University of Wisconsin–Madison

Yard treatments

Pest Control Operators (PCO’s) can apply a perimeter treatment of a synthetic insecticide (e.g. Bifenthrin or granular Deltamethrin) at the edge of the lawn and woods if properties are not too close to water. A recent study concluded that a barrier treatment with Bifenthrin reduced tick density but had no impact on Lyme disease cases or on contact with ticks among homeowners of the treated properties.

Research has been done to examine the effect of combining an insecticide treatment with baitboxes that target the mice and a bait system (four-posters) that target deer.  This combination has been very effective in some settings (Schulze et al. 2007, 2008). However, in Wisconsin, use of the four-poster system for deer has not been possible because of chronic wasting disease and the expense of baitboxes has reduced interest in this tool.

There are also fungal products that are used to reduce tick density. The product is not widely available yet but might provide a solution that avoids the issues surrounding synthetic pesticides.