What would you do?

luvncanninMay 2, 2013

Hi everyone.
I don't post very often but I read everything almost every day.
I have googled for an answer but come up with a lot of maybes to my problem.

There are ticks all over my backyard. since I am gardening as organically as possible I don't know how to handle this. The neighbors also have a bad tick problem but they spray so intensely that I can not go outside for days afterwards.

This was not really a problem for me the last couple years but now I have a puppy and I had to move my garden into my backyard. I am treating the puppy but as soon as the stuff wears off he has to be treated again. It is really bad and I have found no solution. I do not want to poison the puppy and my gardens all season.
Do any of you have any experience with this?
Thank you and heres to hoping mother nature takes a break from her mood swings.

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Guineas and chickens are the best control, but then of course, they attract predators that like to eat poultry so you must have a predator-proof enclosure and coop for them.

I'm going to link Howard Garrett's organic flea/control method for you. We have done most of the things he suggests, in addition to having poultry that is allowed to free-range for a portion of each day, and our property is relatively tick-free....at least the 2 or 3 acres nearest the house. You're still apt to run into ticks if you venture off into the 10+ acres of woodland. The only tick issues we have are when our dogs or cats go roaming in the woodland and come back with ticks on them.

You can get the recipe for Garrett Juice at his website. I usually mix it up from scratch, but every now and then when I am down in the D-FW metroplex, I'll pick up a gallon of it at Mike's Garden Center, Calloway's Nursery or Home Depot. It is just an enhanced compost tea, but I like the way it works. I also keep a bottle of Medina Orange Oil (there are other brands, but Medina is the one that has been easiest to fine) on hand year round. Because you dilute it a lot, a bottle lasts me for years. It is great for tough pests, including fire ants.

There are many dog shampoos available with tea tree oil in them, but some of them don't seem to have very much in them so I usually mix up dog shampoo using tea tree oil purchased at a health food store, or I buy Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Oil/Castile Soap. It seems really pricey but is highly concentrated so a bottle lasts forever.

Gardenville's Anti-Fuego product works similar to the Dirt Doctor's fire ant mound drench treatment if you happen to have anyone near you who carries Gardenville products. I usually go to Fort Worth's Marshall Grain Company once a year to stock up on various organic supplies like the ones mentioned here, or if we're in the Grapevine/Southlake/Colleyville area, I stock up on these things and on Espoma Tomato Tone and Garden Tone at Mike's Garden Center.

We had horrible flea and tick issues our first few years here because our land was just fallow farm land where cattle had grazed for a long time. It took years of consistent effort to get the fleas and ticks under control and you have to remain vigilent because they keep trying to move back in to areas that we've treated in the past. As much as anything, cutting all the cedar trees on our property within 100 yards of the house made a huge difference too. I noticed whenever I mowed near cedars back in the early years that the ticks were dropping down onto me from the cedar trees. After we took out the cedars, that part of the tick problem went away..


Here is a link that might be useful: Dirt Doctor's Organic Flea/Tick Control Program

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:16PM
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I second chickens. I had a chicken coop. It took my chickens no time at all, to scratch it bare.

In the late fall, and over winter I would let them in my garden, which was conveniently placed right next to the coop.

Then, after the garden was off limits for them, in the spring and summer time, I would let them run all over the yard, about 10 or 15 minutes before I knew, they would return to get in to their chicken house.

I had ZERO problems with bugs during this time period.

To bad, I now live in town... and prolly would not get away with keeping any chickens... besides the point that I am gone for weeks at the time....


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Thank you. This is what I was looking for.

The tea tree oil is a good idea. I have some so I will mix that up for the puppy. When it warms up I can bathe him.
Maybe when I make a run back to Denton I will stop by and pick up some stuff.
I do not want to use the stuff the neighbors use. It is horrible. Last year I thought there was a gas leak the smell was so bad, and lasted for days. I don't think they mix it right.

I would love to have chickens but I am not able to at this time. When I move to the new place we will definitely be using chickens. I am gearing up to move but I have to get through this season here first. My fall garden will be at the new place, I hope. This years garden is tiny since I had to move it into the backyard.
Thanks for all the ideas
and the puppy thanks u too. I really didn't like using those chemicals.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 5:38PM
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faerybutterflye(7B OK)

Ah, the joy of ticks. (Not really, I hate them) I have 3 large dogs & living near the refuge, the ticks here are really bad some years. My husband & son bring them home from fishing all the time. We all strip down & take turns examining each other to make sure none of the itty bitty ones have snuck in somewhere. I check my dogs often. IDK if this alone would make a huge difference or not, but I wash mine with Neem Oil shampoo when I start having issues with fleas & ticks. It makes their coats extra shiny & smells great. The particular brand I use is Ark Naturals "Protect" shampoo, but the link I put in here has recipes to make it yourself. It may be cheaper that way.

I also use a topical flea/tick treatment on my dogs. Right now, I use Sentry Fiproguard Max but I've also had a lot of success with K9 Advantix II. I had to stop using it though, because it got too expensive for the 3 & I can usually find Fiproguard for a lot cheaper. I don't particularly like putting the chemicals on them, but I've learned that I need a little extra help to keep the fleas & ticks under control during Oklahoma summers.

Hope this was helpful. Neem oil has a lot of uses & I really like the way it works on my pups.

Here is a link that might be useful: Info about Neem Oil for dogs

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Thank you for the links. I knew y'all would have an experienced answer to my dilemma. I am going to try a few different things this weekend and hopefully get this under control.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 11:50AM
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