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help with bad tick problem?

 
Charlotte White
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My yard is extremely sandy and I have a tick problem, I live next to a field with cattle(not sure that has anything to do with it) the ticks get on my pets have used all kinds of meds and my kids also get them how can I get rid of this problem
 
R Scott
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Chickens or guineas.

Lyme disease almost killed me, I would burn them with fire and nuke them from orbit just to be sure--but nothing works as well as free-range fowl.
 
Charlotte White
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the problem with chickens and guineas is the coyotes need to use chemicals or natural I tries cedar shavings didnt work
 
Jordan Lowery
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We have quail that do a fine job, wild of course.

Encourage as many ground feeding birds as possible. Where my dog used to get ticks because he was just laying out in the sun. I tossed some breadcrumbs. I did this for a few days and in all the spots he liked to lay got rid of the few that got him. This was years ago. Now we have so many different birds the problem is minimal. Our ticks come from the deer that go through our place daily.

Chickens and ducks also do a good job.
 
Renate Howard
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If you are home a lot during the day or have a good dog then coyotes shouldn't be much of a problem. Just lock them in a fortress at night. Most dogs can't see in the dark so even a good dog may fall down on the job then.

Or you could get game fowl - they can fly very far (like into the treetops), and are supposed to be more alert and intelligent than your average chicken. We have banties too, and the tiny ones are pretty smart and alert - they've kind of been fending for themselves and while we have lost about half of the originals, they're also a very broody bunch and we've gained about 3 times as many as we've lost. The other good thing about banties is that they aren't nearly as destructive in their digging as the full-sized birds. And you can still eat the eggs. They're about half the size of a normal egg, but you get more yolk and they eat way less purchased food.

Other than that, there are some herbal things you can put on the kids every time they go outside. If you switch to BARF diet (bones and raw food) for your dog it's supposed to make them a less desirable host to parasites. My dog is a heeler and he's only had one tick in his life - just naturally resistant, I guess.
 
Ben Plummer
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I'm with R, Lyme is no fun. I still experience pain in my extremities six years on. Coyotes can be dealt with a decent rifle and as Renate suggested, a dog.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Would diatomaceous earth work ? Not sure if their bodies are soft enough?

www.richsoil.com
 
Chris Kott
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Coyotes? No, I vote for the gun. And fowl for the ticks. Oh, I see what you mean.

-CK
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Are they dog ticks (wood ticks ) or deer ticks? This makes a difference. Dog ticks are sort of yucky and annoying, deer ticks carry lyme and other tick borne diseases that can be very serious. We live in a very tick infested area and have all had Lyme. Lyme treated quickly is unpleasant but ok. Untreated Lyme that becomes chronic can be devastating. It is similar to syphilis in shape and like syphilis can cause both physical and mental symptoms.

So be sure to identify which you have.

Around here the main carriers are rodents and deer. We make our garden area as unattractive to them add possible and leave our meadow zone 4-5 for them. It is not practical to have fowl running through the food garden, for tick prevention, especially this time of year with yummy little sprouts coming up, yet the garden is where we hang out most, so the bird solution would not work here.

The recommendation from our trusty local naturopathic doctor is to get the Permethrin spray for our clothes and shoes. Sawyer makes a good one, there may be other brands. This is not very toxic, and since you put out on clothes rather than skin it is much safer and long lasting.
 
Renate Howard
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Any kind of ticks can carry lyme. The deer ticks live on mice at the nymph stage and the mice are the ones that infect the ticks with lyme, while in the desert the nymphs live on reptiles who don't carry lyme (but do carry mycoplasma which may be as bad). But if your area has mice and lyme then your ticks can be carriers, no matter what kind of ticks. They have found that squirrels are immune to lyme and don't act as carriers, so maybe it's good to have a lot of squirrels around to act as alternate tick hosts, but you really have no control over where the nymph ticks feed. Foxes and even coyotes are helpful in the fight against lyme because the main part of their diets is mice. I wonder, tho, if the lyme takes its toll on the foxes because when I lived in southeastern PA the foxes seemed to all get mange sooner or later, bad enough they were dying from it. That's an indication of a poorly functioning immune system, could be due to lyme.

