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The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance reports that as many as three-quarters of all Lyme Disease cases are caused by tick bites picked up near the house. Here are some landscaping tips to help keep those little bloodsuckers at bay.
Listen to BOB VILA ON TICK-SCAPING or read the text below:
• Clear your property of leaves and other debris, which can house not only ticks, but also the furry creatures that host them.
• Keep bird feeders and compost piles away from the house, and cover garbage cans tightly to keep away tick-carrying birds and rodents.
• Ticks thrive in humid, dense vegetation, so keep your grass short and open to sunlight. Avoid dense ground covers like ivy, and eliminate brushy areas.
• Create buffer zones by laying three-foot-wide gravel perimeters around walls, gardens, and woodlots.
• Place swing sets and play areas in full sun, on wood-chip beds, at least 10 feet from wooded environments.
• Cut down on garden moisture by choosing xeriscape plants like aloe vera and stonecrop sedum, which thrive in dry, tick-repellent environments.
• The less lawn, the fewer ticks, so create and regularly use lawn-free areas, like patios and decks.
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.