ticks, ticks and more ticks

dragonladytoo(Z7/OK)May 29, 2002

Have a little over 5 acres, approx. 2/3 wooded, rest is grass around the house kept mowed very short, hundreds of feet of concrete drive way and 50 x 100 ft. organic vege garden. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, moles, voles, snakes of various species, occasional bob cat, scorpions and various other creepy crawlies live here with us. Most of the time it all seems to balance out without chemical intervention. EXCEPT FOR TICKS. Ticks have become a huge problem. Have a house dog who is bathed at least once a week, keep drops on her and keep a tick collar on her. Keep tick repellent on ourselves as well as wear long sleeve shirt and hat when outside - in spite of all this, we find at least one tick on each of us every night. Our friends and family are afraid to visit us. Last week resorted to spreading "Eliminator Flea, Tick & Grub Killer granules" (made up of Permethrin) on all the grassy areas. Wasn't happy about doing it - am afraid it made quite a dent in our beneficial insects but was desperate. Am sad to say that there doesn't seem to be any reduction in the tick population. There have been two cases of Lyme disease reported in the area already this year. Investigated nematodes but not convinced that they would actually work in this situation plus the cost for this size of property is way outside the budget. Anyone have suggestions, other than moving?

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Chickens will reduce the number of ticks in your yard. A spoonfull of brewers yeast per day (dietary suppliment, healthfood stores) will keep fleas and ticks off your pets (try it, it works !).

    Bookmark   May 31, 2002 at 11:46AM
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windchime(z6a NJ)

I have the same problem here. Our lot is also heavily wooded, and surrounded by thousands of acres of woods.

We have wild turkeys here, and I have heard that they like to eat ticks. But I once watched an entire documentary on wild turkeys, and I don't remember it mentioning ticks as part of their diet (but it was a long time ago.)

I refuse to use pesticides in my yard. What exactly is Permethrin? We have used drops on the dogs in the past, but I refuse to use them now that my daughter is old enough to pet the dogs (and then put her hands in her mouth.) They didn't work that well anyway.

I read in a parenting magazine once that ticks have to be on you for 36 hours before they can transmit Lyme Disease (which is transmitted when they regurgitate-I believe.) I tell that to all the paranoid people who come to visit me. I also check my daughter every night before bed. This ensures that no tick will be on her for more than 24 hours.

Also, the only ticks that transmit Lyme are deer ticks, which I heard are really tiny-the size of a pin head. The wood ticks do not transmit. But I think that the nymphs of the wood ticks are really tiny too. So how could you tell the difference? I've been meaning to research this.

Ticks are really hard to kill once you find them, so here's a way to kill insects that I learned in one of my Bio classes. I keep a jar of ethyl alcohol (vodka) in my house. Whenever we find a tick we drop it in the jar. I love to watch them squirm as they die...die...die!

I'm going to try that brewers yeast. I've heard that it works for fleas. But it has been my experience that it's a lot easier to prevent fleas than ticks. We have never had fleas (knock on wood :)

Did you guys see the news today. They reported that distilled Catmint oil is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than any other chemical. I immediately thought of pouring the stuff on my dog's to repel ticks....maybe someday we'll have pesticides that are that "organic." :)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2002 at 4:03PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Texas' ranchers are learning that fire ants can be beneficial. Where they have left the fire ants to live, they are seeing 100% eradication of fleas, ticks, chiggers, and noseums - as well as eradication of diseases associated with those pests. Livestock and pets all quickly learn to smell the fire ants and leave them alone. If an animal starts getting stung, it gets up and walks away.

