When larval blacklegged ticks hatch from eggs, they generally are pathogen-free (several studies from a number of laboratories have failed to detect any human disease-causing pathogens in newly hatched larvae). Ticks become infected with disease-causing pathogens when they feed on reservoir animals. Most studies support the notion that white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) are the main reservoir host for Lyme disease spirochetes, Babesia protozoa, and Anaplasma bacteria; in most settings, mice are the primary culprits for producing infected ticks. These mice are common and often quite abundant in rural, suburban, and semi-urban settings across much of the eastern United States.
Tick Tubes are stuffed with cotton nesting material impregnated with permethrin. If mice are present, they typically are very attracted by this nesting material. If tubes are placed in areas harboring mice, the mice will steal the treated nesting material and place it in their nests. Once mice have treated nests, they almost never are infested by ticks. With complete coverage in a yard, in time nearly all of the mice will have treated nests. In this way, targeting the ticks that feed on mice can greatly reduce the number of infected ticks in your yard. It's easy to apply Tick Tubes, (although you need to think like a mouse-where would they feel safe searching for nesting material). Do it yourself, or hire a professional applicator. It is best to apply Tick Tubes in late July/August when larvae are active and before nymphs emerge.
Although every setting is different, a typical 1 acre yard [assuming at least half of the area is taken up by the house footprint and lawn] will require applying about 24 tubes at each application. You can check the tubes for the presence of remaining cotton-when re-applying, if there is still cotton in a tube, then don't put the next tube at exactly the same location. Pretty soon, you will learn where the mice feel most comfortable stealing cotton but be sure to distribute Tick Tubes in all "mouse habitat" around the area to be protected.Tick Tubes are extremely eco-friendly; cardboard Tick Tubes completely biodegrade, and the permethrin is tightly bound to the cotton fibers. There really is no risk for environmental contamination, and a toddler would need to consume more than a pound of treated cotton before there would be any chance for toxicity. For more information on Tick Tubes including ordering information, go to www.TickTubes.com.