How Do I Get Rid Of Ticks In My House – Disease-carrying ticks are a major concern in many parts of the country, serious enough to convince some people to wash their lawns with pesticides and chemically treat their outdoor clothing. However, many people oppose the introduction of synthetic chemicals into the environment, even to control a particularly dangerous pest.
Over the past two decades, this mystery has led researchers around the world to search for natural ways to keep ticks away from properties and people, with some success.
How Do I Get Rid Of Ticks In My House
According to the Chinese philosopher and military strategist Sun Tzu, before going into battle, one must “know the enemy”. This is especially important when dealing with ticks, which have important habits and exploitable weaknesses.
How To Remove A Tick
Two of the most common ticks in the United States—the American dog tick and the black tick—seek or “seek” their host by settling on vegetation and waiting for it to pass. They then grab the animal’s (or human’s) skin, hair, or clothing with their front paws and climb aboard.
“This is what we call an ambush strategy,” said Kirby Stafford, senior scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and state entomologist.
Ticks also protect vegetation from the sun, which can dry it out. According to Stafford, black-legged ticks in particular are prone to dehydration.
For this reason, mowing the lawn can reduce the number of ticks on your property. Short grass does not provide enough shelter for some tick species to survive. Raking up dead leaves, cutting back shrubs and pruning trees can also help reduce the number of certain types of ticks on your property.
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“In recent studies, we’ve found that scavenging is very important to the survival of blacklegged ticks,” said Chuck Lovelczyk, a field biologist at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute’s Lyme and Vector Disease Laboratory. – Removing foliage from the yard and letting it dry out will make it much less hospitable for the black-legged tick.
“The whole idea is to reduce the suitability of the habitat around the house for ticks,” Stafford said. “You won’t get rid of everyone this way, but it will reduce their number.”
In the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station study, approximately 67% of the ticks sampled were found in heavily wooded areas, 22% at the edge of the unkempt transition between forest and open space, 9% in ornamentals, and 2% in lawns. . Therefore, most ticks in the lawn (82 percent) are found within three meters of the perimeter of the lawn, especially along groves, stone walls and ornamental plants. The study also found that ticks are more abundant in shady areas of the lawn.
Given these numbers, it makes sense that another common tick management practice is to place 3-foot-wide gravel or rubber barriers between lawns and wooded areas, and around swings and seating areas. This barrier, open to the sun, prevents ticks from migrating.
How To Remove An Attached Tick
Unfortunately, there are tick species, such as the lone star tick, that can tolerate drier conditions and therefore may not be easily discouraged by a lack of shelter, according to information from the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center. Additionally, the lone star tick actively chases its hosts and moves in response to carbon dioxide and movement.
“It’s a very aggressive tick with multiple hunting strategies,” said Stafford, who added that more research is being done on how to manage the particularly difficult tick.
Although ticks prefer to stick to humans, they are also happy to feed on the blood of many other animals. The black-legged tick, for example, is also called the deer tick because it often feeds on deer.
Therefore, one way to reduce the number of ticks on your property is to fence off high-traffic outdoor areas to keep out some tick-carrying animals, such as deer. Another option is to plant deer-resistant plants such as daffodils, lavender, mint, asters and marigolds. These plants won’t repel deer, but they won’t attract them either.
How To Get Rid Of Ticks In Your Lawn
Also, consider a bird feeder for tick season, as birds can carry ticks as well as rodents such as mice and squirrels. That’s why it’s important to clean up trash and anything else that attracts these animals to your property.
In recent years, many scientific studies have been conducted to identify plant-based substances that repel and kill ticks.
Fundberry (Lindera melissifolia) essential oil, for example, deterred lone star ticks and black-legged ticks in a 2011 study by researchers in the United States, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. And a compound derived from peppermint oil in a study published in 2009. the Oxford Journal of Medical Entomology.
Oils of citronella, clove, and lily of the valley deterred cuckoo ticks (a European tick, also known as a sheep tick) in a 2003 Swedish study; And lavender and eucalyptus oil repelled the same type of tick in a 2016 study by Czech researchers.
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Lemon eucalyptus oil has also been shown to be effective at keeping ticks away, especially black-legged ticks, Lubalczyk said. This natural ingredient has been tested in many studies and is now common in natural tick repellants.
Encouraged by studies of various plant oils, several companies have combined different plant oils to create natural tick repellants for skin, clothes, and lawns. Common ingredients include garlic oil and essential oil blends of rosemary, lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, thyme, and geraniol. However, unlike synthetic pesticides, these natural repellents are not regulated or tested by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“The problem with natural sprays is that unfortunately most of them don’t work,” Stafford said. “There is no requirement for efficacy testing, so companies can simply put these [products] on the market. And the real problem is that you often don’t know exactly what’s in it. What is your plant source? What plant does the oil come from? How do you break it down?”
Currently, the only natural tick repellent compound registered by the EPA is 2-undecanone, a compound extracted from the wild tomato plant. Additionally, a compound called nootkatone, derived from the essential oils of Alaskan yellow cedar, certain herbs, and citrus fruits, is currently under review by the EPA for registration as an effective tick repellent.
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“There are two large CDC grant projects here in Connecticut and New Jersey that are evaluating Neotecton for tick control,” Stafford said. “It’s very volatile, so that’s another problem with these compounds—even if it works, it gets smeared and wears off in a day or two.”
“It takes a lot of work and money to develop a sprayable product,” he added. – The wording is critical.
An EPA-listed fungus, Metarhizium brunneum (formerly Metarhizium anisopliae), used in lawns and gardens to kill blacklegged ticks, has been removed from the flora. This fungus grows naturally in soil around the world and is commercially available as a bio-insecticide called Met25.
“It’s not technically pure organic because it contains a little petroleum distillate to keep the spores suspended,” Stafford said, “but it’s definitely a more natural route.”
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Free-range chickens and other domesticated birds such as poultry and turkeys naturally eat ticks and other lawn pests, but whether this can significantly affect the number of ticks on your property is debatable.
“Relatively little is known about birds as predators of ticks, and references are mostly based on isolated observations and non-quantitative reports,” says a 1996 South African study on chickens as predators of ticks.
For the purposes of the study, a total of 461 ticks (four different species) were collected from the crops and manure of 19 chickens over a period of nine weeks. These chickens were released for a limited time in a cattle pen in Botchabello. About 20 percent of ticks detected were ingested, and researchers observed chickens attracted to animal ticks.
However, not much is known about the effect a bird can have on a tick population, especially if it’s just looking for these little pests in the vegetation.
How To Get Rid Of Ticks In Your House
“There hasn’t been a lot of work [on this issue],” Stafford said, “but it really hasn’t had that much of an impact because of the limited data available.”
No matter how much effort you put into tick control, it’s unrealistic to think you’ll get rid of ticks completely, Stafford said. “There is no silver bullet.”
That’s why it’s important to be vigilant outdoors, even if you’re in a tick-infested area. There are many natural self-defense techniques. One of the most commonly practiced techniques is to protect the skin from ticks by wearing long pants tucked into socks. It won’t win any fashion contests, but it might deter ticks from finding your skin and biting you. This will force you to climb
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