How to Kill Massive Deer Tick Populations

A beautiful day outdoors can be spoiled by the presence of ticks, including deer ticks. Just one can turn a perfect day into a nightmare if it transmits one of several tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease. If your landscape is ridden with deer ticks, wear protective clothing and fight back. You can win the battle. Using an insecticide is necessary to kill the present deer tick population. Then incorporate several measures to keep the area tick-free.

Backyard with a child's sandbox and toys.
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You can create a deer tick-free oasis in your yard.

Step 1

Mow the lawn, and collect the grass clippings with a rake. Cut and thin out overgrown vegetation that touches the ground by using sterilized pruning shears. Discard or compost the grass clippings as well as leaves and cuttings. Insecticide applications are more effective if the insecticide's chemicals can touch all the vegetation growing at ground level, where deer ticks hang out.

Step 2

Spray a ready-to-use insecticide with a label that states it kills deer ticks. Perform this task in spring, spraying grass, other plants and branches that are close to the ground until they are wet. An insecticide that contains permethrin is effective against ticks and is readily available at garden centers.

Step 3

Spread a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of mulch, such as wood chips or gravel, to create a 3-foot wide barrier between your yard and a woods or other unmaintained area. Remove weeds, prune overgrown vegetation and rake leaves and other garden debris that grow near that barrier, and continue to do so on a regular basis. Discourage pests that carry deer ticks. For example, move wood and other junk piles outside the barrier to keep mice at bay.

Step 4

Reapply the insecticide along the perimeter of the deer tick-free area in fall. In subsequent years, apply the insecticide each spring and fall for continual deer tick control. Continue to keep the areas near the barrier clean.