Landscaping to create Tick-Safe Zones “Tick-Safe Landscaping” techniques should be considered for homes, parks, fields, and recreational areas. Ixodes ticks need the higher humidity levels of the woodland to survive; they die quickly in drier environments. Increasing exposure to sun and air by removing leaf litter and clearing tall grass and brush around houses and at the edges of lawns will reduce the numbers of ticks that transmit Lyme disease. Laying down wood chips or gravel where lawns and recreational areas butt up against wooded areas can reduce the number of ticks on grassy areas by creating a drying barrier.
Chemical control The use of pesticides to control tick populations is another highly effective option. Pesticide application to residential properties should be supervised by a licensed professional pest control expert and should be conducted when nymphal Ixodes populations are at their local peaks.
Discourage Deer A relationship exists between the abundance of deer and the abundance of Ixodes ticks in the eastern United States. Tick populations do not decrease substantially unless deer are eradicated or severely reduced. Removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers may help discourage tick-infested deer from coming near homes. Lists of deer-resistant plantings are available from garden centers, nurseries, or local extension agents.