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Tick Control Options in New Jersey

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 by Bill Cowley

New Jersey Homeowners are getting serious about ticks, and rightfully so. Tick bites from an infected tick have potentially dangerous consequences, including contracting Lyme disease, Powassan disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia and more. Living in New Jersey puts us at increased risk. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2012 95% of Lyme disease cases were reported from 13 states, and New Jersey is one of them.

Many homeowners have been offered a tick control strategy by their landscaper or local lawn and garden center that suggests a full, broadcast treatment of their lawn to properly control tick populations. However, some homeowners simply don’t like the idea of their entire lawn being treated with a pesticide. For some the concern is environmental, while others may have children and/or pets using the lawn regularly. Fortunately a broadcast approach is not necessary; there are strategic and targeted approaches to tick control.

Understanding the biology and preferences of ticks proves why a complete lawn treatment to knockdown ticks is not only unnecessary but also ineffective. Ticks thrive in heavy vegetation in areas that are moist and dark. A well-manicured, low cut lawn that gets plenty of sunshine is not an ideal habitat for ticks and therefore is not necessary to treat. Instead, look for a tick control program that takes an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. IPM calls for the judicious use of pesticides, spraying only where and when necessary.

To minimize the use of pesticides but still effectively control ticks look for a program that:

  1. Begins with habitat modification. Keep your lawn well-manicured, trim back overgrown trees, shrubs, and grown cover and ensure you trim even those high areas of grass around the outskirts of your lawn.
  2. Identify those areas that are attractive to ticks but that you cannot modify and have those treated. If you have shady, damp and high areas of vegetation in certain areas or around the perimeter of your lawn those are the areas that need to be treated with a low impact tick treatment.       
  3. Time your treatments properly and you can knock down ticks at different stages of their life cycle, minimizing the risk of you and your family coming into contact with a tick in your own backyard.

Learn more about Cowley’s approach to tick control or for additional recommendations for controlling ticks on your property in Manalapan, NJ or the surrounding areas.