I wish there was something we could do. Our chickens don't make much of a dent during heavy tick season and even though we have cold and frozen winters we see ticks during every month in the calendar now. Poisons don't seem to have an effect on the drugs or cats of our friends in the area so we don't use those either.
We are between dogs right now, one of our recent dogs had terrible arthritis and suffering from lyme disease. It's enough to make us hesitate before getting another dog.
Hand checking works for wood ticks but deer ticks can be so small that we could never find them in thick fur. We can hardly be sure to find them on ourselves!
I wish there was a good answer for us. What are the nematodes? How do I get them?
We've had decent control of ticks on our Australian shepherd mix with DE, probably equivalent to Advantage or Frontline. We give her a liberal dusting and rubbing whenever a tick shows up....perhaps every few weeks in the spring mostly. Our dry summer and frosty winter are both inimical to them I think....
I just purchased some "lavender essential oil" which I will be rubbing on the bellies of my dogs come tick time! (Have heard it works wonders; so will check it out!) We also have an assortment of free-ranging fowl!
When I took my dog out in the tick-infested southern Illinois woodland in late summer, I sprayed each of his legs with CedarCide. This stuff is basically texas cedar oil and smells like, well, cedar. I sprayed it on my legs as well. Neither of us picked up a tick but multiple others in our party did.
Cedar oil is toxic to cats, but it seems safe for dogs. I didn't put tons of it on him, just on his legs and maybe a quick swipe of his belly.
A couple of years ago I used it on the hotel mattresses at Disney World in Florida after I'd heard about the trouble with bed bugs they were having (and I'd sent away one mattress for having suspicious debris on it). It's not completely non-toxic, but I'd call it less toxic. I bought a gallon of the stuff and I've used it for protecting wool clothes as well. Better than moth balls!