deer tick larvae on a mouse ear

 

Deer tick larvae on a mouse ear.

 

damminix tick tube

 

Damminix Ticks Tubes® rely on the natural nesting instincts of mice to take the battle to source and deliver tick controlling permethrin directly to this mouse and the ticks it infects.

Target Mice

 

The primary culprits for producing infected ticks are rodents and birds such as white-footed mice and American robins. Ticks become infected with disease-causing pathogens when they feed on the blood of these reservoir hosts. White-footed mice are common and often quite abundant across much of the eastern United States, including Maine. Chipmunks and squirrels also infect deer ticks. 

 

One way to reduce deer ticks is to kill deer ticks where mice nest by placing Tick Tubes around your property near likely mouse habitat such as brush piles, stone walls and around foundations.

  • Tick tubes are cardboard tubes stuffed with cotton balls that have been treated with the acaricide permethrin.
  • Mice take the cotton balls to their nests where they will kill deer tick larvae and nymphs, thus stopping the first step in the transmission of tick-borne diseases.
  • Instructions on the Tick Tubes website recommend placing the tubes no more than 30 feet apart.
  • If undisturbed after a week or two, tubes should be moved to more likely mouse habitat. They are applied twice, once in the spring and again in mid- to late summer when deer tick larvae are hatching out in the mouse nest.
  • Six tubes will treat about 1/8 acre of mouse habitat (about 75’ x 75’).
  • The environmental impact of this compound in this application is nil.

 

Note: Despite the promise of this novel approach, trials of permethrin-treated cotton balls reported in the scientific literature  have not demonstrated sufficient reduction in tick numbers to significantly lower the risk of contracting Lyme disease. One reason for lack of effectiveness could be that hosts other than mice, including chipmunks and squirrels, don’t use the cotton balls in similar fashion.

 

bait box for miceBait boxes are small tamper-proof boxes, set out by a licensed applicator  in which bait-seeking mice and chipmunks are coated with a tick-killing acaricide.