Fun facts: An Eastern Red Cedar is not actually a true cedar, but rather a species of juniper. It is called the pencil cedar because the wood was used to make pencils until less expensive woods and synthetic materials started being used.
Ask the Arborist
Jay NYSDEC 3A Certified Applicator & Certified Treecare Safety Professional
Q: What else can I do to make my backyard less inviting to ticks & mosquitoes?
A: There are several things you can do to minimize the tick and mosquito population in your yard.
Let's start with keeping your lawn well-maintained. This includes regular mowing and trimming of vegetation. This will help reduce favored habitats for ticks and mosquitoes.
Course wood chips (or mulch) act as a deterrent for ticks because it’s hard for them to traverse. A mulched zone around a playground or a mulch buffer between the woods and your yard can significantly reduce ticks moving into the property.
Look for standing water as mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. It's important to regularly empty water from flowerpots, buckets, bird baths, and other containers where water accumulates.
Using pest-resistant plants around your yard is another great way to help. Plants, like marigolds, lavender, and citronella, are known to deter mosquitoes.
Finally, keep wildlife at bay. Many pests thrive on hosts, so doing what you can to discourage unwanted wildlife from setting up shop in your yard will be a big help. Make sure your garbage cans are covered and secure to help minimize food sources for wildlife that act as a host for ticks and mosquitoes.
Q: Can I treat ticks & mosquitoes myself?
A: Yes, there are several natural alternatives that can be effective against ticks and mosquitoes to a certain extent, and they are considered safer for the environment and nontarget organisms.
Cedar oil is the main ingredient in one of the products we use as it can kill as well as repel ticks & mosquitoes. It can be sprayed in lawns and gardens.
Essential oils are another option. Certain essential oils have been found to have insect-repelling properties. These include citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils. However, their effectiveness usually lasts for a short period, so frequent reapplication might be necessary.
Neem oil is another option and has a citrusy smell. It is a plantbased oil with insecticidal properties. It can be mixed with water and sprayed around the yard to deter ticks and mosquitoes.
All of these options can be found at most garden centers. You will most likely need to reapply these products every couple of weeks.