Once you achieve the level of control you are after, fire ants are much easier to get rid of than ticks. Beneficial nematodes seem to work very well. Sugar water seems to work most of the time.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2002 at 1:24PM
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Sugar water? For ticks?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2002 at 9:47PM
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Sandplum1(z7 Seminole, OK)

Along the lines of dropping ticks into vodka; I keep a gallon jug of vinegar by the back door. Pour some into an old tuna or cat food can, and voila...instant tick pickling!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2002 at 9:56AM
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homegrown2(z6 OK)

The initial post in this thread (dragonladytoo) sounds just like my current situation. Just relocated to a beautiful area by the lake this February. Now it's 'that time again' when pests crank up. Wondering about others' successes (or lack thereof) in reducing tick, chigger, and scorpion problems by using Permethrin. I have heard to dispense it with a hose sprayer to immediate lawn and shrub areas. When we moved in I found a bag of sulfur powder in the garage. I remembered using flowers of sulfur on camping trips as a boy, to repel ticks and chiggers; I want to know if dusting (or mixing with water and spraying) sulfur on outdoor areas has helped anyone. Thanks for your feedback!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2003 at 10:43PM
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Ohio_Green_Thumb(Zone 5b NW Ohio)

I found some useful info on ticks at National Park Service's website. See if you can't get some ideas from them.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2003 at 11:11AM
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Ohio_Green_Thumb(Zone 5b NW Ohio)

Here's another website you might want to check out:

Here is a link that might be useful: Controlling Ticks

    Bookmark   March 25, 2003 at 11:14AM
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vmperkins(z5 central IL)

I have had Lyme disease--twice--and let me tell you that it is a myth that the tick needs to be attached for over 36 hours. In neither of my infections was that the case. Also, it is NOT only transmitted by the deer tick--in the midwest and south it is likely to be the lone star tick, in the west another one that I can't remember now.

Here is what I have learned: the most important thing when you have a tick attached is NOT TO SQUEEZE IT when removing it. Use something called the tick lifter or anything that will get under its body and allow you to lift it away from the skin, and pull it off. Don't worry about the head staying in; that is not the important part for infection.

As for environmental control: I just read somewhere about a guy who had great success with guinea fowl as general pest managers. Also, check out this site with a whole chapter from a book about Lyme you can read online; it has many strategies for dealing with ticks, the easiest of which is putting a wood chip border between woods and lawns.

good luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: Lyme Book Chapter: Management

    Bookmark   March 30, 2003 at 7:54AM
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Mercy_Garden(z5 Santa FeNM)

A small number of guinea fowl will almost certainly end any tick problem. These strange, tough birds will roost in your trees and generally are smart and fast enough to avoid predation. You won't need to buy them feed until the ticks (and grasshoppers and cutworms) are gone. I am told they taste like pheasant (I could never take that step). They are much more efficient and easier to keep than chickens.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 5:23PM
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homegrown2(z6 OK)

Thanks to OGT and VMP for their posts. I went with wood chip borders after removing lots of decayed leaf layers.
I hated to spray Peremetrhin, but the place had been vacant for years and was overgrown and infested. I sprayed a 3-4 oz. per gallon mixture around the house and heavy infestation areas only (to preserve most of the beneficial insect population). In the leaf removal I 'caught' a deer tick that I didn't notice for about 24 hours and got Lyme disease. I apparently did all the wrong things, pulling the tick out by its body and destroying it rather than keeping it for testing. vmperkins, is there any other treatment for Lyme besides Dr.-prescribed oral antibiotics? My knee is still bearing an itchy stinging circular red rash. It must be a tough infection to beat because it has been driving me crazy for weeks. Thanks to you and MG for the guinea fowl idea. I'm checking into that today! Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2003 at 10:58AM
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All I can say is that if you get Lyme Disease take the antibiotics for at least 8 weeks and get tested for other co-infections. I caught the disease early, but did not get tested for babesiosis. Unfortunately in order to get rid of the lyme, you must first get rid of the babesiosis. Most doctors know very little about lyme disease and because of that 10 months later I am still suffering symptoms. Check yourself nightly for ticks and Good luck keeping them out of your yard. It seems to be an impossible task.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2003 at 6:02PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Sugar water for ticks?

