How Wood Chips Can Keep Ticks Out Of Your Yard

The Winter of 2019-2020 as been on the mild side for those of us in North East America. We are not the only ones enjoying the lack of freezing temperatures, you guessed it, so are the ticks. Mild Winters allow the ticks to emerge earlier, and in more prolific numbers. For those of us that have pets, or spend lots of time outdoors, we know what a menace ticks can be. One simple way to keep them at bay is with a perimeter of wood chips. Similar to how we don't like to walk on sharp gravel, ticks do not like traveling across coarse wood chips. This is why they make a great tick barrier.

Steps To Keep Ticks Away


  • Identify Where To Defend

    Ticks love wooded areas. Does your yard border them? If so that is where you will put the wood chips.

  • Design

    If no one will see the area you may not have to worry about aesthetics. If you want it to look presentable you should have the wood chip barrier be uniform in height and width. I like to recommend 3′ of width to give you the best chance for keeping the ticks away. The narrower the more likely they are to cross.

  • Wood Chip Application

    Use a wheel barrow and pitch fork to apply the wood chips. You can sometimes get free chip from local tree companies but it will likely have debris. The nicest option is playground fiber mulch, but it is also more costly. Spread the wood chips between your yard and the wood areas, then rake them smooth. This is an easy and organic way to keep your family and pets safer. Some ticks will likely still find their way into your yard, but the barrier will help. Tick defense should be a multi faceted approach with preventative treatments to pets and lawns as well.

Ideally this is how you want the course wood chips to look. If they are ground too fine they don't work as well.