Simple ways to tick-proof your backyard

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Thursday, July 6, 2017
Consumer Reports: How to protect your yard from ticks
David Novarro reports on different ways to keep ticks out of your yard this summer.

HOUSTON, Texas -- Tick-borne diseases are on the rise and now is when ticks are most active.

Since they can transmit a variety of diseases and infections, keeping ticks at bay is a smart idea.

One pest management company sprays a cedar oil treatment that could help keep ticks away.

The company called it a low-risk, all natural product and a pesticide-free application.

Consumer Reports said studies show certain types of cedar oil treatments have been proven effective against ticks.

You can also cut down on ticks by taking some chemical-free steps in your yard.

First, trim tall grass and weeds and keep the lawn short.

"Ordinarily Consumer Reports advises letting your grass grow a little bit on the long side, but if you have ticks in your area it's not a bad idea to cut it down to about two to two and half inches high," said Consumer Reports Home Editor Paul Hope.

Next, get rid of leaf piles with a leaf blower or rake and pay attention to the trees on your property.

"Ticks really love the shade so if you have trees with low hanging branches, it's not a bad idea to clip them off about 18 inches from the ground," said Hope.

Another trick, which may sound odd, is to make a mulch moat. This can be really effective.

"Ticks really prefer densely wooded areas over open grass," said Hope. "So running a border of mulch around your property creates one more physical barrier for them."

Consumer Reports said be sure to use the wood chips or bark and not the shredded mulch, which ends up creating the kind of damp areas they like.

Always do a tick check on your family before coming back into the house after being outside.

When in the woods, remember to use repellent. Consumer Reports recommends OFF! Deep Woods insect repellent, which is 25 percent DEET.

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