Tickproof your garden without spraying pesticides

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Last year, the backyard played a very important role for many of us.In the age of social distance, the yard Outdoor oasisAnd even now, there are no signs that the trend is slowing down.With increasing demand Nationwide lack of timber It is difficult to get wood to build the deck.

To be safe in the garden this spring and summer, it is important to avoid exposure to mites. Mites can carry about 12 common diseases. For the past few years Worst record of ticksAnd not only in Tohoku. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ticks that carry at least one disease have been found in all 48 states in the continental United States.

Cornell University’s lab has identified 26 species of ticks on the East Coast alone. This is a much higher number than the deer ticks that most people associate with Lyme disease.

With a little work, such as cutting the lawn more often, you can significantly reduce your garden’s exposure to insects.

“Tick control is primarily about wildlife,” says Jody Ganglov Kaufmann, coordinator of the Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University, New York. “If you have an open garden where animals can enter, you will almost certainly have ticks.”

How to know for sure? Performs what is called a tick drag. Cut a 5-inch square cloth swatch and tie it to an 18-inch long pole or stick. Hold the pole and drag the cloth along the tall grass and weeds, especially near the edge of the lawn forest. Tick ​​usually transfers itself to the swatch.

If you find them on the fabric, you need to deal with the problem now and enjoy the garden safely. Also, even if you can’t find ticks, you can still benefit from active action. To work effectively, follow these five steps:

1. Shorten the grass

“The type of black-footed mite that carries Lyme disease does not like the dry, hot environment,” says Ganglov Kaufmann. The taller the grass, the cooler the environment. The tall blade casts shadows and creates shade. So in areas with lots of ticks, it’s a bad idea to keep the lawn a little hairy.

Ganglov Kaufman says it’s okay Allow the grass to reach 4-4½ inches. Trim to approximately 3 inches for each cut, as recommended by Consumer Reports. That strategy promotes healthy growth. Cutting the lawn to 1-2 inches causes the lawn to panic, grow too fast, become taller, and weaken the root structure. The trick is to pay attention to mowing and prevent the grass from growing to a height of 5 or 6 inches.

If you miss a week and the grass grows high, we recommend using a bagging attachment. Tractor or lawn mowerLeaving those long lawn cutouts can create the perfect environment for mites.

2. Make a multi-moat

Many mite varieties, including black-legged varieties that permeate lime, prefer densely forested covers to open lawns. This can make the wooded area adjacent to your property a hotbed for mites. Adding a 3-foot wide mulch protective barrier around the garden serves two purposes.

First, it creates a dry, sometimes hot physical barrier that ticks cannot tolerate. Second, this visually reminds everyone in your family to be especially careful when crossing boundaries.

The border requires a mulch made from widely dried wood chips or bark rather than a damp shredded variety that accurately creates the cold, moist conditions that ticks prefer.

3. Mow tall grass and weeds

“Tick loves to climb the tops of tall grass leaves and look for opportunities to explore, which means it’s a chance to catch animals such as deer and humans,” says Ganglov Kaufmann.

By keeping grass and weeds away String trimmerMinimize these possibilities and make it more difficult for mites to attach to you or your family or to ride a dog around your premises.

4. Eliminate tick habitat

CR has long recommended mulching lawn mowing when mowing. This is because these cutouts can be broken down to release nitrogen into the soil, nourish the garden and reduce the amount of fertilizer used by about 20%.

And in many cases it’s okay, or even better. Leave fallen leaves Nourish the lawn for the same reason. However, if you live in an area with a large population of ticks, another approach may help.

By covering it with grass Blow the leaves Stacking in the mountains for collection can keep your garden clean and reduce tick-friendly areas. If possible, you’ll want to recycle the leaves and cut grass throughout the town, or put compost far away from your home.

Instead of rotting in landfills, the leaves and cutouts can be naturally decomposed and the resulting compost can be used to feed or fertilize the plants in the garden.

5. Consider a targeted approach

If you follow the four steps above, your garden will keep mites away. But if you want to significantly reduce the number of mites on your property, you need to focus on how to kill them.

Many people choose to spray the pesticide throughout the garden, but this is an ineffective and potentially dangerous method, according to CR experts.

“Spraying in the garden creates a false sense of security,” explains Dr. Michael Hansen, Senior Scientist at Consumer Reports. “Instead, consider a product that treats mouse and deer fur with a small amount of acaricide.”

Why target mice and deer instead of the garden? “Mice play an important role in the Lyme disease transmission cycle,” said Laura Goodman, senior researcher at Cornell University’s Department of Artificial Medicine and Diagnostic Science. I am. If you can stop the creatures from sending mites, you can reduce the number of mites in and around your garden.

“Tick tube” is one of the products we have encountered. They are basically cardboard tubes filled with cotton treated with permethrin, a chemical that kills mites. Mice collect cotton and bring it back to their nests. Permethrin binds to fur oil and kills mites that try to attach without harming mice.

Is Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (PDF) found that such a system resulted in a statistically significant reduction in tick levels after several years of use.And for about $ 4 per tube, they’re cheaper than Tick ​​feeding box..

Bonus: Tickproof Yourself

Wear long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, socks, and toeless shoes when working in the yard.use Insect repellentThe best of our tests provide more than 8 hours of tick protection.

“And check for ticks as soon as you get back in the room at any time of the year,” says Goodman.

If you eat a bite, Goodman will advise Get rid of mites correctlyCheck the state health department website for more information on ticks in your area.Especially in Connecticut, where the town of Old Lyme, where the disease was first reported, is located. Comprehensive guide to ticks (PDF).

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Consumer Reports is an independent non-profit organization that works with consumers to create a fairer, safer and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services and does not accept advertisements. Copyright © 2021, Consumer Reports, Inc.

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