Friday, May 23, 2008

Tick Tubes--Tackle Lyme Disease the Green Way

I've been trying, between rain drops, to get some gardening done and I've already found a few ticks this season.  Louise has discovered an environmentally friendly way to handle deer tick problems in her yard which she has been using for two summers.  Research indicates that the only known transmissable form of Lyme disease is carried by the white-footed mouse (a.k.a. field mouse). It is not carried by deer. The deer carry the adult tick, with or without Lyme disease, to different areas of habitat. Hence they spread the tick, but not the disease. The adult tick has to find another host to infect in order to spread the disease. Ticktubes target the white-footed mouse by providing nesting material (cotton balls) that is sprayed with damminix (a de-licer, tick killer).  Since the white-footed mouse is part of the lifecycle of deer ticks, you will see a genuine decrease in deer ticks, as a result of ticktube application. Heavy rains may wash the damminx out of the cotton, therefore be clever in where you place the tubes (under bushes near the home or around the perimeter) and replace the tubes if they get hit hard by rain.