Controlling Evil Ticks

joseywales(4)December 12, 2013

I have a swatch of field in my back yard and I'd like to plant native grasses (I'm in WI) but I'm worried the tall grasses will attract ticks. We have a 2-3 in 5 tick lymes rate here (deer ticks) and I really dont want to attract them to my yard with kids around. Are there any native grass plantings that are "tickless" or not tick friendly?

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Unfortunately ticks do not do much, if any, damage to native plants and therefore native plants have not evolved any means to repel them. There are non-native herbs and forbs that are unappealing to them and may discourage them from taking up residence in your yard (which also are slightly effective for mosquitoes as well). These include:

⢠Citronella grass
⢠Lemon balm
⢠Mexican marigolds (Tagetes erecta)
⢠Mint (Mentha)
⢠Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
⢠Pyrethrum (type of chrysanthemum)
⢠Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
⢠Rue (Ruta graveolens)
⢠Sage (Salvia officinalis)
⢠Wormwood (Artemesia absinthium)


I don't know how effective these plants actually are but they do provide an alternative source of nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. I have yellow finches that LOVE the lavender seeds too.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 8:34AM
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Considering that some of the most tick-infested areas I can think of are the aromatic sagebrush-covered hills of the mountain west, I doubt that any of those plants would deter a tick.

Look at the life cycle of a tick ... they do not wander the woods looking for plants to infest. They are not winged, they can't hop ... they can barely crawl.

The pregnant females drop off a warm-blooded animal into vegetation and lay their eggs right there. The new-hatched nymphs climb the nearby vegetation and wait for a warm blooded animal to brush them off.

This concentrates the ticks along paths and areas where host animals are common.

To control ticks, keep the host animals out of your yard.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 2:41PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

AWWW, no dogs!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 12:45PM
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