Tim's Weekly Column

April 19, 2018

The April showers continue to hit our area. This past Monday had to be one of the coldest rainy day we have had in a long time. Hopefully the weekend sounds like it will be a bit better.

If you have a dog and you have been walking him/her you probably found dog ticks on your dog even during the cold temperatures of March. People seem surprised by this, but ticks in general have learned to adapt to our cold weather. Now that the snow is gone and we are hopefully into spring clean up weather, gardeners are at particular risk of coming into contact with the deer tick nymph. At this stage the nymph is the size of a grain of pepper. This makes it hard to see if it gets on you. This stage of the deer tick is very likely to be a carrier of Lyme disease. As a precaution, you should always be treating yourself with an insect repellent. You should also be treating your yard with some form of tick control. There are many different types of insecticides but an easier way to help to control deer ticks is to use a product called Damminix.

Damminix is often referred to as tick tubes. The tubes are filled with cotton balls that are treated with an insecticide called permethrin. You will be placing the tick tubes around your yard in selected areas. Deer ticks will be very likely to feed on our native field mice. The cotton balls in the tubes are a great nesting material that the mice take back to their home. As the mouse nestles into the cotton balls, the permethrin coats the fur of the mouse. It doesn’t hurt the mouse. As the mouse is traveling around your yard, the ticks will climb up on the mouse to feed. The permethrin that is on the mouse’s fur will quickly kill the ticks. The mouse has become your tiny tick killer. We have sold these tick tubes for many years and many customers have had great success in using these tubes to control deer ticks. Now would be a good time to apply the tick tubes in your yard. A second application of the tubes in July or August will catch the larval stage of the tick helping to decrease the future tick population.

We should be getting some of the cold weather vegetable plants in this week. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, leaf and head lettuce, kale and Swiss chard plants can be planted now. We have onion sets and seed potatoes available too. These are things that you can plant in your vegetable garden now. Please hold off on planting tomato, pepper and cucumber plants until we get closer to the end of May. If you remember last year, we had a cold rainy day mid May last year that killed many of the tomato, pepper and cucumber plants. Don’t rush the season folks. Plant your vegetable plants or vegetable seeds at the appropriate time and you will have a successful garden. Trying to jump the season can have terrible results.

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

 

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