There are few pest infestations as disturbing as that of blood-sucking ticks. Once they move into your yard, they climb onto a blade of grass or a leaf and wait patiently, arms outstretched, to latch on to any animal that passes by. And once a tick latches on, it can infect its prey with Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever or human ehrlichiosis. If you have been bitten, it is best to save the specimen and have it tested immediately.
Keep the overgrowth in your yard to a minimum and don't allow your grass to grow over 3 inches in height. Ticks thrive in patches of overgrown vegetation (as do the mice they often feed on). Ticks remain immobile for long periods of time while waiting for their prey, and they prefer to do it in a moist, shady spot with plenty of leaves and twigs on which to perch. Once an area is opened up to the sun and hiding places are eliminated, ticks are unlikely to stick around.
Spray your yard with a liquid tick pesticide that features the active ingredient cypermethrin (Demon WP) or bifenthrin (Talstar). Follow the manufacturer's directions and spray grass, fences, patios and any areas with thick vegetation. In warm weather, when ticks are most active, you may need to spray at 7-day intervals until the ticks are gone.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth over the ground and over dense vegetation. Diatomaceous earth is composed of the fossilized remains of shelled amebas. When tick eggs or adult ticks come into contact with diatomaceous earth, it pierces their protective coating and dehydrates them in a matter of days. Diatomaceous earth is an organic product, so it is perfectly safe to use over any plants. On the other hand, it will kill any bug that comes into contact with it.