When your dog tracks mud through your house after a day of playing in the backyard, it may be bringing something scarier than dirt inside. Disease-carrying ticks love lurking in outside plants and backyard-bordering woodland but experts say making a few strategic landscaping choices can help keep the bite-happy bugs at bay.
1. Build a barrier. You will see positive results from creating a wood-chip or gravel barrier, at least 3 feet wide, between patios and lawns and wild or wooded areas. This tends to restrict tick migration into the yard.
2. Tame tall plants. The tall grasses and shrubs that border yards or surround houses can be “prime tick resting areas”. Keep the plants short or removing them altogether. If you love your naturalistic planting, consider a wide bark or gravel barrier between it and your favorite backyard gathering areas.
3. Keep the lawn short. Regularly mowing a lawn cuts down on the chance for ticks to hide in overgrown blades of grass.
4. Lose the leaves. Fallen leaves should be raked up frequently.
5. Store soft furniture elsewhere. As if ticks didn’t already have enough natural hiding places in the yard, they also like to hide out in outdoor furniture cushions. Store such soft furnishings elsewhere or check them often.