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We found 20 acres raw land, how to control ticks while we plan?

 
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Get cats!  The mouse is the main animal that ticks use to multiply on.  Traping the mouse is the main way that the number and kinds of ticks are determined.  Snakes are good. Owles are good. Chickens and fowl are good.   The common house cat or ferral cats will kill more mice than anything.










































b
 
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Tick tubes, I had almost forgotten about them. I don't remember the particulars but they're easy to find. They are toilet paper tubes stuffed with cotton (or something a mouse would like to take to their nest) that are soaked in something that kills ticks but not mice. The mice take it back home where it doesn't leave the nest, which is supposed to limit the impact on anything but ticks. Not strictly permie, but not wanton destruction either. I'll bet the mice are happy with the arrangement. I decided my problem wasn't bad enough to use them so I can't give first hand experience
 
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Location: Iowa
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I see no one talks about supplements.  My husband used to work for the railroad.  He either would eat garlic or took garlic capsules and didn't get ticks.  Soon the other guys were using garlic too to keep the ticks off.  Also he was in the army reserve and  when they would go out and camp he would be sure to take garlic.
 
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Location: Upstate NY zone 5b
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Gary coplan wrote:Fyi an Opossums can eat up to 5000 tics in one sitting.



5,000 ticks in one season, not sitting. I wish!
Source linked previously in this thread: https://www.caryinstitute.org/news-insights/media-coverage/opossums-killers-ticks
 
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Location: Lanark Highlands, Mississippi River watershed, ON, Canada, Laurentia; Dfb (Köppen climate system)
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I heard Patrick Timpone, host of One Radio Network, say on his show that he distributed fire ants throughout his property in Dripping Springs, TX and this rid him of his tick problem.
 
pollinator
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Location: South-central Wisconsin
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Brian Cady wrote:

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:I'm currently testing nematodes as tick control. The advantage, other than the lack of toxins, is that the nematodes will keep reproducing as long as there's something to feed them. I didn't see any beneficial insects on the list of bugs these nematodes will eat, but I'll be keeping an eye out for that.

If it works, I might see if I can convince my neighbors to do the same.



Ellendra, did the nematodes work?



Hard to say. Due to a number of things going wrong all at once, I ended up not being able to spray the nematodes in areas where the ticks tend to be. Instead, I added them to the water I brought to water in seeds and transplants, and just poured it over the ground. Even then, my "assistant" got it in his head that the nematode mix was both precious and shelf-stable. I kept catching him pouring just a tiny dribble here and there, then trying to take the rest of the gallon home, when I had mixed up exactly enough for the spot being planted, no more.

(I'm a little frustrated right now over some more recent stunts he's pulled. I really wish I could fire him. Unfortunately, his other title is "Dad", and he makes it impossible to sneak off and work on anything without him.)

(Ok, rant over.)

I will say that there were no ticks found anywhere in the garden last year. And some other pests that were on the list of things those nematodes attack, also didn't show up. Both the potato patch and the pumpkin patch were free of bug damage. I plan to try it again, hopefully with an actual sprayer this time!
 
pollinator
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Location: Mid-Atlantic zone 5ish
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Another strategy is internal:

Take astragalus 1g daily, indefinitely, and practice a habit of daily self-examination. (Self-exam is good for various reasons.)

As Dr. Stephen Buhner says in many Q&As:
"Astragalus 3000 mg daily for 30 days, then 1000 mg thereafter as a preventative."
 
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Gail Gardner wrote:

Dan Boone wrote:"They say" that tick disease is most likely to be caught from a tick that latches on and goes undetected for multiple hours, or especially 24 hours or more.  



I feel them moving and drop them into little screw-top jars with some water in the bottom that I keep handy during tick season. I've never had any illnesses from them.

One thing I have noticed is that my older horses seem to first get some that get engorged, but then pretty quickly any ticks that get on them dry out and die instead of getting engorged and dropping off. My theory is that a healthy horse defeats the ticks, which limits their reproduction.

Over time, the two younger horses which originally had a ton of ticks started killing off any that got on them in the same manner. But a sickly horse (or dog, puppy, kitten, etc.) gets some benefit from the ticks and until they don't need them anymore, they drop off and multiply. I doubt there is any research showing why this would be so, but think about it.

