To control deer ticks, an integrated approach is recommended which involves personal protection, landscape management and, where the risk is high, application of acaricides to tick habitat. An excellent and comprehensive review of tick IPM will be found in the “Tick Management Handbook“, prepared by the State of Connecticut.
Deer ticks thrive in bushy, deciduous habitats with leaf litter that provide the shade and moisture needed to protect them from fatal desiccation. Removal of shrubs, especially of barberry, honeysuckle and other invasive species, is a very important first step in controlling ticks around the home. Further control, particularly where ticks abound, may require the use of tick-killing pesticides (acaricides).
Where relatively small areas are to be treated, homeowners may use over-the-counter sprays or granular products, but lower concentrations of active ingredients and inadequate application force may limit their effectiveness.
For larger properties, a professional applicator with specialized equipment to mix and apply product with a high pressure hose sufficient to disturb the leaf litter will be the most effective choice