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

 
Posts: 125
Location: Qld, Australia. Zone 9a-10
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Sorry for not properly reading the OP before my first reply. When safe, legal and well considered, I agree with the fire idea. Another thing to do is clear all vegetation on paths and other places where you often walk.

While there are no accurately recorded tick diseases where I get most of my ticks, there are lots of nasty diseases they can cause. If you fear lime disease, look up mammalian meat allergy, seems like a fate worse than death. The majority of the ticks I get are from walking in dense vegetation (which is obvious) and from artificial grass that is barely an inch high.
 
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If it can be done safely, burning periodically is a great tool to knock down tick populations and encourage healthy native-plant growth in wild areas.  Many biomes in the continental US are fire adapted, so native flowers and subterranean critters actually need occasional fires to be healthy.  How often to plan a burn?  Depends on the area, overlying fuel, vegetation type, local climate.... this Wikipedia article has a map showing historical burn frequency in different areas of the US:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_use_of_fire_in_ecosystems .  Also note from the same webpage that fire helps by "Decreasing tick and biting insect populations by destroying overwintering instars and eggs."

I knew of someone in the midwest who burned her pasture every year, but that was really hard on the land and just plain annoying to her neighbors.  For her location, burning every 3-6 years would have been better, or she could have done smaller annual burns and rotated through her acreage.  A managed nature reserve in Missouri does this-- they burn a small section each year, gradually rotating through the whole place.  That burn plan is ideal because it's flexible (some years won't be good burn years and can be skipped), it's consistent, not too draconian, not so smoky, and it's easier to keep fires under control.  

There are businesses who will run managed burns- i.e. pull permits and have safety equipment and insurance-- but i don't know what they charge.

In my experience, ticks travel on deer, so if I'm following a deer trail in the woods I'll swerve to avoid brushing against deer-height (knee to waist high) vegetation.   And I avoid sitting in areas where deer sleep.   Maybe if you could create deer-free zones, that would reduce the ticks in spots?
 
Posts: 89
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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Lucrecia Anderson wrote:

John Paulding wrote:
The first summer we spent here, every evening, we looked like a family of monkeys pulling bugs off of each other, except that we didn't eat the bugs. We decided that's no way to live.  



Good lord! Were you walking through tall grass and brush all day? If the grass is short ticks shouldn't be that bad.



No grass. This was undeveloped forest in the Ozarks with a logging road as access. We rented a "primitive campsite" for $495/yr, one acre of a 300+ acre property. Just a enough room for a camper trailer in the forest, miles from the grid, no physical addresses or 911 service there. It was some place cheap to live while we looked for property to buy which took two years. We have an address and 911 now but it takes them 40 minutes to get out here, another hour to a Hospital or 40 minutes to an air lift pad. Civilization comparatively speaking.
 
John Paulding
Posts: 89
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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Chris Wang wrote: If you fear lime disease, look up mammalian meat allergy, seems like a fate worse than death.



I actually have the alpha-gal meat alllergy but in a pretty mild way. I had one bad reaction to ham from a home raised pig. Other white meat my ass. Probably a heritage breed as opposed to industrial pig. A ribeye will get me and I love ribeyes. I can eat about 2 oz of something like that or the cheap, fatty ground beef. I generally just get the hives if I eat too much. I had built up quite an immunity or the allergy just dissipates over time(they don't know which) but then a lonestar tick bite brought it back. I was up to 55-6oz of yumminess dammit. I originally got it in FL and we had a hell of a time trying to figure out why I was waking up at 2am with the hives. Finally narrowed it down to ribeye night. It's the only delayed food allergy there is as most reactions, like with peanuts, happen within minutes. Several years ago, two doctors from a university in Virginia, USA discovered it and at the same time, two doctors in Australia discovered it. I have no problem with lean meat and we plan on getting some meat goats which are very lean and not something we can buy at the store. Lean beef has no flavor imho. We eat lots of chicken, lean cuts of store bought pork and I'll have some soup or beans and rice sometimes while the rest of the family eats baby back ribs that I smoke.(snif snif, tear) I can eat a couple and I have an epipen here just in case. I'm lucky though. Evidently there's people who will go into anaphylactic shock if they eat a piece of fish or chicken that gets cooked on the same grill as a piece of mammalian meat was. Seed ticks don't seem to carry it and with the bigger dog/deer/lonestar ticks, at least you can feel them crawling on you.

