Ticks & Turfgrass
Most people would argue that summer is the favored season. This time of year is full of activities, outdoor adventures, and more time spent working on your lawn and plant beds —but this also means higher exposure to nuisances like ticks. While these pesky little insects don’t damage turfgrass, they can be dangerous for humans and pets because of the host of different diseases that they can carry and readily transmit.
Lyme disease is, by far, the most common vector-borne disease in the country and transmits to humans and pets through the bite of infected black-legged (deer) ticks. These types of ticks are found in many regions, but mainly in the northeastern region of the US. This disease is typically caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii. Ticks can also transmit other vector-borne diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
You can find ticks waiting in grass and shrubs for hosts. When brushed by humans or animals, ticks let go of the vegetation and latch on—ticks cannot fly or jump; they can only crawl. Rest assured, however, there are steps you can take to ensure your lawn is not one ticks want to hang out in.
These types of insects are very sensitive to dry conditions and cannot thrive in short vegetation. Keeping a well-maintained lawn keeps the turf (and your neighbors) happy, but it also helps keep ticks out. Clean up anything that may attract tick-carrying rodents such as spilled birdseed or areas that would make good hiding spots. If you do find you have ticks on your property, there are a few ways to keep them away.
If ticks are present in the vegetation along the edge of the property, insecticides labeled for tick control can be applied to small areas of high weeds that you can’t mow. Treating a buffer band between wooded areas and maintained yards can be effective as well. Typically, one or two applications per season will control ticks in these problematic areas. Be sure to treat these areas when other pests first appear or when you first notice lawn damage.
At LebanonTurf, we have several easy to apply granular products with active ingredients that are effective and labeled for tick control. Consider these products that contain bifenthrin (either on fertilizer or an inert carrier) or lambda-cyhalothrin (on fertilizer in combination with imidacloprid):
If you are looking for other options for insect control, you can check our insecticide product section or contact your local LebanonTurf distributor. They’ll be able to get you set up with these products quickly, and can have any product available within a matter of days if it’s not already in stock.