Sorry about that. I think I lost my train of thought. I was thinking fire ants and writing ticks. Fire ants don't seem to like sugar water. Something about bacteria growing in the presence of sugar that the ants don't like. Maybe the bacteria contaminate their food supply. That's one theory.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 11:19AM
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vmperkins(z5 central IL)

Oh, sorry I didn't catch up with this thread until today. If you have Lyme, you need antibiotics, and the more, the better. I am Ms. Alternative when it comes to most diseases, but with Lyme, I am radical fringe of western medicine.

I caught my first infection early--like the day the tick bit me--but couldn't get appropriate treatment for about 8 weeks--and thus, was on oral antibiotics for 6 MONTHS and intravenous for another 2. If you catch it early, you can usually beat it with 8 WEEKS of oral, as long as babesiosis or erlichiosis are not present as well. Of those, the latter is easier than the former because it responds to one antibiotic that Lyme also does: doxycycline. If you are on doxy you do not have to worry about erlichiosis much.

I am not up on my babesiosis facts because it has been a while since I lived in the eastern part of the US. It is rare to non-existent in the midwest, where I am now.

Anyway, that heavy antibiotic use might mess you up in other ways, and you will need some probiotics to balance your system and prevent clostridium difficile colitis (had that too.). I used the products made by Nutrition Now out in WA, but there are others that are good.

I am slightly off topic, I know, so sorry. If anyone would like more info on my Lyme experience, I am willing to share. But please e-mail me off list. I hope you can reduce your tick population.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2003 at 11:48AM
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homegrown2(z6 OK)

Thanks so much to VMP and L21 for sharing your experiences.
I think the topic of Lyme disease is quite relevant and important to all who enjoy the outdoors. I had no idea how serious Lyme-related health problems could be, perhaps because folks around here (certain family Doctors included) know so little about it. In my case, I think I caught it soon enough, asking for the serology test and starting the antibiotics within a week of exposure; but the symptoms are persistent. Good health and good gardening!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2003 at 2:57PM
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BEWARE!! My adult daughter is now totally disabled from a tick bite. She was bitten ten years prior to becoming so ill and it took us two years more to get a diagnosis. It was even harder to find a doctor to treat her for Lyme. Lyme tests are NOT accurate, with maybe a 70% accuracy rate at best. Her symptoms are now neurological and there is no cure after this long. I could go on and on about how horrible this disease can be, along with co-infections that ticks carry. Also ticks can be so small that they are like a speck of pepper and can attach and hide in your hair.
Linda in southern CA

Here is a link that might be useful: ~~Tick information~~

    Bookmark   May 17, 2003 at 3:24PM
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Bloomingthings(Z4 WI)

I was diagnosed with Lyme's disease three days ago. I had what I thought was the flu and at the same time noticed what I thought was a spider bite. The bite turned into the kind of rash that you see in the picturees about what the rash looks like from a Lyme's disease carrying tick looks like and I headed into town and to the doctor. Anyhow, my question is, I did not find the tick on me so where is that bugger now? Is it, along with it's babies lurking about my house just waiting for an opportunity to bite me again?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2003 at 7:11AM
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vmperkins(z5 central IL)

That tick might be somewhere nearby. They don't travel far unless they hitchhike on some animal.

But it could have been eaten by a natural predator, or taken away on one. If it was a deer tick, it will only feed three times in its life, once at each stage. You don't need to worry about the first time, that is when it picks up the infection, not transmits it. The second time is the worst--they are small enough to miss. The third time, they are large enough to find before they do much damage.

I hope for your sake it has been eaten. I hate the buggers.

But since we will never get rid of them, we do need better Lyme awareness, better tests, and better treatments. This disease is treatable, maybe even curable with the right treatments.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2003 at 7:14PM
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sekada(z7 atlanta)

jeez.. I feel lucky having escaped lyme disease! But after a childhood of yanking those fat vermin out of my arms and head, I have no mercy.

