what to do re: high grass/ticks - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 04-16-2011, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We looked at a beautiful piece of land last night.  It is 6.5 acres with a stream running through it and it has a barn and is all set up for some animals.  It is reasonably priced and I am in love!  Anyway, Dh is a little leery and I know one of the issues he has is looking at all that land and wondering how we are going to care for it all.  A large part of the land is a sloped field that is dotted with trees.  The girls would be playing over there alot I am sure.  I know the area has alot of ticks.  So, what do we do about the grass in that field in order to prevent our girls from being covered with ticks all the time?  Would we just have to cut it?  I would say it is a good 4 acres.  If we were to cut it, what would be the fastest way?  Is there another solution?  It looks like it was cut by the previous owner, but certainly not as manicured as the lawn behind the house.  We are city folk, wannabe country folk and we are clueless :)  So, what would you do??

 

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Beth


Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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#2 of 17 Old 04-16-2011, 07:10 AM
 
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I'd only mow a "lawn" right around the house. I wouldn't mow an entire 4 acres.

 

We're country people, and ticks are just a fact of life, along with chiggers, mosquitoes, bees, etc. We don't really worrry about them too much, other than giving the kids good checks at night.

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#3 of 17 Old 04-16-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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I wouldn't mow the grass-it's an important part of the eco system and is probably providing shelter, food, and other needs for animals.

 

I would find other ways to manage the tick issue, I know I've seen some ideas for natural repelents around here somewhere.


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#4 of 17 Old 04-16-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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Mow and get some guineas. They will eat up your ticks.
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#5 of 17 Old 04-16-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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We have 20 acres. I pulled two ticks off of me one summer and then we got a bunch of guinea fowl and I haven't seen a tick since. :D


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#6 of 17 Old 04-17-2011, 06:00 PM
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hehe in our house we do the nightly tick dance during the summer at least. 

Everyone done to their skivvies or naked and do a pretty spin so the other person can check you over for ticks...


DH and I have already pulled deer dicks off ourselves and the dog this spring, it seem super early but ticks are such a part of life being in the outdoors I am not even phased by them anymore...A couple night ago in bed before I fell asleep I felt one attached to my stomach and DH had to yank it off...

 

Just do the tick dancemoon.gif I'm always looking for an excuse to use this one!

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#7 of 17 Old 04-18-2011, 02:38 AM
 
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You can rent or borrow a brush hog from someone to knock down the grass a couple of times a summer. Other then that, yea, chickens eat ticks.
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#8 of 17 Old 04-18-2011, 01:02 PM
 
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guineas like other folks said.. and if it's fenced, goaties will take care of the grass for you!


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#9 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Sheep prefer grass, goats prefer weeds and brush, I thought? I say get a couple of fixed boy sheep. And all manner of birds love bugs.

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#10 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

Sheep prefer grass, goats prefer weeds and brush, I thought? I say get a couple of fixed boy sheep. And all manner of birds love bugs.



I thought goats would literally eat everything in sight...grass weeds,non organic objects if they can wrangle it (I'm thinking of a goat I watched systematically eat a newspaper once when I was little)...I didn't think they were highly discriminating in their tastes. Eh...chickens would be my bet...the eggs would be so delicious with all the foraging they would get to do!

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#11 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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In the least you can cut paths through it.Paths that are wide enough for 2 people to walk`side by side with atleast a foot(more is better) of cut grass on either side of the walkers. I did a similar path in my backyard  for the kids in a circular pattern,and in the middle I placed their playhouse.They walked,ran,or drove their battery powered jeep. Took a lot less time to cut that,and it was fun to walk with the kids. Only bad memory was of hornets living in the playhouse. The natural areas brought in a lot of natural wildlife.We had dragon flies,preying mantises,toads,cotton tails,and so on.

 

Buy beneficial animals that will eat the ticks like guinea hens.Some chickens will eat them up too.

 

 I would love to have that much land! Have fun with it and create garden rooms,and make paths to lead to them.Leave some natural,but tweak it a bit with added flowers. Prairie Moon Nursery has great seed selection for creating a natural prairie

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#12 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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My dogs run the yard. Better the ticks go on them than me and the kids.Had two on me last year-yuck! Dogs get the ticks,and I use a tick twister to quickly get them off if they are attached.

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#13 of 17 Old 04-20-2011, 08:58 AM
 
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yes, the goaties are browsers/foragers, and i guess i am pro goat more so than sheep (sorry!) but they will graze pretty well and don't tear up the grass.  but they'll keep the area clear of brush and even poison ivy... and sheep tend to graze the grass down so much it dies. but they would work, too. 

ooh-- another thought... what about ducks or geese?  won't they eat the grass AND control ticks? 

and for any of the above, you'd probably still have to mow first, none of the animals like to eat the tops of high grass.


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#14 of 17 Old 04-22-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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Guineas, guineas, guineas.  Sheep for mowing, goats for brush hog work, lol.  Guineas, guineas, guineas for ticks!  Their eggs rock, too, I might add!


 


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#15 of 17 Old 04-23-2011, 05:54 AM
 
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--- brief hijack, sorry---

chicky?  do the guineas bother flowers?  we had to fence the garden to keep the chickens out but left the flower beds unfenced & the chickens don't bother them.  we want some guineafowl though.  good to know about the eggs, too.

---thanks---

 

oh!  and, you know what?  now that i think about it, when we bought our house, one of the stipulations in our purchase was that the owner bushhog or mow the pasture first.  you could possibly see if that would go over well for you, especially since the owner's possibly been maintaining it. 

i also used to pay someone to bushhog at my old house, it wasn't awfully expensive b/c he would work it in to when he was going to be doing stuff nearby for other people. 

if you have the $$ i think you can also get a bushhog like attachment for a riding mower, too, if you didn't go ahead and buy a small tractor.  at least i've seen stuff like that in mother earth news. 


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#16 of 17 Old 04-24-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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Guineas don't bother flowers! :)


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#17 of 17 Old 05-06-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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Sorry, hildare, I just saw this.  No, guineas do not bother flowers at all, except to eat bugs off them!  I currently have a guinea nest in the middle of a big patch of flowers. 


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