Ticks are ectoparasites that are common throughout most of the inhabited regions of the world. Feeding on the blood of mammals and part of the arachnid family of insects, ticks hide in long grass, underbrush and wooded areas, often coming into contact with and infesting household pets such as cats and dogs.
Many pets often bring tick infestations into the home from the backyard, allowing these irritating and dangerous insects to lay eggs in carpet, furniture and bedding.
Unlike fleas, which are uncommon in humans, ticks present risk to both humans and animals. Ticks bury their heads under the skin of their hosts and feed on their blood, potentially infesting them with dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease.
This bacteria infection has a wide range of deleterious symptoms and can even cause serious health disorders such as kidney failure or cognitive dysfunction.
If ticks are infesting your backyard, there is unfortunately no surefire way to completely remove them short of destroying all of the foliage and plants in your garden and leaving it barren.
Chemical pesticides are able to deter ticks from nesting in your garden but carry potential health risks from the powerful poisons used in their formulas. One substance, however, offers a viable and effective alternative to these dangerous toxins.
Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is a completely natural, chemical and poison free substance that is mined from the fossilized remains of ancient aquatic plant life. Consisting primarily of inert silica powder, diatomaceous earth is easy to apply, toxin free, biodegradable and extremely effective in keeping ticks out of your garden.
In this article we’ll outline the best method of treating your garden for ticks with diatomaceous earth.
What You’ll Need
- Pest Control Grade Diatomaceous Earth
- A Diatomaceous Earth Applicator
- Garden Rake
- A Shovel or Spade
- Gravel or Wood Chips
Step 1: Identify Tick Infested Areas
Ticks typically congregate in areas that harbor mammals, such as your pets, mice or rats. Begin by marking out the areas in which these animals may linger, such as wood piles, beneath patios or around debris. Other areas include sheds, garages, barns, or piles of scrap material. Mark out any overgrowth, underbrush or long grass.
Step 2: Remove Tick Nesting Areas & Create a Tick Barrier
Once you’ve marked out the most likely areas for tick activity, clean out these areas. Restack wood, sweep out sheds and barns, and remove underbrush and debris. In some states it’s possible to burn garden or yard debris, but check with your local authorities before proceeding. Using a rake, clean out leaf litter and other garden debris.
The Center for Disease Control recommends creating a 3ft wide barrier between lawns and wooded areas with a buffer of gravel or wood chips to prevent tick migration. Using a spade, dig out a shallow trench 2-3 inches deep along the boundary of any wooded regions along the edge of your property and fill it with wood chips or gravel.
Mowing your lawn frequently, raking debris and keeping play equipment, patio furniture and wood piles at least 8 ft away from wooded areas will also help prevent tick migration into your yard.
Step 3: Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Once you’ve cleaned any wood, debris or scrap and secured your yard, the next step is to apply diatomaceous earth. Spread diatomaceous earth in a fine layer around the edge of your home and throughout the garden. Creating a barrier of diatomaceous earth along any property line that borders with wooded regions will also help to prevent tick infestation.
When ticks cross this barrier, the fine silica particles that make up the diatomaceous earth will bind to their exoskeleton and absorb the oils and moisture from within their bodies, fatally dehydrating them.
A diatomaceous earth applicator will make this process easier and less time consuming. For information on the best applicator for this job, take a look at our article on the Top 3 Diatomaceous Earth Applicators.
Step 4: Repeat
The diatomaceous earth will need to stay in place to remain effective, so be sure to reapply it if rain or strong winds disturb it. Repeat the above process once a month to keep ticks away from your home permanently.
Diatomaceous Earth Information Guide:
We have a wide variety of food grade diatomaceous earth resources for you look through to make your life a little easier and chemical-free. Please check out the other valuable resources and versatile application uses for silica-rich diatomaceous earth below:
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- Silica Supplements Guide
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- Silica Water
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Please reach out regarding any information above. In the future, more share-worthy useful enhancements, experiences and effects of diatomaceous earth will be added as the benefits continue to pile up. Always welcome for more insight and awareness, click the button to see the most recommended beautifully blended product that combines both high quality food grade diatomaceous earth powder and pure organic silica together in one formula.