48March 31, 2017

As I was headed home from work, there was a news story on the radio concerning the potential for this spring and summer to be a time of tremendous tick populations. The major concern is the potential for deer ticks to be at an all time high. Deer ticks are the major carrier of Lyme disease and an ever-increasing number of other diseases carried by deer ticks. Many people come into contact with deer ticks in the woods and other areas, but there is also a real danger in coming into contact with deer ticks in your own yard. Once the snow has melted completely, we will all be in our yards cleaning up the winter debris, cleaning out our perennial beds, spreading mulch and other related spring clean-up chores. Unfortunately, this can be a time when we come into contact with ticks in our own yards. You should be applying insect repellent when you are working in the yard, especially during clean-up time. It will also be helpful to eliminate deer ticks in your yard. There are many insecticides that you can use, but a very effective control method is using a product called Damminix.

Mice are often the source of blood that ticks need to grow and eventually reproduce. This can lead to larger numbers of the nymph stage of ticks each spring. This stage of the ticks are often infected with Lyme disease and are looking for another blood meal to continue to grow into adult ticks later in the year. We probably will never eliminate the mice in our yards but we can use them as our little exterminators of ticks. This is where the Damminix product comes into play. Damminix comes as a package of tubes that are filled with cotton balls. The mice love the cotton balls for use as a nesting material. You place the tubes around your yard in areas where the mice will find the tubes of cotton balls. The mice take the cotton balls back home and create a wonderful nest of cotton balls. The cotton balls that are in the tubes have been treated with an insecticide that won’t kill the mouse but will coat its fur as it lies on the cotton balls. Then as the mouse runs around the yard and the immature ticks climb onto the mouse, the insecticide kills the young ticks. The mouse has become the little exterminator that helps to rid your yard of deer ticks. The Damminix tubes are put out twice a year in early April to mid May and again in July through August. The earlier in the time frame that you put the tubes out in your yard the better control you will achieve in your yard. We have carried the Damminix tubes in our store for years and our customers who have placed the tubes twice a year have had a dramatic decrease in the number of ticks in their yard. As soon as you can, you should be placing the Damminix tubes in your yard.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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