Hi, I've recently moved to Crownsville, Maryland and bought a house with a lush backyard (previously owned by a master gardener) It appears that there are ticks in my yard, and after a lot of research and reading I'm coming to the conclusion that I need to spray chemicals to control them. I hate that, but natural methods have resulted in my getting tick after tick. My problem is that I haven't been able to find anyone who seems to know how to spray for ticks and will treat my yard just for ticks. The places I've contacted want to sign me up for ongoing spraying programs for mosquitos and fleas. From what I've read on tickencounter.org, spraying in mid-May, mid-June and October is recommended. Do you have any suggestions for how I can find someone to do this for me without also requiring me to have them spray into the trees for mosquitos, etc?
Anne Arundel County Maryland
We do not have a list of pest control firms that spray for ticks, though there are some out there somewhere.
A few tips on tick control:
- avoid barberry and remove barberry in your vicinity. That and honeysuckle bush have been proven to harbor more ticks and a high rate of Lyme infected ticks. (Unfortunately, barberry is invading our parks at a fast pace.)
- remove any bird feeders or any other wild critter food that may be attracting white footed mice which are primary carriers of ticks
- plant things that do not attract deer (there is a list in our website's Publications, wildlife sectionhttp://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/non_HGIC_F... and its addendum : http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG655a_add...
- ticks like to hang at the tips of branches where they can grab onto whoever brushes by. Make paths and walkways wide and prune back any overhanging branches so you can pass without contacting them
- consider planting native plants. Anecdotal reports are that native ecosystems have natural checks to ticks.
- keep the lawn mowed regularly
Search 'ticks' on our website for more information.