Our yard is infested with ticks, so bad that we can't let our kids out there to play or let the family dog out. Is there a home remedy to control the infestation of the ticks?
What do you mean by "infested"? One or two each time they play or hundreds? Do you have long grass in the back yard? Ticks live in long grass. They also like dry conditions. Mow the grass often, water the lawn often.
As for your dog, there are solutions that can be put on the dog's back behind the neck (mine for my dogs is called Defend) and this solution needs to dry for a day (no kids or cats touching it) and then the dog will not get ticks or fleas for the next 3 - 4 months. It does not harm the dog at all. A lot of ticks on a dog and the dog goes "crazy" with them on him/her. "Crazy", I mean, scratching and trying to rub the ticks off.
As for your kids, get them to strip once in the house. Check them all over and don't worry about it. We've grown up in the country and some years, going down to the pasture where there is long grass has yielded 200 or more Woodticks at a time. Pick them off and keep going. (06/09/2005)
What a nasty thing to get. Here are some solutions:
For the yard: spray your yard really thoroughly with a mixture of Jeyes fluid (or any coal tar based, farm strength mix). As to the dosage, ask your vet ( animal expert).
Next, the dog needs to given a dose of flea and anti tick treatment, I find the vet will have the most up to date and effective drop or medication. He will also advise you on the best tick killer for your yard. They are difficult to eradicate but persistence will get the yard and dog, tick free. I have had some battles with these pests. Flea powder will not touch them. Best wishes, Sue (06/09/2005)
Oh, I feel for you. Ticks scare me to death with the diseases they carry. My husband got Lyme disease from them, but it was caught in an early stage. Let me tell you, I have done all I can to get rid of them.
But like ValleyRimGirl, I too, live in and around the woods and its a constant thing. But my best solution was to get chickens and guineas for the yard. I couldn't believe how much that helped. Yea, they leave behind a few droppings, but I can live with that more than I can with a tick.
I live in Arkansas in the country, and I use to have the tick infestation problem big time; but now I use Frontline on my dogs. It goes on once a month, right on their neck. I have tried other brands from cheaper to more expensive, but have gone back to Frontline, because to me it is by far the best product for fleas and ticks.
We also use Tick Granules gotten really anywhere they sell garden stuff. We get ours at Wal-Mart. You have to put it on the ground right before it is suppose to rain, the rain activates it. Tick granules also takes care of fleas and other bugs too. I recommend if your yard is really that badly infested not to be stingy laying down the granules if you go this route. Normally for us, laying the granules once is good enough to cover us for protection all Summer from fleas and ticks; but sometimes like this year we will need to lay down the granules twice, once in the middle of Spring and once in the middle of Summer. The reason we will have to is because we really didn't have a cold enough Winter this year to get rid of the bugs, so we know we will be heavily infected with them this Summer.
Anyway between Frontline and tick granules, we have no problem walking anywhere in our yard anymore. Oh, the granules also take care of chiggers too. (06/09/2005)
By Edie L.
I also live in Arkansas. If you don't mind using chemicals, the granules will work, but there is a fertilizer that works well, too. It is Ammonium Nitrate and is available at the Farm Supply and feed stores. It is not expensive, and doesn't take a lot. The best way to apply it is with a seed broadcaster, which is a handheld device with a crank handle. Place the Ammonium Nitrate in the hopper and crank slowly as you walk across your yard. Do this just before a rain, or use the sprinkler afterward and soak it into the ground.
This is also good for your yard, but you will need a good lawnmower because it will give you lots of green grass that needs to be cut often. If you spread it too heavily, it will turn the grass brown temporarily, but it will come back and make a beautiful lawn with no bugs. We do ours early in the spring when the spring weeds are popping up ahead of the grass. And one treatment lasts us all summer.
Also, for you folks who use Frontline Plus on your dogs, the cheapest place I have found to buy it is from a website on the internet. It comes from Australia, I believe, but I have been ordering for my neighbor (she treats 9 dogs) and myself for our three Rat Terriers. A 6 month supply from them is only a few dollars more than a 3 month supply available locally. And they ship very promptly. I have been using them for over 2 years.
Here is the link to check this out.
Harlean from Arkansas (06/10/2005)
We live in Arizona and one year the ticks were so bad, we found them crawling up the wall. They had came from cows that travel thru the woods here. So we used Frontline on our dogs and sprayed with "Home Defense" from the hardware store. We have 2 acres and it took quite a bit of the stuff but it got rid of the ticks after the second spraying. We haven't had a single tick since then. We don't have any grass only bare land, but the little boogers travel. (06/10/2005)
Best advice is to visit your local vet for topical treatments for your animals and they should also carry home treatments as well. Vet-Kem makes some great products that most Veterinarians carry, and many pet stores as well! Do not go athe cheapest route! If you want to go organic try getting some diatomaceous earth from your local Home Depot/Lowes. (08/09/2007)
By A little help
Unfortunately, you cannot keep ticks from getting big, aside from getting rid of them all together. They get bigger as they suck more blood. (08/31/2007)
To remove ticks you should use a special tick tweezer (it puts the pressure on the head of the tick and avoids squeezing the body, to prevent blood moving from the tick back to your or your pet's body).
For a human to avoid getting ticks in the first place, wear long trousers, even on hot summer days, and put a little mosquito repellent on your wrists and ankles. Also, avoid activities that involve lying down in the grass. (09/01/2007)
FLEA AND TICK BUSTER SHAMPOO
Mix and keep in a "shampoo bottle". This "shampoo" is great for removing fleas, freshening the smell of the dog and it does not irritate sensitive skin.
