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Resources

Tick Control Tube - DIY Instruction

Composting - High Level Review of Why Composting is a great idea! Contact me for more info!

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - The benefits of outdoor home composting:

  • Feed your flowers
  • Improve the soil structure
  • Call in the beneficial insects and microorganisms
  • Control weeds
  • Create micro-ecosystems
  • Save on refuse disposal costs
  • Lessen your environmental impact

Get started:

  • Select a location
  • Lean the ratios of greens to browns
  • Choose a form for your pile: the three bin system tends to work best for active gardeners
  • Contact Natural Selections for assistance

Best Practices of a Home Composter: A way of Life

  • Make it part of your routine
  • Involve the family
  • Practice organic lawn and garden care
  • Let your grass clippings fall
  • Mulch and reuse your autumn leaves
  • Top dress with compost before mulching with leaves or bark mulch
  • Mix in compost when planting, moving or renovating a garden
  • Water wisely

Common Composting Problems:

  • Animals? Avoid meat scraps, bury kitchen scraps
  • Low Temperature? Turn your pile, make it bigger, check your water to color ratio
  • Too Hot? Poke holes, decrease size, add brown
  • Nothing Decomposing? Check moisture level, add green
  • Smell? Ammonia smell: Add brown, Rotten smell: Turn pile, check for too much moisture
  • Flies? Fruit flies are OK, maggots mean there is a protein source; use only plant material-no meat, butter, or oil should be added

What Is A Tick Tube:
Tick tubes contain a material treated with a chemical (Permethrin) deadly to ticks but not toxic to animals or humans when handled properly. Several companies sell pretreated tick tubes that cost approximately $75 to $100 for each half acre area to be treated. Alternatively, homemade tick tubes can be made with materials found around the home.

How A Tick Tube Works:
The Permethrin treated material in tick tubes are placed in areas known for ticks. Placing around mouse and other rodent habitat works best. Mice, chipmunks, squirrels etc. take the treated material to line their nests and get the chemical on their fur and others in the dens. Young ticks (larva & nymph stage) generally obtain their first blood meal from mice and other small rodents. With the chemical on the rodents fur the ticks die before feeding. It can be highly effect in disrupting the life-cycle of ticks.

Materials Needed to Make Tick Tubes:

  • Paper tubes from toilet paper or towels
  • Dryer lint or cotton balls
  • Chemical Permethrin
  • Rubber gloves and dust mask


How To Make Tick Tubes:

  1. Always use rubber gloves when handling Permethrin treated material and a mask while spraying your material
  2. Spray dryer lint or cotton balls till soaked and let sit until dry
  3. Lightly stuff treated material into the center two-thirds of the paper tubes from toilet paper or towels, leave ends open for entry access of mice etc.
  4. Place the tubes out in places rodents will likely get to them. Placing them under items like logs/leaf litter/rocks etc. will keep them dryer, extending the life of the tube. If no activity in a tube is seen in a few weeks, move to another location.
  5. The Permethrin will last for a couple months depending on conditions. Tubes and material will disintegrate over time. Treatment can be done year around but is most important in the spring and summer months. A more permanent tube can be made from PVC pipes for easy refilling. It is suggested to paint them a bright color to make easier to locate for refilling.


Precautions:

Permetrin, available in a convenient spray bottle at REI stores or REI.com, is a chemical that is highly toxic to bees, fish, tadpoles, and cats (once dried not an issues for cats).
Do not spray in or near water sources, or on blooming plants, make your tick tubes outside on a non-windy day.
Only spray on gardening clothes and gloves while not wearing them. Spray till wet and hang to dry. Once dry clothing is safe to wear, chemical is good on material for up to 6 washings. You can also treat hiking boots and camping gear this way.
Purchase Permethrin with at least 5% active ingredient.
Always wear rubber gloves when handling Permethrin in the wet form (It’s ok to touch once dry). Always wear eye and breathing (mask) protection when spraying or treating any material.