Best tick torture: the Viking funeral. I fill the bathroom sink with water, dab a cotton ball with a little nail polish remover, and drop the tick on it. His disgusting little legs get stuck in the cotton fiber. Then I drop the thing in the water and set it alight at the edge. Watching the demonic little pestilence stare down his fate thrills me almost embarassingly. Plus, it's kinda spectacular!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 4:17PM
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1. i used to use diazanon to put a barrier between the woods and my lawn, but this product has been withdrawn from the market. the current best choice is talstar, which has extremely low toxicity to mammals and birds. trouble is, it can only be applied by licensed applicators. i have my lawn company apply this twice in spring and once in late summer/early fall. the boyfriend was bitten and contracted lyme after the first spray, but i haven't seen a tick since spray #2.

2. good remedies for those with dogs: keep top spot advantage on the dog (it's a monthly liquid applied between the shoulders). it kills ticks as well as fleas. and get your dog a lyme vaccine -- it works, and Lyme in dogs is quite horrible, crippling them in 48 hours.

3. use a deet-based repellent outdoors. doesn't have to contain more than 35 percent. no matter what others claim, the CDC, consumer reports and similar independent testing agencies report that nothing works better/longer to repel biting insects.
plant-based repellents have an active effect of 40 minutes, on average, while deet protects for hours. it has been used for nearly 50 years worldwide with precious few side effects, and those mainly occurred when the product was accidentally sprayed in the eyes or injested. deet on the skin (and you do wash it off when you come inside, right?) is better by far than west nile or lyme disease.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2003 at 3:48PM
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Guineas absolutely LOVE ticks. They are a good control. But are also quite stupid & tend to get eaten by almost any predator & run over on the roads! Their warning calls drive some people crazy, tho I've always loved the sound.

Gotta tell you about TEA TREE OIL. I found out about it from a surveyor who was running around in waist-high weeds in summer wearing shorts & a tank top. It repels both ticks & chiggers (I've seen them land on me & immediately jump off again!). Get the real stuff from a health food store (I think WalMart sells a diluted version) - a small bottle will last you all summer. Apply full strength to dry bod after every shower (or bath) - it'll last until the next one. I put a few drops on my hands, and work up from ankles to the top of my head, adding more drops as needed. Don't miss a spot, or you'll find a tick adhered there! Pay special attention to waistlines, bralines, crotchline, bellybuttons, behind your knees, all the places they really like. Smells sorta like eucalyptus, and the smell disappears in about 5 minutes (to us - to ticks & chiggers, it's YUCKY!) I'm outdoors all day, every day, in tick & chigger heaven - been using tea tree oil for about 5 years (it's just habit now - shower, deodorant, tea tree oil), and get maybe 3 bites a year.

For me, it's been the best thing since sliced bread.....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2003 at 9:26PM
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garxlic(z7a OK)

Have heard guineas are good to control ticks. Ticks are really bad this year and I just gave up and sprayed my lawn with diazanon. My vet says when removing ticks to put alcohol on the tick(helps loosen the mouth so that part isn't left attached)and remove it with tweezers. Then I drop them into a can with alcohol or gasoline in it. Also says to use frontline.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 3:37PM
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Just to add a couple of tidbits if this thread is still active.....
Frontline on your dog will kill any ticks that bite your dog.
You can get sprays which I think are perethrin or pyrethin (similar but different chemicals) based to spray on your boots and socks at hunting stores (where you of course have your pants tucked in). If you go online you can get stronger solutions that you can wash your clothes in - it will continue to work through a couple more washes - so when at home have one or two "yard outfits" that you wear.
I have heard that wide wood chip barriers do help
Also - where you have bushes that meet grass you can have a bucket of oil and water and soap ready, go out with a piece of white sheet and drag it around to see how many ticks you pick up - then dip the ticks off in the bucket. Personally it seems to be that ticks prefer black so you could try black material too (your yard clothes should be light colored so you can see them)
Not sure if this works but might help - diamataceous earth, sold in garden stores can be sprinkled around bad areas and rubbed into carpet under furniture (it may irritate so best not out in traffic areas) - it is ground up tiny sea creatures and its sharp and will scratch the exoskeleton of some insects so they dry up and die.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 9:07PM
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trifioso(z6a MA)

Wow, I am so glad I found this post! Having picked THREE ticks off of my poor daughter in the last 30 minutes, I really appreciated all you have had to say.

