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Ticks! can their cycle be broken?  RSS feed

 
Glen Cory
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Hello ,
We live in rural Rhode Island . And the ticks are fiercer after every warm winter . With that in mind I was wondering if any one has used the pyrethrum treated mouse nesting cotton packages? The add for a local company says that the treated cotton is used by the mice to build there nest and the pyrethrum kills the ticks on the mouse which is a carrier of the ticks at that stage . If I understand correctly .
Has any one tried this ?
Any suggestions would be great, we have tried many things to no avail.
 
Tracy West
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Never tried it.
I have used sulfa dust on woody/pine straw mulched areas when we lived in town.
I have had guineas in several locations and they really cut down on ticks.
Keeping brush piles and long grass cut really helps,too.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
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We use ducks for tick and snake control, and in the meantime gather up the eggs they lay everyday.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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The cotton balls you mention might be effective, but they don't fit with the permaculture ethos. Generally we would be looking for biological ways to control them, rather than chemical. Typically for pest species you might look at direct predation (eg free ranging guinnea fowl, or ducks) or for changing the landscape environment to make it more hostile for them. For example if you are aware that host species nest in certain areas in your environment you might consider controlling those habitats in someway.

I have seen a write up by someone who introduced a "chicken moat" - essentially a fenced chicken run encircling the zone one area nearest the house as a physical barrier that ticks would not be able to cross. This was a big benefit in the area nearest the house (gardens and vegetables).
 
Kevin Swanson
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Tracy West wrote:Never tried it.
I have used sulfa dust on woody/pine straw mulched areas when we lived in town.
I have had guineas in several locations and they really cut down on ticks.
Keeping brush piles and long grass cut really helps,too.


Keeping brush piles helps keep ticks down, or are you saying the opposite... that brush piles attract ticks?
 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
Posts: 354
Location: Western Kenya
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Just to be the devils advocate, pyrethrum is derived from a flower.  It is grown here in Kenya.  However, I am not sure how effective it really is against ticks.  I use a pyrethrum based shampoo on my dogs once a month because the flea load here in the tropics can be deadly.  It doesn't kill all the fleas, but it reduces the load by maybe 80% for a couple weeks.  And I don't see any real difference in the tick population after using the treated shampoo... At least here the common dog tick seems fairly resistant to pyrethrum. 
Maybe deer ticks are more susceptible?
If someone really has a non chemical solution, please pass it on to me.  We have several deadly cattle diseases spread by ticks... Its a constant battle.  And the ducks and chickens don't help that much. I love my poultry, but tick control is minimal, if any.
 
Glen Cory
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Hello again
Yes I have tried a great deal of very
Expensive treatments , including but not limited too D-earth in areas where they live or animals lay or live - which is very labor intensive on 5 acres of farm.
Beneficial nematodes to eat them, but they require moist ground conditions and the last 2 years in Rhode Island has been dryer than a pop- corn fart. So I have been unable to get them properly watered year after year.

The grass is short , the brush is turned into hugel mounds .

The 3 dozen chickens we have help , but we are surrounded by thousands of unmanaged  audobon and wildlife sanctuaries .

There must be a way short of a lightening strike or controlled fire , which are not      allowed in Rhode Island .

I don't care if it not part of our ethos , they are slowly killing us with Lyme      disesease and the thousand of co-infections that comes with the Lyme at the same time,
nothing keeps them at bay ,
I have had Lyme for over 2 years now and that my friends is LIVING HELL on earth!

And I don't want my family to get Lyme !

Sooo... Organic ,non organic , 5 acre plastic bubble for the farm .
There must be a way !

And to finish , I guess no one has used this treated cotton method of control?

Thanks to everyone and there responses , this is an invaluable site for the people of the planet , keep up the good work.

But watch out for those ticks , there coming for us all. Not even joking .

 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
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Location: Western Kenya
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Glenn, I hear you on the Lyme disease. I come from Vermont originally, and it is a plague there. Not only do people get it, my dog and my horses also got it.  Horrible stuff.  I am sorry you were also infected.
 
Libbie Hawker
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Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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Are you able to keep guinea fowl in your area? They're noisy, but they eat ticks like potato chips.
 
Mike Turner
Posts: 329
Location: Upstate SC
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I've used  combination of sheep and chickens to almost completely clear my 27 acres of ticks in 2 years.  Engorged ticks drop off their host when the host is quiet so they can lay their eggs in a location where the host customarily sleeps, then their offspring can easily find a host when they hatch.  I let my sheep wander the entire property during the day, but are overnighted near the house because of coyotes.  My chickens patrol the sheep overnighting pasture during the day where they eat any engorged  ticks that have dropped off during the night.  So my sheep collect up ticks from the outlying parts of the property during the day and drop the engorged ticks near the chicken house where the chickens eat them.  There used to parts of my property where I wouldn't go during tick season because I would come home with a dozen seed ticks and/or several adult ticks on me.  Last summer I saw a grand total of 3 ticks.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
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Fleas and ticks dislike cedar, so when I had dogs, I used to lay cedar boughs in the base of their kennel to keep the fleas and ticks at bay.

I never tried this, but am wondering if cedar essential oils might help rid fleas and ticks on dogs on par with commercial based products? Again I don't know this, but it may be worth trying. I am not sure what the cost is for cedar oil, perhaps $8 for a small vial, but this video on you tube shows how you can cheaply make your own with items you already have in your house.

Its interesting to me to see people make things on their own, but when they make it using stuff they have kicking around your house, it quadruples my respect for them. Maybe you have cedar trees of some sort in Kenya Maureen?

By the way, we are more neighbors than you realize Maureen. We live in Maine but have a few houses, and one is right on the Vermont/New Hampshire line. I also have a friend who lives in Johnson, VT to which I visit a few times a year.





 
Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
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I didn't know till recently how wonderful possum's are.  They like to pick through our worm bin for produce scraps. We have the bin just off the deck out of sight.  Now we all like it when the local crew drops by at night.

The sheep and chicken system sounds great! I imagine Guinea Hens could be mixed with the chicken flock.  Also, a goat or cow might be interchangeable with the sheep.

I'm sorry to hear about the lime ticks are scary stuff.  Hope you get back on track health wise. We have a family member that has struggled for years.  Finding a Lime Literate Dr. Is slim pickings around us (Ohio)

Bounce Dryer sheets tucked in your clothes (socks) and under the beds helps repel ticks.
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Glen Cory
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Wow ! Those are some really great ideas !
Now I just need to trim my cedars build some nesting boxes for opossums and talk the wife into some Guinea fowl.

Seriously those ideas seem do able in our present situation , without re-inventing the wheel so to speak.

And I think the bait and switch idea with the sheep and then the chickens is a great idea Mike. How do the sheep handle being tick bait ? And was that the original idea with having sheep? I don't know if I have enough grassy fields for sheep , kind of mixed hardwoods and invasive plants . I imagine goats would work the same in place of sheep as bait and a clearing mechanism ?

Thanks again everyone for these great ideas , I would love to see more of these great ideas.
There must be a way to fix this using what is already there , does anyone know how to attract opossums?
 
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