Any work I have to do in the woods, I do it in Winter or early Spring when the little bastards aren't in season. When they show up in the Spring, I do my burn and stay out of the woods. I need to get some more chickens too.

When we moved to the Ozarks, there was a map showing all the known aplha-gal allergy cases and this area was just outside the affected zone but the zone has expanded. Sort of expected that though.

Lime disease is mostly in the N.E. part of the country and around the Great Lakes region so we don't have to worry about it too much here in the midwest USA. I see one dot in Missouri but the local news hypes it up like it's a thing here.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 387
Location: OK High Plains Prairie, 23" rain avg
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I'm over in Western OK near the National Grasslands, prairie country. I've got under-grazed prairie covered in little bluestem grass. This bunch grass is about knee-high and years if not decades have gone by since much of it was grazed as the tenant understocks and uses continuous grazing. Some of the land is overgrazed - near water and shady areas. The national grassland does controlled burns but my neighbors don't seem to though one neighbor did have 160 acres burn this summer before the VFD got it put out. 4000 acres a bit north of me burned due to a careless neighbor and the manager of that property was glad of it and said that controlled burns don't get as hot as wildfires and so don't have the same effect. 250,000 acres east of me burned in wildfires last spring, I will scoot over there and see what it looks like now. The big problem there was that Eastern Red Cedar had covered much of the land. It comes up out of the gullies and spreads over the prairie. Cedar is another reason I will consider burning, otherwise, I have 200? cedar trees (6-8" trunk, up to 15' high) to cut down. I probably won't burn this spring as I want time to study the situation and want to choose the best time for the birds and critters, and of course, need to not be in a drought. I really like the idea of knocking back the chiggers as I am super allergic and won't go wading out in that tall grass in chigger season without this remediation - just being honest here. We are where we are, none of us perfectly eco-enlightened but working our way toward our ideals. As some say "Best is the enemy of good."
 
J Brooks
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Re: fire.... I saw this yesterday, thought others might be interested:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NerIx8tecHw  

To avoid tree loss during burns (recurrent wildfires in this case), the ranch owner removed low tree branches that act as scaffolding for flames.   This might work in drier areas with low, bunching grasses-- probably not for prairies or forests, but they're wetter anyhow and less likely to have tree death from fire.
 
pollinator
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Dan

I think to some extent I tend toward your view of fire. It's a truly major reboot for the area affected. I don't think there are any places on earth that experience fire over the same area w/in 5 years and probably 20 would be more like it. Well, wild areas, that is.

However. As William pointed out very completely, we'd be trying to negate 5000 years of living and killing each other (and developing methods to do each faster) if we tried to rule out active management of our environment. Looks like we're programmed that way and so best make lemonade. So that's kinda what I'm wondering. Has this tool been explored with our vaunted western science? Do we have any substantial records of how past people used it over long periods of time?  

I believe there's been a certain amount of study of forest fires in the last 40 years. There seems to be a general consensus (unless you make money the other way, like building and selling new homes at the forest edge) that forests need to burn "regularly". But I don't recall details.


Rufus
 
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I have had good success with Cedarcide, which is a cedar oil from Texas.  I bought it to deal with wool moths (turn a banker box into a cedar trunk, sort of!) and also brought it along almost a dozen years ago when we took the kids to Disney World in Florida.  Bedbugs in hotels were/are a thing.  

