Five Natural Ways to Keep Ticks Off Your Property

The Black-legged Tick does not limit its meals to larger mammals. It will also feed on mice, lizards and birds, especially in the nymph and larval stages.
The Black-legged Tick does not limit its meals to larger mammals. It will also feed on mice, lizards and birds, especially in the nymph and larval stages. | Source




Ticks are nasty little creatures; and to make matters worse, ticks and Lyme disease go hand-in-hand. With this in mind, it's very easy to understand why it is so important to find natural ways to keep ticks off of your property.





An engorged black-legged tick’s body becomes bloated, gray and indistinguishable … it is best to look at the upper body and legs to identify a tick after it has fed.
An engorged black-legged tick’s body becomes bloated, gray and indistinguishable … it is best to look at the upper body and legs to identify a tick after it has fed. | Source

A Little about Lyme Disease

When ticks feed on your blood, the diseases they carry are allowed to enter into your system. Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of the black-legged tick, a known carrier of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi – the cause of Lyme disease.

Once Lyme disease has entered the body, it typically produces symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Erythema migrans - a characteristic skin rash

If the disease remains untreated, the ongoing infection becomes even more serious as it spreads into the heart, the joints and the nervous system. According to the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society, the disease can linger for many years causing a wide range of health issues, from painful joints and memory issues to acid reflux and panic attacks.

The black-legged tick is extremely small, especially in the nymph and larval stages.
The black-legged tick is extremely small, especially in the nymph and larval stages. | Source

Diagnosis of Lyme disease is generally based on symptoms, physical findings and the possibility of one’s exposure to infected ticks. Laboratory tests are also used. Lyme disease can be treated through the use of antibiotics.

Steps can be taken to prevent Lyme disease. Typically advised methods are to use insect repellent, remove ticks promptly, apply pesticides and reduce tick habitat.

Black-legged ticks, commonly referred to as the deer tick, are generally found in the Eastern half of the United States as shown in the map above.
Black-legged ticks, commonly referred to as the deer tick, are generally found in the Eastern half of the United States as shown in the map above. | Source
Tall grasses are a favorite habitat of ticks.
Tall grasses are a favorite habitat of ticks. | Source

1. Eliminate Tall Grasses, Brush and Leaf Litter

Eliminate tall grass and brush as it is a favorite hangout for ticks.

Leaf litter is a favorite place to hide after feeding. Ticks fall from their prey and hide as they await their transformation into the next phase of development (larva to nymph to adult). Since leaf litter is a favorite spot in which to hide, clean up leaf litter as well.

Haphazardly stacked firewood provides the perfect environment that is inviting to ticks.
Haphazardly stacked firewood provides the perfect environment that is inviting to ticks. | Source

2. Stack Firewood Neatly

Ticks are often found crawling around sloppily stacked woodpiles that are in shaded areas. Therefore, it is best to keep woodpiles neatly stacked in an area that receives sun every day. The wood will dry out faster, eliminating the moist wooded conditions that ticks enjoy.

Create natural barriers that ticks do not like to cross.
Create natural barriers that ticks do not like to cross. | Source

3. Create Barriers




Create paths and other areas (buffer zones), especially around the edge of wooded areas on your property, using materials such as gravel and wood chips to deter ticks from entering your property or lawn.






Beautyberry leaves have been shown to repel ticks.
Beautyberry leaves have been shown to repel ticks. | Source

4. Use Beautyberries to Repel Ticks


Plant American beautyberry bushes in areas where you want to repel ticks. Beautyberry leaves have been used to repel ticks. Since many birds relish the berries themselves, you will be providing a natural habitat for them as well.


Guinea hens are used by many people to control snakes as well as ticks.
Guinea hens are used by many people to control snakes as well as ticks. | Source

5. Use Natural Predators

Guinea hens, chickens and fire ants are natural predators of ticks. Although I would never ever recommend anyone raise fire ants (I kill them whenever possible), guineas are an excellent choice in the battle against ticks.

Be sure you are allowed to have poultry on your property (many home owner’s associations don't allow) before implementing guinea hens or chickens.

Also, be sure to research the needs of guineas or chickens before going this route.

