From replacing worn shingles on the roof and washing your exterior siding to shampooing your rugs and carpet, it is easy to see how maintaining your home can be important, yet overwhelming. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough emphasis on preventing insects and other pests from affecting your home and family. Considering the exterior and yard of your home may be infested with ticks, understanding the danger of these insects is smart.
While shocking for many to learn, ticks cause an estimated 300,000 cases of Lyme disease each year in the United States. This bacterial illness affects your immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems while also causing pain and discomfort in your joints. Fortunately, preventing the spread of Lyme disease is possible. Using these tips to reduce the risk of a tick infestation around your home, you can decrease your family's risk of Lyme disease.
Mow and Trim
The landscaping surrounding your home is an appealing space for ticks and other pests. The taller blades of grass, overgrown shrubs, and mounds of pine straw are popular areas for ticks to make into a home. In addition, the moisture that develops in and traps on your grass, flowers, shrubs, trees, and beds will be attractive places for pests to infest.
Be sure to mow your lawn each week during peak seasons of growth. Place grass clippings in a container to use for composting instead of throwing them back onto your lawn, since this places the ticks back into the environment around your home.
Remove all dead shrubbery, flowers, and trees periodically and trim off any overgrown branches and limbs, as well.
If your yard has natural areas and beds, consider using a less appealing straw or mulch in these areas. Pine straw, pine bark, and some types of mulch attract insects, so using an option that repels insects is key to prevent ticks and Lyme disease.
Organic mulches are best for repelling insects, so surround your flowers, plants, and trees with mulch made from cedar or cypress wood. Filling in beds and natural areas with clear or aluminum-coated plastic mulch is also a smart option, since the materials reflect sunlight while deterring pests.
Adding a few new plants to your landscape design not only improves your home's curb appeal and value, but can also repel ticks and other insects. Here are a few colorful, appealing, and insect-repelling options to plant in your landscape:
- Lemon Grass – Planting lemon grass around your home adds texture and fragrance to your landscape design. The lemon scent is appealing to you and your family members, but it repels ticks, fleas, and other insects.
- Sage – Install a few sage plants in containers around your home or outdoor space to deter ticks and other insects. Trim off some of the greenery to use while cooking your favorite recipes, as well.
- Peppermint – The minty fragrance of peppermint is a classic scent that will always be pleasant to you, but it is unappealing to ticks and other pests. Use peppermint plants in containers and your flower beds to add color and texture to your landscape design.
Your home's exterior should always be clean, but you may not realize how clutter and debris can increase your risk of a tick infestation.
Since ticks and other pests are attracted to moisture, remove unused containers, pots, and toys that may collect rain from around your home and landscape. Dump the water out of these items, clean, and dry before storing them inside.
Check outdoor spigots, garden hoses, and sprinklers for leaks. Small leaks are not only wasteful, but also appealing to ticks.
Make sure to clean out gutters and rainspouts periodically, as well. An excessive amount of leaves, pine straw, and trash can trap in moisture, leading to damaging infestations of not only ticks, but also termites.
Your home is a large investment, so you should clean and maintain its exterior. Using these tips, your home will be clean, valuable, and functional, but also free from disease-causing ticks. If you require more assistance, don't hesitate to contact pest control services.