When I visited family in Southern Illinois in August (deep deciduous forest, hot and humid - tick heaven) I sprayed my dog's feet and legs, and my feet and legs and of all the people that took a hike in the woods, we were the only ones who couldn't find any ticks afterwards.

Ticks don't drop down, they crawl up.  The most ticks I've ever had on me was after walking through waist high grass in the San Francisco Bay area, so obviously humidity isn't needed for ticks to be numerous.
 
J Brooks
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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.

 
 
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control ticks on raw land? save your cardboard cores from tp or paper towels. pack them with cotton and pyrethrum. The objective is for mice to make nests with the cotton, and bring in the ticks to die. This probably works best in dry weather.
 
denise ra
pollinator
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I've been told that managed intensive grazing of livestock will knock ticks back. I'll let h you know in a few years.
 
Posts: 74
Location: North Carolina
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Buy 20 Guineas and let them free. They are crazy little bug eating dinosaurs. The females are the dominant leaders. And they scream like a banshee which often scares off trespassers. I've only ever found one dead. Think it was my drake because it was eating with the hens. It's neck was broken and it was right by the food dish. They do have to be big enough to fly before you set them free. They will stay as long as there is forage. Other wise they go on a walk-about. You should have seen me herding 25 of them up out of a gully and across traffic. I have Venus, out animal officer, on speed dial. She arrived just as I coming  out of the woods. LMAO when I think about it again.
 
pollinator
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S Bengi wrote:Metarhizium anisopliae

Fungi that eat ticks.
Other species in the genus is used to control locust and mosquito, termite and thrips, Paul Stamens says they would be good for honey bee (mite killers).

https://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/tickid/tick-management/biological-control/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metarhizium_anisopliae



This is marketed as "Met 52."

Also, you can set out "traps" in the early spring and mid-summer.  In Vermont, in April and July.  These are toilet paper tubes, stuffed with cotton or dryer lint that is treated with permethrin.  As you may know, permethrin is a synthetic form of pyrethrum, which is derived from chrysanthemums.  Unlike pyrethrum, permethrin has some staying power, beyond a few minutes.