I am still having trouble with FINDING the ticks "nest" or whatever it is. How can I discover where, exactly, the ticks are coming from? I live on ten acres of woods and field in Massachusetts - and I have the sinking feeling that maybe the answer to my question is no more than "outside, dear." But is there a particular habitat, like a fallen log, or in a particular kind of grass, in which I should be looking? Where do they "live" anyway? I checked out several of the link sites, and it doesn't really seem like they live anywhere....any information you all could give would really help, as I would dearly love to reduce the tick population around here!


    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 8:01PM
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I appreciate the advice I have found on this string. Like all you, we have a tick problem and it's about to get the best of us.

I have done the following on our 1.5 acres (East Tennessee):

1, Cleared the down trees and brush, I suppose I can continue thinning the trees.
2, Used the recommended chemicals, both dry and wet.
3, Using Revolution on my dog. Although it takes a few days for the ticks to die.

But we still have them.

I will try the brewer yeast suggestion on the dog, to see if that helps. Can someone explain what the wood chip barrier accomplishes? Does this function as a haven for them and then you use the chemicals there? I would try the guinea fowl, but its a weekend place, so that will not work. Has anyone tried "controlled burning"?

Any additional suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks and good luck with your tick problem.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 9:39AM
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On Guineas, I have never had them. Are they mean towards kids? I have horses and use Fly Predators to control flies. Will the Guineas eat my Fly Predators?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 1:47PM
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I'm not sure what a Fly Predator is?
Guineas I'm told that are hand raised can actually be quite friendly, following you around the garden. I've heard they are noisy and like roads and often get hit. You may be able to limit that as they might be after road gravel, so if you provide some
( a 4' x 4' patch?) in the back near tick territory it may keep them from the front road. I do not think they are kid unfriendly like geese can be even if not hand raised.
One other thing someone just told me. When they were young in Texas and got into ticks they would take a bath with some pine oil. Probably doesn't have to be pine oil, I would think most oils would work. If I had kids in tick country I think I would be doing this every night. Teach them to stay submerged up to their hair line (just their faces showing) for 5 minutes.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 8:27AM
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If you can get the tick carriers to consume a tickcide you will be able to kill the ticks on them and eliminate ticks from your yard and woods. The trick is to get deer, field mice, squirrels, etc to comsume it. We mix it with a soybean product that deer and others love to eat. This way the wildlife benefit from the protein and also are free of ticks and many other parasites. I have virtually no ticks in my 200 wooded acres after placing 4 of these soybean products in the woods.


Here is a link that might be useful: Natural Protein Technologies

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 6:32PM
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"On Guineas, I have never had them. Are they mean towards kids, "

My grandfather always had guineas. They are characters. Better than any guarddog he ever had. Would let him know if a fox was gettin in the chicken coop or a stranger came up on the property(foiled a burglery). One even fought a fox that was getting the chickens. All the chickens were saved but the poor guinea didnt make it.

They were not hand raised and never came after us or my children. (which is saying something cause my kids would chase afterthem forever). BUT if they got tired of being "chased" they would turn around and screech at them. The kids knew not to push their luck then. lol

Unfortunitly they are very fond of roads and one by one they played frogger and lost. Grandad has not replaced them but praises them as pets.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 7:37AM
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Here is an article on ticks and Lyme disease. My partner and a friend are healing from Lyme disease and my partner has found this resource very helpful.

Hope this helps,

Here is a link that might be useful: Tick Bites and Lyme Disease Article

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 5:04PM
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Wow....thanks to everyone that shared. I'm not the orginal poster but came looking for the same answers. We just bought a house on the edge of town and my DD already got a tick on her head. So now we have a hats in the backyard rule but I want to try the other stuff mentioned before we implement a "always spray yourself with deet or whatever" before going outside. My kids go in and out about a million times each day. And really, if I applied everything to them that they need it would take an hour....sun screen, lotion, tick repellent, mosquito repellent........wait and re-apply an hour later because they played in the sprinkler.....etc...etc...and now go to bed an hour earlier because we definetly have to wash all of that off and then check every crevice for a teeny tiny tick. Bad enough that I watched Oprah and Dr. Oz yesterday and now I'm worried about pinworms!!!! OK...eventually my paranoia will fade and then there will be something else!

