Is there any way to kill ticks in your yard and be sure you got them all? In short, what is the best yard spray for ticks, where can you get it, and how much is it going to cost you?
In this Pest Strategies review you’re going to learn:
- About tick treatments
- How to use them on your yard
- What results to expect
- Any safety concerns
The first time you find a tick on Fido or Fluffy after they’ve been running around outside in the yard can be a panicky moment. If they're on your dog, they could be on you or your kids, too.
Not only are ticks gross, they also carry diseases.
Rather than finding a tick and removing it, it's best to eliminate them from the equation completely.
Ready to get started? Click here to skip to our top pick.
Dominion 2L Termiticide/Insecticide
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Permethrin SFR Termiticide/Insecticide
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NyGuard IGR Concentrate
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BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer
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Wondercide Flea & Tick Yard + Garden
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
(updated as of 10/25/2019)
The best overall tick treatment for your yard is a pesticide that originally was meant to kill termites, Dominion 2L Termiticide/Insecticide. It comes in a 27.5-ounce bottle of concentrate that can be mixed to create 100 gallons of finished product that is ready to be sprayed.
It has a good knockdown to kill ticks and a long residual impact to keep on killing them for months after you spray the entire yard. It will get rid of ticks and kill fleas at the same time. As a tick killer, Dominion is hard to beat.
If you want to do a “deep dive” as they say and learn more, keep on reading.
5 Best Yard Treatments for Ticks
Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about yard treatments for ticks.
What Are Yard Treatments for Ticks?
A yard treatment for ticks is any treatment that covers the entire yard to repel ticks or kill them or both. It requires the use of chemicals or essential oils that are intended for outdoor use only.
Warning: Don’t use a tick yard spray inside the house!
In order to kill the tick population in your yard, you need to follow several steps in the right order. If you don’t follow all the steps or perform them out of order, you’ll drastically reduce the chances of it working correctly.
Here are the preparatory steps:
Mow the Yard
One of the simplest ways to keep a tick problem from getting out of hand is to mow the yard. Ticks carry Lyme disease, which can cause serious health problems for people and pets alike.
Thankfully, ticks don’t like being exposed, so if you mow your yard short on a regular basis, it will be much less attractive to them.
By the way, by “short” we mean as short as your lawn mower can possibly cut it. The shorter, the better. Tall grass is where ticks like to hide.
Pick the Right Day
Never use tick spray when it is raining, about to rain, or just finished raining. Pest control experts know the spray won’t stick to wet surfaces and can easily be washed away if it is rained on before it has a chance to dry.
Follow these tips for safe and effective pesticide use in your yard:
- Check that it won’t rain for at least 24 hours after you spray
- Avoid spraying on hot days over 90 degrees
- Windy days are also bad times to spray
Calculate the Size of Your Yard
Most sprays are measured in how many square feet can be covered. Pre-mixed sprays often claim they will treat 5000 square feet one bottle.
On a normal suburban lot, you need to figure a minimum of 15,000 square feet for the front yard, both sides, and back yard. With a pre-mixed formula, that equates to three bottles. If your yard is larger, you’ll need more.
And yes, you have to treat the whole thing.
If you’re using concentrates that have to be mixed to dilute them to the proper strength, you’ll have to mix larger batches to cover all the area that needs to be treated.
The following video provides a step-by-step process for preparing and spraying your yard for ticks.
Do Yard Treatments for Ticks Work?
Yard treatments to eliminate your tick problem work in one of three ways.
This is the main goal for serious combat against ticks. You want them dead and buried. Pesticides control ticks by just flat out killing them. Each of the active ingredients has a different mode of action, but the end result is all the same.
Pesticides based on permethrin or essential oils containing natural ingredients such as peppermint oil repel the insects. A repellent is any ingredient that is offensive to ticks and causes them to leave the area, but without killing them.
Repelling ticks only works on a percentage of the ticks, never all of them.
Read more: The definitive safety guide to permethrin
Inhibit the Life Cycle
Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) act on the life cycle of deer ticks, dog ticks, and other kinds of ticks by preventing them from maturing. If they don’t mature, they can’t reproduce. If they can’t reproduce, the tick infestation will come to an end.
Be aware though, this last method, although it is highly effective, is the slowest of the three. An IGR is birth control for bugs. It is not an insect killer and was never intended to be.
Most manufacturers never tell you that the above methods can be combined for a stronger, more powerful effect than any one of them operating alone. It’s the way the professionals do it, so you should do it too.
How Do You Find The Best Yard Treatment For Ticks?
Our staff has years and years of real-world experience in the field killing bugs for a living. We’ve used all these methods and more so we know from personal experience what works and what doesn’t.
Take advantage of our depth of experience and learn from what we’ve picked up. You won’t become an expert on pest control, but you’ll be light years ahead of your friends and neighbors.
We’ve listed the choices in order of preference, starting with the best and giving you a brief rundown on each one.
