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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

What’s Creeping Under Your Deck?

May 31, 2014 01:02PM
What is creeping under your deck? The fairy tale “Three Billy Goats Gruff” is about three goats and a mean, hungry, grumpy troll that lives under a bridge. We all know that the story is make-believe.  But ticks living under your deck—that story is not make-believe and it’s one that we should all be aware of.

Ticks live, molt and lay eggs in protected, moist environments. The underside of a deck can provide an ideal place for a tick to live. This protected environment also provides shelter to many mammals, such as rodents, skunks and groundhogs. All of which carry ticks and their harmful diseases.

We can take away many of the variables that make our decks inviting to ticks and mammals. Fixing leaky hoses, not overwatering deck plants and trimming up bushes that butt up against the deck can all dry things out a bit. A drier environment is less inviting to ticks.

Eliminating leaf and pine litter takes away the materials needed for a tick to lay up to 2000 eggs. Removing piles of old piping, stacked lumber and nesting materials will give mice fewer places to make their multiple nests.

Adding lattice work, screen or repairing broken fencing, prevents access for larger mammals. Cats and dogs both like to see who is hiding under your deck. This puts them in close proximity to the wild animals that carry ticks and the newly hatched larval ticks that are just starting to become active.

Blocking off access, while maintaining good air circulation encourages a drier environment. This will also prevent your children from crawling under to retrieve a toy.

Also by replacing winter-seed birdfeeders (which mice and other rodents like to collect the seed from) with hummingbird feeders, we are taking away a food source that is within close proximity to the deck.

When dressing up your landscaping around the deck with clean, non-dyed cedar mulch, tick activity will also decrease.  Cedar is a natural insecticide and the ticks do not like it. You can also consider colored stone because it encourages better drainage.

Your deck can be a wonderful place to enjoy many summer memories. Incorporating some of these helpful tips, will discourage tick activity and encourage fun in the sun for the whole family.

Tick Tackler provides organic residential tick control to help battle ticks both at home and while you are enjoying the great outdoors. Family owned, fully insured and licensed by the DEP. Tick Tackler now holds pesticide applicator licenses for both residential and school certification. 

To find out more about Tick Tackler, call Jennifer Molzen at 908-612-4736, send an e-mail to [email protected] or visit us at

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