Are Biting Buggers Pestering Your Pooch?
Tell ‘em toodle-oo with 4 “take that!” tricks.
Due to the early spring warm-up in most of the country and the lack of a hard freeze in many parts of the South, flowers, grass, and trees have come to life earlier than ever before. Unfortunately, ticks are enjoying the warm weather too—in a big way. The tick population has exploded this spring, and the biting little buggers are bringing woe to pets and people alike.
When fleas bite, they latch onto skin and inject their saliva into their victims. The bites cause itching, irritation, and possibly up to 15 diseases, including Lyme disease.
Because ticks can’t fly, they don’t zoom at their victims from the air the way mosquitoes do. These tiny terrors are much more subtle. They just sit there on plants or grasses, and when a human or a four-legged critter brushes by, they simply reach out and cling to whatever they can grab onto—be it fur, clothing, or bare skin. Your only defense is to use a tick repellent on yourself and your furry companions. Around your yard and garden, try one of these super solutions:
- Deer ticks spend their growing-up time on deer mice, so gather up some dryer lint, empty toilet-paper rolls, and pet shampoo that contains a flea and tick killer called permethrin. Soak the dryer lint in the shampoo, and push a small wad into each cardboard tube. Then set the things out in bushy areas or other sheltered spots where the deer mice are likely to find them. The mice will take the fuzzy stuff home to line their nests, and the freeloading ticks will be history!
- Giving your yard a crew cut is not the way to a lush, healthy lawn. But it is a surefire way to destroy a lot of ticks—and to keep more from moving in. So move your mower blade to its lowest setting, and trim away!
- Two of the most effective tick repellents that I know of are beautiful, easy-to-grow herbs—rosemary and pennyroyal. Just dry the leaves, and grind them up in a blender. Then rub the powder into your pets’ fur, and sprinkle it around in their (and your) outdoor play spaces.
If ticks have taken up residence on your own turf, kill ‘em dead with my Toodle-oo, Tick Spray:
Mix 1 tablespoon of Ivory® dishwashing liquid with 1 gallon of rainwater or soft tap water in a bucket, then add 2 cups of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Pour the mixture into a 6 gallon hose-end sprayer, and spray your plants from top to bottom. Make sure you get under all the leaves where the rascals like to hang out. Repeat whenever necessary. Just make sure you wait until evening to blast the bad guys, otherwise, the combination of sunshine and alcohol will burn your plants.
The Ugly Truth About Ticks
to get tips for successful tick removal.
And if you’re looking for more ammunition to win the war against the most vilified bugs and thugs in gardendom, check out my Bug Off!
book—FREE for 21 days! The tips, tricks, and tonics in this book will give you a gorgeous, critter-free yard and garden the fast, fun, and easy Jerry Baker way!