Mice pick up the cotton/lint and use it to line their nests.  The ticks that feed on the mice are poisoned by the permethrin.  The mice are unharmed.

~~~~~~~~~~

Last summer, I was apparently bitten by a tick but it was never discovered.  I suddenly developed severe headaches, which I sort of thought were a migraine.  The headaches were nothing like my migraines, but I couldn't discern that.  I was cognitively impaired.  I couldn't figure out how to operate my thermometer.  I knew I should see a doctor, but I lived too far from my doctor as I had just moved.  I knew I was dehydrated, so I would drink some water then return to bed for a day.

Finally I dragged myself to the urgent care clinic.  They sent me immediately to the ER.  I was diagnosed with anaplasmosis (a tick-borne disease) and sepsis ("a serious condition resulting from the presence of harmful microorganisms in the blood or other tissues and the body’s response to their presence, potentially leading to the malfunctioning of various organs, shock, and death" (Oxford English Dict.) - think of the "cytokine storm" that often kills people with COVID-19).

So I am really serious about preventing tick bites.  In my area (New England), ticks carry Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Erlichiosis, Babesiosis, Powassan Virus, and a recently discovered species Borrelia miyamotoi.  None of these are diseases to fool around with.  Anaplasmosis (indeed, several of these diseases) is easily treated with doxycycline, but (1) I didn't know I'd been bitten by a tick and (2) I was too impaired cognitively to take adequate care of myself, with a potentially fatal result.

Tuck your long pants into your socks.  Check daily.  Ideally, take your clothes off (and pop them in the dryer, if they aren't going to be washed - kills the ticks) on the porch and immediately take a shower, checking your body, particularly the warm and damp sections.  I also wear Lyme-Eez gaiters (found on Amazon) which are infused with permethrin and go on over your socks and pants near the ankle.

Apologies for such a pesticide-laden post on permies.  I don't want to die, is all.  (And permethrin is considered fairly benign, as poisonous chemicals go.)

 
Posts: 75
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This won't control ticks but it might help keep them off you.  I worked with a man once who grew up in eastern Oklahoma.  He said to keep ticks off you to take a cap full of chlorox bleach and put it in your bathwater.  I did that one summer and never had problems when working in brushy areas.
 
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As a man who doesn't bathe in the usual sense, I think you may be onto something. Personally I use a tablespoon of boric acid in 1/2 gallon of water to sponge off with twice a day or more as I get sweaty. It's great for the hair too with a rinse of dilute vinegar.
 
Posts: 14
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I'm late to the party but I work as a seasonal technical entomologist and I also live in tick country so I'd like to say I have a good idea on how to deal with them.

First thing is: there is no practical way to get rid of ticks (permanently removing them from an area). As many in this thread have commented already, they're a very well adapted organism that can survive without food or water for long periods of time that have several vectors that spread them - primarily migratory birds, humans, deer, and dogs. They can also hitch a ride on your clothes, then crawl aimlessly in your house for days and bite you a week after you were anywhere near the bush. No matter what you do, ticks will always be present during your climate's tick season.

Controlling ticks (reducing their population in a given area) is also quite fruitless - OP said no guineas due to noise but as a fun fact, guineas will eat the same amount of ticks as a chicken or turkey - they just tend to spend more time in tick habitat. Some plants and fungi can repel or kill ticks but the effectiveness isn't reliably consistent. Controlled burns can clear tick habitat and kill ticks caught in the blaze but can be devastating if not performed properly so should only be used with extreme caution - and even then, as soon as any animal that was in the bush walks over the ground, the ticks will return. Pesticides are an option but if you're on permies.com that's probably not the route you want to take. The pyrethrum/permethrin lint & mouse trick is something new to me but just based on the anecdotal evidence it seems to be a good option if mice are a common tick vector in your area.

The best option is caution and prevention (reducing the risk of encountering ticks in the first place). Keep frequently traveled areas cleared of brush and mowed to reduce the chance of a tick catching onto your clothing. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts/jackets, gloves, socks and covered shoes, and a hat when in tick-infested areas, making sure your pants are tucked into socks, shirt is tucked into pants, long hair is tied up, etc. Wear some form of bug protection on exposed parts of your skin, avoiding your eyes and mouth. Perform tick checks as needed (if you don't go in the bush but your dog does, one a day may be sufficient. If you work and live in the bush, 3 or more a day may be needed) and know how to properly check yourself for ticks. Know how to safely remove, ID, and kill ticks, and read up on what tickbourne illnesses are common in your area so you know what symptoms to look for. If you're okay with giving your dog medicine, many tick prevention medications are available (personally I use nexguard - most ticks will avoid biting him, and any ticks that do will die shortly after they begin feeding), and if you think you've been infected with a tickbourne illness see a doctor right away as immediate treatment can reduce the severity of the illness. Some of these illness do not offer immunity afterwards, so you can contract them multiple times.

 
