Lyme disease has become something of an epidemic here in Southern Vermont, and it not only effects our health, but the enjoyment of our yards and landscapes. 75% of lyme cases in the Northeast are contracted around the home. But lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and other tick borne diseases are more preventable than you might think.
Many people don’t realize that there are ways to greatly reduce tick populations in your landscape. Reducing brushy areas and wood piles, keeping play areas away from woods’ edges, and laying down wood chip barriers can all be used to make your yard less habitable for ticks. Deer exclusion strategies and mouse treatment boxes can reduce tick migration into your yard. Perhaps the most efficient and effective method is to treat the perimeter of your yard to create a tick safe zone where you spend most of your time. All About Trees can visit your property, assess where ticks are in your yard, consult with you about solutions and implement strategies to reduce tick populations.
Proven Biological Control for Ticks
Perimeter treatments for ticks have usually used synthetic insecticides, but there is an alternative to those chemicals. A naturally occurring soil fungus that kills ticks on contact has been shown in independent university studies to rival synthetic chemicals in efficacy. Spores of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae are sprayed around the edges of a yard where ticks are known to dwell. The fungus infects the tick and kills it in 3-5 days. Treatments are most efficient when they target tick nymphs in June, July and August. In most cases three treatments a year are recommended. Pricing varies based on the size of the yard being treated. Call or email for a free quote.
Want to learn more? The Vermont Department of Health has a useful webpage entitled: Landscaping to Control Ticks. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has developed a thorough and authoritative reference called the Tick Management Handbook. A detailed look at what works and what doesn’t work in alternative techniques was published in the journal Bioscience in 2006. It concludes that “the most promising method of biocontrol is the targeted use of fungal pathogens” like Metarhizium anisopliae. Kirby C. Stafford III, Ph.D conducted field research on Metarhizium and showed its efficacy in the Journal of Medical Entomology in 2010.
Don’t let ticks keep you from relaxing around your home. Call or email Bob at All About Trees for more information about how to protect your yard and your family from ticks and the diseases they carry.