Some natural methods and purposefully planted plants will help keep ticks out of your garden.
Ticks are not just an annoyance you encounter on a hike in the woods. They can also lurk in city parks or even in your own garden.
Most tick-killing chemicals can’t be used in gardens – and many people are rightly afraid of using any chemicals – but you can do a lot to keep ticks out of your garden with a few targeted anti-tick measures.
Plants that keep away ticks
There are some plants that have a repelling effect on tiny bloodsuckers. The good news is that many of these are particularly beautiful and can be planted as a garden ornament. Examples include lavender, marigold, rosemary, sage, fragrant catnip and eucalyptus.
Ticks prefer cool, moist gardens. If the grass is too long and there are leaves on the ground, this creates favorable conditions for the tiny bloodsuckers. It is therefore a good idea to keep the lawn short so that sunlight can reach the soil. If there is any excess leaf litter in the garden, it is also a good idea to get rid of it.
Ticks kept away with a fence
Most ticks are introduced by animals in the garden. However, if you can keep away hedgehogs, stray cats, dogs and small rodents with a proper fence, you can reduce the number of ticks.
Pebble beds or pine barks
In a garden in a natural area, near a forest or field, ticks can easily enter the garden. A natural barrier can help to control them. If you spread a bed of gravel or mulch half a metre wide at the base of the fence, you will interrupt the natural vegetation.
Ticks are reluctant to cross the gravel or pine bark, which is easier to warm through than grass, so there is a good chance they will not enter the garden.
If you do find a tick in yourself or your child, it is important to remove it as soon as possible. If you’re observant, you’ll probably spot the tiny bloodsucker at the latest when you take your bath in the evening.
Simply hold the insect’s body as close to your skin as possible with a pair of tweezers and remove it with a firm movement. It’s no problem if the animal’s head – actually its mouthparts – get torn off, as the body will usually push it out as a result of a minor local inflammation.