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Read up on and get some Permethrin spray.

Collect toilet paper rolls.   roll ot somepaper towels and treat the paper with permethrin.  Let it dry.   Tear it into chunks and stuff toilet paper rolls.  Scatter them around before the first snow.
Field mice will steal the paper to line their nests, the mice are an overwinter host to the ticks, which will die off before springtime.   I did that several years running on a wildland campsite and eliminated ticks from the area.

Another tactic -- get horse collars, dose those with permethrin and place them over salt licks for the local deer.  The permethrin will rub off on the collars and again kill off the ticks.

Don't spray permethrin on your skin.  It will stick to clothing and survive several washings.  Tuck your treated pants into treated socks.  Treat the collar, the cuffs, and the waistline -- let it dry before putting the clothing on -- to preent ticks from falling onto you from overhanging bushes and getting under your clothes.
 
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I have no useful insights on controlling ticks, but since the consensus opinion seems to be "it can't be done", I'll at least throw in a link for a tick removal tool:  

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00KI1I7BU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_uhc3Eb9D954ZN

An Amazon search will reveal many other options. This is the only one I've personally used, and I highly recommend it. I was using regular tweezers before and would snap the heads off much of the time. This tool is exponentially more efficient.

I do a thorough once a day check for ticks. If I miss any I have the mixed blessing that if a tick stays on me for a bit, the bite itches me worse than a mosquito bite, which draws my attention to it.

Good luck!
 
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Does anyone have experience/success with applying the "organic" plant-based sprays to oneself, clothing, and dog? There are various formulas, largely Cedar based with other variable ingredients like lavender, garlic, peppermint. I'm inclined to be skeptical about the likely efficacy of these concoctions but am ready to try just about anything (short of throwing money away on snake-oil)

I live in the NE where (as mentioned by others here) ticks are a pretty serious issue. We suffer from an especially heavy infestation level (compared to western states, I think it is fair to say) and we seem to have a long "tick season" too. Basically any weather that we'd find pleasant for being in the woods, so do the ticks also find it to be quite fine. As detailed by the Vermonter above, the NE ticks carry a multitude of very nasty illnesses that can be debilitating and expensive for our animals as well as ourselves. Avoiding the risk of those illnesses also means that one has avoided the risk of being stuck needing heavy-duty antibiotics to finally defeat them... and we all here know what a mess antibiotics make of our system balance. A cure that can sometimes do almost as much damage as the disease. This definitely doubles the incentive to avoid the tick-borne infections we have out here.

I'm not a fan of the heavy-duty toxic (but effective) petro-chem repellants. But I want to be able to enjoy the woods and working in my "Food Forest" too, and it feels irresponsible (toward my own health as well as my pets') to not employ some type of repellant. My Akita's coat is so dense that there's simply no guarantee that I will find all that may climb aboard. So even with careful daily checks and brushing, I'd like to find something that's safe and effective for both of us. I found this cedar based product on Amazon, where it has reasonably good reviews and seems popular. I am wondering if any permies, particularly of the woodsy northeastern variety, might have any input or comments on the ingredients or experience with this or a similar "natural"/"organic" product (the chemical ingredients may offend some purists, but none immediately jump out at me as carcinogens or environmental poisons... please do correct me on that if you happen to have better info on any evil ingredients) > https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M8GFR38/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

My entry here doesn't speak to the original poster's inquiry about clearing the land of the beasties though, so please pardon this bit of divergence. But this discussion stream has prompted a nice crosssection of tick aficionadoes to weigh in on the challenging little beasties, so I hope someone here may have had some experience with this type of product and can comment on viability. If it does work, this product seems like a largely plant-based formulation that one could probably come pretty close to reproducing at home as DIY. Which is another thing that has me thinking, even if it's a long-shot, perhaps it's a purchase worth trying...? (yeah, I know... there's a quantum dose of wishful thinking in there)
 
