Ticks are a Drag

TRADITIONAL BIOCONTROL by natural enemies is notably sparse for pesky tick species vectoring Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, brucellosis and other maladies of man and animal. Pesticide spraying selects for robust pesticide-resistant ticks. Hence, alternatives are needed. Recognizing reality, the USDA-CSREES through competitive grants is funding an international group developing a biological approach stimulating natural immunity.

Immunity via vaccines is more commonly associated with microbial diseases like polio, smallpox, measles, mumps, flu and yellow fever, not insects or arthropods like ticks. But Jose de la Fuente of Oklahoma State University and his international colleagues have a good track record with a widely used vaccine for cattle ticks (Boophilus spp.). By virtue of hosting fewer ticks, cattle with tick immunity have less of the diseases transmitted by ticks. The molecular biology is explained in journals like Veterinary Research Communications.

While this is all well and good for cattle ranchers, TICK DRAGS are a non-chemical home alternative to rid yards and grassy areas of ticks potentially transmitting Lyme and other diseases to cats, dogs and people. Tick drags consist of a piece of white flannel cloth with an attached handle or rope for dragging across grass and other low vegetation to capture ticks.

Tick drags were originally developed as a research methodology for sampling tick populations. Rincon-Vitova co-founder Everett “Deke” Dietrick, an astute applied ecologist, played a role in the transformation of tick drags from research methodology to practical home remedy. Many years ago at an Entomological Society of America annual meeting in Boston, a very frustrated researcher was complaining that the white flannel tick drag removed too many ticks during the first sweep and not enough ticks were left to get statistically significant numbers for his pesticide tests. Deke raised his hand and asked if his daughter in Texas could “repurpose” the tick drag as a backyard control device. The researcher said yes. Deke’s Q&A became part of my reporting of the ESA annual meeting, and the news spread rapidly.

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4 Responses to Ticks are a Drag

  1. Don says:

    Ok so someone needs to be out in front of the drag cloth in order to pull it along. SO when you get several ticks on you and you miss one or two here’s…

    A better way to get rid of an embedded tick.

    The Tick Twister Pro is by far the easiest, fastest, safest and cleanest way to remove those nasty little critters that have attached themselves to family members, ourselves or our beloved pets.
    It does not twist like the name implies, it spins the ENTIRE tick at once.

    It can also be used on commercial livestock, (Not pets, but animals that are taken care and loved just as if they were.), horses, goats, sheep, pigs, etc…

    The Tick Twister Pro can be found on the web at many places but the lowest (total) price we have found so far was from us at Twist-It-Out.com.
    Visit the web site and take a look at the tool, it really is quite unique.
    The “Vee” shape “business” end of the tool MAY actually cut off the flow of fluids(not confirmed) out of the tick.

    We truly hope that this info helps anyone that needs a tick removal tool regardless of where you may end up purchasing it/them from.©

    Thanks for reading,
    Diane & Don
    Twist-It-Out.com

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