If you don't want chickens in the garden area, then maybe consider a small terrier of any breed that was bred for catching rats or mice. I've heard they're far better rodent control than a cat, which will often stop killing mice once it's full. If you praise the dog for chasing a mouse, praise it for catching one, that's pretty much all you have to do. My cocker spaniel even learned to kill mice in the garden for me.
 
Matu Collins
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Renate Haeckler wrote:Any kind of ticks can carry lyme.


Actually it is only two kinds of ticks that carry Lyme, in our area only one http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/transmission/
 
Renate Howard
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Well, there's the information the CDC gives out and the information other researchers do that the lyme support groups know of. The CDC is rather behind the times as far as Lyme disease, which is why so many people in CA, WA, OR, and FL were told there was no lyme in their area for so long when they really have a bad lyme problem in those states. I'm not talking about armchair "research" but university and PhD, funded research, is finding lyme can be transmitted by almost any kind of tick and also mosquitoes and other biting insects like fleas. One researcher used darkfield microscopy to actually SEE the lyme organism and said she saw it in different kinds of ticks, and results in labs using beagles has been confounded when the control group caught lyme from being kenneled in the same area as the study group, even tho they found no ticks on any of the dogs.

Sorry for getting off subject but don't trust the CDC where it comes to lyme - it's a political powder keg and people who have said things that are wrong, instead of admitting their mistakes, have dug in to defend themselves and attack those who disagree, using credentials instead of facts or research.
 
Matu Collins
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That is disturbing. The Lyme world is full of controversy

Having all been infected at some point here, we just always try to practice good immune support.

We have plenty of wood ticks here, but rarely do they get a chance to spend any time on us, they are so big and tickly we usually find them crawling, and if one ever did attach we would find it quickly.

The deer ticks (black legged ticks) are much harder to notice, they can be smaller than the period at the end of a sentence and almost clear.

I think the idea of identifying the type of tick is still good. If the ticks are wood ticks, I would try less drastic measures to eradicate them, for deer ticks in a place where people will be living and working I do my best to eliminate them.
 
Matu Collins
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And I have known many dogs with Lyme, the foxes may indeed be suffering from Lyme. We have a small Fox population and many many coyotes, as well as numerous snakes, hawks and owls and an often looked for but rarely sighted bobcat. We still have plenty of rodents (no rats though and plenty of ticks.
 
Chris Kott
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I recall reading that deer ticks are spread by Robins, so wherever you see them ranging, you have the potential for deer ticks.

-CK
 
Renate Howard
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Any ground-feeding birds can host ticks, even chickens or doves. Also chipmunks. On the coasts some suspect seabirds are carrying them from one country to another (there's a significant lyme problem in Europe and Australia as well as the US).
 
Chris Kott
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And yet the places hereabouts that have tick and lyme issues are those without significant native non-migratory ground-foraging fowl, like wild turkey.

-CK
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
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"And yet the places hereabouts that have tick and lyme issues are those without significant native non-migratory ground-foraging fowl, like wild turkey. "

We do have a significant population of native non-migratory ground-foraging fowl here, and lots of ticks. Flocks of wild turkeys- eight raised in our back meadow last year! We have a lot of biodiversity. Some we want some we prefer not to have.
 
wayne stephen
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Ticks and Wild Turkeys go hand in hand . Turkeys may eat ticks , especially polts , but they also are preyed on by Lone Star Ticks. If you have ever had the pleasure of a few hundred larval ticks in your boots I'm with you. I had to spray my feet with Clorox to get them to dislodge. My first day turkey hunting in Kentucky and I had spent a month scouting an area where I knew alot of birds were and there I sat and waited. Memorable experience. They do not spread Lyme disease though . When we first bought our acreage the ticks would crawl up your leg anytime you stepped out of the house. 4 years of free range chickens and no ticks. My advice chickens , guineas , knee high rubber boots , and grow teasel root in case you get Lymes. The lack of ticks has been worth the few birds we lost to predators. Ticks for eggs.
 
