Diatamaceous Earth for Tick Control

BillM2April 22, 2013

I need to spread some Diatamaceous earth on a fairly large lawn. I know I could use a hand crank duster, but that might take a couple of days! What else could be used to cover a large area. Drop spreader?

Also, when's the best time of year to do it? Has anyone had experience using it for tick control?

Thanks!

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

The problem with tick control is you have to catch the ticks in mid air or else in the soil. They come out of the soil in late winter, so you missed that. Essentially you missed your shot for the year.

The problem with DE is it doesn't seem to be effective at anything the organic folks claim it is. I've tried it. Nuthin! Roaches, for example, can bathe in it all day long and nothing happens.

Where do you live?
What kind of grass do you have?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 10:22PM
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krnuttle

Diatamaceous earth
Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth
and others.

While it has some negative effects on the insects and bugs, it works when it comes in contact with the organism. So to be 100% effective, you would have to cover the ground 100% with DE.

I believe there are better ways of controlling ticks.

If you ever find an effective way please let me know, as I have 3/4 acres of ticks.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:07AM
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BillM2

I live in upstate NY and have some woods that meet up to our lawn. It can be shady and somewhat wet which as I understand it, great for ticks. I think spreading the food grade DE along the borders about 20 feet in by using a drop spreader set on a fine setting. Not certain if this will be effective or not. Any other opinions?

I also have this year a half dozen chickens known for their foraging abilities. Friends who have them in their property say they eat most anything that crawls and have reduced their ticks in their yards.

Welcome any and all comments in this approach as well.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 3:58PM
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BillM2

I live in upstate NY and have some woods that meet up to our lawn. It can be shady and somewhat wet which as I understand it, great for ticks. I think spreading the food grade DE along the borders about 20 feet in by using a drop spreader set on a fine setting. Not certain if this will be effective or not. Any other opinions?

I also have this year a half dozen chickens known for their foraging abilities. Friends who have them on their property say they eat most anything that crawls and have reduced their ticks in their yards.

Welcome any and all comments on this approach as well.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 3:59PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Best way to prevent ticks in a yard is proper lawn maintenance by keeping the grass cut short and manicured. Ticks and Chiggers need tall grass to climb up on to catch a ride with passing host.

If you have a serious problem, you need medicine. Unfortunately the government banned the most effective herbicides for controlling ticks. Seems a bird life is worth more than your life. Anyway there are still some moderately effective herbicides that you can use in the form of sprays and granules.

The best today is a professional product in most sates called Bifenthrin (Talstarî, Orthoî products). A pyrethroid insecticide made from synthesized Pyrethrin (Daisies). In some states you can buy it in Box Stores or online at DIY Pest Control websites.

Next in line is Permethrin (Permethrin, Mosquito-Offî, Astroî, Orthoî products, Bonideî products,, Tengardî SFR, others). A pyrethroid insecticide mainly for homeowners. Another synthesized Pyrethrin product.

Pyrethrin . (Pyrenoneî, Kickerî, Organic Solutions All Crop Commercial & Agricultural Multipurpose insecticideî) Pyrethrins are derived from the chrysanthemum flower. They are often combined with the synergist piperonyl butoxide (PBO), which increases the killing power of pyrethrin, or insecticidal soap. Only a combination of pyrethrin and PBO with either insecticidal soap or silicon dioxide (diatomaceous earth) was found highly effective against ticks. Thorough coverage appears vital for these materials to be effective as there is little residual activity. Two applications are required.

The two synthetic Permethrin and Bifenthrin products have residual properties which means only one application is required to kill Adults, Larvae, and future Larvae that hatch from eggs. The organic Pyrethrin product degrades in 24 hours and requires at least two applications two weeks apart. One app to kill Adults and Larvae, and another app to kill Larvae that hatch from eggs.

Actually there is one better than all of these we farmers use on our pets but is very expensive and restricted to small areas due to cost called Carbaryl
(Sevinî). Carbamate insecticide. Environmentalist hate this product as much as they hated DDT, Diazon and Malathion which were extremely effective but now banned.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 8:11PM
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BillM2

Permethrin is used on clothing to keep them off and had no idea you could use it more broadly. So is it too late in the season for DE? I intend on keeping the grass short, the chickens on the prowl, and the addition of DE might further the combat. Along with nightly tick checks of parents and kids.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 5:46PM
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chickadee4

Last year I was removing twenty ticks a day off all the dogs: male, female, nymph and there is one more size.
Once it rains all the above mention chemicals are ineffective and it does ruin the ecosystem. Birds , wind and rodents carry them into the fenced yard.
DE does work but they need to bath in it. I use the DE to eliminate the ticks,red ants & black ants. I lay a thick line along the fence line where the forest butts to the chain link fence . Once it rains the stuff is ineffective.
I also bought 9 chickens and three guinea hens. ( guinea hens pick on the chicken and are loud .)
The guinea hens love eating ticks and the ants.

I place socks over my pants legs , apply a lavender spray on my neck and lower legs . I found it to be as effective as the DEET spray.

As for the dogs I give them garlic and brewers yeast for five days and skip the weekend. The deer ticks don't like the garlic and the wood ticks hate the brewers yeast. ( I ran out of one of the products and could see which tick was not snacking).

Corn meal sprinkled on top of the ant mounds in dry weather also got rid of the black ants. Again it is ineffective once it rains

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:17PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Permethrin is used on clothing to keep them off and had no idea you could use it more broadly.

Permethrin is used as an Insecticide, acaricide, replellent, and has medicinal uses on humans for scabies and lice. Perfectly safe except do not spray cats with it. No problem with dogs. As an Insecticide Permethrin is used:

* in agriculture, to protect crops
* in agriculture, to kill livestock parasites
* for industrial/domestic insect control

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:12AM
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