Keeping Ticks Away When Living Near a Forest
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If you live near a forest, or worse yet if you've got a forest right in your backyard, then you very likely are going to have some ticks nearby. Deers and deer ticks are both very common in forested areas, but ticks are more than willing to "hitch a ride" on just about any mammal. Raccoons, rats, squirrels, possums, birds, foxes, wolves, bears, even stray dogs or cats can all be carrying ticks and bringing them onto your property.
If your house is built right on the edge of a forested area, or if there is a forest nearby, taking the necessary precautions to keep ticks out of your yard is extremely important. There are very likely an awful lot of them out there, and a single bite from a tick can transmit all sorts of dangerous diseases onto you, your children, or your pets.
Take a look at the mugshot to the right if you still aren't convinced. Ticks are dangerous AND ugly, and you really don't want them hiding in your grass waiting for your family or your pets to walk by.
Ticks wait on blades of grass, along the sides of trees, on plants, or in piles of firewood or fallen leaves. They can smell the air you exhale and will seek you out - they particularly enjoy the sugar-rich blood of humans. They hold their arms out, and immediately grab onto anything that comes close, be it man, woman, child, or animal.
Before a tick bites you, it applies a numbing agent to your skin that keeps you from feeling the bite at all. Many have gone days without knowing they have a tick attached to them somewhere.
How Do I Get Rid of Ticks?
The forest itself is perhaps the most ideal environment for a tick to thrive in - animals, birds, and even humans brush up against the trees, plants, and grass all the time. The trees also provide shade and higher levels of moisture that ticks need while they wait for their next host.
While you might not be able to chase all of the ticks out of the forest, there are some really good and simple preventative methods that you can use to ensure that your children and pets aren't in danger of getting bit by a tick as long as they stay within your yard.
Keeping Deer Ticks From Coming Near Your Yard
Do you have any plants that you often find nibbled at in the mornings, or are you growing any fruits or vegetables? Herbs can also be extremely attractive to certain animals. Clovers, alfalfa sprouts, wheat, turnips, canola, winter peas, and ryegrass are a few foraging plants that deer are especially fond of, but deer (and other animals that carry ticks) will give most anything a nibble or two.
I would never tell anybody to rip up their entire garden, nor cover their beautiful lawn with concrete just to get rid of ticks, but you CAN spray everything in sight with an extremely powerful garlic juice. The strongest out there is a product called Mosquito Barrier.
Ticks know to stay away from garlic, and they can sense the strong sulfurs in garlic from very far away. Mosquito Barrier is made with garlic that contains the highest amounts of these sulfurs in the world, and the ticks will continue to sense it 3 to 4 weeks after spraying and stay away. Planting garlic in your yard is known to scare deer away and keep them from eating your other plants, and this same effect can also be achieved with this quick spraying.
Extra Tricks to Keep Ticks Out of Your Yard
Animal Feeders - Deer feeders or salt licks, bird feeders, bird baths, or anything else that is designed to attract animals or birds for any reason should be gotten rid of. We want to keep these animals away, not bring them closer. If you don't want to get rid of it entirely, put it as far as possible from your house, or at least beyond the point that you spray the garlic.
Moisture and Climate - Ticks prefer shaded, somewhat moist areas to wait for their prey to walk by so that they can attach themselves. The longer your grass is, the more moisture will exist within, and the better a place it will be for ticks, so keep your grass mowed down as short as you can handle, your plants kept, weeds pulled, etc.
Fence - Putting a fence around your property to separate it from the surrounding nature can make a really big difference. Most large animals won't be able to set foot in your yard, and placing a few feet of gravel on both sides of your fence (see "The Gravel mote" below) can help keep the ticks away. A fence won't get rid of all the ticks and keep them from coming back, but it's another weapon that you can add to your arsenal.
The Gravel Mote - Pouring gravel around your property to separate it from the forest can sometimes help. Make sure it is at least a few feet wide, and surrounds your yard or house entirely, much like a mote around a castle. If you can't surround your entire house, do the best you can. If you've got a fence, put gravel on both sides of it.
Firewood and Play Structures:
A pile of firewood sitting in your yard is a haven for ticks of all sorts. You can use the garlic spray mentioned above to get rid of all the ticks in your firewood as well. You'll need to apply the garlic beneath the area that the wood is sitting, so you'll either have to move it and clean the area beneath and move it back, OR simply spray another area of your yard with the garlic and move the wood to this newly cleaned area. Spray the pile of wood afterwards and all of the ticks will be forced to evacuate.