thanks though.....knowledge is power!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 6:40PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Try to find a good repellent without Deet, for the kids especially. Deet can 'probably' be applied to their clothing, but not to their skin. It should not be inhaled or allowed to get on the soft mucous tissues of the mouth and nose.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:49AM
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I am in Florida and have been battling brown dog ticks now for 4 months. I have done the advantix on the dogs, I vacuum everyday and spray the sides of the walls and now the floor (according to an exterminator) I have sprayed the yard and disbursed granules but I still have ticks. I thought that they were gone but for the past few days I have been finding them on the dogs. Is the advantix not working or am I just catching them when they are hopping on. I have had a number of exterminators say that if the yard and pets are protected they cant survive. So why are they still here??!?!?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:30AM
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USDA Studies: Ivermectin for Tick Control
Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Kerrville, TX 78028-9184, USA.

Whole-kernel corn was treated with 10 mg ivermectin per 0.45 kg corn and fed at rate of approximately .45 kg/deer per day to white-tailed deer confined in the treatment pasture, whereas deer in an adjacent control pasture received a similar ration of untreated corn. Treatments were dispensed from February through September of 1992 and 1993, and free-living populations of lone star ticks. Amblyomma americanum (L.), were monitored in both pastures using dry-ice traps to quantify nymphs and adults and flip-cloths to assay the relative abundance of larval masses. Control values that were calculated for all ticks collected in both pastures during 1993 showed 83.4% fewer adults, 92.4% fewer nymphs and 100.0% fewer larval masses in the treatment versus control pasture. Serum ivermectin concentrations in treated deer averaged 21.7 and 28.3 ppb during 1992 and 1993, respectively. These values compared favorably with the goal concentration of 30.0 ppb which was anticipated under ideal conditions. This study demonstrates that a freely consumed, systemically active acaricidal bait ingested by white-tailed deer under nearly wild conditions can significantly reduce the abundance of all stages of free-living lone star ticks.

The effectiveness of the endectocide, ivermectin administered daily to cattle infested with all life stages of B. microplus was evaluated. Cattle were treated at dose rates of 25 and 50 mcg of ivermectin per kg of body weight for a period of 21 days. While both ivermectin treatment doses were highly effective (>99% control), the 50 mcg/kg/d dose was more effective than the 25 mcg/kg/d dose against all life stages of the tick. The presence of ivermectin in the blood of the cattle caused high mortality in the ticks, as well as producing dramatic adverse effects in the reproductive capability of the ticks that were able to survive and detach from the cattle. Based on the results of this study, the potential for use of ivermectin and other acaricides with similar chemistries is encouraging. The use of these types of acaricides applied by different delivery systems, such as long-term boluses or medicated feed systems has great promise for future applicability in the Boophilus eradication program....
...overall control achieved at both doses of ivermectin was >99% against all parasitic stages, the 50 mcg/kg/d dose was more effective (P http://www.afpmb.org/pubs/misc/researchreview2004/4b-Pound.ppt