Marsha Richardson
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Free ranging chickens, especially hens with chicks really cut down on ticks in the yard. They eat things that I can't even see! I also dust cotton balls with diatomaceous earth and stash them in places the field mice might be messing about (wood pile, stacks of lumber, etc). They use them to build their nests and then you have more vermin free mice. Also set up the same sort of things for the birds to make their nests. It helps with bird lice and ticks on them as well. A splash in the dust bowls that the chickens make keeps them free of ectoparasites too!

The permithrin works great on clothing, be sure and spray socks as well. I also spray the edges and underside of my tent when we go camping. For more organic/natural, lemonbalm, crushed up and soaked in oil is an effective but short-lived repellant. I use it on the dogs as well as myself when I am going to be out messing in the forest. It also makes a great dense ground cover in an edge situation where there is enough soil moisture for it. Does really well in medium shade and at least here doesn't take over like crazy.
 
Judith Browning
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Masking tape is our best friend for ticks especially the stage called 'seed' ticks. Without it I am sure I might have left the ozarks every summer. We have been bit a lot and find one or two crawling on us daily starting now into October and I suppose I have had some mild form of Lymes...I know folks have had that from ticks here. That is one up side to the summer droughts we are having...no ticks...until the next rain.
 
Claire Gardner
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Judith Browning wrote:Masking tape is our best friend for ticks especially the stage called 'seed' ticks. Without it I am sure I might have left the ozarks every summer. We have been bit a lot and find one or two crawling on us daily starting now into October and I suppose I have had some mild form of Lymes...I know folks have had that from ticks here. That is one up side to the summer droughts we are having...no ticks...until the next rain.

Chiggers and ticks, so much less fun than tiggers and chicks. I loved Arkansas in many ways, but I do not miss the chiggers and ticks. Had a friend come in from hunting, must have had a couple hundred of those seed ticks - it was disgusting.
 
Matu Collins
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I wouldn't trust Lyme to have a mild form. It is a spirochete like syphilis and can change and cause worse symptoms, from arthritis to mental illness. If you suspect any form of Lyme, please get treated immediately, it is nothing to mess with.
 
Judith Browning
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Matu Collins wrote:I wouldn't trust Lyme to have a mild form. It is a spirochete like syphilis and can change and cause worse symptoms, from arthritis to mental illness. If you suspect any form of Lyme, please get treated immediately, it is nothing to mess with.


Well, I don't have any reason to think I have or have had Lymes...just the fact that I have been bit by a lot of ticks over the last forty years. The friends who have been diagnosed had very serious symptoms but also were not in good health otherwise. I tend to believe you can combat a lot with a healthy lifestyle...maybe not always but it can make a difference.
 
paul wheaton
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This snake has some questions about lyme disease too:

 
Jessica Gorton
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Wow, now I'm seriously grossed out. That poor snake...
 
David Hartley
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Dang it, Paul!... So much for sleeping tonight {facepalm}
 
Matu Collins
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I am in excellent health and have had Lyme a couple of times. We have been pulling about a deer tick a day off of myself, my husband, and at least one of my kids lately. My husband has just had Lyme but I think we have fought it off with high doses of vitamin C. I have also had success in the past with colloidal silver. I agree that a healthy lifestyle is key

That poor snake.
 
Judith Browning
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Matu Collins wrote:I am in excellent health and have had Lyme a couple of times. We have been pulling about a deer tick a day off of myself, my husband, and at least one of my kids lately. My husband has just had Lyme but I think we have fought it off with high doses of vitamin C. I have also had success in the past with colloidal silver. I agree that a healthy lifestyle is key

That poor snake.


