Tick Invasion-Ideas for natural remedies(Guineas?)

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I'm having a problem with ticks in my house, yard, on my dogs and cats. I have been using Frontline for the animals which seems to work well, but I'd like to get them out of my yard, house etc. On another site, I read a recommendation to try putting Guineas (?fowl)in a yard with ticks.. has anyone heard of this or tried it? Has anyone had them co-exist with dogs and cats? Any other ideas for treating this that isn't harmful to animals or humans? Thanks...

-- Molly McLaughlin (mmclaugh@unm.edu), August 07, 2001



If you live in town and have less than about a six foot fence, guineas are probably not a good idea. They are loud and they fly. If your dog will tolerate chickens, that might help. I have chickens and guineas. Neither are penned. I have noticed a decrease in ticks, but it has taken a couple of years and they aren't all gone. I suspect that they only eat the bigger ones so that fewer hatch each year. That's just my opinion so your mileage may vary. How big an area are you trying to control?

-- Mona in OK (modoc@ipa.net), August 07, 2001.

Guineas will definitely help. We have about 16 right now (actually 19, we just had three keets hatch last week). We normally like to keep about 30. It took several months for us to notice a difference, but the amount of ticks has surely declined. Guineas are very loud and need to be away from neighbors (unless you have really nice neighbors who love guineas). As for the dogs, we have 5--they have ocassionally gotten a guinea, but only when we first got them. They co-exist nicely now. It would depend on your dogs. We also have 4 cats, the cats steer clear of them. We do have a hard time raising new ones though, my dogs love guinea eggs and spend all day in the summer looking for their nests. I guess to answer your question, if you are in an area that their noise won't be bothersome and you don't mind it yourself, I'd highly recommend them. We're getting 27 more tomorrow (my parents have a great success rate in hatching theirs and they're giving us a whole hatch tomorrow). Good success to you! Sharon

-- Sharon (spangenberg@hovac.com), August 07, 2001.

I had an invasion a few years back. They were everywhere! Driving us and the dogs nuts. Ugly too. Then hubby went and bought me 10 chickens just cause I had said at one point that I wanted some. I put them in the back yard and within a week, there wasn't a tick anywhere! It was wonderful. No pesticides, no problems. I highly recommend the chicken method of tick removal.

-- Julie (rjbk@together.net), August 07, 2001.

Both chooks and guineas will eat any insect out there.

It is possible to have quiet, stay-at-home guineas. If you have no guineas on your property, get fertile eggs and let a broody chook hatch them. The hatched keets will grow up like the chooks.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), August 08, 2001.

Dumb question alert!!!!!!! Whats a chook, Rog? A chicken? My 3 guineas were hatched out by a broody hen of mixed lineage and they are still following her like shadows. They can really fly when our 4 month old kitten chases them..down the field and into the woods to roost high in the trees where they squawk and cry for ages while Mama hen flaps and flutters and then ends up walking down the property to eventually round them up. Bug decrease? Can't tell but man they are great entertainment! I wish I had a few more!

-- Alison in N.S. (aproteau@istar.ca), August 08, 2001.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond. My house is on about a quarter acre. I think I'll go talk to my 2 closest neighbors first, to see if they are ok with the noise issue. I have 5 dogs and 2 cats. I'm really only worried about the 2 Dalmations I have, as they seems to be very interested in birds! I think my red heeler mix would probably just herd them! Thanks again.

-- Molly McLaughlin (mmclaugh@unm.edu), August 08, 2001.

Alison--I'm pretty sure chooks is what Austrailians call chickens. Sharon

-- Sharon (spangenberg@hovac.com), August 08, 2001.

My hubby and I have not had a tick bite all summer. We have seen them everywhere but not a bite. We take MSM for our arthritis. The S in the MSM is sulfur. We think the sulfur has something to do with it.

-- Belle (gardenbelle@terraworld.net), August 08, 2001.

Sharon, I too was wondering what a choot is! So Rogo, do we have it right? Appriciate your post.

-- Molly McLaughlin (mmclaugh@unm.edu), August 08, 2001.

I've never met a choot. Chooks are things that wander around the yard, scratching in the dirt, and saying "chook, chook, chook". That's "oo" as in look or foot, not as in hoot or scoot.

-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (darmst@yahoo.com.au), August 08, 2001.

'Chooks' is Australian for chickens. It's common usage on this side of the pond, too!

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), August 09, 2001.

If you don't want the birds, you can use food grade Diatomaceous Earth. You can spread it dry on the lawn or you can mix 1/4 cup DE to one gallon water to spray your lawn. The DE will be effective when it dries. If it rains, you have to reapply the DE.

I feed food grade DE to all my critters, so the product won't hurt your critters or even a toddler if they eat it.

The DE will kill any insect that crawls thru it, except earthworms. DE is not a poison; it slits the outer skin of the insect and dehydrates it.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), August 09, 2001.

we have chickens and keets running free in the yard they do a good job on everything except seed tics

-- Lee (sgrmtndrone@yahoo.com), August 12, 2001.

My chickens don't say "chook, chook;" they say "buk buk buducket" :o)

-- Elizabeth in E TX (kimprice@peoplescom.net), August 13, 2001.


My six-year-old claims ours say look, look, look, big egg!

-- Mona in OK (modoc@ipa.net), August 14, 2001.

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