Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:47 pm
Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about ticks. These mites feed on blood, and in doing so, they can transmit pathogenic diseases and bacteria (Lyme borreliosis or Lyme disease, hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis). However, we generally tend to believe that these parasites are only found in the undergrowth.
However, in 30 to 50% of cases, it is in private or public gardens that ticks attach themselves to their hosts (humans or domestic animals). However, this does not mean that we should deprive ourselves of afternoons lulled by the sun outdoors! In fact, it is very easy to protect your family and pets from tick bites. In addition to chasing ticks away from your home, take a few steps in the garden to keep them away as well.
Pesticides, a solution to garden ticks?
To eradicate and repel ticks, many people take the easy way out, which is to spray chemical pesticides to kill them. However, this solution is not very effective. In addition to its questionable repellent effects, this type of product is very harmful to both wildlife and the health of children, adults and animals in the garden. To replace these ineffective and dangerous chemical products, try our natural grandmotherly tricks. You will be able to enjoy your garden in complete safety without the risk of contamination by a tick bite.
1) Some gardening tips to make your garden less hospitable
To prevent ticks from proliferating in your garden, you need to know what they prefer for their habitat and make sure your green spaces don’t meet those criteria. In general, blacklegged ticks of the Ixodes ricinus type (those that bite humans) like shade, dense vegetation and moisture. Therefore, to control ticks, you should prefer open, sunny areas. Also remember to:
-Allow the lawn to dry completely between waterings.
-Mulch strategic areas where there is a lot of traffic such as playgrounds or the edge of your property if it overlooks a wooded area to create a natural barrier.
-Limit hiding places by making sure to mow the lawn to avoid tall grass and to trim weeds (sources of shade and coolness for ticks).
-Regularly remove piles of dead leaves and compost the grass clippings at the time of mowing. Burn them if necessary to avoid attracting ticks.
-Prune the base of trees and keep hedges and flower beds away from high traffic areas (ticks get into them while waiting to attach themselves to you or your pet)
2) Animals, a key point against ticks in the garden
-Do everything you can to protect your dogs and cats and deworm them. Start by inspecting their coats after walks, but don’t forget to use effective treatments: tick puller, dog collar, repellent spray, application of diatomaceous earth, etc. This way, there will be little risk of your pet carrying ticks to your garden or home.
-Also consider having a few chickens or guinea fowl in your garden to eat this insect.
Also, consider putting up a fence to keep tick-carrying wildlife out of your garden.
-And finally, you can treat the fur of mice with cotton tubes soaked in tick repellent. When you use them to make their nests, the product is deposited on their fur. It is not dangerous for them, but it will kill the ticks that want to cling to them.
3) Against ticks, choose your garden plants carefully
Some plants and flowers have useful repellent and insecticidal properties. This is the case of aromatic herbs (lemon thyme, bay leaf or basil), but also of lavender, lemon balm, lantana, wormwood and lemon geranium. Some plant purins also have natural repellent effects, such as nettle, horsetail, lavender and comfrey purins. Chestnut is generally a good insect repellent. On the contrary, ban broom.
4) Biological control of these infectious disease vectors
Some species of microscopic worms can be mixed with water and spread in the garden to fight ticks. This is the case of Steinernema carpocapsae or Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. These parasites are harmless to humans and pets, but they also attack other insects, which reduces their effectiveness against ticks by the “dilution” effect. For more efficiency, you can also rely on entomopathogenic fungi (insect parasites or anthropodes). They attack the ticks and eventually kill and eradicate them. For this purpose, opt for Beauveria bassiana or Metarhizium anisopliae.
Remember: If your pet gets bitten after walking through tall grass, act as quickly as possible. To remove a tick, carefully turn the tick forceps clockwise. The same procedure will be used for tick bites on human skin. Also remember to seek medical attention if you notice erythema migrans.