Non-Toxic Tick Control?

sylviatexas1April 26, 2007

Someone on the Texas Forum posted that she has ticks this year due to a decline in the fireant population.

Since I've been battling fireants, I'd really like to have a program in mind before I see ticks here!

How can I rid the soil/yard/garden of ticks without killing off the beneficials & butterflies?

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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

Check the IPM (integrated Pest Management)forum- I bet there's something in there if you do a search

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 10:10AM
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I don't think there is any tick specific control. Simply getting rid of fire ants isn't going to guarantee a tick infestation though.

If it does result in more ticks you could always replace the fire ants with chickens ;-)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 10:52AM
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Spraying beneficial nematodes will help both the ant problem and ticks, fleas, grubs, chiggers, and a host of other things. Also putting down sulphur will help curtail the fleas & ticks.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 2:00PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

If you wanted, you can also get Guinea fowl - they eat ticks and fleas snd are a little less prone to scratch up your garden than hens. They are also rather noisy, and prone to wandering. I think you either love 'em or hate 'em.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 3:09PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

You might try any product with Spinosad in it. Green Light make a couple.

Unfortunately the ticks are up out of the soil now so you can't get them with beneficial nematodes. If you apply BN in the late winter (January for me) those things will go after the ticks living in the soil.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 11:25PM
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There is no such thing as a non toxic insecticide simnce of the product kills something it is toxic, at least to them. This link will provide good information about these aracnids.

Here is a link that might be useful: All about ticks

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 6:39AM
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This is some information from another website.
I can't vouch for it.


Just a few alternatives to synthetic pesticide poisons:

1. Neem - One of the best natural or botanical pesticides for controlling bloodfeeding arthropods and other pests is Neem. What is Neem? Neem, a member of the Meliaceae family and a botanical cousin of mahogany, is a tall, fast-growing, evergreen tree which has an attractive crown of deep-green leaves and masses of honey-scented flowers and thrives even in nutrient-poor, dry soil. It tolerates high temperatures, low rainfall, long spells of drought and salinity, and can be propagated by seed. Because of its many benefits, neem has been worshipped as a goddess in India. Neem is bitter in taste. The bitterness is due to the presence of an array of complex compounds called "triterpenes" or more specifically "liminoids". The most important bioactive principle is a terpenoid known as azadirachtin; however, at least 10 other neem limonoids also possess insect growth regulating activity. The tree's scientific name is Azadiractita indica. Neem has been used for centuries primarily against household and storage pests, and to a limited extent against crop pests. Neem trees were the only green thing left standing during a ravaging locust plague in Sudan in 1959. Neem does not kill pests but affects their behavior and physiology and reduces the risk of exposing the pests' natural enemies to poisoned food sources or starvation. Neem derivatives affect more than 200 insect species belonging to Coleoptera, Diptera, Heteroptera, Homoptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, Thysanoptera, several species of mites and nematodes, and even noxious snails and fungi. Although neem oil can be used directly for pest control, semi-purified "bitters" and "neem rich" fractions can easily be standardized for biological properties and could satisfy even stringent quality requirements. Being water soluble, they also can be applied as systemic compounds which render them more photostable and nonphytotoxic. A garlic odor often present in other neem products is absent in "bitters". Neem products are effective and relatively hazard-free. An added benefit of using semi-purified neem fractions, rather than pure compounds, is that pests will be less likely to develop resistance. Neem compounds act together on several different behavioral and physiological processes which also helps prevent insects from evolving resistance to the compound. Their effects include repellence, feeding deterrence, reduced ingestion and digestion of food, poor growth and development, reduced longevity and fecundity, mating disruption, oviposition deterrence, inhibition of egg hatchability, molting failures and direct toxicity. Reports suggest that by paralyzing the muscles in the insects' mandibles neem induces starvation. At lower than lethal dozes, azadirachtin also mimics juvenile hormone, preventing insects from maturing. Neem-based insecticides can be further fortified against dynamic pests by optimizing their use with microbials or other botanicals. Neem fruits, seeds, oil, leaves, bark and roots can be used as general antiseptics, antimicrobials for the treatment of urinary disorders, diarrhea, fever, bronchitis, skin diseases, septic sores, infected burns, hypertension and inflammatory diseases. Neem oil and its isolates - nimbidin, nimbidol and nimbin - inhibit fungal growth on humans and animals. Neem leaf extracts and teas are used to treat malaria; ioquin tablets and injections containing neem extract are currently being formulated for treating chronic malaria. Exposing kissing bugs (Rhodnius prolixus), the major vector of Chagas disease in Latin America, to neem extracts or to azadirachtin "immunizes" them against their internal protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. We are trying it on termites. Cattle leaf supplements containing neem leaf powder are used as worm killers. Creams containing neem oil are used for animal wound dressing and also act as fly and mosquito repellents. Neem oil in human bathing and laundry soap kills lice and neem in dog soaps and shampoos controls ticks and fleas. Neem twigs are used daily by millions in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan as disposable toothbrushes; extracts of neem bark are used in some toothpastes and mouthwashes. Neem plantings also serve as a refuge for honeybees, wasps, spiders, birds, bats and other beneficial organisms, and the litter of falling leaves can improve soil fertility. Neem overall as a relatively safe, natural (botanical) pesticide poison with numerous benefits. Neem nectar does not kill pollinating bees.

2. Noxema - We have found that Noxema® or Ben-Gay® applied to the exposed skin of children and people repels mosquitoes and other pests. (Always check to see if you are sensitive before using any product.)

3. Invincible Herbal Insect Repellent from Great Garden Formulas by Joan Benjamin and Deborah L. Martin: "...before heading outdoors, I douse myself with an incredible repellent that my friend Marion Spear and I concocted, Tina Wilcox, head gardener at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas says. "It renders me almost invincible to both insects and poison ivy!"

Ingredients and Supplies:

1 large handful fresh jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
1 large glass jar with plastic lid (vinegar corrodes metal)
1 strainer
1 quart apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon pennyroyal oil
1 teaspoon eucalyptus oil
1 teaspoon orange oil
1 teaspoon citronella oil
1 plastic spray bottle


Crush jewelweed in the jar and cover with vinegar.

Let steep for several days.

Strain out the jewelweed and mix essential oils into the vinegar.

Before applying all over, spray a small amount on the inside of your arm and monitor for 15 minutes for any allergic reaction.

To use, spray thoroughly on clothing and lightly on any exposed skin except your face. Reapply every ½ hour or so. (To keep insects away from your face, spray your hat or bandanna.)

Yield: About 1 quart of invincible spray. Note: This formula will keep indefinitely. Caution: If you are pregnant, don't use pennyroyal, even topically, as it may increase the risk of miscarriage. Note: Citronella oil has been known to attract female black bears.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 1:44PM
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