12 Ways To Get Rid of Ticks Outside

Ticks often stay hidden in our grass out of sight. But, when they attach themselves to your or your pets, it’s a nightmare.

You feel violated and take advantage of when these ticks feed on you.

Not only are ticks disgusting they are also dangerous.

Unfortunately, taking control of your tick problem can feel overwhelming because you don’t know where to start.

Don’t stress out; I have the answers for you in this post.

I will provide you with twelve ways to get rid of ticks outside your home.

Let’s get started.

What Do Ticks Look Like?

Adult ticks can range in size from 5mm to 15mm.

Their color can vary from light brown to reddish black. When engorged, ticks become darker and take on a reddish black color.

Ticks have a tiny head and a large abdomen. Their Head is about 1/10 the size of the stomach.

They have eight legs, four forward-facing and four facing backward.

Ticks do not have wings or antennae.

Types Of Ticks

group of tick

American Dog Tick

  • Color: Red-brownish color with grey markings. 
  • Size: Adult Females are 5mm with empty stomach. Males are around 3.8mm.
  • Distribution: You can find American ticks throughout the east coast and in California. 

Brown Dog Tick

  • Color: Dark brow-reddish in color with grey-blue abdomens. In some cases, the abdomen has a pattern. 
  • Size: Adult Females are 1/8 inches. They can reach up to ½ inches when engorged. 
  • Distribution: You can find the Brown Dog tick throughout the U.S

Lone Star Tick

  • Color: Red-light brown bodies with a grey abdomen when enlarged. 
  • Pattern: Silver or white horseshoe pattern at the center of their abdomen.
  • Size: Adult Females are ⅛ inches. They can reach up to ½ inches when engorged. 
  • Distribution: The Lone Star tick is found in the east U.S. The span from the east side of Texas to Maine.

Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

  • Color: Red-Dark brown bodies with a white or gray scutum (the area just below the head). 
  • Pattern: White scutum patch just beneath the head. 
  • Size: Adult Females are ⅛ inches. They can reach up to ⅝ inches when engorged. 
  • Distribution: The Rock Mountain wood tick is found in the Rocky Mountain states such as Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. 

Deer Tick or Black Legged Tick

  • Color: 
    • Males: uniform brown color with white strip around the outside of the abdomne. 
    • Females: two tone, lighter brown abdomen. Can change to a dark rust color after consuming blog 
  • Pattern: white band or strip around the outside of the abdomen 
  • Size: Adult Females are ⅛ inches. They can reach up to over ½ inches when engorged. 
  • Distribution: Norheast and Uppwer Midwest United States or Eastern and Northern Central U.S

How To Get Rid of Ticks Outside

1. Cut vegetation

To keep ticks away, make sure to trim vegetation around your home regularly.

Tall blades of grass are an ideal shelter for ticks. They provide shade, as well as a good source of moisture. Also, ticks use grass blades to climb onto their host, a process also known as “questing.”

Ticks also hide in overgrown shrubs, plants, or flowers. Make sure to keep your yard and your garden well maintained to avoid attracting ticks.

A well trimmed vegetation is less appealing to ticks in terms of shelter as they provide less shade and moisture.

2. Maintain Your Yard

Ticks tend to live in decaying organic matter. They use decaying wood and debris for shade, shelter, and moisture. They also commonly hide withing overground vegetation.

To minimize ticks around your property, pick up fallen branches, rotten wood, decaying fruit, and organic material in your yard.

Doing so will reduce the amount of shade and moisture ticks can thrive on.

You also want to reduce any potential areas that trap moisture. A good area to check is your water hose spout. This area typically has grass with plenty of moisture.

You also want cut your grass regularly to make it harder for ticks to hide in your grass. Likewise you should maintain any shrubs, bushes, flowers, and weeds. Keeping them well maintained will make it harder for ticks to hide and easier for you to identify them.

3. Create A Border Around Your Yard

Another effective way to get rid of fleas is to create a border around your yard. The border should be around three feet wide. I recommend you make this border along your fence.

The border should be a space between your fence and your grass that is a different surface. I recommend using pea gravel or natural wood chip mulch.

These are effective barriers that will allow prevent ticks from traveling across the barrier. Even if there are ticks in the the areas surrounding your yard this barrier will help keep them out.

For added protection you can apply a residual insecticide to the border. Even if any ticks attempt to cross the border and succeed they will eventually die.

4. Tick tubes

Tick tubes are cotton filled with insecticides designed to kill ticks.

The idea is for mice to find these tubes and use them to bed their nests. While tick tubes are harmless to mice, they are dealy for any ticks feeding on the mice.

Tick tubes are a proven method to kill ticks populations. Besides being effective, they are also harmless to humans, pets, and the environment.

You can either purchase tick tubes or create one yourself.

For application, place the tubes around your yard, where mice can easily find them.

5. Insecticide Barrier Protection

Insecticides such as Permethrin are widely used for treating various pests, including ticks.

Permethrin, in particular, is often recommended as it is safe for people and pets. You can also use this insecticide around food and livestock.

The only downside with Permethrin is that it will likely kill other beneficial insects on your property.

For application, I recommend using a pressurized sprayer. Doing so will allow you to cover critical areas with ease.

Begin with spraying your property’s perimeter. Next, spread around your foundation and doorframes. Next, spray the perimeter of your yard, creating a barrier.

Finally, target small areas such as under trees, bushes, and rocks.

6. Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock.

