Tick Tubes: Solving the creepy, sometimes deadly problem

Joan Jones, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – There’s a little problem creeping around in your backyard: ticks.

Luckily, spring is the ideal time of year to get on top of it.

WTOP’s Garden editor Mike McGrath says if people are worried about ticks hitching a ride inside on pets coming through the back door, they may want to invest in Tick Tubes.

They are little cardboard tubes loaded with cotton balls and soaked in Promethrin, which is a pesticide deadly to ticks. Field mice steal that cotton to make their nests. McGrath suggests spreading Tick Tubes around the yard.

Once on the ground, field mice take the cotton back to their nests and line them with the tick-killing wallpaper. The ticks ingest the Promethrin and voila – no more tick problem. This is because ticks spend part of their lives on the white-footed field mouse. McGrath says not all ticks will nestle in on a deer.

He suggests spreading the tubes when dogs are inside, so they don’t think it is a game when they see their owners hiding the tubes. The pesticide in the tubes is not harmful for dogs.

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