Okay – summer is sadly in the rear view mirror and it is time to think about fall cleanup, particularly as relates to ticks on your property.  Unfortunately if we’re reading the news, it does appear that tick populations are growing, and while we won’t cover the potential reasons in this article, its safe to say that if you are here on this site, your primary focus is more about doing what you can to help push ticks off of your property!

So here goes… 5 things to consider related to ticks when doing your fall cleanup!

  1. Push the “landscape line” out further.  What do we mean by this?  Well it is pretty simple really – ticks tend to thrive in leave piles and the like.  Often, as property owners the “landscape line” tend to creep closer to your house.  Gardens grow, underbrush sprawls and organic forest growth spreads.  To the extent you can, you’ll want to continue to manage your landscape line as effectively as you can.  Particularly during fall cleanup.
  2. Keep tall grass and shrubs back.  Ticks tend to climb tall grass and simply wait for their next host to arrive.  The more you can do to remove these bridges, the better!
  3. Consider your garden meal plan.  Certain animals such as deer and turkey are known to be great hosts for ticks. Not only are these animals great tick hosts, but they also don’t offer much in the way of tick management (they are not eating the ticks).  As you do your fall cleanup consider removing plants that are attractive to deer, turkey and other wildlife that you have in your area that are known to have actively carry ticks.
  4. Focus on the perimeter first, and then push out.  While you might have a number of goals around your fall cleanup, when it come to ticks, your first focus should be the direct areas abutting your house.  From there you can make concentric circles out to further manage, ultimately pushing to the outer edges of your “landscape line.”  In particular make sure to remove any unwanted garden refuse and possibly push your shrubs out a bit to give you a clear line out site around your house.  Which leads us to the next point…
  5. Consider tick treatments to your property.  There is a range of options here, from organic to non-organic methods, and certainly there are also a range of service providers that can help too.   Be sure to  your fall clean up first so that your treatment efforts are going to give you the most value based on your actual “landscape line”.  We’ve also seen folks that take the do it yourself approach around leverage a concentric circle strategy with multiple applications that essentially work to push the ticks off your property.

And of course, just because it is fall and things are cooling down, don’t forget to dress properly and to apply all the same cautions you used to help prevent tick bites throughout the summer!

Photo by Diana Parkhouse on Unsplash