine yard spray for ticks that begins in the early spring is beneficial for the whole season. These tick treatments kill adults and their eggs on contact, thus reducing the population this year and next.
Here are 5 ways to prepare your yard this spring using an organic tick control approach:
- Schedule your first spray treatment as soon as the snow is gone and the ground is unfrozen. This will kill fall’s leftover deer ticks, along with adult American dog ticks and Lone Star ticks that will activate as temperatures begin to warm. Use a service company that provides a National Organic Program compliant product.
- Remove leaf litter and brush from around the property once snow melts. This is the preferred home for ticks. After the clean-up, be sure to put your clothes in the dryer and run it on high for 10 minutes to kill ticks that were carried inside.
- Treat all the areas in and around your property that you use, even paths and walkways. While deer ticks often stay in the brush perimeter of the property, other types of ticks may venture out further in the yard.
- Control nymphal deer ticks that activate later in the spring around May. Tick treatments on the yard and the perimeter will control these tiny ticks, as they carry the Lyme disease bacteria and other tick-borne diseases.
- Deer can carry ticks onto your property. Deterring deer in early spring who come close to the home in search of food wil help in tick prevention. Protect your plants with a repellent or deer fencing to teach deer your property is not a good food source.
An unseasonable winter can lead to a very active spring season for ticks. Are you finding ticks on your property? Download our free Tick Identificiation Card to identify the life stage and species.