Loudoun County has seen the highest increase in cases of Lyme disease this year, across the state of Virginia. Protect yourself and your family from tick bites and the chance of contracting Lyme disease by following these simple property management practices:
1. Mow your lawn regularly. Ticks like to hide in tall grass and wait to latch on to a host.
2. Remove leaf debris and keep garden beds clean and dry.
3. Prune shrubs and bushes so they aren’t extending into walk areas where people or pets will brush up against them.
4. Keep ground cover to a minimum, as ticks like to hide there.
5. Avoid shady areas; ticks like the shade because they can’t tolerate heat.
6. Create a gravel or wood chip barrier around your property. These areas will be hot and dry making navigation difficult for the tick.
7. Keep pets out of wooded areas as much as possible.
8. Try to keep deer out of the yard as they are the preferred host of deer ticks.
9. Grow plants with a strong odor or essential oil such as lavender, lemon balm, or marigolds.
10. If you have a wood pile, keep it neat and in a sunny area. Remember, moist wood and shade is a tick magnet.
11. Hire a professional applicator such as Tick Ranger® to apply a natural tick repellent to your property.