As warmer weather approaches, so does the increased risk of tick encounters, posing potential health threats to people and pets enjoying outdoor activities.

That’s why the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) offers advice on how to create tick-safe zones around your home.

“Using insect repellents while outdoors and checking for ticks after being outdoors are common ways to prevent tick bites on people and pets, but other strategies can help reduce ticks around your homes without using pesticides,” said Steve Carlson, MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division Director. “Integrated pest management, commonly referred to as IPM, uses multiple, systematic methods to minimize the impact of pests on people and property, while safeguarding the environment.”

Here are some simple IPM techniques to help reduce tick populations around your home:

  • Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.
  • Maintain short grass in lawns and keep leaves raked.
  • Stack wood neatly in a dry area to discourage rodents that ticks feed on.
  • Place a 3-foot-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns, wooded areas, patios, and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.

If you do choose to use pesticides, follow these safety tips:

  • Always follow label directions.
  • Store pesticides in their original containers with proper labels.
  • Keep pesticides locked up and out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Use the amount specified on the label.

For additional information about ticks, including how to identify and remove a tick, visit 

MDHHS website