March 25 - 31, 2018: Issue 353

Reducing Ticks in Your Garden: Garden care, Plants that Repel, What to Wear Outdoors

Lavender fields of Bridestowe Estate, located 50km from Launceston in the north east of Tasmania. Photo by and courtesy Rowan.M.McDonald
It’s that time of year when warm conditions combined with wet weather can cause a mini tick population explosion alike that experienced in Spring and Summer.

The largest numbers of juvenile ticks are around in Autumn, with the middle phase, called “nymphs”, peaking in winter and the adult numbers appearing through Spring and Summer. The life cycle of a tick averages 12 to 14 months and their eggs can take up to 6 months to hatch depending on conditions. 

There are some things you can do to lessen the incidence of being bitten by ticks in your own garden and some plants that have been shown to repel them from the out door areas your family uses. 

You could also add a couple of family pets in the form of chickens, known to eat ticks, and in doing so guarantee yourself a sup-ply of really free range organic eggs! You will need to build a hen coop for them though as some other pets; dogs, can decide to do a nighttime hunt if not owned by responsible carers, and you will lose your chickens.

Although American studies have shown the Opossum is a great tick eater, and our own brush-tailed possum is known to eat insects, no similar recent study has been conducted in Australia with only the echidna being noted as a voracious eater of ants and lizards, in arid zones, also liking these and termites, being likened to possibly also liking other insects, such as the tick. For this reason health authorities advise ensuring your home is also well sealed so possums may not take up residence in your roof, via gutters etc., and thereby introduce ticks into the immediate area around or in your home.

Small bird insectivores, species like Silvereyes, Treecreepers, Gerygones and Thornbills, which normally feed on the ticks, are fast being replaced by larger species such as Currawongs and Ravens which thrive in urban areas where they have access to human-food or petfood and are predators of these smaller birds, as well as being chased out of urban backyards by Noisy Miners. A DIY page on how to attract these small birds back into your home yard will run shortly.

Yard Care
To begin reducing the amount of ticks in your home yards the first action we can take is to reduce the tick-attractive habitat features. Elements ticks love are dense, moist woodlands edged in tall grass and brush and humidity; so Pittwater, with its focus on keeping everything lush and green remains a tick paradise.

Some simple landscaping techniques that can help reduce tick populations:
  • Remove leaf litter.
  • Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.
  • Keep lawns short: mow the lawn frequently
  • Place a 3-ft wide barrier of gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
  • Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees.
  • Discourage unwelcome animals from entering your yard by constructing fences. 
  • Prune low vegetation
  • If you have wood stored in your yard, stack this away from areas that are in use by children, visitors.

Landscapers Rake 
Also available: 14 Tine: $35.00 

Fully adjustable. Lightweight & soft grip handling. Precise trimming.

Repel with Plants
There are also some plants you can introduce to your garden that have been shown to deter ticks as repellents. Although you probably don't want to turn your backyard or front yard into a lavender farm, a border of these and other suggested plants between you and where you have noticed ticks in the past will help reduce the incidence of tick-related encounters.

Planting these fragrant anti-tick plants, will also help keep other pests at bay. Garlic in your garden helps keep many pests away, including ticks and fleas. If you end up with a crop of it you will have the base for pesto!

Larger edible & floral seedlings for quick flowering.

140mm pot. Varieties include Gerberas, Geraniums, Bacopas, Carnations & other assorted.

Plants that help deter ticks:
  • Lavender.
  • Garlic.
  • Pennyroyal.
  • Pyrethrum (type of chrysanthemum)
  • Sage.
  • Eucalyptus, particularly (Corymbia citriodora).
  • Mint.
  • Rosemary.
  • Fleabane Daisy.
Bill Conroy, once a long term Avalon resident, in Ticks in residential areas and institutional gardens in the Pittwater Shire and adjacent areas, stated that 'among trees shrubs the smooth-barked species with large shiny well spaced leaves are less likely to harbour ticks than those with rough or papery barks and dense tightly packed or furry foliage. Among native trees and shrubs, Eucalyptus, Angophoras, Tristanias, Brachychitons, Clerodendrum and Acronychia are less likely to be harbouring ticks than species of Grevillea, Hakea, Leptospermum, Melaleuca, Casuarina and Kunzea. The latter group group tend to have tightly packed fine leaves or leaflets towards the end of their branches giving the sort of moist sheltered conditions where ticks can await opportunity to brush off on a passing human or animal.'

Garden Pesticides
Whilst a yard may be sprayed with malathion or pyrethrin products the effect is usually short lived and many normal and desirable insects and arachnids will be destroyed [some of which may actually be predators of tick stages]. A "natural" alternative to chemical sprays is a mixture of chilli (cayenne powder), garlic and vinegar. After being left to brew for a few days, the mixture, sprayed around the garden, will discourage most pests. Just keep your pets clear of those areas after spraying so they don't get a taste of something they may have a reaction to.

Keeping the Ticks off You
Preventing Tick Bites 
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when walking or working in areas where ticks occur
  • Tuck pants into long socks 
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat 
  • Wear light-coloured clothing, which makes it easier to see ticks
  • After being outdoors, remove clothing and place clothes in a hot dryer for 20 minutes to kill ticks that may be on clothing
  • Undress and check for ticks daily, checking carefully on the neck and scalp
  • Use insect repellent, particularly ones containing DEET (such as Tropical RID®, Tropical Aerogard®, Bushmans®) or Picaridin (OFF!®) 
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing when exposed to ticks e.g. when gardening. NB: Cats have a bad reaction to permethrin, so don't use if you have a furry purrer.
  • Treat your pets to keep ticks off them.

Managing Tick Bites 
Kill the tick where it is using an ether-containing spray. (Ask your pharmacist for suitable products.) Then, either wait for it to drop off or seek medical attention for it to be removed taking care to not squeeze the tick because this would cause tick saliva to enter your body, increasing the risk of tick induced allergies. 
  • If you have been outdoors, don’t scratch anything that itches until you have a look at it. 
  • Don’t try “picking” a tick out of your skin with tweezers or other tick-removal gadgets. 
Apply permethrin cream to kill these ticks 
NB: There are limited data regarding permethrin use in pregnancy and it is not known whether it can be present

For additional information 
Please visit these useful websites: 
For more information about safe tick removal, visit
Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 hardware currently have some great items available in the 'Get Crackin' this Easter' catalogue (on sale March 22nd to April 2nd, 20018) to help make all those home and garden ideas you want to get done over Easter 2018 within reach without a long drive through traffic - some of these will prove useful if you are determined to reduce ticks in your yards during the break.

Briggs & Stratton 300 engine, 45L catcher & 7 height positions.

Briggs & Stratton 4 stroke engine. Wide tread 6” & 7” wheels.

Briggs & Stratton 450E series engine. Rapid start. Classic dual blade cutting system.

WEBER BABY Q1000: $299.00
69W x 52D x 60Hcm with lid open.  Titanium coloured lid. Cast iron split grill, cast aluminium roasting lid & body.
Also available: Black Coloured Lid: $309.00  Gas Cylinders are not included with BBQ’s. Accessories not included. All BBQ’s require assembly. 

FREE Radio via Redemption when you purchase either the ID 6L or Solagard 4L*
Low sheen. White base. Water clean-up. *For full terms & conditions, please see

EARTHCORE GARDEN RANGE 25L: Any 4 for $20.00 
7 varieties available.

Paintback Collection Event: Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale

Saturday, April 7 at 8 AM - 4 PM
73 Bassett St, Mona Vale

The problem of unwanted paint & packaging has been solved. 
Trade painters and householders are invited to dispose of unwanted paint and packaging responsibly at the following collection event. 

Mona Vale Collection Event
Date: April 7, 2018
Time: 8am to 4pm
Location: Johnson Bros Mitre 10, 73 Bassett Street Mona Vale, NSW 2103
Drop off is FREE

For more info on Paintback go to

Paintback accepts up to 100 litres per visit, secured in containers of 20 litres or less.

