Ticks in the garden: how to get rid of them without pesticides?

The tick is happy to hide in tall grass and heaps of leaves. (©cherokee4 / AdobeStock)

Joint research program launched in 2017 Quote INRAE ​​(National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment) quickly led to the following observation: a quarter to a third of participants reported that they had been bitten by ticks in their garden.

Therefore, from now on, you will need to be wary of these animals at home, and not only while walking through the forest!

Here are some tips on how to avoid being bitten by these ticks, which cause Lyme disease, among other things.

close the garden

“Ticks move little on their own, but thanks to animals what they feed on: domestic animals, as well as birds and small rodents,” lists Jonas Duran, a researcher from Inrae.

They can also be worn by larger mammals such as deer. If your garden is adjacent to a forest and these animals have to cross it, it is recommended to install a barrier to prevent passage.

Mow lawn

Mowed grass has fewer ticks. But they like to nest on tall grass borders, near hedges or compost, under piles of branches or fruit treesin ferns and in all places that attract rodents.

The ideal would be to set aside areas that are regularly checked and mowed where you can go while keeping other wilder areas for nature because it is still important to have places for biodiversity and pollinating insects in his garden, even if there are more the risk of finding ticks there.

Jonas DuranExplorer in Inrae

Install mulch

This is a proven technique. Around wet and wild places that like to tick, lay one meter wide strips of sand, gravel or bark on the ground to form natural barrier. This dry mulch will prevent the passage of animals and therefore the movement of ticks.

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Adopt chicks

The solution may be to release chickens in the garden, because these chickens are very fond of ticks. “There are others insectivorous animalssuch as lizards, shrews or tits, but they are often a food source for ticks rather than predators.”

Tick ​​larvae can also be attacked by fungi, nematode worms, or parasitic wasps, but although these three methods have been studied, they have not yielded conclusive results.

Scatter nettle manure

Although its effectiveness has not been scientifically proven, nettle manure is often used by gardeners. Once aromatic plants such as lavender, basil, thyme, or even geranium. “The idea for using fragrant plants comes from the fact that most mites are blind and therefore identify themselves using olfactory cues.”

Scent yourself with essential oils

To protect themselves, some essential oils have repulsive effect ; this is especially true of citriodiol, a molecule found in lemon eucalyptus.

spotted mites

“The sooner we remove the tick, the less risk it will pass on to us,” the researcher concludes.

Therefore, it is recommended take a good look at yourself and decontaminating children and pets when they return from the garden. And, of course, wear covering clothes.

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