Laurie from Port Saint Lucie, Fl writes,
What is the best treatment for the lawn and outside of house for ticks?
We have used Talstar outside of our house and windows to keep ticks out. We are having our yard sprayed and they are using Talstar and a mix of products but I still have ticks. My dog is covered in them and I have him on preventative also we have dipped him in Happy jack II. I have put the Preventix collar on him and have picked off ticks, washed and dipped every ten days. I need a product to knock them down and kill them. I have also used diatomaceous earth. But they keep coming back. The only relief we had was when winter came and they all went away. I wonder if I need to remove my dog for a while until this problem is resolved. I wish there was a product that just worked on contact and that they didn't come back.
Talstar (and we hope they are adding an insect growth regulator such as Archer IGR to the product mix you mentioned) should do a great job for you. If you wanted to use something with a little more strength you could try Demand CS or its generic Equil Lambda CS. These products contain lambda-cyhalothrin and they are micro-encapsulated which makes them last a little longer on outdoor surfaces. You should remember that ticks may be hidden in tall or dense brush so higher treatment volumes may be needed to treat the entire plant, not just the top side of the plant where it is easiest to spray. You should try to get the application on the underside of leaves and all the way to the bottom of the plant. When you are dealing with an area that has a high tick population you may be required to treat once a month from spring through to the first frost, no matter what product you use. The problem on your property may be that ticks are being reintroduced into the area on a consistent basis by wildlife such as deer, raccoons or birds. You will be required to use non-chemical means to reduce the tick population in addition to insecticides. As with most pests you can modify the environment on your property to make it less favorable to ticks. Keeping grass and weeds cut short in tick infested areas increases tick death during hot weather, discourages wildlife and will reduce the amount of vegetation which may need a pesticide application to kill ticks. Clear away yard debris such as old firewood or leaf piles. Remove old or abandoned bird nests and rodent nests. Patch fences where wildlife may be gaining access to your property. It may also be helpful to have the ticks identified. By identifying the type of ticks you can better understand what type of animals may be bringing them to your property and you can modify the environment to make it less favorable for that host animal. You can contact your local cooperative extension office to request an insect identification.
Answer last updated on: 09/06/2011