The snow is gone or going, depending on where you live in the state, so it’s time to start worrying about ticks.
There’s a new study of two similar methods to get small rodents to apply pesticide to themselves: tick tubes and bait boxes. I
I wrote about tick tubes last year (here). Tick tubes are filled with cotton infused with tick-killing pesticide (actually it’s an “acaricide” that kills arachnids) that rodents can use for nesting material. Ticks that are attached to the rodent host die after exposure to the acaricide. (As you know small rodents such as mice and chipmunks are a major host for Lyme disease-causing brown-legged ticks.) Bait boxes are the common rodent bait box with a cloth wick soaked in acaricide that the animal must rub against on its way in and out of the box.
A two-year study compared the two methods in New Jersey and found that bait boxes work better because chipmunks don’t take much bedding away from tick tubes, but they’re much more expensive. You can make tick tubes yourself out of toilet paper rolls and cotton.
Read about it in the journal Entymology Today here.