pets

Ticks in the garden: how to get rid of them without pesticides?

The tick nests in tall grass, ferns and leaf piles.
The tick nestles happily in tall grass and leaf piles. (© cherokee4 / AdobeStock)

Launched in 2017, the participatory research program Quote of INRAE ​​(National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment) quickly led to the following observation: between a quarter and a third of the participants reported being bitten by ticks in their garden.

From now on we must therefore be wary of these beasts at home, and not only during walks in the woods!

Here are some tips to avoid being bitten by these mites, which are responsible for Lyme disease, among other things.

close the garden

“Ticks move little by themselves but thanks to the animals they feed on: domestic animals, but also birds and small rodents “, lists Jonas Durand, researcher at INRAE.

Even larger mammals, such as deer, can carry them. If your garden borders a forest and these animals have to cross it, we recommend installing a barrier to prevent any passage.

Mow the lawn

Ticks are fewer in the mowed grass. But they like to nest on edges planted with tall grass, near hedges or compost, under piles of branches or fruit treesin ferns and in all places that attract rodents.

The ideal would be to delimit the areas controlled and mowed regularly, where to go, keeping other areas more wild for nature, because it is still important to have spaces for biodiversity and pollinating insects in your garden, even if there is a greater risk. to find ticks there.

Jonas DurandResearcher at Inrae

Install mulch

It is a proven technique. Around humid and wild spaces that tick, spread strips of sand, gravel or bark across the ground one meter wide to form a natural barrier. This dry mulch will prevent the animals from passing and thus the ticks from moving.

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Adopt chickens

Releasing chickens in the garden can be a solution because these fowl are very fond of ticks. “There are others insectivorous animalssuch as lizards, shrews or great tits, but they are often more sources of food for ticks than for predators ”.

Tick ​​larvae can also be attacked by fungi, nematode worms, or parasitoid wasps, but although these three methods have been studied, they have not been conclusive.

Spread the nettle manure

Although its effectiveness has not been scientifically proven, nettle manure is often used by gardeners. Just like aromatic plants such as lavender, basil, thyme or even geranium. “The idea of ​​using scented plants stems from the fact that most ticks are blind and therefore identify themselves through olfactory cues.”

Scented with essential oils

To protect themselves, some essential oils have a repellent effect ; this is in particular the case of Citriodiol, a molecule present in lemon eucalyptus.

spot ticks

“The sooner we remove a tick, the lower the risk of it passing on to us,” concludes the researcher.

We therefore recommend examine yourself carefully and disinfect children and pets when they return from the garden. And, of course, wear opaque clothing.

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