The last thing you want when you're relaxing in your yard is to be attacked by ticks. Ticks cause physical discomfort as they bite you, and they can carry the deadly Lyme disease. Ticks need a humid environment to flourish and like areas with dense vegetation and cluttered by yard debris. Take steps to get rid of ticks in your outdoor landscape, both by deterring them and by killing them with pesticides, to protect and defend your yard and your family's health.
Mow your lawn to a maximum height of 3 inches; cut the grass shorter if it is appropriate for your species of lawn grass. This decreases the amount of humidity in your lawn, which makes it inhospitable to ticks.
Cut back heavy foliage and stands of vegetation, and clear away any debris on the ground, such as stacks of lumber or piles of leaves. Such areas attract ticks and various rodents that may be carrying ticks on their bodies.
Deter deer in your landscape; they are a major carrier of Lyme disease-carrying ticks. If you live near a forested area, cut back woody shrubs to increase your yard's open space and deter the animals. Erect fencing if necessary, and plant vegetation that deer don't like, such as boxwood and some types of pine and spruce. The University of Arizona has a sample list of deer-deterring trees, shrubs and flowers (see the Resources section).
Treat your yard with pyrethroid- or pyrethrum-formulated pesticides designed for use against outdoor ticks. These pesticides come in a range of liquid and granular products. Granular pesticides are best for use in your yard's open spaces, while liquid pesticides are ideal for use in heavy vegetation, leaf piles and other areas that need deep penetration. Apply a pesticide according to the product's label, as toxicity varies widely by product.