Dear Crissy

DIY Tick Tubes

I despise ticks, and it’s why I’m on a mission to stamp out the tick population in my yard with these DIY tick tubes.

I’m happy to say that it’s quite easy to defend your family from ticks with this easy tick tubes DIY. I’m sharing all of the materials, instructions, and tips for making these powerful and effective tick tubes to help you mobilize and take action against disease-carrying ticks this spring, summer and fall.

DIY Tick Tubes - How to make tick tubes to help reduce the tick population to keep your family safe this summer!

How to Make Tick Tubes

I mentioned that I really, REALLY hate ticks, right?

Well, living in the country my whole life means I’ve picked more than a few ticks of of myself and my kids. In fact, ticks seem to really love my little girl. I’ve had to remove TWO nasty ticks from her neck in the past two years.

The last tick bite that Kara received caused a suspicious rash to form on her neck, and her doctor prescribed a round of antibiotics just in case. I was a nervous wreck worrying that my little girl had contracted Lyme Disease. Thank God, she didn’t, but ticks are certainly a constant worry this time of year.

I’m pretty serious when it comes to finding ways to combat ticks in our yard, and the Lyme Disease that they can carry isn’t something that I want my family to ever have to deal with. In addition to making these tick tubes, I’ve also been making my own DIY tick repellent spray. We spray this DIY tick spray on our shoes, clothes and hats before going outside.

Tick Tubes DIY

DIY Tick Tubes - How to make tick tubes to help reduce the tick population to keep your family safe this summer!

I first heard about tick tubes a few months ago when I stumbled upon a Facebook post advertising them. After doing a little research, I found out that it’s actually really simple to make your own DIY tick tubes at home. The list of materials that you’ll need is pretty short, and you probably have most of the necessary items on hand already.

The full list of materials and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post in a printable format for your convenience.

You’re going to need some tubes—either toilet paper rolls or pieces of PVC pipe. You’re also going to need either cotton balls or dryer lint.

The one product that you may not have on hand for your DIY tick tubes is a bottle of Permethrin. You can easily pick this up on Amazon like I did.

Permethrin is a repellent developed to spray on your clothing to kill ticks, chiggers, mites and mosquitos. It’s even effective against the yellow fever mosquito, which can transmit the Zika Virus. It’s as effective as 100 percent DEET.

DIY Tick Tubes - How to make tick tubes to help reduce the tick population to keep your family safe this summer!

How do tick tubes work?

So, you probably know that deer spread ticks with Lyme disease, but funny enough, these same ticks get Lyme disease from MICE—not deer!

Your DIY tick tubes are going to provide some tick-killing soaked building materials for mice nests (your cotton or dryer lint). The hope is that the ticks who’ve hitched a ride on these mice will be exposed to the Permethrin and killed. Meanwhile, the mice and other animals on your property aren’t harmed.

DIY Tick Tubes - How to make tick tubes to help reduce the tick population to keep your family safe this summer!

As I mentioned, research in the last couple of years has shed light on mice being a major host of dangerous ticks.

I found out that a single mouse can have more than 100 ticks attached to it at a time—and these nasty ticks will lay eggs for the next generation!

A mouse with 100 ticks? I am literally itching just thinking about that. No. NO.

When Permethrin comes into contact with the mouse, it does not harm them, but it kills the ticks and future cycles.

DIY Tick Tubes - How to make tick tubes to help reduce the tick population to keep your family safe this summer!

After you’ve tried our tick tubes DIY, you’ll want to place them strategically around your property. Mice are always collecting material for their nests, and you’ll want to focus on placing your DIY tick tubes in lightly wooded areas near the perimeter of your property.

DIY Tick Tubes - How to make tick tubes to help reduce the tick population to keep your family safe this summer!

Mice are nocturnal, so you won’t necessarily know where they like to hang out, so focus on areas of your property where you see chipmunks during the day. In other words, you don’t want to use your tick tubes in the middle of your lawn. Go for those shady, corners where wildlife might likely be scurrying.

DIY Tick Tubes - How to make tick tubes to help reduce the tick population to keep your family safe this summer!

While Permethrin has a low toxicity and is safe for animals, you’ll still want to be sure to wear proper safety glasses and gloves when working with it. Avoid contact with your eyes or any other sensitive areas, and keep the product out of reach of children. Consult the safety instructions on the bottle thoroughly before use.

The product website says that it’s safe to be near animals, but, I certainly wouldn’t want my dog or cat eating one of these tick tubes, so use discretion when placing them.

DIY Tick Tubes - How to make tick tubes to help reduce the tick population to keep your family safe this summer!

Damminix Tick Tubes

Don’t want to try our tick tubes DIY? I get it. You can always take the easy route and pick up some Damminix Tick Tubes on Amazon. They are premade and ready to be placed on your property.

Tick tubes like these are thought to significantly reduce the tick population in a given area, over time. I’m really excited to be taking a proactive step against ticks in my yard!

If you try our DIY tick tubes (or DIY tick repellent spray), be sure to leave a comment and let me know how they turned out for you.

DIY Tick Tubes - How to make tick tubes to help reduce the tick population to keep your family safe this summer!

DIY Tick Tubes

We're sharing how to make your own DIY tick tubes to cut down on the dangerous tick population this summer.