FLEA AND TICK PREVENTATIVE SHAMPOO
Mix and keep in a spray bottle. This spray is great for removing fleas, freshening the smell of the dog and it does not irritate sensitive skin.
I've read a lot of posts (some old from 2007) of people talking about squashing bugs/ ticks on their dogs that are full (of blood). For anyone who is unsure - DO NOT kill ticks while they are on your dog! They must be removed very quickly and carefully, so as to not squash the body OR separate the body from the head.
It is (personally), quite a disgusting and not so easy task, but the best way is to use fine pointed head tweezers. Grasping the mouth parts (close to your dog's skin) and not the body. Hold steady and lightly apply pulling pressure until it comes out completely. Leaving any portion of the tick in your dog (i.e. the head) will only become infected and possibly cause much harm to your dog in the long run.
If this is the case - take your dog to the vet! If you are successful, make sure to thoroughly clean the wound and disinfect it immediately (I use either peroxide and/or witch hazel) and then apply an anti-biotic ointment which is safe for the dog. WARNING -- Zinc/zinc oxide is TOXIC for dogs! Ultimately, the best way to manage ticks is to avoid them all together - FRONTLINE PLUS is the best over all, but make sure to apply it every month!
Our yard in plopped down in the middle of hundreds of acres of farmland, woods, grasslands, etc. in CT - so our yard is chock full of ticks. Make sure to keep the grass short - fleas and ticks need the protection of long grass from the sun (that dries up the humid and shaded conditions they need to live) for starters.
I would then suggest a professional - like Tick Ranger/ Naturalawn or something similar which comes out every 6-8 weeks and sprays the lawn/ dirt (Tick Ranger's formula is safe for animals and kids). Then there are natural products like Greenlight Yardsafe - which I am also trying out for areas beyond the sprayed area or there are some Adam's products that can be sprayed on w/ your hose (check out Jefferspet.com, etc.).
I also know that ticks/ fleas hate cedar and supposedly will not cross a border of it (I believe at least 10 inches wide) - plus it will look pretty as a border in your yard. For the future, you can also plant natural plants that are defenders - I know that the Univ of Iowa (I believe) did a study on catnip, which is supposedly 10x more effective than DEET - since it produces an oil "Neem" which is used in several natural insecticides. Maybe add to that cedar border, some catnip, lemongrass, lavender and lemon basil - all supposed to keep them (and mosquitos) at bay and I believe are all safe for your dogs, should they get curious.
But the 1st line of defense is definitely FRONTLINE PLUS - which actually is more effective "and waterproof" compared to many others.
Good luck to us all! (06/06/2008)
"Especially if I were to get the guinea hens as well?"
A group of guinea will do an excellent job of keeping your property free of not only ticks but, spiders, grasshoppers, scorpions, etc. Years ago most everyone in rural Southeast kept guineas. There are still a few local cattle ranchers "riding herd" over a large group of guinea fowl for the simple fact that they are the most effective means of clearing out tick populations and they don't wash away after a rain....normally.
They make an excellent alarm system too, loudly sounding off at any intruder. Be forewarned of the later unless you have some distance between you and a neighbor. If you prefer not to deal with, or do have a good broody hen handy check local listing in the paper for live stock. Incubation isn't very difficult, but humidity levels and timing can be fairly crucial in a high percentage hatch rate. Most any type of domesticated fowl, such as chickens are decent tick eradicators but the guineas are the hands down pros. Google guinea eggs or for a quick look-see check out the link below.
Happy hunting, Bon Appetite!
We live in North West Florida and it is nice to know other people are having such a time with ticks this year (misery loves company I guess). We live on 40 acres and have been spraying pyrethrin and it does kill the ones you spray, but we have them dropping from the trees and have two dogs so they just keep coming back. We soak the dogs in it, too.
I picked around thirty ticks off myself tonight, but I was out in the wooded part of our property. They are terrible this year. I just read that ticks hate the smell of vinegar so tomorrow I am going to soak in it before I go out - I guess I won't smell real nice but at this point I don't care. (08/08/2008)
We are in Pompano Beach, FL. My mother has ticks at her house too, she cannot get rid of them. She has 2 dogs and now she is always bathing them and trying to keep them indoors. She finds them crawling up her walls and they are all sizes. This is scary. We all need a solution.
I told her about trying vinegar, but she won't. I use vinegar in my house for everything. I clean with it and it keeps ants and bugs away. I've never seen a tick in my house. Also I put a lil drop of apple cider vinegar sometimes in my dogs water, keeps ticks off. Bugs hate it. (09/12/2008)
Don't be silly. It's not a big fuss, take a match light it and then blow it out and place it carefully and quickly on the tick. It forces the tick backwards and nothing gets left behind. Also there is no harm to the animal or person as I have done it myself. (10/06/2008)
Hello all, I feel your pain. We have been watching a friend's dog who came to our home with ticks. Luckily for us, I am licensed for pest control, so I just thought I'd shout out a few ideas. As for in the house, bombs that you buy at Walmart aren't very strong, so they may say to use 1 or 2 bombs, I would use 3 or 4. After bombing, you can re-enter your home do a complete sweep of your home to tops of cabinets, to under couches, and any other cracks you can think of.
As for the yard, if you don't have the $$ to hire someone to do it Walmart sells Sevin in a concentrate. Spray your yard at the correct mix rate, let it dry and you should be OK for 7-10 days, then spray again. Ticks come along hard in dry warm areas. So the dryer and the warmer the better it is for them. I would also spray any trees or plants with Sevin, as ticks can live in trees. (12/28/2008)
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