Those of you who have been coming and playing at Whole Dog Camp can confirm that we aren’t finding ticks on the property. How do we do it? Let us count the ways (again)!
1. Fencing. We don’t just fence in dogs, we fence out deer. We fence out fox. Fence is important.
2. We mow and mow and mow and mow. We mow so much we should get tired of mowing. We weed wack. We keep grass under 4 inches long ALL the time.
3. We reduce and remove mouse and other critter habitat. Around the barn, that involved installing wire mesh. We still have a few piles of lumber where chipmunks play so the piles of lumber are being reduced asap.
4. Tick tubes x 3! Spring, midsummer and again in the fall. Due to travel, we bought our first batch of tick tubes and installed them in the spring. Expensive! For round two, I have saved toilet paper tubes. I put cotton balls in a big ziplock bag, spray sawyers permethrin into the bag (while wearing disposable gloves). When cotton balls are saturated, I lay them on a board in the sun to dry, then I put them in tp tubes and stuff them around where rodents play. They take the cotton balls to line their nests, and this kills the ticks in the nests. You’re welcome, mousies!
5. The dogs are treated with pesticides. I haven’t been using repellent on myself, except if mosquitos are out, but we do tick checks like it’s our religion.
There are more things you can do, such as make sure sun can get to your lawn, removing acorns and other rodent feed, washing diatomaceous earth into your garden soil, good clean organic growing practices, making barriers (gravel paths) between lawn and woods. We are fortunate that our fields are bathed in sunlight until late afternoon, so we romp and roll barefooted and bare legged. Tucking (treated) pants into socks is good in the woods, but then you can’t see if there is a tick on you! Do a naked tick check twice every day, treat dog beds (with Sawyers Permethrin) as well as dogs (with whatever your veterinarian recommends), and live well!