If you're a believer, why would Our Creator create something with no beneficial purpose? When I was younger, I thought the first question I wanted to ask was why mosquitoes. But most people realize that they will eat some people alive, but not touch other people in the same vicinity. There must be a good reason for that.

So eat better. Feed your animals better. Learn to avoid the worst exposures (think chiggers and ants, for example). And as you (and they) get healthier, you'll have less issues with annoying insects. That, and get ducks, chickens, or guineas to keep their numbers down. Diatomaceous earth can also help.  

Cowboys in Texas would duct tape the bottom of their pants legs and powder them with sulphur. So if they really bother you, try that. Be careful what you try, though. I read that tea tree oil would repel them. When i tried that, it was like nectar to them and they crawled on me 10x worse than normal. So test before assuming something will work.



Gail Gardner. Mosquitoes feed frogs and bats, ' all creatures great and small' and all that.
Also proven fact, mosquitoes prefer people with 0+ blood, they don't prefer people who are less healthy and lyme disease is bad for everyone.

I too have heard guineafowl.
 
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I'm quite familiar with ticks. My record to date is 17, taken off my clothing after a single woods foray. A few things I've learned about them that I'm not sure have been mentioned here yet that may help someone.

Awareness is your biggest tool. All the ticks I've ever met tend to crawl around on their selected host for quite some time-often hours- looking for that sweet spot. If you know you're in tick country and you check yourself often, odds are you'll find them before they latch.

And this may seem obvious, but wear appropriate clothing. Most ticks get on to you when you brush against grasses and shrubs. My tick incidents plummeted once I started wearing slick knee-high rain boots during tick time. Likewise, slippery fabrics like wind-breakers are a better bet than something sticky like fleece. Tie your hair back, wear a hat, etc.  

Common sense, but it makes a big difference. For my part I've learned to live with them, they're just part of life in the woods. Good luck.
 
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Location: KY
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William Bronson wrote:This thread makes my tiny urban lots seem rather pleasant.
Constant assault by ticks seems nightmarish.

I am curious,  the OP mentions noise bothering the neighbors.
I would think not having to worry what the neighbors think would be one of the reasons to move to 20 acres of wild land.



After recently moving full-time to a property around 30 acres in a sparsely populated area, up on a ridge, I find it amazing what can be heard without the constant hum of modern civilization to filter things out, and tall buildings, etc as noise barriers. I can hear a dog barking, chainsaw operating, car driving up a gravel drive, gunshots, and even human voices from neighbors that are over 1/4 mile away and further!

On topic about ticks...I agree with Dan Boone in it's just one of those things we have to live with, but it's not pleasant at all. Removing them from a dog before letting them back into a house is a big help I have found. Also, wearing shorts as much as possible helps me feel them crawling up my legs before they get up to a spot they try to set-in.
 
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At my new more rural place, my dogs kept bringing ticks into the house.  Since it is such a huge project to battle and recover completely from Lyme disease, I sprayed the dog yard with predatory nematodes and I did see far fewer.  This link offers a better explanation of this approach.   https://www.arbico-organics.com/category/pest-solver-guide-tick-control
 
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I have had good luck with rose geranium essential oil, diluted either in a bit of weak alcohol for a spray or in oil to rub on. It isn’t foolproof, so still do tick checks, but it will lower the pressure, especially if you remember to reapply every few hours.

Re the opossum: the whole 5,000 ticks in a season thing is calculated from animals in a cage grooming and eating ticks that were dropped in there with them. studies of opossum stomach contents in the wild have not found significant numbers of ticks. It maybe that when given a choice, ticks avoid opossums in the wild? Whatever the reason, its a good example of how lab results don’t always transfer.
 
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Ed Martinaise wrote:We read somewhere that surrounding the area with a 3 ft pile of woodchips would create a barrier against them.


I can say from experience that I've picked dozens of ticks off me and my dog whilst we were in an area that is 6" deep wood chips surrounded by forested prairie. We never left the chips, yet found dozens of ticks on us each day. Therefore seriously doubting that any depth of chips will have any effect on ticks. Good Luck!
 