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I know this post is old. But we used something called tick tubes. They are like toilet paper rolls with pyrethrum soaked cotton balls in them. We tossed them under woodpiles. The mice get the cotton balls and they take them to their nests. In the nests they kill the ticks in their nymph life stage. We had noticeable improvement. Everything is biodegradable it all dissolved.
 
pollinator
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Are we looking at this backwards? Rather than focus on the insect, why not focus on it's hosts and who likes to eat who?

What are the vector species? If rodents, look at rodent control; if deer, look at deer exclusion...

What eats either the unwanted insect or the vector species? Fowl are notorious bug eaters, possums also. Owls will go for the rodents... Rather than view wildlife as a threat, safeguard livestock properly, and harness wildlife to solve the inbalance (too many ticks, rats, mice, squirrels...) or unwanted.  

Instead of killing opossums, raccoons, owls, birds of prey, etc. which disrupts the natural checks and balances, USE them to keep nature in sync.

What can you do to safeguard your space and your animals, while still working in harmony with nature? Remember, just because something is "natural" does NOT mean it is safe or non toxic for us or our animals.
 
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Poultry will pick most of the insects & you get eggs & meat from free ranger or pastured, they will need a shelter, water & some feed.
We had a small 8' x 16' chicken pen for some sex link hens, because they could not root in tree like the 60 or so  free range chickens on the farm.
Later dad kelp year old dogs for a friend for a few  weeks & the pen was full of fleas when the dogs left the farm,
so Dad put 3 week old chicken in the pen & two days the fleas were gone.
Chickens are the easy, Gunea fowl are good, Turkeys are harder until 5 week, then they can with stead most anything ,but large predators.
 
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I agree that controlling ticks across any sized acreage is pretty impractical.  Much easier to just stake out a spot for yourself and leave the rest to them.  One thing to consider is the tick life cycle.  Tick nymphs typically feed on rodents and this is also where they pick up most of their diseases from that they pass on to us.  Everything loves a tasty rodent snack, but getting some barn cats, house cats and terriers is a good way to keep their populations low in your immediate living area.  Disrupt their early life stage food supply and you'll have less to deal with as they start to mature.  Leave the rest to the native predators.
 
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Home made “Tick Tubes” using old school chrysanthemum derived Pyrethrin powder. Not pyrethroid or whatever the synthetic version is. That one accumulates in the environment. The concept is to fill a tube with mouse nesting material that is treated with the insecticide. Mice are big carriers of deer ticks. Powder or spray is taken to nest. Messes up insect nervous system. Amazon sells Tick Tubes with the synthetic version. Supposedly this really helps. I saw a guy on YouTube from the pine barrens in NJ make some out of toilet paper tubes. He said it really helps.

Also beneficial pest specific nematodes. Arbico Organics. We used the triple threat combo for several years and had a decrease in pests of all kinds. Pricey but worth it. We concentrated around our dwelling since we have a lot of acreage.

Lightly dusting dogs and cats with DE helps with ticks and adult fleas. Too much dries their coats. Also not good to breathe.
 
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free ranging chickens worked for me.  When we bought our place in Indiana, we had so many ticks that you couldn't walk through the grass without getting lots of ticks on you.  I mowed and got about 20 chickens and let them free range.  It took a couple of weeks but they cleared out about 2 acres very effectively.
 
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To spray people and animals, this realy works to keep ticks off when you're in tall grass or brush: Pyranha Zero-Bite All Natural Fly Spray.
It's mostly water with plant oils and soap. It will even kill ticks on the horses. if I had more time and less money, I'd make it myself.  It has 4 ingredients plus water.

One of my mules had several ticks attached near her navel and developed a football sized sweling that oozed for over a week. so now I wipe the repellent on their legs, tail and around their necks to prevent ticks from climbing up onto them. One horse gets them all the time, others don't. And I sometimes find them dead on the horses but i can't tell if it's because of the fly spray or not.

I know more than a few people who have chronic infections of Lyme disease or other ticket-borne diseases. When I moved here and commented on how many ticks I found crawling on myself every day, my new neighbor who's in his 70s commented that he'd never been sick from a tick bite. He's recently been tested by his doctor and now on Doxycycline for who-knows-how-long. The symptoms in his case are subtle, but the difference once he started taking the doxy was noticable, especially his cognition. It was diagnosed as Lyme disease but I don't know if they can or do test for all the possibilities. Also don't know how an antibody test determines if there is any active infection. Debate for another time.

