If you have ever been bitten by a tick or even found these parasites in the wooded parts of your garden or backyard, it can become a cause for concern.
My neighbor had to carry out significant pest control to remove the ticks in her garden, and according to the exterminator, most of the ticks were found in the pine straw she was using as mulch.
I was pretty surprised as pine needles are quite dry, and I never thought these could harbor any insects, let alone parasites! Here is what I learned from this ordeal.
Ticks can live and thrive in pine straws due to the moisture and shade that’s present in this organic material. Because pine straw mulch makes an ideal habitat for ticks, they also use this as an incubation site for their eggs which in turn will create an infestation problem.
Does pine straw attract ticks?
Pine straws attract ticks because of the moisture it retains. Ticks avoid dry places because they have a preference for hiding in areas that have moisture and shade.
Since pine straw is often used as mulch due to the length of time that it lasts and how well it holds the soil’s moisture, you also run the risk of having a tick infestation.
Since pine straw attracts ticks, you will need to seek out other alternatives.
Substitutes for pine straw can be inorganic mulch such as materials like gravel, stone, or rubber.
Ticks are less attracted to these materials since they don’t provide shelter like organic mulches.
If you wish to proceed with the use of pine straws, just know that you will eventually need to spend some money on pest control services.
Do ticks lay eggs on the pine straw?
When it comes to laying eggs, the parasite will lay these closer to the ground where there is adequate moisture.
When you use pine straw as mulch, you ensure that the ground retains the moisture making the region warm and moist.
This is ideal for ticks to lay eggs, not only for the moisture but for the shade that it also provides.
As a result, you will often find colonies of ticks living in pine straws, laying eggs near the soil, and at the bottom of the mulch.
How can ticks live in pine straw?
Ticks must be taken into consideration if you plan to use pine straw as part of your landscaping or as soil nutrients.
Pine straw takes longer to decompose to keep the soil warmer. As a result, it will become a perfect condition for the ticks to live.
The warm and moist conditions created by the pine straw mulch are ideal for ticks to live and thrive.
Can ticks survive the cold weather if you have pine straw mulch in your garden?
Ticks can survive in cold weather. These parasites can die only if the weather is freezing.
It is possible for several insects in your garden to die if the weather is cold, but ticks in pine straw mulch will survive.
The primary reason for this is due to the fact that the mulch is often warm and humid compared to the surroundings making it ideal for the survival of ticks even during the cold season.
Can ticks in pine straws affect your pets?
When your pets go outside to play and roll around, you and I both know that they can’t help themselves from digging around certain areas in your garden.
So now, while they’re playing around the pine straw mulch, it is very possible that the ticks living in this area can jump onto your pet.
Imagine this, your pet now comes running inside to play with the kids. How scary can this be!
This now leaves you in a predicament to check your pet for any tick every time they come running into the house.
Can ticks live in pine trees?
The answer to this question is yes. If you have purchased a real Christmas tree, which happens to be a pine tree, you need to check it for ticks.
If the tree is not tall, it is a good idea to check all the branches for ticks.
If you find even a few of these parasites on the tree, simply remove them or opt for a pest control service before you put the tree inside your house.
Ticks are resistant insects, and if you do not take precautions at the onset, you can have a tick infestation at your home.