After a winter spent mostly inside, the family can’t wait to hit the great outdoors with the return of spring. The bad news is that spring means tick season. The female American dog tick, for example, wakes from her winter slumber to lay up to 4 thousand eggs. Each larva hatched from them clings to nearby vegetation, where you or your pets could easily dislodge it, becoming a host at risk of Rocky Mountain spotted fever or tularemia (a nasty bacterial infection). Our tips can keep your tick encounters to a minimum with safe tick control methods.

Eliminate or Avoid Tick Habitat

Ticks love tall grass, shrubbery and wooded areas with shade and leaves to conceal them. Pruning shears and a rake are essential for maintaining a tick-free yard. Remove low-hanging branches and overgrown brush. Keep wood piles well away from the areas your family and pets spend time in.

Dress Protectively

Successful safe tick control requires everyone to dress carefully before entering a tick-friendly habitat. This means wearing a long-sleeved tops and long pants, both with close-fitting cuffs, and long socks with heavy shoes. Avoid dark colors; they make great tick camouflage.

Pet Protection

The only sure way to protect the family pets is to keep them out of tick territory. Prefer to let them roam free? Before turning them loose, brush them well to remove loose hair and sprinkle their fur lightly with non-toxic diatomaceous earth powder. It pierces the ticks’ protective outer shells so they become dehydrated and die.

When Ticks Take Over

If your tick problem is severe enough to require an immediate solution, consider one of the eco-friendly yard sprays. Made from all-natural ingredients such as essential oils and plant-based phenylester propionate, they control tick populations for up to two months. One such product is Tick Killz, formulated with cedar and peppermint oils. While the spray in effect, you’ll have time to practice the other safe tick control measures and solve your problem for good!