krnuttleFebruary 15, 2013

I am fed up with ticks and want to hit them hard. This is the middle of February just east of Raleigh. I was out working in the woods at the back of our 3/4 acre, and picked up a tick. Later in the summer if I go into the same area, I will probably come out with several ticks.

What would be the best way to control the ticks?

Animals or birds are out for control as it is against the HOA regs

We have held off going the poison route as we like the birds and butterflyes. How ever if poison is the only way then poison it will be as I said I want to get rid of the ticks.

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Your first line of defense is keep a clear cut around your property and keep the grass mowed to 3 inches or less. No piles of debris, tall grasses or plants

Move any wood piles, bird baths, and bird feeders away from the house.

Now for the controversial part pesticides. Ticks are hard to kill. It takes two methods of attack. Sprays kill adult ticks where the spray can reach. Granular or powders get down in the grass and kill larvae and nymphs.

Here is the problem. The most effective pesticides have been banned. Seems tree hugers prefer humans to get sick and die from tick borne diseases rather than making some birds and frogs sick.

OK for sprays the best thing out there is products that contain Pyrethroids and Pyrethrums. These are organic pesticides. Problem is they only last for 24 to 48 hours before they degrade. It is a contact type poison. Perfectly safe for humans and pets. Deadly poison for bugs.

Best long term control is the granular and powders. Best stuff to use is a product containing Carbaryl aka Sevin. Insecticide Granules. We use a lot of it on the farm and golf courses.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Will Sevin work in a woods environment where there are a lot of leaves on the ground.

From what I am hearing it is going to be difficult to control ticks and have a nicely landscaped yard with flowers, bushes, etc.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:29PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

There is an organic guy on the radio in San Antonio who claims he controls ticks with beneficial nematodes applied in the winter. In the winter the ticks are in the ground where the beneficial nematodes are. Once the ticks leave the ground, the BN won't do anything.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Well I can tell you the US Forrest Dept uses Sevin Granules. Ticks are hard to control, and hard to kill. Your best defense around the house is keeping a tidy yard. Ticks need tall grass or brushy plants to find a host. They lay in wait for a host to walk buy. Ticks like moist conditions.

Keeping the grass short is two fold. They do not have a place to go to wait for a hose. And short grass keeps the humidity near ground level and dry them up.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:57PM
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Just thought I'd chime in with a possible alternative.

I don't remember the fine details, but when I was a kid we used to put tobacco down every once in awhile to keep ticks and fleas away. They were really thick out there as we used to get ticks on us just about every day.

We'd get the tobacco for free from a small cigarette factory down the road. It was a really dry, fine powder (leftovers) and worked quite well. Just make sure and wear a dust mask if you try it. That stuff gets everywhere and it'll make you sick fast if you breathe too much of it in.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:23PM
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