In our San Francisco service area, the three most common tick species we see are the Western black-legged tick, American dog tick, and the Pacific Coast tick. All of these species have the ability to spread diseases to humans. This makes them a concern for San Francisco residents. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Tularemia are no fun to get. Fortunately, not every tick in your yard is infested with the organisms that cause these diseases. The problem is that you don’t know which are and which aren’t. So, it is best to do what you can to reduce all the ticks in your yard. We have a few tips to help you do that.
Outdoor Pet Recreation
If you have a dog that goes outside, it is a good idea to create a fenced-in area for your dog. This can help to reduce exposure to ticks. A fenced-in space will have fewer ticks because it will be difficult for wildlife to get into this space, and your pet will be prevented from exploring the vegetation on your property and accidentally picking up ticks.
Outdoor Human Recreation
If you spend time outside, it is smart to use wood chips and crushed stone to create borders around your outdoor recreation areas. Ticks don’t like to crawl across these materials. This can stop ticks from getting on you while you enjoy a cookout, and keep them off your kids as they play on playground equipment in your yard.
Large Or Mid-Sized Animal Management
Ticks don’t cover a lot of distance on their own. They take animals as hosts. Wildlife brings ticks into your yard and spreads them around. You can deter this by deterring those animals. Here are a few tips for deterring large or mid-sized animals.
- Keep all trash contained inside covered receptacles and secure your receptacles so they cannot be knocked over.
- Use fencing to keep animals away from food sources, such as berry bushes or gardens.
- If you have trees that bear fruit, try to stay on top of fruit cleanup.
- Use fencing material to keep animals from creating dens underneath exterior structures.
Small Animal Management
When ticks hatch, they are tiny, six-legged critters. These little critters are called seed ticks. Hosts preferred by seed ticks are small animals, such as mice and rats. If a rodent brings ticks into your yard, they can also bring them into your home. Once inside, seed ticks mature and fall off. This can present a disease threat. So it is particularly important to make your yard less inviting to mice and rats.
- Remove lawn clutter. Mice and rats hide underneath objects. They are especially attracted to piles of wood, leaves, sticks, stone, and other organic material.
- Keep your grass and bushes trimmed and remove weeds from your landscaping to make it difficult for rodents to find hiding places.
- If you have a dog, stay on top of droppings cleanup. Urban mice and rats can take to feeding on the feces of domesticated animals. It isn’t a preferred food source, but it will do in a pinch.
- Do a detailed inspection of your exterior and use a caulking gun and expanding foam to fill in gaps and holes rodents can use to get in. If you see chew marks on wood, consider bolstering your defenses by applying metal flashing.
Feathery Animal Management
When birds come into your yard, they can drop ticks near your home. While there isn’t much you can do about this, you can refrain from feeding them near your home. This will help to reduce ticks in your perimeter. If you have bird feeders, consider putting them at least 20 feet away. If you have issues with birds rooting on your roof or roofline, more drastic measures may be needed, such as the installation of bird spikes and other bird deterrents.
You Don’t Have To Battle Ticks Alone
If you’re having issues with ticks in your San Francisco yard, you don’t have to deal with them on your own. The team here at Smith’s Pest Management is uniquely equipped to handle tick problems. We started as gopher and wildlife management professionals and branched into other pest control disciplines. When we tackle your tick problems, you get expert wildlife control advice and management as well as industry-leading tick treatments. Together, these will stop those ticks in their tracks.
Do You Have Questions?
If so, we’d be happy to answer them. We support San Francisco residents with advanced wildlife and general pest solutions. We’d be happy to guide you in selecting the right pest control solution for your property and your family. Reach out to us today. We’re here to help.