Ticks and Mosquitos flip
Ticks and Mosquitos
The global effect of Climate Change is that more vulnerable species disappear in favor of more resilients species like ticks and mosquitos. Mosquitos and ticks a serious health threat, and the chances are that the number of these types of pests will grow in the future. Many homeowners ask the help of their landscaper to deal with mosquitos and ticks. What is the best service you can offer?
Natural Mosquito Management
A healthy environment, cleaner water and air, improves the amount of ‘predators’ like frogs, fish and bats, that can keep the mosquito population at bay. Our conventional lawn management, regretfully, has a detrimental effect on those predators and especially on our amphibians. Explain homeowners that, in order to fight the mosquitoes, they need to invest in the health of those natural predators. It means you should promote Healthy Yards practices and discourage conventional lawn methodes. In case of emergencies there are organic or ‘toxin’ free applications available. But be aware that toxin free means that these applications are safe for humans, but that, if larvae of mosquitoes get killed, so will other larvae, also those of beneficial insects. Rather than spraying the yard, advise a deterrent, and make sure mosquitos cannot enter the home. Also, limit ‘unnatural’ breeding areas like tires and buckets and rain barrels, and avoid invasive ground covers like english ivy or pachysandra.
Fragmented yards and lawns have created an ideal habitat for deer and small rodents, the carriers of ticks. Ticks have become a very concerning problem and can cause several serious illnesses. Many landscaping companies have started to offer tick service, but the truth is, there are no fool proof strategies , and as a landscaper you should advise homeowners to keep on doing body checks.
If the homeowner has a small lawn you can consider to use a cedar oil application, or another organic solution, and border the lawn with a stroke off gravel. Again, be aware that pesticides, conventional and organic, kill also the beneficial insects in the yard and deter natural predators of ticks, such as birds. So better is, to keep a short cropped area, in a sunny location for entertainment. Ticks prefer bushy humid areas with moisture.
Promising results are made with rodent bait boxes that coat rodents with a frontline type of toxin, with the use of cotton balls that are treated with the same solution, and which the rodents will take into their nests. As of now this is the best tick management you can offer as a landscaper.
Very important as well, is to attract birds into the yard. Smaller birds eat ticks, and predator birds eat the rodents that carry the ticks. Make sure you never use rodent toxins, Those toxins kill the predator birds that eat the rodents, which creates an even bigger problem. If you have a rodent problem use a mechanical trap.