Are Yard Treatments For Ticks Effective?
Yes, but if and only if you follow the directions on the pesticides. Part of following the directions including a healthy dose of patience. Pesticides don’t work overnight. Be willing to wait until they’ve had a chance to do their work.
How to Use a Yard Treatment for Ticks
Start spraying at the house, on the foundation. Circle the house in a gradually increasing spiral until you reach the edge of your property. Make sure each pass overlaps the previous by several inches so you don’t leave any gaps in coverage.
Before spraying your yard, mow the whole lawn as short as you can. Next, pick up all the kids and pet’s toys and take them inside. Finally, move all the patio furniture over by the yard so it can be sprayed.
Once the spray is dry you’ll never notice it - but the ticks will.
Are Yard Treatments For Ticks Safe Around My Pets And Children?
The legal answer, according to the EPA, is no. Not immediately after spraying, anyway.
After spraying with pesticides, wait at least four (4) hours before you let your children and pets outside.
Best Yard Treatments For Ticks Reviewed
As a quick recap, here are the top 5 best yard treatments for ticks that we looked at.
Dominion 2L is a well-known termiticide for killing subterranean termites, but it also labeled for use on other insects as well. The active ingredient, Imidacloprid, is effective against critters of all kinds including ticks.
It is also one of the best flea control sprays available, so using it against ticks in the yard will also be an effective flea treatment at the same time. It has a long residual impact, lasting for up to 3 months before biodegrading.
You’ll need to use a backpack sprayer to treat the yard. For best results, you should expect to use about one gallon per 1000 square feet.
Mix 1/2-ounce of concentrate for each gallon of water in the backpack. Mix it thoroughly before spraying.
The active ingredient in Permethrin SFR Termiticide/Insecticide is, as you might expect, a variant of pyrethrins, a natural flea and tick killer. It has an extremely fast knockdown for those situations where you need to stop an infestation as quickly as possible.
Although Permethrin SFR kills bugs very quickly, it doesn’t last very long when it is used outdoors, no more than four to six weeks under normal conditions.
Mix 3/4-ounce of concentrate per gallon of water in your backpack sprayer. The good news is, since you’re spraying the entire yard, you can mix it with the Dominion listed above.
Between the two of them, you’ll get a fast knockdown as well as long-term residual impact to keep the bugs away for an extended period.
NyGuard is an excellent IGR. It interferes with the natural life cycle of ticks, preventing them from maturing to the point where they can begin laying eggs. Their breeding cycle is cut short, ensuring that the generation of ticks that hatch after you spray is the last.
Mix 3/4-ounce of NyGuard IGR Concentrate per each gallon of water in your backpack. Like the Permethrin SFR above, NyGuard can be mixed with Dominion.
In fact, it can be mixed with both of the pesticides listed above. All three together are an unbeatable combination.
Because of its mode of action, NyGuard is very slow to take effect and you might not see the results for three or four weeks. On the plus side, it has a residual impact for up to three months.
This spray effectively treats ticks as well as ants, fleas, European crane fly larvae, grubs, mole crickets, and more.
It can be applied to lawns, flowers, trees, shrubs, sidewalks, patios, porches, and more, and provides up to 30 days of protection against surface insects.
Although the label claims one bottle will treat 5000 square feet, pesticide concentration isn’t the only thing that counts. The volume of material applied is equally important. 32-ounces isn’t enough to treat 5000 square feet.
In any event, you’ll have to purchase multiple bottles of this product to treat your yard.
Applying this repellent is easy; attach a garden hose to the bottle and turn on the water.
The water picks up the cedar oil and mixes with it as it is sprayed all over the yard. Depending on your water pressure, this insecticide will treat between 4000 and 5000 square feet in your yard.
Wondercide needs to be applied twice within 7-10 days to eliminate pests. Fortunately, kids and pets are free to play on the lawn immediately after this product is sprayed.
For prevention and maintenance, spray every 30-45 days. Essential oils have little staying power when faced with inclement weather, so Wondercide will need to be re-applied afterwards.
Our Top Pick: Dominion 2L Termiticide/Insecticide
There are a lot of yard treatments for ticks available. What works best for you will depend on your needs.
All of them will work to one degree or another, but there can only be one winner.
Our top pick is Dominion 2L Termiticide/Insecticide, a powerful insecticide with a long-lasting residual impact.
It comes in a concentrated form so one bottle will make over 50 gallons of pesticide when you mix it according to our directions.
Our second pick, Permethrin SFR is a close runner-up because of its efficacy and ability to mix with Dominion 2.
Final Thoughts On Yard Treatments For Ticks
For the best and most lasting results, use a combination of Dominion, Permethrin SFR, and NyGuard mixed together. Mow your yard then spray that combination on the short grass to eradicate your tick infestation.
Other Tick Guides
Curious about other tick products and guides? Check out our other detailed articles to help you deal with your pest problems.