Do not take a tick problem lightly. Aside from giving most folks the willies, they carry some very nasty diseases. I hate to sound like a broken DVD but we are back to controlling our environment. Ticks just don’t show up in an area. The urban wildlife (rabbits, rats, squirrels, raccoons, etc.) that visit us are bringing in the ticks. Yes, I know how cute they are, but they are bringing friends. If you feed the birds stop, for about a month or so. Do not leave pet food outside. Keep the grass short, flowerbeds maintained and any brush picked up. This includes the stacks of firewood.
There are both all-natural and synthetic insecticides that will kill ticks. Before I go any further, I try to be as all-natural as I can. But with ticks and chiggers, I will use any product short of fire to solve the problem. In the all-natural world, the Cedar Cide products take top honors. Yardsafe is a high concentrate of cedar oil that repels and kills ticks as well as other insects. As the name implies it is to be used outside. For personal protection, the Cedar Cide Original is a good choice. It’s about this time when folks ask themselves “why didn’t he mention sulfur”. Granulated sulfur works as an insect repellent when the insect is on the ground. Some ticks will be in the grass but a lot of them will be in shrubs, trees, wood piles, etc. that puts them outside the reach of sulfur. I have had fantastic success using powder sulfur on myself against chiggers. Marginal success (at best) against ticks.
On the synthetic side is Cyonara and 38Plus. Both are killers and should be applied outside only. For better or worst the best personal use products contain Deet. Our Cutter insecticide contains 25% Deet. As always read and follow the label directions.
See more about ticks from a variety of sources below: