Many people who have sizable yards with a significant population of ticks consider using chickens to control their tick population. This is especially true as tick-borne diseases such as Alpha-Gal Syndrome become more common. After all, why not get rid of the ticks and get some fresh, free-range eggs out of the deal? Below, we’ll look into the pros and cons of this idea and answer the question, “Do chickens eat ticks?”
Chickens Eat Ticks and Other Insects
Chickens are voracious omnivores with a particular appetite for insects, including ticks. Well, that settles it, then. Time to start working on the coop in the backyard. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. While chickens eat ticks, and a lot of them, there is no evidence that having chickens will significantly reduce or eliminate ticks in your yard. It may seem counterintuitive, but chickens, although they eat ticks, are also hosts for ticks. So, it’s more likely that you would be creating a self-supporting tick and chicken ecosystem in your backyard than eliminating your tick problem. In simple terms, getting chickens for their eggs makes sense; getting them to stop a tick infestation will likely produce disappointing results.
What Types of Fowl Eat Ticks?
Beyond chickens, many other types of domesticated birds eat ticks, including guineas, peafowl, and turkeys. However, their effect on tick populations in your yard will be much the same as with chickens. It is unlikely that they will get rid of your tick infestation.
How Can I Get Rid of Ticks in My Yard?
So, what are some effective ways of controlling ticks, if not chickens, and other types of fowl? Getting rid of ticks in your yard can be challenging, but it is essential to reduce the risk of tick-borne illnesses. Ticks are typically found in tall grass, bushes, and wooded areas, and they thrive in humid and warm environments. Here are some steps you can take to reduce the tick population in your yard:
- Keep the grass short: Regularly mow your lawn and trim tall grass and weeds where ticks often reside.
- Clear leaves and debris: Remove leaf litter and any other yard debris, as ticks like to hide in these areas.
- Create a border: Consider creating a gravel or wood chip border between your lawn and wooded areas to reduce tick migration into your yard.
- Prune trees and shrubs: Trim back branches and bushes to let more sunlight into your yard, as ticks prefer shady, humid areas.
- Install fencing: If possible, install a physical barrier like a fence to keep larger animals, such as deer and rodents, out of your yard, as they can carry ticks.
- Check yourself and pets: After spending time outdoors, thoroughly check yourself, your family members, and your pets for ticks. Prompt removal is crucial to prevent tick-borne illnesses.
Get Help From Bug-A-Way
If your tick problem persists or if you live in a high-risk area, we can help you by providing proven effective advanced treatment options. Please reach out to us for a quote!