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safe tick control

 
                      
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I love your article about fleas and will try using DE.

I'm curious ... you don't address ticks.  Any thoughts about tick control without poisons.  (last year we removed about 15 ticks / day from each pet during tick season) ... not fun for anybody ... I'm up learning a new way to deal with this issue.

thanks!
 
paul wheaton
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The only time I ever had to deal with ticks was when I bought a new puppy from a farm that must have had a lot of ticks.  So we plucked about 20 or 30 from that puppy over the first few days.  Nothing came up later.

DE works on any critter with an exoskeleton, so it will work on ticks too. 

I've heard of people that have a lot of ticks on their farm will get guinnea fowl.  While they are loud and obnoxious, they think that ticks are the tastiest candy in the world and will quickly reduce a local tick population.

 
Leah Sattler
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    I wish I could find something natural and effective for ticks also. the de might work short term but its really important to keep the ticks form latching on to begin with not just kill them off occasionally by dusting with de. I have no choice but to use a spot on type  product or a collar specifically for ticks. I always get the eebie jeebies from petting my dogs after I put the product on but I get worse eebie jeebies when I find ticks all over the the place.
  several years ago they got out of hand without my noticing. I was just using a plain old flea and tick spot on with pyrethrins than just isn't enough. I let the dogs in one evening due to a storm. I have one (cody) who is banished to the laundry room when inside for a few reasons. I walked in there and thought hmmmmm it seems someone has spilled some seeds from my garden bin. then...oh wait....those seeds are all MOVING! and they are all over the walls!!! I inspected my dog closer (who is old and doesn't like to be touched much) and found him totally covered in ticks. I felt so guilty . they were packed between his toes and everything. I had to shave his belly down to get them all off (hundreds). My house after that was totally infested with ticks for awhile. that winter I even moved pictures from the wall to dust and found ticks behind them, and at least once a day picked a tick off the floor or wall that I happen to see crawling not to mention the ticks on the dogs and us. It was awful.
  I will be watching this thread to see if any ideas come rolling in!

this is cody. he looks good in this pic. it was taken last year. he is 16 and is starting to really deteriorate. his time is soon .

 
paul wheaton
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I read something interesting today about removing a tick.  Put a little soap on a cotton ball and hold that on the tick.  In about 15 seconds, the tick will have backed out and be stuck in the cotton ball.

Leah, I would like to re-emphasize guinea fowl for long term tick control in an area.

 
Joel Hollingsworth
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paul wheaton wrote:
I read something interesting today about removing a tick.  Put a little soap on a cotton ball and hold that on the tick.  In about 15 seconds, the tick will have backed out and be stuck in the cotton ball.

Leah, I would like to re-emphasize guinea fowl for long term tick control in an area.


Neat!  I will try that if I get the chance.

If part of the concern is lyme disease, Western fence lizards are good for controlling the spirochete directly: their blood kills the parasite in the ticks' guts.  One more reason to maintain a rock pile, I guess.

http://www.calacademy.org/science_now/archive/wild_lives/fence_lizards_050601.php

Not sure why their range is limited.
 
Leah Sattler
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thats cool about the lizards! never heard of that before. I don't suppose it does anything for spotted fever? that is another concern. I became very ill with spotted fever as a child once.

I dont' think its been mentioned yet on this thread. the biggest discouragment to ticks (and chiggers) is mow mow mow. they really don't do well in mowed areas and much prefer brushy areas and  long grass. when we would go out into the more wild areas of our property when we first moved in, we would pick dozens of ticks off us when walking the paths. but around the house where the vegetation was kept short we haven't had a problem. our old place was brushy right up to the fence of the yard and I am sure it contributed significantly to the tick trouble.
 
Jennifer Smith
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The horses that are coming in for training have ticks, big fat falling off to reproduce ticks! Yuck! Not so bad after I can get my hands on them I guess as I can them pull them off but am I going to have a tick problem in my barn now?  It takes me a few days to be able to touch them all over to get the buggers.  Will my chickens do the job or do I need to get guinnea fowl?
 
Leah Sattler
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I doubt they turn into a problem in your barn. not really the sort of habitat that they are designed to operate in. they rely heavily on climbing up brush and hitching a ride as animals pass through. crawling up walls is not the same and eventually they will die out.

one of our poor ponies got a big fat dog tick in her ear this year.  she was so sore. it was just one of those things where I had to wrestle with her and get it out and she was NOT happy with me. bled like crazy. next year i need to find some pony size fly masks with the ear gaurds. 
 
Jami McBride
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Somewhere here I read about spraying animals with compost tea once a week.  I cannot picture it working for indoor animals, rabbits LOL and such, but horses, goats and working dogs would be doable.

Anyway, I'd love to give it a test if I had the right circumstances (I don't have ticks or fleas).

I imagine one would use a garden sprayer (fresh and clean) for the spray down.

Anyone game to do a test?

~Jami

P.S.  Cody is so gorgeous! 
 
Leah Sattler
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~Jami wrote:


P.S.  Cody is so gorgeous!   



thank you . he was  I had to put him down about a month ago. he was very old and his body just didn't work anymore in many ways. he was still happy though. then he seemed to have some kind of stroke or something and he was very confused and upset and was falling down. I had him euthanized. I balled like a baby at the vets office while I held his head and pet him in his final moments.

I hadn't heard that about the compost tea. I have heard of using "skin so soft"   
 
Jami McBride
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You brought tears to my eyes..... it's so hard when you have a great animal and they die - sigh.

The compost tea idea was from a link on a post on compost.  The purpose was to apply the microbes in the tea to large area's on one's land.  It spoke about applying the tea to hay put out in the field and let the animals spread it.  Also applying it to the animals themselves so as they brush up against brush they spread the microbes - The gal noticed a side benefit to this method of 'spreading' when she sprayed them - no fleas or ticks.  So this method might have a double use.

Like you pointed out certain smells repel pest very well.

~Jami
 
Leah Sattler
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I know mosquitos are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale in part. I wonder what stimulates ticks to mobilize and latch on?  I wonder if machinery gets as many tick hitchhikers (tickhikers?)as animals. maybe anything that makes an animal not smell like an animal would be effective.   
 
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