Posted by Carol Stocker
With an estimated three quarters of all Lyme disease cases acquired from ticks picked up during activities around the home, creating Low-Risk Tick Zones should be a priority in everyone’s landscaping and gardening plans, advises the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance, a national nonprofit dedicated to the eradication of tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme.
Following TBDA’s simple TICK-OFF Checklist is an easy, inexpensive guide to creating Low-Risk Tick Zones around the home. While the latest statistics about Lyme and tick-borne diseases can be disturbing, these simple outdoor and indoor measures can provide added protection against these diseases:
Tidy up by removing leaves, branches and debris, which create hiding places for ticks and their hosts
Install 3-foot wide gravel or wood chip barriers along the edges of stone walls, ornamental gardens and woodlot perimeters
Create gravel or wood chip pathways linking the house to frequently used outside areas
Keep woodpiles and bird feeders far away from the home as they attract rodents which ticks feed on
Open up areas to direct sunlight and keep lawns cut short to reduce the humid environment that ticks thrive in.
Form play and recreational areas at least 10 feet away from wooded edges; place playsets on wood chip beds and in sunny areas
Fully use patio and non-grass or non-vegetative areas as much as possible