• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Concerns about ticks  RSS feed

 
Janina Goerrissen
Posts: 6
Location: Germany, hardiness zone 7a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi there,

we have inherited a very weedy (mostly dandelions and clover) lawn from the previous owner of our house, and in spring we didn't have a mower yet, so everything got pretty high (about 40 cm) and we could basically see the ticks crawling onto us after 5 minutes on the lawn... Se we're a bit concerned about ticks living in our lawn. Anyway, by now we do have a mower, we've been mowing quite short and have not had any ticks since (no that's a lie, I did get one about 2 weeks ago, but not from the lawn), but the grass does not look very happy, even though it's been raining a lot, so it's certainly not too dry. But it sure has a hard time growing back after it's been mowed so shortly, the soil is compacted (already was) and it really really needs organic matter.

I'd like to try mowing the grass higher and leave the clippings as mulch so the grass will be healthier, but my husband does not want to leave the clippings because ticks could turn them into a beautiful hiding place.
My idea was to try to mow higher, and then maybe at least every 2 months leave the grass clippings, and twice a year or so add a nice layer of compost. Obviously never giving back any nutrients to the soil is not an option, but I a) don't know if that will work nor b) how that would affect the tick population.

So maybe there's someone out here with similar problems and experiences, and maybe possible solutions.

Thanks a bunch in advance,
Janina
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
89
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Those clippings would do justice to a compost heap, get it good and hot, making the heap unsuitable for ticks. The resulting compost would then service the yard.

Mowing low and gathering the clippings will let in the sunlight and help reduce moisture across the lawn. If this is all you did it would greatly reduce the tick population. Water infrequently but deeply to keep the moisture level down. The addition of small amounts of organic matter, such as a half inch layer of compost, then raking it in, will improve water retention in the soil as well as help maintain a neutral pH. You might consider investing the 6 bucks in a pH test kit and adding lime if needed.
 
Janina Goerrissen
Posts: 6
Location: Germany, hardiness zone 7a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yup, that's sort of what I had thought. Clippings to the compost, and a couple of times a year give that compost back to the lawn. I'll see if I can get a pH test kit next time I go to the hardware/gardening store.
For now, watering hasn't been necessary at all, rain has been pretty regular this summer, and the adjacent land to our lawn is a slope leading down to it, so yeah, I guess watering will be necessary on few occasions anyway.

Damn those ticks, I'll be on antibiotics now for the next 10 days because the skin around the tick bite from 2 weeks ago is still a bit red. So, just in case it's lyme disease, I have to pump my body with heavy medication. Not fun.
 
Izzy Vale
Posts: 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Putting sulfur down in your yard gets rid of ticks. If you can keep guineas or chickens, then you could definitely get rid of ticks.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We live in a highly deer tick infested area, literally the worst in the state. We also leave the clippings on the lawn, and the lawn is not where we find the ticks. They live in the meadow, in leaf litter, in the garden when it is tall, and anywhere that rodents live or deer sleep. The lawn is the least infested place, after the driveway.

Maybe you could do an experiment, leaving the clippings on half the lawn and not on the other half, and see if there is a difference.

With the climate change-y weather we've had the past few years, tick season has been getting longer and longer, I found them right through November and I wouldn't be too surprised to see them all winter on warm days if we scuff through the leaf litter in the woods.

 
wayne stephen
steward
Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
104
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I second the chicken solution . When we first moved onto this property, ticks were everywhere. Not now , only in the areas where the birds do not patrol.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1359
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Get some ground bird, as a pet or food, quail, pigeon, pheasant, peacock, dove etc. they will eat every single ticks. plus eat weed seed and manure the place.
Even better you could take this opportunity to replace the lawn with 12ft fruit trees that you can still walk underneath yet pick without a ladder.
The limited sunlight/root access to water and space will keep the short and you could also reseed the lawn with N-fixer clover repen. its naturally very short and it will fertilize you trees.
The trees will also attract birds that will also eat the tics that are in your yard and also area near your yard.

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Attract more birds to your yard. Specifically ground foraging birds. To get them used to the area I use homemade breadcrumbs. My dog used to
Lay in this one spot that had a woody mulch, he would always pick up ticks there. So I started tossing crumbs there every few days. The birds would eat the crumbs and the ticks. Now I have these ground birds all over the place. And my dog can lay in peace.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would dig up a 6'' by 6'' chuck of sod just to see how thick it is ! You probably Have very thick Thatch ! this really holds tons of water near the surface , There are De-thatching springs that go onto the end points of your lawn mowers blades ! this will let the water drain faster through the grass decreasing Ticks and cut worms Good luck 1
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1359
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You seems to be afraid of mowing the grass low. I dont know about cutting it lower and also scraping/detaching 6 inch of topsoil.
I prefer the idea of adding more element (birds, shade trees, water feeding to attract birds) to the lawn not taking away what little is there manually over and over and over again.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
without seeing the lawn we are all just guessing, like the blind men describing an Elephant ! I like my grass a little on the long side, but I have grandkids, who like to 'camp' on it and the ticks around here are in the weeds !
I have de thatched my lawn once in 20 yrs, When a hard rain stands on my lawn , and will not drain into the garden it will be time to de-thatch it again ! Yes I'm in favor of free range chickens / chicken tractors ! Be safe , Keep warm ! Allen L.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1359
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Once every 20 years sound like a good fix to me.
 
Sherry Jansen
Posts: 59
Location: Southern MN
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hummm,
Might want to try No Mow Grass in the play areas where you don't run other animals.
 
He's my best friend. Not yours. Mine. You can have this tiny ad:
Mike Oehler's Low-Cost Underground House Workshop & Survival Shelter Seminar - 3 DVD+2 Books Deal
https://permies.com/wiki/48625/digital-market/digital-market/Mike-Oehler-Cost-Underground-House
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!