x
 
 
Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Kill Ticks in a Yard

By James Young ; Updated September 21, 2017

While insecticides will kill the majority of ticks in a yard, ticks that are hiding in crevices or already feeding on pets will survive. Repeated treatments significantly reduce the number of nymph and adult ticks if the chemicals are applied correctly. Managing the landscape to create tick-free zones for work and play will also provide protection for your family without overusing poisons. A good control program also includes treatment for pets and wild animal populations.

Mow the yard. Keep the grass cut short to deprive ticks of their prime habitat. Regular mowing shifts both temperature and humidity out of the range ticks prefer, causing them to migrate to more hospitable turf.

Cut tall weeds at the edges of the yard and along building foundations with a line trimmer. Ticks often climb to the tops of weeds and bushes in search of food.

Scatter tick-killing insecticide granules at the edges of the yard. Solid particles of wide-spectrum insecticides like carbaryl, permethrin or chlorpyrifos work down into the debris layers where ticks hide and lay eggs after feeding.

Spray liquid insecticide along the edges of sidewalks, flagstones and foundations. Ticks hide in any small crevices, finding cover in cracks in concrete or behind the slats of wooden fences. Spray in these areas thoroughly to reach ticks that are out of the reach of granule poisons.

Repeat applications every four weeks until the infestation is controlled. Apply poisons at least twice to eliminate the next generation of hatching ticks.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Line trimmer
  • Manual pump sprayer
  • Liquid insecticide
  • Granular insecticide

Tips

  • Use flea and tick collars on pets to prevent household animals from becoming a continuing source of vermin.
  • Cyfluthrin-based insecticides, safe enough to use in restaurants, also make a practical choice for your home if ticks become established indoors. Spray areas where pets sleep to kill ticks hiding in carpets or baseboards.
  • Fencing the yard to keep out wandering animals helps prevent ticks from re-establishing on the property. Trapping or poisoning mice and other rodents eliminates animals many tick species depend upon during the first stages of their life cycle.

Warning

  • Any insecticide that kills ticks also kills beneficial insects and may harm wildlife. Use only in recommended concentrations and discontinue when tick numbers decline. Landscaping techniques that remove the cover ticks require provide safer long-term solutions to tick control.

About the Author

 

James Young began writing in 1969 as a military journalist combat correspondent in Vietnam. Young's articles have been published in "Tai Chi Magazine," "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," Sonar 4 ezine, "Stars & Stripes" and "Fine Woodworking." He has worked as a foundryman, woodturner, electronics technician, herb farmer and woodcarver. Young graduated from North Seattle Community College with an associate degree in applied science and electronic technology.