Strategies for Environmentally Friendly Tick Repelling

Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in Pennsylvania’s woods knows to be on the lookout for disease carrying ticks. It is difficult to avoid ticks entirely, but one can make a few simple choices in landscaping to repel ticks from green spaces and protect children and pets. Here’s a few simple ideas to get started:

  • Plant smelly plants! Ticks live on plants until they find a host to latch onto, so a clear way to reduce tick prevalence is to make strategic plant choices. Ticks are known to avoid smelly herbs many gardeners and chefs already have like garlic, mint, rosemary, lavender, and rue. Scattering these plants throughout landscapes and along perimeters can help to repel ticks. 
  • Following along the same idea of tick deterring smells, spread some crushed garlic along the exterior edges of a garden to create a smell barrier.
  • Establish gravel or wood chip borders to separate landscapes from wooded areas to provide a surface barrier that ticks prefer not to crawl across. 
  • Keep wood piles stacked neatly and dry, this makes them less appealing habitats to ticks.
  • Maintain grassy areas so they do not become overgrown havens for ticks.

When tick season arrives, it is also a time when people love to get outside and enjoy their gardens. By making a few of these small changes to landscapes and avoiding the use of harmful chemical repellants, land owners can protect themselves and their family members without polluting the environment.