Source

Grounding-feeding birds, such as robins, will also eat ticks. But, be aware that some birds actually carry ticks. So, be sure to keep all areas near birdbaths and feeders clear of brush, tall grasses, and debris which would encourage any ticks that the birds themselves carried in.

Hopefully, the ideas and methods shown here will assist you in your battle against ticks. Let me know what you think.

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Comments for "Five Natural Ways to Keep Ticks Off Your Property" 26 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Hi Cindy, my second cousin actually caught Lyme disease from swimming in our local river! not sure exactly what caused it, either ticks or something from the rats I believe, but I don't think we have the ticks in the grassland, but I may well be wrong. This is great advice, as this is a horrible thing to catch, I do know that Cley was in hospital for a few weeks! great hub, and nice to see you back! votes all the way!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

So handy this time of year! Hope all is well with you!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

thanks, Nell. The disease is carried by rodents ... that's where he ticks got it originally ... so who knows. But, yes .... it is a serious disease.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, AudreyHowitt. I am hanging in there .... have the cancer on the run. Visit the doc next week to see what kind of progress I have made in the last few months.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Excellent, well-written and informative hub about ticks and Lyme disease. Thanks for reminding me of these little monsters, Cindy!


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I live in S. Florida and ticks are a real problem here. I look over my little dog every evening for ticks.

You wrote a very interesting and informative Hub here.

I never heard of planting that berry to keeps ticks away.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I am happy to report that we don't have ticks in the northwest, just one more reason for me to never leave here. :) Good to have you writing again....I hope you are doing well my friend.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

MartieCoetser ... they really are monsters. They remind me of spiders .... and I hate spiders. And things that look like spiders and suck your blood is just so over the top. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

We actually have a few of them growing wild on our property ... I hope to plant a few more ... even a lot more ... eventually. I check my dogs over for ticks as well. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

You are lucky in that regard, billybuc. I have never been up your way ... the Muir Woods in California was as close as I ever got. But from what I can tell ... it is quite gorgeous. Thanks so much for stopping by.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

These are good tips. Looking at the ticks is scary. I feel like they are crawling on my skin. Thanks for sharing this very informative hub.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 2 years ago from Iowa

Good information. I got Lyme disease once from a tick bite. Fortunately I caught it right away because I got the telltale bullseye rash. Otherwise I probably would have thought it was the flu and not sought immediate treatment, which is what happened to my neighbor right around the same time. He ended up with a much more serious case because he didn't realize he had Lyme disease.


Damanee Bailey profile image

Damanee Bailey 2 years ago from Jamaica

Great info! I will use it to control them this summer.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks Thelma. I agree ... ticks are scary looking. They look too much like spiders. So glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for stopping by.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

DeborahNeyens ... so glad to hear that you recovered from your Lyme disease, and that it did not turn serious. It really can get quite serious if not dealt with in a timely manner. It is easy to see how it really is important to find ways to control ticks ... before they have the opportunity to get on you. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

Damanee Bailey - I hope they work for you. You will have to come back and let us know how they worked for you. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

This is helpful information as we head into summer. Well done!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

FlourishAnyway - thanks. I am always investigating ways to do things without all the chemicals that harm us and the planet. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I absolutely hate dealing with ticks anytime. Thankfully, we do not have to worry about them here where we live - lots of barriers. Great information and useful advice. Sharing!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, teaches12345! I hate them as well. They started early this year, and have just gotten worse. Always looking for ways to deal with them.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

I did not know that beautyberries are a repellent for ticks. I love that bush and may just have to get one or two. This has been an awful year for us and ticks. I like the barrier idea too. Nice and informative hub.


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 2 years ago

I hate those little creatures! I do have some turkeys coming to my yard and digging for ticks from time to time. I hope they eat them all!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

Glad you found the information useful. Come back again and let me know how the ideas worked for you.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

Poultry is a great way to combat ticks. I hope the turkeys are able to do it for you.


Gi0 2 years ago

try to give your dog Brewer's yeast to prevent them from having ticks. It works well and can help their brain


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Gi0. Brewers yeast is supposed to be really good for dogs.

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