Tick Tubes® Frequently Asked Questions
Put tubes out where you spend the most time during tick season – April through September. If your normal walking or gardening patterns do not find you venturing into the interior of a wood lot there is no need to do so in order to put the tubes out. Deer ticks do not travel much and won’t come out a deep woods to attack you. Within the target area, identify the estimated mouse habitat.
Almost any place overgrown enough for mice to hide in – woodpiles, stone walls, foundations, woodlots, etc. Some are less obvious and depend on the characteristics of your yard. Flower beds and perennial beds, if they are dense, are good candidates – and so is high grass. Plantings alongside your house foundation or porch are also worth treating. Mown lawns and driveways are not mouse habitat. You can also test various locations. That is, you can put out tubes and monitor them over a few weeks. If the cotton is undisturbed and the tube is full it means that there is no mouse living nearby. If that is so, move the tube to a likelier location. For the treated area, the maximum distance between the tubes should not exceed 10 yards in any direction.
6 tubes: will treat approximately 1/8 acre of mouse habitat
24 tubes: will treat approximately 1/2 acre of mouse habitat
96 tubes: 96 tubes will treat approximately 2 acres of mouse habitat
The ticks appear in three forms: larvae, nymph and adult. The larvae usually hatch in July and August and wait for a blood meal. Although they are not yet carriers of the disease, they are the ticks that will most threaten you the following spring when they are nymphs. Ideally you want the tubes out before these larval ticks appear or at about the same time. That way you will arm more of the mice in time to kill these larvae. The later tubes will still reach mice, but more and more ticks will already have fed. The other time to put tubes out is in the Spring — mid April and later, even into June. This is because the second stage tick, the nymph, appears in April. It is the source of most cases of Lyme disease because it fed on mice the previous summer, and is still very small, about the size of a ground up piece of pepper. During this time people are out in their gardens, often with bare legs and not noticing the ticks because they are so small.
The ticks have a third stage, adult, which appears in the fall. There is no need to put out the tubes to reach the adults – they do not feed on mice.
Damminix turns the field mouse into a tick killer… not as unlikely as it sounds! Mice are always collecting nesting material. We take advantage of this need for nesting material by giving it to them in a form both convenient to administer and effective in transforming mice into tick killers.
Damminix Tick Tubes® are short open ended cardboard tubes filled with cotton nesting material. This nesting material is treated with permethrin, a tick killing chemical. Mice find the tubes and collect the cotton to make their nests. The permethrin binds to oils on the fur of the mice. Ticks that attempt to attach are killed, transforming the mice from tick hosts to tick killers. The mice are unharmed.
In field tests with a 10-yard grid spacing of Damminix Tick Tubes®, 100% of sampled mice had permethrin on their fur.
No. Permethrin is not soluble in water. It will stay on the cotton.
Deer ticks do not move more than a foot or two laterally, so ticks from a neighbor’s untreated land will not migrate onto your land under their own power. They may be carried over on the back of a larger animal, say, a dog or a cat, but they are attempting to feed on that dog, and they only feed once in each stage of their life. If they feed on the dog they will have no interest and will not be able to feed on you.
It is true that some ticks brought over on the back of a dog will be shaken off before they attach to that dog, and to that extent you would be better off if all the surrounding parcels were treated. But this is restating the obvious – the more land treated the more protection, as is true with any area-based pesticide. More importantly, the Tick Tubes® you put out on your property will work in the home range of mice near those tubes; whether or not your neighbor treats his land.
We chose permethrin as the active ingredient of this product based on it being highly toxic to ticks and other insects, but with very much lower toxicity to birds and to humans or other mammals. If you handle the impregnated cotton, your skin may tingle for a few seconds but that will soon pass. Like all pesticide products, you should use it sensibly and follow all label directions. Handle the tick tubes by the tube, not by the contents. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after any accidental exposure; do not rub your eyes with the cotton or with fingers that have touched the cotton, and do not use the product in or near fish bearing waters, because it is highly toxic to fish as well as to ticks
Yes. The pesticide permethrin is used in many flea and tick control products including spot applications, flea collars, indoor and outdoor bug sprays, and aerosol foggers. In general, cats and dogs will ignore the Tick Tubes®.
You can throw them away in your household trash whenever you wish. Tick Tubes® left outside will naturally break down in about a year.
If there is cotton spilled out of the entrance to the tube, it is probably best to leave the tube where it is; that usually means that a mouse has gone exploring, and probably gotten permethrin on his fur at the same time. If a Tick Tube is untouched by mice, move it closer to mouse habitat.
Tick Tubes® do not have an expiration date. Unused product can be stored in its original container for use the following year.
Damminix Tick Tubes® are targeted to the life cycle of disease-carrying black legged ticks (deer ticks) in the Eastern United States. Damminix Tick Tubes is a registered pesticide product and is only available in the states of AL, CT, DE, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, PA, NY, RI, SC, VA, VT and WI. We are constantly expanding our product registration area, based on customer requests. Please email us for more information, and we will be sure to let you know as soon as registration comes to your state.
Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions
Lyme disease is the most common tick borne illness in the country. Symptoms can include: chronic fatigue, arthritis-like joint pain; fevers and headaches; neurological disorders; memory loss; heart palpitations; partial facial paralysis.
Lyme disease is caused by a corkscrew shaped bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferei. This spirochetal form enables it to travel out of our blood stream and into body tissue. This ability to migrate means that symptoms may pop up in various places in the body. B. burgdorferei is difficult to reach with antibiotics after it has had time to migrate.
Because the symptoms are similar to other disease manifestations, it is sometimes difficult to diagnose Lyme disease. In a recent study, the most obvious symptom, the large red skin rash surrounding the location of the tick bite appeared in only 68% of all cases. The tick bite itself is not often noticed or remembered. At the nymphal stage, when it is most dangerous, the tick is so small – about the size of piece of ground pepper, that most Lyme disease victims do not remember experiencing a bite, or seeing a tick. Blood tests are often inconclusive because the disease generates a weak, and therefore not easily detectable, immune system response. It is difficult to treat if it is not detected early. Early detection and early treatment are the key to recovery.
Yes. Cases nationally increased from 9,470 in 1991, (the first year the disease was made reportable), to 19,804 in 2006. Today, about 20,000 Americans are reported with Lyme disease every year.
People live in closer proximity to deer (carriers of the adult tick) than previously. Increased deer populations, decreased hunting, and conversion of farms into residential subdivisions with treed lots are all contributors.
Twelve states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin), account for 95% of the total U.S. cases. The national average was 6.7 per 100,000 people in 2004. In these twelve states, the average was 27.4 cases per 100,000.
The “vector” of Lyme disease (agent of transmission) is the “deer tick”, Ixodes scapularis. It was formerly called Ixodes dammini, which is the source of the name Damminix.
Common field mice are the primary reservoir (source of infection) of Lyme disease. If the immature ticks (“larvae” and “nymphs”) did not feed on mice, they most likely would never acquire B. burgdorferei, and could not transmit it to us. This is critical to understanding the epidemiology of Lyme disease. It is the basis of the method used by Damminix Tick Tubes®, and is the reason the tubes are so effective.