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Old 05-19-2012, 06:38 PM
29,988 posts, read 35,842,224 times
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Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
But they do present a health hazard: what to do with the poop?

A clue there's a tick present is an itching. Usually before the little critter is visible. Guess that depends on your eyesight.
Ticks present a health hazard, not chickens. Chicken poop is great organic fertilizer whereas dog and cat poop is a hazard, especially as a water pollutant.

Most ticks are large enough to see with the naked eye well before they attach, even the seed ticks.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:56 PM
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Thanks so much for the info and experiences guys. Very very helpful <3
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:53 AM
Location: On the Ohio River in Western, KY
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Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
But they do present a health hazard: what to do with the poop?
Hello?! We ARE in the gardening forum right?

Chicken poop makes some of the BEST organic veggie fertilizer EVER.

Save it up, add it to the compost heap and gown super big veggies!
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:30 AM
Location: Northern MN
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Ticks can be found everywhere and they really like tall grass.
Minimize exposure to ticks. Keep grass mowed and hedges trimmed back. Consider the source of pine straw and other mulches. Bringing in pine straw and leaf mulch from other areas could lead to more tick exposure. If you are having a really bad problem, there are premise sprays that can help, but killing ticks in the environment is very difficult.

Pine straw
Pine straw can be dangerous for dogs. Pine oils are known toxins for canines, and pet owners need to use care with these materials in their home and yards
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:33 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Ticks require mammals of some sort to be present. Deer, mice, squirrels, woodchucks, you get the picture. An open yard that doesn't host a dog or get used at night by deer is highly unlikely to have ticks.

People wonder why people in Alabama have HUGE mown yards in the country. They limit tick and chigger exposure, among other things.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:24 PM
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The Mrs. had to pull 2 nice fat ticks off of my right buttock today. We spent the day yesterday outside doing yardwork, and I guess they got on me without me realizing it. We live in Raleigh, and we have a yard like your picture #3. Lots of open grass, with trees outside the fence line.

Last edited by NewUser; 05-20-2012 at 06:47 PM..
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:32 AM
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I think it definitely helps to have a clean backyard with short grass and no large tree overhang. (I am in Raleigh too). Our backyard has large trees shading the lot and it's nice in the summer, but ticks are a definite concern and we are considering the pros and cons of spraying. I am a little jealous of my neighbors with cleaner backyards right now!
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:50 AM
Location: Northern MN
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ticks don't climb trees
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:49 AM
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There are many different ticks, each a different adult size and each with smaller stages. Some are more easily visible than others. They don't "itch" and most people have no idea they have been bitten by a tick until they have a reaction (like the bullseye in Lyme disease), find an engorged tick by chance or come down with symptoms of Erlicchiosis, Lyme disease, STARI or RockyMountain Spotted fever to name the most common ones. As an outdoor person (hiking and gardening) I've had two of those.

In the Raleigh area of NC there are 4 known tick species. Most are dependent on deer as a vector but as anyone who has lived in Lyme country, as I used to, knows it is the little mammals like mice that seem to aid in their spread close to humans as a secondary vector. Even a perfectly manicured backyard with fresh mowed grass can harbor the critters (again personal experience) although the most common way to get a tick on you is to brush up against vegetation (high grass and low shrubs) where they sit waiting to hitchhike on their next meal.

There is no perfect way to avoid all ticks. I knew plenty of "never go outside" people who still got Lyme Disease. The speculation is mice or pets bring the critters into the home or just brushing past a bush or a long blade of grass going into the house is enough.

Now that you are freaked out.... the best defense is to keep the yard clean of debris that animals would shelter in; you want to keep any mice far from your home. The "bare yard" picture is as close to that as you can come but don't avoid gardens and shrubs completely. Chickens do love to eat ticks (so do turkeys and other poultry) but that's not always feasible; some municipalities do not allow it. Keep the grass mowed frequently (here in the south that can mean every 4 days sometimes!). If you, or your kids, go outside wear light colored clothes to make it easier to spot the ticks before they find skin to latch onto. Use bug repellent on legs and feet areas (yes spray shoes and socks and pants bottoms. Do tick checks every time you have been out in the yard for everyone in the family. They like hidden spots more (the scalp, the back of the knee, crotch folds, underarms, underwear elastic areas and belt lines) but can be found anywhere on the body.

Learn to remove them properly if they have already latched on by pulling them straight out with tweezers right at the skin. Do not use anything to make them back out like lit matches and oils. These are old wives tale type remedies that backfire because the tick will excrete any disease carrying bacteria/virus it has as it pulls out. Generally speaking the tick has to be latched on and feeding for 24 hours before the transmission of any disease takes place. Obviously this is not a hard and fast rule, but a generally accepted time frame in the medical community.
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