Did you know there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of ticks in your yard?
Researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have practical advice both for landscaping and managing your pets to minimize the risk of ticks and tick bites.
Graham Hickling, director of the UT Center for Wildlife Health, advises homeowners to keep their grass mowed and to remove leaf litter, brush and tall weeds from around the home and at the lawn’s edge. Gravel, woodchips or dry mulch can help keep ticks away from paths and children’s play structures. If tick problems become severe, consider employing a pest management company to apply a chemical barrier treatment around such areas.
Another tip is to use plantings that do not attract deer and other wildlife. If deer are common in your area, exclude them from your yard by fencing. Deer frequently carry ticks.
To protect your pets, minimize the time that dogs and cats spend outdoors in areas with leaf litter, brush and tall weeds. Always check your pets for ticks when they come back indoors.
Discuss with your veterinarian the various treatments available that can help your pet avoid tick bites and learn the signs your pet might exhibit if affected by a tick-borne disease.
These practical tips can help you minimize the risk of ticks on your pets and in your home.
For more information, visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council, http://www.capcvet.org/capc-recommendations/ticks/
The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, with its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.

Dr. Graham Hickling, 865-974-6173