  • Toilet paper rolls and/or PVC pipe pieces; I used a mix of both.
  • A bottle of pre-mixed Permethrin
  • Cotton balls or left over dryer lint
  • Disposable gloves & protective eyeglasses


  1. Put on the gloves and glasses, then lay out the cotton or dryer lint and saturate it with the permethrin spray. Allow the fibers to fully dry and then spray a second coat if you feel it is needed, again let it fully dry.
  2. Add pieces of the dry fibers to the tubes. Just put a few pieces in each tube, as you won’t want to over-stuff them.
  3. Place the tubes around your property, every 10 to 20 feet or so.  Ticks are less likely to be in wide open lawns and are not able to travel/walk far on their own so they require something to move them, such as the mice and chipmunks they attach to.  These animals tend to have small burrows and nests in lightly wooded areas, in underbrush and piles of leaves left around.  Be sure to focus on those areas along with anywhere you see chipmunks during the day.  Keep I mind that mice are nocturnal so its unlikely that you would see mice during the day to know exactly where to put the tubes.


Permethrin is not water soluble so it needs soap to really wash it away, with that it is perfectly fine for the fibers and tubes to get wet.  The tubes we put out a few weeks ago that were cardboard have started to unravel a bit, but are still getting the job done-and aren’t a mess everywhere. If using PVC pipes, you may want to quickly sand down the edges/open ends.  After cutting, the ends were pretty rough and had little bits of the PVC still attached.  This didn’t seem like it would be overly inviting and I wanted to make sure the mice wanted to come in to grab some of the fibers to bring back to their nests.

    19 Comments on “DIY Tick Tubes”

  1. For those of your who hate ticks, Guinea fowl are also an amazing and effective way to get rid of ticks. Put a few on your property and enjoy being outside!

    • Ticks have a variety of natural predators including ants, spiders, and birds, though most are generalists that only occasionally feed on ticks. As such, these generalist predators tend to be ineffective at significantly reducing tick populations. Guinea fowl and chickens are commonly promoted as tick controls, though research indicates that their tick consumption is minimal and is not effective in reducing local tick populations. Additionally, as guinea fowl wander around a property they can become hosts to ticks themselves, further reducing their value as a biological control. An increase in wild turkey populations has led to questions regarding their impact on tick numbers. Though turkeys will consume ticks on occasion, turkey foraging has not been found to reduce tick abundance and they too can become hosts to a number of tick species

  2. What diameter pvc pipe did you buy? Thanks!

  3. My husband died from complications of Lyme disease. If a feral cat dies from eating a permethrin-coated mouse, it’s not going to ruin my day. I have a new property of 5 acres and I am in the process of saturating the whole damn place with tick tubes as well as putting up 10 ft. deer fence to also keep those bastards out. Sorry, not sorry.

    • Pamela, sorry to hear about your husband. Deer carry adult ticks, the creepy ones we can see, mice carry the nymphs – the young ticks we can barely see. I used to find 5 to 8 ticks on my clothes within a single month, but using tick tubes, early spring, again mid summer, the contents are gone and I’m not finding _any_ ticks on me/my clothes. That and I spray myself from my knees down.
      Best of luck.

  4. The tick tubes are a danger to bumblebees as they often use ground nests of mice to start their broods each spring. The unknowing queen bee would be laying her eggs right next to poison. 

  5. Last year my wife and I purchased a little lot, 12.5 woode acres, to build a house on and we had a bad tick problem. When we walked the property we would always have 3 to7/8 ticks on us. We made and placed about 250 tick tubes in June and about Sept we were not finding ANY ticks. Could not believe how well this worked the first time. The cottom balls need to be decompressed, thinned out because cotton balls are very compressed when you get them. We placed the tubes every 15 to 20 feet. Follow all directions please. We used toilet paper and cut paper towell tubs. They decompose in about a year and you don’t notice them. My wild life camera still sees a couple feral cats out on the property 10 months after putting the home made tick tubes out. Going to do it again in the mice matting season to maintain. Other wildlife we have; lots of deer, foxes, racoons, spuarels, owles, hawks, birds, feral cats, opossums, coyotes and know we have more.

  6. Could you use cotton balls rather than drier lint?

    • Yes. Can also use cotton fabric shreds and threads, basically any smallish absorbent that mice are going to use to nest.

  7. This is extremely toxic to cats. There is the potential for cats to eat mice with the chemical on their fur and die from this. If you have outdoor cats, feral cats or the neighbor let’s their cat out I’d have reservations about using these.

    • Permethrin is only toxic to cats when it’s wet. After it dries and bonds with clothing or cotton balls, in this case, it is harmless to cats.

  8. Thanks for this info, Crissy. Have a great day!

  9. I’ll be making a boat load of these for the cottage. Sick of the mass invasion of ticks. One man’s trash is another mans tick tube!?

  10. Please don’t encourage people to leave trash everywhere. Just cause ticks carry disease doesn’t mean you have the right to litter and destroy the environment. If you don’t want to get bit by ticks, don’t go into tick environments.

    • Kaleb, we’re not encouraging anyone to leave trash in their yards indefinitely. The idea would be to put the tick tubes out for a while and then retrieve them and dispose of the materials appropriately.

    • I have a few trees out front by the road and after I mow that’s when I might find a tick crawling on me.

      You say
      “don’t go in that environment”. Well this can happen in town or anywhere around plant or varmint life. Using toilet paper rolls would be a good choice. This article is talking about in your yard not just throwing it out your winow in the car. It’s not about teaching you to just ‘LITTER”where you want. It’s talking about your living area.

    • When you get Lyme Disease and it goes undiagnosed for 8 years and ruins your life you will think a little differently about a couple toilet paper rolls around your yard. If they don’t go in your yard they go into a land fill? Either way they are going back into environment. And EVERY environment has ticks except Antarctica??? You can’t avoid them.

    • These cardboard tubes are entirely naturally compostable.

  11. My sister-in-law is a neurologist, and when a family member mentioned making these tubes, she cautioned very, very strongly to be supremely careful with the Permethrin because there is a definite link between it and Parkinson’s Disease and a few other neurological conditions. Just a caution!

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