J Grey
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J Brooks wrote:

Rufus Laggren wrote: Do we have any substantial records of how past people used it over long periods of time?  


The book Sproutlands (Logan, 2019, https://www.amazon.com/Sprout-Lands-Tending-Endless-Trees-dp-0393609413/dp/0393609413 ) has a chapter, "Making Good Sticks", on the extensive use of fire by native Californians.  Through "fire coppicing", they burned patches every one to five years.  This created fresh green forage, created plenty of straight sucker shoots to harvest and use for baskets and fences and walls, cleared the land for easier movement, and killed oak moth larvae ensconced in felled acorns on the ground.  Presumably also burned ticks and other problems.

Before reading this book, I thought pollarding and coppicing maimed and killed trees.  I still don't like the look, but now I realize these techniques are essential skills, and our world and civilization were created by them.  Coppicing and pollarding were used extensively from neolithic times up until recently.  Actually, the neolithic age, the stone age, is a misnomer: it was the age of wood, but the wood rotted away, leaving the stone tools we found.  Want to have a huge supply of uniformly sized poles and sticks, just right for walls, fences, baskets, kiln fuel, etc.?  Then you want to learn coppicing and pollarding.  These techniques reliably generate mountains of clean, smooth, ready-to-use material.  Longer-term pollarding created building timbers and ship frames.


Brilliant! Bravo!
Very well said.

Coppicing and pollarding are very well known permaculture practices in Europe that have been in use for many millenia. Trees that normally would die in 40-50 years when left untended live for CENTURIES when coppiced and pollarded. The very epitome of sustainability!

Several of the farms I work and teach on are using coppicing and pollarding in their silvopastures here in the Upper MidWest.
 
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I control them by keeping grass mowed and picking them off the the dog and the cats that will let me. ive had my hospital bout from a larval tick and I no longer go wandering through tall grass or bushes and after bush hogging or mowing or other activities that put me in places where ticks may be I take bath and put cloths right in washer. these few simple things have kept me tick free since that year lost from a tick bite.
 
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I've researched this quite a bit and found something that looks better than anything else I've read - store sprays, this or that animal, etc. I'll be buying this soon.

Look up Arbico Organics

Triple Threat Beneficial Nematodes - Sf, Sc, Hb

There's microorganisms that get into the tick kill it and prevent laying.  Kind of pricey, but the treatment of lyme is more expensive and life altering.

As a naturopath, I've combined about 7 different essential oils in coconut oil, oregano and tree tea being two of them.  I think the others are sandalwood, bergamot, citronella, frankincense, spearmint, and rosemary. Whenever I find a tick on me, I remove it and then dip my finger. In the concoction of oils and then rub it on the skin.
Some have more killing property than others. But for example, the spearmint can help remove the itch. I also combine it with apple cider vinegar and use it as a spray before I go out working.

Oil of oregano capsules will kill just about anything, so that's a good thing to take for potential treatment of take bites.
 
pollinator
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In Minnesota we have uncountable numbers of ticks (several species) and they carry all of the usual nasty diseases like Lymes.
We don't try to control the ticks I think that would be a fool's errand, just my opinion.
We have found a method that works pretty well at detecting them.
During the summer months we wear white long sleeve shirts and long pants. We wear white calf length socks and Tuck the pants into them.
Most of the ticks encountered can be found on the socks, the pants or the shirt and taken off before they even get near your skin.
Then every night you do a full body search of each other if you have a partner,  and using two mirrors opposite each other to detect those behind you if you are Solo.
The system is not foolproof we have had cases of Lyme's disease, however as stated before, if the tick is on usually less than 24 hours and removed there shouldn't be a problem.
Keep an eye on the bite site for any unusual swelling redness or a bullseye type rash.
When in doubt you can get a single antibiotic shot if administered within the first day or two after being bitten,  or else a round of antibiotics for two to three weeks.
Lucky dogs (pun intended) can get a preventive shot for tick-borne diseases that lasts a year or two.
Currently not so for us unlucky humans.
 
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