Tick Management Tips

Blacklegged tick. Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Many people have tick management on their minds these days, given the risk of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme and babesiosis. If a tick bites a deer, a mouse, or a person, it can share the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Once active, the bacteria can cause chills, fever, even palsy. There were over 125,000 confirmed cases reported in the United States in five recent years.

Rosemary oil manages blacklegged tick

The Northeastern IPM Center is funding research to manage ticks while reducing pesticides. We sponsored research on rosemary oil, a food-grade compound that kills ticks as effectively as synthetic pesticides. When rosemary oil is applied in recreational trail areas or outside residences, animals, pets, and children may use the treated areas right away without restrictions.


Deer feeding stations

We funded another innovative research project: deer feeding stations. In large recreational areas, feeding stations attract deer. Ticks cling to the heads and necks of deer as they feed on corn. Meanwhile, these devices swab the ticks with a deadly solution.

Dress to prevent tick bites

If you do spend time outdoors, wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. Wear enclosed shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck shirt into pants and pant legs into socks or boots. Alternatively, search the Internet for outdoor retailers that sell tick gators.

Be tick free: A guide for preventing Lyme disease

A guide published by the New York State Department of Health covers Lyme disease symptoms, how to remove a tick, and how to create a tick-free zone around your home. The guide includes recommendations for deciding on tick and insect repellants.


For further reading:

Tick Resources in Our Database

StopPests: How to Deal with Ticks

Tick Projects Funded by the Northeastern IPM Center

Elias, S.P., C. B. Lubelczyk, P. W. Rand, J. K. Staples, T. W. St. Amand, C. S. Stubbs, E. H. Lacombe, L. B. Smith, and R. P. Smith, Jr. 2013. Effect of a botanical acaricide on Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) and nontarget arthropods. Journal of Medical Entomology 50(1): 126–136.

Rand, P. W., E. H. Lacombe, S. P. Elias, et al. 2010. Trial of a minimal-risk botanical compound to control the vector tick of Lyme disease. Journal of Medical Entomology 47:695–698.


The Northeastern IPM Center promotes integrated pest management for reducing risks to human health and the environment. If republishing our news, please acknowledge the source (“From Northeast IPM Insights”) along with a link to our website.