http://live.psu.edu/story/19217 Deer-free areas may be haven for ticks, disease Wednesday, August 30, 2006 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- University Park, Pa. -- Excluding deer could be a counterproductive strategy for controlling tick-borne infections, because the absence of deer from small areas may lead to an increase in ticks, rapidly turning the area into a potential disease hotspot, according to a team of U.S. and Italian researchers. "Deer are referred to as dilution hosts or dead-end hosts," says Sarah Perkins, a postdoctoral researcher at Penn Stateâs Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. "They get bitten by ticks but never get infected with tick-borne pathogens, such as the bacteria causing Lyme disease." However, deer are critical to adult female ticks in the last stages of their three-part lifecycle. Ticks use them for a final blood meal before dropping off to produce thousands of eggs, Perkins explains. Currently, health officials believe that removing deer from the equation could disrupt the tick lifecycle and leave fewer ticks to feed on rodents, which, unlike deer, can transfer a range of tick-borne pathogens. Ultimately the tick-borne disease will fade out. However, previous field studies show that removing deer sometimes leads to higher tick densities and sometimes lower, and the outcome seems dependent on the size of area from which deer are excluded. "Very few studies have looked at how removing the deer affects the intensity of tick bites on rodents, and how it relates to the size of the area from where the deer are excluded," explains Perkins, whose findings are published in the current issue of the journal Ecology. Researchers first collected data from published information on tick densities in deer excluded areas ranging in size from roughly 2.5 acres to 18 acres. Next, over a six-month period, they captured rodents from a 2.5-acre deer excluded area in the Italian Alps in a known hotspot for tick-borne encephalitis -- a disease passed to humans through the bite of an infected tick. "From previous studies we found that tick densities decreased in (geographically) large areas and increased dramatically in smaller areas," suggesting that there is a threshold area - from where deer are excluded - for tick populations to either increase or decrease, notes the Penn State researcher. Statistical analyses of ticks on the captured rodents indicated that compared to the control areas, the deer-excluded areas hosted a significantly higher number of nymph and adult female ticks, as well as a high prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis. Because tick-borne encephalitis is transmitted only between ticks feeding on these rodents, the findings suggest how small deer-free areas could quickly turn into a disease hotspot. "This goes somewhat against conventional wisdom. When you remove deer, it does not always reduce the tick population," says Perkins. "If you were to exclude deer from hundreds of acres, tick numbers will fall. But in an area less than 2.5 acres, you are more likely to increase tick density and probably create tick-borne hotspots." Researchers say the study demonstrates how the strategy of keeping deer away may work only for large areas but is likely to amplify tick populations in smaller areas. Fragmented patches of forest and small parks that are off-limits to deer could also turn into a disease reservoir, they caution. "We need to be cautious about keeping deer away from small areas, even peopleâs backyards, as it might only lead to more ticks that are infected with tick-borne pathogens," says Perkins. She adds that forest areas deer consistently avoid also have the potential of turning into a haven for tick-borne disease. Other authors of the paper include Isabella M. Cattadori, postdoctoral scholar, and Peter J. Hudson, the Willaman Professor of Biology, both at Penn State University, and Valentina Tagliapietra and Annapaola P. Rizzoli, Centro di Ecologia Alpina, Italy. A grant from the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy, supported this work. The Penn State Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics is at http://www.cidd.psu.edu/. Contact Amit Avasthi axa47@psu.edu http://live.psu.edu 814-865-9481 Contact Vicki Fong vfong@psu.edu http://live.psu.edu 814-865-9481 The Pennsylvania State University © 2006


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 9:48AM
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I have been dealing with ticks for at least a month, spraying outside 5' up on the house and 5' out but still they are here. I have sprayed inside and have my only dog treated with Advantage but still they persist. I even have found them in my bed but my bedroom is tile and very clean. Are there any solutions out there? I have lived here 20 year and have neve seen this before!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 8:28PM
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i see this thread is still active. those of you using pyrethrins should know that just because it's plant-based doesn't mean it's benign. pyrethrin is a nerve poison and can be harmful to pets -- dogs and especially cats.

i again must recommend the new-generation pesticide talstar, which is toxic to fish but not to mammals, birds or reptiles. i had as bad a tick problem as any of you here, living adjacent to woods and fresh water wetlands as i do. no more - the twice a year talstar treatments work. (don't forget, what you need is NOT an insecticide, but a miticide, since ticks aren't insects but arachnids.)

true, it's not a cheap solution since in my state talstar must be applied by a licensed applicator. (my guy thinks this is peculiar since homeowners can buy dozens of far more toxic compounds.) since everyone in my household including the dog has had Lyme disease, i consider the treatments worth every penny.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 2:10PM
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A friend recommended available sulfur baths, enlarged pores, the ticks will fall off (I have not tried to establish a serious infection that can test ticks)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 3:38AM
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I had a severe case of Lyme last summer..

