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Watch out for Ticks this summer: How to keep your yard free of pests

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With warmer weather comes the risk of ticks in your yard, especially if you have deer or bird feeders. Joellen Lampman from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell warns that deer and bird feeders can attract ticks.


Bird feeders often bring in squirrels and mice, which are favorite hosts for ticks. To reduce the risk, consider moving wood piles inside and creating a three-foot barrier of mulch between your lawn and any wooded areas. Ticks thrive in shady, humid spots, such as along stone walls and woodland edges.

Pet owners should be extra cautious, as dogs can bring ticks into the home, increasing the risk of Lyme disease. Lampman suggests using repellents like DEET, Picaridin, IR 35-35, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. For long-lasting protection, consider permethrin-treated clothing.

To check for ticks in your yard, drag a white cloth or sheet tied to a stick across the grass. When you come inside, always perform a tick check, focusing on armpits, knees, and behind the ears. If you find a tick, remove it with tweezers and send it for testing.