Protect Your Home and Family: MDARD’s Guide to Creating Tick-Safe Zones

As the weather warms up, so does the risk of encountering ticks, posing potential health threats to outdoor enthusiasts and pets alike. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is stepping in to offer essential guidance on safeguarding your home against these pests.

With over 20 tick species in Michigan, some carrying harmful pathogens, MDARD emphasizes the importance of creating tick-safe zones around your property. Director Steve Carlson highlights the significance of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, which minimize tick populations without resorting to pesticides.

Here are some key IPM strategies recommended by MDARD:

  1. Clear tall grasses and brush around your home.
  2. Create a barrier with wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas.
  3. Maintain short grass and keep leaves raked.
  4. Stack wood neatly to deter rodents, which ticks feed on.
  5. Keep recreational areas separate from wooded areas, if possible.

For those considering pesticide use, MDARD provides crucial safety tips, emphasizing proper application, storage, and the importance of using licensed pesticide applicators.

Remember, prevention is key to protecting yourself and your loved ones from tick-related diseases like Lyme disease. Visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) website for additional information on tick identification and removal, and learn more about pesticide safety at With MDARD’s guidance, you can enjoy the outdoors with peace of mind.

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