While diatomaceous earth is safe for humans and pets, it kills insects by destroying their exoskeletons. And it is a very effective natural alternative for eliminating ticks.

To use DE against moths, I recommend combining the powder with water to create a “DE slurry.”

Keep in mind that DE is only effective when dry. So, you will have to wait until it dries and settles before it works.

DE slurry is ideal to use outdoors because it allows for easy application in larger areas.

DE slurry also allows you to apply the insecticide on areas that are difficult to reach.

You want to spray the solution anywhere ticks are hiding. For ticks you want to target our grass, bushes, gardens, around trees, and on your border.

For the DE slurry to remain effective it must remain dry after application. If the surface is wet after application you will need to reapply the DE slurry.

This method does result in slower deaths, but it’s highly effective if the area remains dry for extended periods.

DE is very effective if you live in dry climates that don’t experience much rain or activity.

Remember, when applying this to your yard, it will inadvertently kill other small insects with exoskeletons as well.

One huge benefit is that DE is non-toxic. It’s safe to use around humans, children, and in gardens without posing any serious dangers.

7. Get Rid Rodent Issues

Another way to eliminate ticks from your home is to get rid of rodents. Ticks use rodents as hosts. They feed on squirrels, voles, shrews, and mice.

More importantly, the relationship between ticks and rodents allows for the spread of Lyme disease.

In particular, the amount of white-footed mice estimated to carry Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, is between 40% – 90%.

If you have both rodents and tick infestation, you must work to eliminate their population. You can do this via traps and bait. You can also minimize rodents by eliminating their access to food and water on your property.

8. Make your home less appealing to Deer

Deer are an excellent host for ticks. Deer allow ticks to have enough food to lay between 1500-2000 eggs.

Making your home less appealing to deer goes a long way in controlling the tick population in your property.

You can minimize deer visiting by removing their access to food and water on your property.

You can also build a fence around your home to make sure they stay out. 

Another thing you can do is to install plants that repel them.

You can also use motion activated sprinkler systems. Having a dog guarding your yard also discourages deer from getting close.

9. Care for Your Pets

If your yard is infested with ticks, take the necessary action to protect your pets.

Not only can your fur baby suffer from tick bites, but they can also get sick from tick-borne diseases.

Ticks can transmit Lyme disease to your dogs and your family. So make sure to take the necessary steps to protect your home.

You can make your dogs wear tick collars. Or you can spray them with tick repellants. Ask your vet for pest control recommendations.

10. Install plants that repel ticks

Plants are another natural way to keep ticks away. Here’s a list of plants that are proven to repel ticks effectively. 

  1. Turmeric
  2. Lavender
  3. Garlic
  4. Mandarin
  5. Eucalyptus
  6. Peppermint
  7. Cloves
  8. Lily of the valley
  9. Rosemary
  10. Spearmint
  11. Basil
  12. Neem Tree
  13. Oregano
  14. Tea tree
  15. Lemon grass
  16. Chamomile

For more information, check out our article here: 25 Plants That Repel Ticks

11. Protect Yourself

Wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and shoes when spending time outdoors. Or consider wearing an insect repellant for protection. 

Make sure to perform a tick check after working in the yard or spending time outdoors.  

If a tick bites you, remove the tick immediately and wash the area of the bite and your hands with soap or hand sanitizer. 

If you have been bitten by a tick you want to monitor your health for any symptoms such as:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint swelling and pain 

If you have any of the following symptoms you should reach out to a medical professional. 

12. Call in The Professionals

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty you can reach out to your local professionals. Most pest control companies will treat your home for ticks.

Remember that most pest control companies will eliminate ticks by applying chemical insecticides around your home.

If you are looking for a natural alternative you should ask the pest control companies if they offer this options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do Ticks Bite Humans?

Yes. The most common ticks that bite humans are Blacklegged (Deer) Ticks, Lone Star Ticks, and Dog Ticks.

Ticks bite to extract and feed on blood. Their bites are usually painless and don’t itch at all.

Unlike bed bugs, ticks stay attached to their host for several days before they release their grip.

Tick bites typically leave red welts on the skin with some residual redness around the bite mark.

Which Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

The Blacklegged Tick, a.k.a the Deer Tick, is the only species of tick that can carry and transmit Lyme disease.

These ticks are most common in the east coast ranging from Connecticut to Louisiana. They are also prevalent on the western costal states and as far west as Utah.

Other tick species such as the American dog tick, brown dog tick, and the lone star ticks are not known to carry diseases.

Can Ticks transmit diseases?

Yes, some species of ticks transmit diseases.

Deer ticks, in particular, are known to carry germs that can cause Lyme disease. Wood ticks carry and spread the Rocky Mountain fever.

Other diseases ticks can carry are:

  • Tickborne Relapsing
  • Fever
  • Tularemia
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Borrelia miyamotoi Disease
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Heartland and
  • Bourbon Virus Diseases
  • Powassan Virus Disease
  • Rickettsia parkeri
  • Rickettsiosis

When are ticks most active?

Ticks become more active as the temperature rises. The peak season is generally between April and September. Nymphs and the spread of Lyme disease generally peak between May and July.

Where do ticks typically hide?

Ticks hide in thick vegetation such as tall grass and shrubs.

Tall blades of grass are an ideal shelter for ticks. They provide shade, as well as a good source of moisture. Also, ticks use grass blades to climb onto their host, a process also known as “questing.”

As such, ticks love un-mowed lawns and overgrown vegetation.

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