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.
How to make DIY 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After you’ve made your DIY tick tubes, 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.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.