I had just heard about the mouse bedding trick earlier this year, working on that now. I will put them in our fencerows for the mice. Our biggest concern are the smal deer ticks that we can hardly see. They are more likely to carry Lyme bacteria and they are (despite the name) hosted by mice. Idon't care too much about ticks all over the place, but I would like to reduce their numbers in the areas around the house and barns.
 
Posts: 39
Location: Tahuya Washington
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Gail Gardner wrote:

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.



Oh really? I thought Tea Tree oil repelled them too. Darn! I wonder how to use Diatomaceous earth? I used to think we didnt have ticks here in WA state. Untill I started gardening near a neighbors meadow with lots and lots of deer. Now I get them often.

Hey Gail! So good to see you here! I haven't been on Skype in over a year now.
 
Julie Wolf
Posts: 39
Location: Tahuya Washington
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S Bengi wrote:Metarhizium anisopliae

Fungi that eat ticks.
Other species in the genus is used to control locust and mosquito, termite and thrips, Paul Stamens says they would be good for honey bee (mite killers).

https://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/tickid/tick-management/biological-control/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metarhizium_anisopliae



Seems this link has changed to https://extension.umaine.edu/ticks/management/biological-control/
 
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To repel ticks I put essential oils on us everyday.      Just for being around our home.  (zone 1-3)  Essential oils on wrists, ankles, midriff and neck.  We have a shower and tick check every night.



When we come in from playing in Zone 3 -5   Clothing goes straight in the wash and bodies go straight in the shower.   Tick check.  Re treat with essential oils after showering if we have more outside time.

I carry the essential oils in the car and we re treat before going out to wander the wilds or visit another farm.  When we get back to our car, tick check.  Clothing change if there are any ticks.  When we come home, straight in the shower clothing in the wash, re treat with essential oils.  

On farm mitigation.  Chickens and Muscovy ducks are working their way through the paddock shift system and take a regular turn in the front yard where they are loose and clean up any areas they cannot get from the paddock areas.

Cats, dogs are checked regularly for ticks and treated with neem oil daily or every few days.

Horses, never seen a tick on them but the do get fly spray and they have ducks, chickens working their fields.

Neem is much cheaper than the nice essential oils.  works just as well kind of stinky though so I prefer the essential oils on me.  My little guy likes the citrus oils, lemon mostly so he uses that . I like the geranium, On Guard or Thieves oil so I use those.       Fun to play around and see what works.  So far every essential oil I have tried keeps ticks off us.  I imagine the main thing is to make us smell like something other than their target food source.  

 
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Location: Farmingville, United States
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As an American living on 22 acres in the middle of the forest in Australia with a few small ponds, the ticks love wet areas and dampness.

I freak out everytime I get a tick on me, so long pants and gaiters, long sleeves and then I spray or sprinkle tea tree around my legs and arms.  

We also have 5 guinea fowl that roam free and they are kept plenty busy all year long.

I haven't had a tick bite in years so I couldn't tell you which of those specifically is working, but protection + tea tree + guineau fowl has worked for me.

Also, regarding the thread around controlled burns, we live in the middle of the forest and have chosen not to burn on our property but the whole concept of controlled burns is used actively by the Tasmanian Fire Service and after the horrific fires in Australia this past year, many people were blaming the fact that more controlled burns weren't used.  Apparently the aboriginals often did small and large scale burning to clear out brush and prevent larger fires.

Who knows.  

I certainly wouldn't try a controlled burn without the fire trucks at the ready and major source of water nearby.

Barbara
vortexhealingcentre.com
 
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Location: Blue Ridge, US Zone 6b
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Diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever(RMSF) last July, and four months later (!?) Infectious Diseases specialist disputed the dx on grounds I should be dead. Symptoms can also mimick tetanus, Covid 19, etc. We've all been taught that a fungal growing environment is better than bacterial, and RMSF is a bacterial infection. I wonder if anyone knows of research that one such type would support tick populations more than the other?

Here's a story: Three years ago, I was admiring the scenery on a forested path in central Virginia. About the time my hiking fellows reached me I glanced over my shoulder and saw three, maybe four ticks sliding down on one of those strands that silkworms leave hanging in the trees. One tick was holding onto the line with a hind leg, his front paw securely fastened to the hind leg of another, who was holding onto another...My friend quickly picked them off me, but THAT was a truly amazing sight.
 
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Rocket Mass Heater Plans: Annex 6
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