Tackling Ticks Tackily!

HomesteaderWife

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I thought I would share a tacky way we finally dealt with our ongoing problem with clusters of baby ticks. Every time we go outside, it never fails, someone is covered in them. Everyone is covered in bites- it's getting old. We've tried yard spray, using peppermint oil mixes on our skin, and of course we tried brand name sprays meant to keep them off your clothes (needless to say, somehow the spray caused them to cluster WORSE).

SO, first step was to ditch the tennis shoes any time we had to stray off the established path. Sticking to our rubber boots was the plan- as they were easy to wash off, and they didn't get stuck into the boots like they would the cloth of our other shoes. Well, there was still the issue of not catching them on the dark colored boots and having them crawl all the way up until they reached our legs.

DING DING! A tacky idea was born- so tacky, it just may work. I suggested to my husband that before we walked out in the woods, to invert duct tape and wrap it in segments around out boots with the sticky side out. So we made sure it was snug around the boot, tore the strip, and stuck it back to itself. The sticky side facing out, one strip per boot, we made our trek.

I took care to not brush against anything if I could help it that was higher than my boot/tape level. Needless to say, I paused later to look down and see them making their way from the bottom of the boot up. I managed to sit down and watch how they reacted to the tape, and here's a bit of what I noticed:

  • - The tape served to deter most of them from even testing the borderline. They reached the edge of the tape, then turned around looking for another way up.
  • - The ticks that did make it to the tape, didn't get very far. They got stuck pretty quick.
Mind you, this is just our solution to clusters of those pesky baby ticks that you can't find until they're already stuck. It serves as a way to keep the bulk of them off your legs- if you've ran into clusters of them in the woods, leaf pile, or yard in general you know the pain. So while this may be a tacky way to tackle those dang ticks- personally, it has saved me from the brunt of the them. Yes, the tape might get stuck to other stuff and come off, but keep a cheap roll nearby and give it a try. This was honestly just a roll from the dollar store and it served well.

(I'll add a photo the next time I tape my boots up, as I plan to space out two strips next time just for precaution)
 

flowerbug

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here i think finding a single tick crawling is bad enough! congrats on finding something that helps.

i'm reading along here and i think from your description the ticks are not around your main living space but in areas of woodlands or fields? are quail able to survive around there? perhaps planting some to roam will help?
 

HomesteaderWife

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@flowerbug - They are actually very close to living area too! However, with so many dogs running loose in this area, our chickens cannot free range and I don't know if quail would do so well either (booming population of Red-Shoulder Hawks may get them!)
 

flowerbug

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with ticks around i'd not be able to let dogs run around as it seems they often get them and i'd hate to have to keep checking them after every time they go outside and come back in, let alone worrying about ticks falling off once inside the house. it's bad enough here with just a few deer ticks once in a while that we see (this year is a much higher count because we have had a lot of deer in the yard eating everything).
 
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