Simply put, ticks are a part of summer in Arkansas. Like watermelon seeds, they simply are a factor to be dealt with. That doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about how you deal with them, or even take steps to avoid them. Of course, Terminix’s organic outdoor treatment can help make your yard a tick-free zone. But here are five tips from the Centers for Disease Control that you can do at home to help you avoid them. Don’t give ticks a place to hide. Remove all clutter and debris from your yard. Remove all leaf litter and overgrown bush, and regularly mow the lawn. A three-foot barrier of gravel or mulch between your lawn and any wooded areas will discourage tick migration. And while we’re at it, a fence will keep critters that attract ticks out of your yard. Keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from the yard’s edge. Stack firewood neatly and in a dry place. In the South, you’re likely to encounter a tick or two every summer. That’s OK. But these steps can help make sure those encounters are few and far between.