America, I just want a very few things.
1. A fool-proof way to eliminate ticks from my yard that doesn’t involve poisoning me and everything else in it.
2. A hat that will fit my gigantic head, so that I can sit on my front porch and read in the afternoons.
3. A logistical way to get to Memphis this weekend.
4. Cake on my birthday.
I don’t know if it’s just the Monday blahs or what, but I’m bummed about my upcoming birthday. In the past, my birthday has been a day of grand adventures that usually ended up with Kleinheider staring uncomfortably off into space waiting for the earth to open him up and swallow him whole. And this year I’m working and renewing my driver’s license. Oh, I know. I should have put a spoiler alert on that.
Ugh. Well, that sucks. I mean, the thing is, I am capable right now of getting each of those things, but the ticks, figured out. The Butcher would happily make me a cake, if I said I wanted one, for instance. It’s not like I’m surrounded by goobers.
I’m just feeling a little like, well, here I am. Now what?
It’ll pass, but it is what it is.
You could keep chickens to eat the ticks.
If you’re not keen on chickens, this is what I was able to google real quick:
Do a tick drag: A tick drag is a 4′ by 6′ piece of white flannel attached to a stick. You drag the flannel through the yard. Any ticks in the vegetation will attach themselves to the flannel where they can be seen and destroyed.
C02 Trap: A carbon dioxide trap is simply a covered ice bucket or styrofoam container with several holes in the sides near the bottom. Place approximately 2 lbs. of dry ice in the bucket and place the bucket on a piece of white flannel or a piece of plywood with a masking tape barrier. The tape should be stapled to the plywood around the edges with the sticky side up. If you use flannel, inspect both sides for one to three hours after trapping begins. The dry ice should last about three hours and attract every tick with a 75 sq. ft. area around the trap.
Can’t say how to eliminate ticks from your yard, but to keep them off your person, baby powder is surprisingly good. The talc cuts up their little legs, so they stay off skin that has baby powder on it.
Meet me in Jackson in my skunky car and i will take you on to Memphis. (Also, there are surprises if you come. Not fireworks surprises but the kind that will make you say “Damned Skippy.”)
A little bit of Memphis in Nashville:
I have a huge head as well — large hats.com was useful when I had chemo and lost my hair.
I second keeping fowl, but the Guinea Fowl are really the best tick eaters around. And, unlike chickens, they won’t scratch up your garden. Another advantage is that once they are mature, they roost above ground in tree branches, so you don’t need to coop them.
The husband just treated our lawn with a Neem oil product. Supposed to kill everything but the stuff we like such as ladybugs and bees. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I want the ticks gone, but I’m more concerned with the chiggers. I got mine at Bates, but I got the gallon sprayer at Lowe’s for $10 (the GreenLight neem is a concentrate). Fingers crossed.
Hot Lawn Guy just emailed that his father is doing some organic pest control stuff if you want to hire it out. Cedar oil based organic treatment that also won’t kill beneficials. $60 for a standard yard, which means yours…will not be $60. Let me know if you want the info. Maybe Hot Lawn Guy will come out and help. Maybe you could pay extry for that.
Dianne beat me to it! I was going to say Guinea Fowl!
And no one will ever be able to sneak up on you again.
And that is why you and Dianne are NEVER allowed to meet my neighbors, who are on a crusade for us to get peacocks (Because I’m sure the first time some tanker truck filled with gasoline hits one of those doing 60 miles an hour up Clarksville Pike is going to be fun for everyone). How do you keep any uncooped fowl close to home?
And when is your birthday exactly?
I have only ever kept chickens, but I think you could undertake to raise Guineas from chicks and then they would think of your place as home. Also, feed them. This approach has worked for all measure of critters and humans around my place.
Oh, Kathy, don’t worry about me. I’m just being a big whiny baby. I will get over myself.
I would seriously consider the Guineas, especially if you could guarantee that they would also go after the grubs, but though my lot is so long that it’s like living at a park, it’s still pretty narrow. I would worry that they’d be too noisy for my neighbors.
I would worry that they’d be too noisy for my neighbors.
And the neighbors are lobbying for *peacocks*? Do they like to see patrol cars racing down the street to answer calls of “woman screaming as if being murdered”? Yeesh.
Guineas will pretty much eat anything insectile or wormlike, IIRC, so they’d help you there. But they’re also bad about wandering out into the road, up on the neighbors’ porches, through any inadvertently left-open doors, etc.
We haven’t had a problem with ticks for the last few years, but I’m not sure if that’s because of the bluebirds (who reduce our mosquito and cutworm populations significantly) or an unrelated fluke of anti-tick nature.
I think we should get you Hot Lawn Guy with Neem Oil for your birthday. Where’s that Paypal link?
May I add that bridget’s comment is the only time in my entire life that I have ever felt sorry for ticks? It won’t stop me from using her suggestion, but I may be quite tearful while I do.
My neighbors don’t care what I think if they have guineas, why should yours care if you do? They eat anything that’s insect-sized and moving. Actually, that’s an understatement. I should have said they eat everything insect-sized and moving. No tick will survive them. (Interesting aside note: Cheatham County seems to be fast becoming the place to live if you’re a tick and have Lyme Disease, according to a soon-to-be-publiched study.) Guineas (the hens, not the Italians) are either not all that big on right of way issues (or property rights) or they’re not smart enough to get out of the way of moving vehicles.
What’s going on in Memphis this weekend?
If you and/or Newscoma get down here, I would love to meet you guys for a glass of water while you two have lunch or dinner or something. Seriously. I’m not dead yet.
I second the Neem, it is a righteous plant. Try it.