Tick: Most Wanted Pests Threatening Your Lawn [Part 4]

Out of 13 species of ticks common to Minnesota, only three usually interact with us in any meaningful way: the wood tick, deer tick and brown dog tick.

Tick bites are often harmless. But there is always the chance they can cause an allergic reaction in a person or animal, as well as pass certain possibly deadly diseases on. It’s important to know what these ticks look like, and how to keep them out of your main yard.

Wood Tick (Dermacentor Variabilis)

The wood tick is dark brown with whitish or yellowish markings for a shield. They are most commonly found in the spring in open fields and the underbrush of hardwood forests, but continue to be active throughout the summer. They feed on humans, dogs, cats and some smaller wild animals.

Deer Tick (Ixodes Scapularis)

Deer ticks are reddish-brown with very dark brown head, legs and shield. They look very similar to the brown dog tick. They feed on humans, dogs, horses, birds, white-tailed deer and other wild animals. The deer tick is known to carry Lyme disease, which tends to be spread mostly during June and July.

Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus Sanguineus)

Brown dog ticks are brown with a very dark brown shield. They look very similar to the deer tick. They are most active from spring through fall and feed mostly on dogs, but occasionally feed on humans. They can’t survive through the winter outdoors, though they can survive inside of kennels and homes with dogs.

Prevention And Mitigation

Once you’ve identified ticks in your yard, there are some steps you can take to fight them and prevent them in the future.

  • Remove leaf litter, where they like to hide.
  • Clear tall grasses and brush around your home and at the edge of your lawn, which they will climb and wait to grab onto a passing human or pet.
  • Place a 3’ wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between your lawn and wooded areas to restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
  • Mow the lawn frequently to keep it short so ticks can’t climb high.
  • Call a professional to apply tick control products at your home. Contact Valley Green to set up an appointment today!

Remember, if you need help we’re right down the road. Give us a call today!