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Consumer Reports: Tick-proof your yard

Consumer Reports' experts reveal chemical-free ways to limit the number of ticks crawling through your backyard. (Photo credit: MGN / John Tann / CC BY 2.0 )

Tickborne 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. Consumer Reports' experts reveal chemical-free ways to limit the number of ticks crawling through your backyard.

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 in height.

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.

Another trick, which may sound odd, is make a mulch moat. This can be really effective. Ticks really prefer densely wooded areas over open grass, so running a border of mulch around your property creates one more physical barrier for them. Consumer Reports says be sure to use wood chips or bark and not 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. And, when in the woods, remember to use a repellent. Consumer Reports recommends OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent with 25 percent DEET.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.

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