Hi, Matu...I was wondering how high a dose of vit. C? Maybe it could work as a preventative...we try to take extra as a supplement...I might up the dose over the summer. We have been having at least that many tick bites too and now found a blood sucking conenose on our sleeping porch. When we moved my mother here to live with us in the nineties she had her first tick bite ever at seventy and each time had a bad skin reaction...I used an echinacea tincture then on the bites.

Yes, poor snake...I didn't know ticks would get on them...looks like some of the hounds in the neighborhood here.
 
Jessica Gorton
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I have also read that astragalus is a good herbal prophylactic against Lyme, if you've been bitten. It's a good immune herb in general, and you can take it regularly (though not in the case of acute infection).
 
Matu Collins
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Hi, Matu...I was wondering how high a dose of vit. C? Maybe it could work as a preventative...we try to take extra as a supplement...


I missed this. When I have gotten bitten in the past I have had success with 1000 mg slow release capsules three times a day. Now that I have had Erlichiosis I am doubtful about natural cures. I do believe in the healthy lifestyle and all, but it's nothing to fool around with.

From what I understand of Vit. C it is very effective in high doses at making the body inhospitable for pathogens. It can also make the body inhospitable for fetuses so don't do this while pregnant!
 
Seth Wetmore
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Look into diet.
Mosquitos/fleas avoid people who have a high diet of garlic.
Garlic is your friend.
Other food sources could also help repulse insects.
Have fun researching.
 
Mat Smith
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I have heard that Rose Geranium essential oil works well.
I have yet to try it but will give it a go next time I head out bush.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Apparently, opossums are our friends when it comes to ticks and lymes disease. I just saw this article about how opossums are seriously amazing at cleaning up tick problems because they attract ticks to themselves and they spend the majority of their time cleaning themselves of the ticks! check out the article, it's pretty fascinating.
 
Edward Gathright
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I have had some farmers tell me to burn my fields in the spring to not only help KILL weeds but ticks also.
 
Dean Howard
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Talk to a vet. Years ago both my dogs had ticks and the VET offered to give them a shot (don't know what was in it). Neither ever had a single tick for the rest of their lives.
If money is an issue, try food-grade Diatomaceous Earth sprinkled liberally and worked into their coats ever so often, or at the first sign of another tick.
 
duane hennon
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I have heard that putting a spray of Listerine (original brown) and water
on shoes and clothing will keep ticks, fleas and your family away


I am out all the time sitting on the ground, pulling weeds and planting
and have never had a tick
clean living?
pure thoughts?
genetics? there is evidence that attraction by mosquitoes is partially genetic
 
bob day
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We have problems with ticks and chiggers down in VA and gold bond powder as a repellant, although the cheaper dollar store stuffs well also. Fel's naptha -an old solid bar laundry soap is something i have used to antidote the chigger rash/bumps.

I don't like the idea of burning fields for any reason, and i'm thinking of ways to combine fine dry powdered clay with misc herbs - lavender, rosemary, mints, to act as a substitute for the synthetic powder, probably planting them around in the garden also has an effect
 
George Meljon
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I can confirm the geranium oil does help. Soaks into leather too and provides longer effect. Peppermint has also done the job. We keep a spray bottle ready at all times. That said I also believe ticks have cycles and we may be in a down turn. The winter was also harsh enough too I believe. Interestingly we've had opposums nearby recently too.
 
Eva Taylor
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Stephen harrod buhner has a couple of amazing books on treating Lyme and its coinfections. Sometimes the infections that hang out with Lyme can be just as bad. The book gives you some pretty heavy information about the how's and whys of Lyme. Amazing enough, Japanese knot weed is one of the herbs used to treat lymes and seems to grow In areas with high infection rates...
Astragalus is one of the preventative measures you can take- you can also take it when you pull a tick from you to help combat the Lyme spirochete. Get the books and read them for yourself, it's way more complex than we have been told.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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