What's Bugging You: Ticks

How Do I Manage Ticks in the Landscape?

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Ticks are stealthy. Once they hitch a ride, they may wait several hours before attaching, and then can take another two hours to insert their mouthparts. And once attached, they inject an anesthetic to prevent you from feeling the bite. It may be days before you discover it (unless you do a daily tick check). Therefore, it is nearly impossible to determine where you picked up that tick now embedded under your arm. You can determine if ticks are on your property and where, using the first step in integrated pest management - monitoring.

Fortunately, monitoring for ticks is inexpensive and not particularly time-consuming. (Multitasking tip: while dragging, also look for standing water that might provide excellent mosquito breeding ground and early yellow jacket, hornet, or wasp nests.)

Monitor for Ticks in your own backyard

Monitoring will show you if ticks are questing at that time (you should go out on numerous days at different times to see if your results change) and in what locations. Record your results each time. You now have the information needed to develop a management plan.

Minimize Ticks in Your Yard

Keep monitoring to see if your actions have made a difference.

Note that most of the recommendations are suited to the humidity-loving blacklegged tick and might not protect you from the more adaptable lone star tick.

See answers to your questions about tick management, including products that apply pesticides to wildlife hosts, here.