I do not do doctors. I did not use any antibiotics. I am very sensitive and allergic to most meds.

I was totally unaware of the severity of this disease, and thought it wouldn't take much from my normal natural healing and herbal arsenal to fight it off.

I was able to fight off the initial flu-like infection/fever with huge doses of vitamin C, colonic hydrotherapy, and colloidal silver. It may be worthwhile mentioning that I use Swedish Bitters regularly, and when feeling off I take large doses. This does help with blood purifying. I used a frequency generator as well, and diluted food grade hydrogen peroxide was taken at this point. These are all things I do immediately when I have illness, and it is the first fever I have had in decades.

The flu-like symptoms went away within one day, and I felt fine except when the vitamin C was taken at very large dosages I did have headaches that went away when I backed down on the vitamin C which I continued to take even when the symptoms were gone.

A day or two later the "flu" came back, and I went back to fighting it off with the methods mentioned above. We soon noticed the rash. It was a solid pinkish red oval shape about 3 inches wide and one to two inches tall on my side. This grew daily into a giant circle over a foot in diameter covering much of my back and side.

I continued taking all of the treatments I have mentioned, but became bedridden with terrible pains (especially in the knees) and insomnia. It was a torturous experience to say the least.

I have studied natural healing most of my life (ever since I cured my childhood rheumatoid arthritis with peanut oil rubs). I tried all kinds of treatments. They helped, but this disease is very persistent and difficult to overcome. I lost much weight and was skin and bones, and my shoulders became weakened and frozen (unable to lift arms).

After studying as much information as I could on Lymes, I found the best treatment to be the Vitamin C and pharmaceutical grade Salt (sodium chloride tablets available at some pharmacies - about $12 per bottle - you may have to special order it in advance, we get ours at CVS).

I weighed 100 pounds and therefore was supposed to take 10 grams of each per day (10% of body weight - do not exceed 18 pills a day). It can be heavy on the stomach and cause nausea. It is best to take small amounts throughout the day. I was no longer bedridden within a couple days of starting this treatment. I never was able to take the full dosage, but managed to take 8 a day, and often did not take that many due to forgetfulness.

I still had pain for weeks, but it progressively got better. I did have 5 acupuncture treatments which seemed to help, but was not pleasant due to my lack of body fat to stick needles into.

When dealing with the pain, colonics (colon hydrotherapy) were the biggest help. I sometimes had to do three colonics in a day. I suspect this eased the pain because it washed bacteria and toxins away and helped the liver do its job. You could get away without doing colonics, but you will have much more pain to deal with, and should consider taking colon cleansing formulas and blood purifiers to help with the bacteria and toxins from the constant lyme and co-infections die-off.

At this point a year later, I do get minor aches when I forget to take my salt and C. I normally don't take more than four or five grams of each in a day, but would likely have had much better results if I took a higher dose more consistently for a period of time. I have almost full range of motion with my shoulders. Chiropractic helps with this.

I only write this to share my experience as a reference for others who have been given up on. I suggest that you seek medical advice from a certified natural healer or Lyme literate physician.

To learn more about Vit C/Salt, google lymephotos.com.

You can also find good information from:
She cured her lyme after medical treatment did not help

You can also find information from www.goodbyelyme.com.

I normally eat a vegetarian diet, but in my weakened condition, I found roasted chicken and occasional fish to be beneficial and strengthening. It helped me to gain back a little bit of weight.

I tried very many things, but have listed above what I felt helped the most and what I took most consistently throughout my ordeal. I also took chlorella and allicidin, and had raw garlic chopped up in my salads and foods often.

Hope this helps anyone who is dealing with Lymes directly or with a loved one. The most important thing is don't give up!

I also prayed for guidance and healing, and I believe that played a major role in my recovery and the discovery of the salt/C treatment.

God bless, and persevere!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Look into spraying cedar oil on the property. Its all organic and it actually makes the ticks shut down their lungs and die.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:23PM
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