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Store
73 Bassett Street
Mona Vale - Online Store: Jbhmv.Com.Au

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333 Online store:

All information and tips in this publication are of a general nature only and neither Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 or Pittwater Online News does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information and tips in this publication. This publication is not intended to be a substitute for expert advice. Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 advises you to always consult an experienced and qualified person when undertaking jobs of this kind (including consulting a qualified tradesperson such as an electrician or plumber where relevant expert services are required). 

You should also consider any safety precautions that may be necessary when undertaking the work described in this publication (including wearing any necessary safety equipment such as safety glasses, goggles or ear protectors or hard hats). The information and tips in this publication are provided on the basis that Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 and Pittwater Online News excludes all liability for any loss or damage which is suffered or incurred (including, but not limited to, indirect and consequential loss or damage and whether or not such loss or damage could have been foreseen) for any personal injury or damage to property whatsoever resulting from the use of the information and tips in this publication. 

Pittwater Online News and Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 also advises there may be laws, regulations or by-laws with which you must comply when undertaking the work described in this publication. You should obtain all necessary permissions and permits from council and/or any other relevant statutory body or authority before carrying out any work. Major projects published in this publication always list these and/orlinks to where you may research what your own project requires to meet regulations.

Previous DIY Pages:

Decking Timbers  Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes  Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II  Privacy Screening Hardwoods  Autumn Paths and Lawns  Insulation Batts Plasterboard  Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care  Shade Sails & Watering  Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed  How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in  a Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed  Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System  Decking Oils  How To Make Garden Compost  How To Winter proof Your Lawn  How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed  Growing Your Own Winter Vegies  Winter Heating Guide Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I  How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix  Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I  Install Your Own Skylight  Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds  Summer Salad Garden  Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach  Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water  Salt Air: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II  Autumn Garden Tasks  Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist  Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home  Fixing Your Fence  Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards  DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015  DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015  Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall  DIY One Shelf Sideboard  Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children  Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather  Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun  How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture  Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge  How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting  Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring  Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months  Children’s Step Stool with Storage  Stop Winter Rain Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes  DIY Garden Shed: Part 1 of 4 - Base  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2 - Framing Walls  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2b - Gable Roof Framing  Garden Shed Part 3: Roof Installation  DIY Garden Shed: Weather- boards - Door And Window Installation And Paint Finish DIY Coffee Table With Chessboard Inlay  Spring Gardening: Feeding Your Soil And Plants - What Works For Each Plant  DIY Sandstone Flagging Parking Area - Platform  DIY Pre-Summer Checklist For A Safe Home   Summer Spruce Up: Interior Paint Tips and Three easy steps to rejuvenate your timber deck The Perfect BBQ Garden Setting DIY Water Wise Garden   DIY Side Gates  DIY Storm Preparation And Home Protection  One To Two Day DIY Weekend Spruce Ups  Vegepods For Autumn Planting + Easy To Make Lego Table Or Student Desk That Can Be Dismantled + Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Online Store   Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Great New Mona Vale Store: Still In Bassett Street - number 73  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Mona Vale Store: The Greenlife Garden Centre  Go Outside And Play: Creating Garden Spaces To Connect Children With Nature DIY Plasterboard Repair DIY Dolls House Or Garage Or Boatshed  DIY Child's Waggon - or use as a large planter mover DIY Bathroom Refresh: Zing For Spring Tips for Growing a Native Garden FireCrunch, Australian Developed Fire-proof, Sustainable, Durable and Reliable Building Board Now Available at Johnson Bros. at Mona Vale and Narrabeen School Holidays DIY Ideas for Children: Little Vegetables Garden, Swing, Windchimes Bushfire Season Preparation 2017: Home and Outdoor Areas  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale + Issue No 1 of Mitre 10’s inSITE Magazine for Tradies and Handymen  Preparing Al Fresco Areas for Christmas Get-Togethers and Summer Visitors  Summer De-bug; Mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches and ants - how to keep the outdoors insects where they belong DIY Summer Projects: Install A Fountain Or Water Feature  Late Summer and Early Autumn Projects: A Shed For All Storage Solutions + Garden Tasks + Keeping Our Waterways Clean  Autumn Plantings for Winter Harvests  2018 Paintback Collection Event: Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale Saturday, April 7   


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