If like me you have a garden. You will have met the evil creature called The Tick. Well, they have ventured out of there sleeping dens early this year. It is time to be super vigilant to protect yourself and your garden from these parasites. It is well know how horrible and dangerous a tick can be. It is important to do all you can to keep your family safe from this bloodsucker.
As I write this my Dog Mylo has brought you one in to see. They are tiny and hard to stop. But luckily he is white. Is it me or do you start to itch as you read this?
Let's start with some common misconceptions.
1. There is only one type of tick. No there are different types of these blood-sucking bugs. Most common are deer ticks, which have a red body before they feed and grey-blue when full of blood.
2. All ticks have Lymes disease. Not all ticks carry disease. But they can carry Lymes disease, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rickettsiosis.
3. If you get a tick bite you need to contact your local doctor. This is not true unless you see a red ring around the bite Or the bite becomes infected.
4. Ticks will kill your garden. Again not true. They have been in our gardens for hundreds of years and caused no real issues to your plants.
5. You don't get ticks in urban areas. Sorry, but my first tick was in the middle of Edinburgh. if there is a garden or grass there are ticks. So be careful.
Now we have addressed the misconceptions. Let's talk about how to keep our gardens Tick free.
First, you need to have good garden maintenance. Ticks love an unruly garden and this is where getting your green fingers out and doing your gardening is essential. First, check your Gardening kit. If you are in need of any new items. Why not check out garden Tool Box they will give you reviews of all the best gardening items from mowers to garden furniture. Make sure you have the best tools for the job. It is important to have a working and well-maintained gardening tools. You can't get the job done without it.
Keep your grass short. Ticks love long grass. They use it to climb on to you or your pets to get the blood supply they need. This also goes with bushes and plants. Anywhere they can climb they get an advantage. Especially take care of your borders.
Plant a deterrent
Ticks hate the following plants. So its time to get them in your garden.
I have already planted Lemon balm and peppermint along all my borders. To help to deter the ticks. Remember to check if the plants are ok in your garden. Some plants are poisonous to dogs and cats so bear that in mind.
Ticks hate a barrier. If you have any stone paths or walls this is a great deterrent for them. They are not the best at crawling over this type of terrain.
If you have a wood pile make sure you stake it nicely. I know what you are thinking but believe me, a nicely stacked woodpile will prevent the wood from becoming wet and soggy. Ticks thrive in wet and boggy place and this goes with wood piles too.
One of the best ways to get rid of ticks is to think about getting a tick eater. Yes, the chicken is the natural predator of the tick. They love to eat the little critters. I know this is not for everyone. But it is one of the best ways to keep them away from your garden. Plus the bonus of new family members and fresh eggs?
There is also the option of some small birds. Like robins. If you have a robin in your garden you will have fewer ticks as they are a tasty treat to robins. So why not pop up a birdbath or hanging the bird feeder. Unforatly some bird carry ticks so this one is not foolproof.
When you are out side
Don't lie on the ground. I know in the summer it's nice to be outside and the allure of lying out in the sun is just too good not to but don't lie on the ground. Why not by a hammock? This will keep you elevated from the ground giving the ticks less of a chance to get to you.
Ok, We have talked about how to prevent the little bug but what if you find on on you or your dog.
First, don't panic. all you need is a pair of tweezers. You can buy tick pulling tool but in my experience, they are not as effective. Clean the area with disinfectant. Next place your tweezer as close to your skin as possible it is important to get all the tick out in a clean sweep. Pull firm and hard but not fast. This will cleanly remove the tick. Now it is time to disinfect the bite and tweeter. Keep an eye on the bite if it becomes infected contact your GP or if you can see a visible red ring about the bite contact your doctor.
Hope this has helped you protect your garden from ticks.