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Discussion Starter #1
We're having a major tick outbreak right now and I'm fed up with it. I just pulled 2 off of my six year old (including one that was already a little swollen. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ), one out of my ear, and found several on our bed sheets (the dog sleeps under our bed). I finally gave in and put some tick drops on the dog, but that's not helping any. We have an acre of land and 3 small kids (16 months old, 3 years old, and 6 years old). We *need* to figure out how to protect us from the ticks because this is getting ridiculous. Does anyone know of any safe insect repellents that are *proven* to repel ticks (not just ones that claim to but are in general ineffective). Or if not, is there anything we can use in the yard that is practical for an acre (although our acre is surrounded by tall grass that isn't mowed and is owned by other people, so we still want something to protect ourselves from since the ticks might migrate into our yard.)<br><br>
We've cut our grass down really low, treated the dog, and nothing seems to be helping. So, if I can't find something safe to spray on the kids, we're going to have to end up using Sevin-dust in the yard because I can't risk tick-bourne disease. But I'm really really wanting to avoid something that is toxic and can kill the bee population and potentially hurt the kids...)<br><br>
Help please!!
 

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I'm watching this but I know that a dog can be immune to Advantix but work well with Frontline and vice versa so try switching.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That doesn't stop the dog from bringing the ticks *in* though...like he can bring them in the house and drop them on the carpet before it even gets past his fur (he's a bichon/havanese). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> And the kids are outside even to walk from the house to the car and are somehow picking up ticks. It's seriously ridiculous out these these days with all of those nasty little ticks. So I think we have to keep treating the dog, treat the yard, and find some repellent for the kids.
 

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I have heard that ticks hate yarrow so you can tincture it and use it as a bug repellent (works for mosquitoes, too). But I haven't done this myself, so I don't have any specific advice.
 

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I just read an article in Mother Earth News that said guinea hens provide natural protection against ticks for your back yard. Apparently, keeping guinea hens is fairly similar to keeping chickens, and they love to eat ticks. Studies have shown they do a good job keeping the tick population down in the areas where they live. Might be worth considering... Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
LOL, I considered that, but our deed restrictions (we live in what will be a subdivision as soon as the other lots are bought) say no animals that stay outdoors all day and no livestock/farm animals/non-traditional pets. I find it ironic since it's former farmland. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">:
 

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awh man here I was thinking how guineas were totally going to be your answer! a farm we visit on occasion used to have a huge problem and all it took was 4 hens and one season and ticks have pretty much been taken care of.<br><br>
a place we visit in the summer occasionally has a terrible chigger and tick problem and what ive used there was the generic geranium oil/soybean oil insect repelant from the HFS. i found that it didnt eliminate the tick issue but it helped somewhat with the ticks. still got chiggers badly one time when i took a walk in the grass. i also go hyper vigilant, checking everyone everywhere and making sure the linens are light colored so id see them on there. if it was my dog, id make alternate sleeping arrangements - i dont let our indoor/outdoor cat into the bedroom much in the summer for that reason. I also vacuum more often.<br><br>
i feel obligated to remind that the best way to remove a tick and not suffer consequences is not to irritate the tick in any way but to just remove it. i like tweezers but the Mr. uses his fingernails. if you irritate the tick then they spew some of the digested blood back into the wound and thus can give you whatever bacteria they are carrying.
 

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I found <a href="http://www.examiner.com/x-6785-Wilmington-Wellness-Examiner~y2009m6d21-6-nontoxic-tips-to-tickproof-your-yard" target="_blank">these tips</a> online. The diatomaceous earth suggestion may be worth trying. If putting a 12-18 inch wide barrier of gravel around your property is an option, that may be your best bet for permanent tick control. Once your current population of ticks dies off, new ones will not be able to cross the gravel without drying out and dying. Do you have a lot of trees? Ticks do better with humidity and some protection from direct sun exposure. Low grass plus direct sunlight tends to keep their numbers down.
 

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No real help here, probably, but do make sure you are keeping the dog from the neighboring tall grass, and of course keep maintaining your lawn. We live in a VERY bad tick area, with a field on one side and woods on the other. The only two things that keep them out of our yard are those two things.
 
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