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July 19, 2019  |  News  |  Insect Repellents

Consumer Reports: What You Must Know About Controlling Ticks in Your Yard

What You Must Know About Controlling Ticks in Your Yard

Yardwork may reduce the number of ticks on your property but could leave you more exposed to bites

If you live in an area where ticks are common, part of your usual yard care routine might involve measures to reduce the number of ticks on your property. Public health organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise mowing regularly, clearing leaves and brush, creating a dry mulch barrier between your yard and any forest edge, and other tactics to make your yard an unfriendly environment for ticks.

Yet these anti-tick strategies may have an unintended consequence, according to recent research from the Cary Institute, an independent environmental research organization. An analysis of 94 studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that these measures, which also include trimming branches, were associated with an increased risk of contracting a tick-borne illness.

Sound counterintuitive? Ilya Fischhoff, Ph.D., a disease ecologist and postdoctoral associate at the Cary Institute and lead author of the analysis, says human behavior might help explain the result. “I think it’s because doing these things exposes people to ticks,” he says. Getting rid of tick habitats means putting yourself in the path of ticks hiding there.

Here, we delve deeper into what puts you at risk for tick bites and what you need to know about controlling ticks in your yard safely.

See the full article by Catherine Roberts on Consumer Report’s website here:

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