Turning Archive 2008

Re: Sevin and bees
Response To:
Re: Sevin and bees ()

John K Jordan
>>...anything that will control the ticks but not harm the pollinators?

Did you see the garlic treatment in the earlier link? http://www.mosquitobarrier.com/ I haven't tried it but it sounds like a possible organic solution. One of the testimonials at the bottom of the page said it solved their "huge tick problem."

Also, an insecticide like liquid permethrin sprayed would kill any insect it touched, but it's not something that pollinators would carry back to spread through the colony. (Although I don't think most types of bumblebees live in colonies.) However, spraying an insecticide through the woods would be a daunting task! (And note that permethrin is very toxic for cats and fish.)

As for tick bite sensitivity, did you notice the note I wrote about the "Extractor"? I'm also very sensitive to tick bites - a bite is guaranteed to give me grief for about four months with intense itching and sometimes open sores from scratching. I used the Extractor on some tick bites a few years ago and they healed up in a matter of days instead of months. However, since I've had the free range chickens I haven't had a tick bite to use it on and I'm often hacking in brush from head to foot. Note: it doesn't take many chickens - I keep most in a pen but allow three or four to have the run of the place. I don't feed them much so they have to work for their keep (i.e., they hunt down ticks all day!) Over the course of time I think they've turned over every leaf within 100 yards of the barn.

BTW, another thing that may have helped reduce the tick population here is mowing - I even mow the woods under the trees a couple of times a year to keep the brush down. (I use a large diesel-powered zero-turn mower and set the deck to about 6" to mow right over the branches and rocks.) I understand ticks like to climb grass or weeds a foot or two off the ground and wait for a warm body to pass by. My theory is: Whack the weeds and they don't have as many things to climb, can't jump on as many deer, and they can't reproduce nearly as fast. Even if you can only mow or bush-hog wide paths through the woods, the deer tend to prefer moving through those spaces instead of through high brush and weeds.

Also, the tick spray that you use on your clothes really helps. Many years ago when I used to go deer murdering I used it often. The times I didn't are the times I found ticks or got covered with seed ticks.


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