Ticks do NOT die in washer- OMG, you won't believe this

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by victoria, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    We all want to avoid infection or re-infection as the case may be in us and our families. But here's a study that has some really bad news, deer ticks are really tenacious little buggers!

    Ticks don't come out in the wash

    Before venturing into tick-infested territory, you used a topical repellant on exposed skin and outer clothing. When you returned, you did a body check and threw your clothes in the wash. But clean clothes may not be tick-free clothes.

    When he found a live lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) on the agitator of his washing machine, Agricultural Research Service entomologist John Carroll decided to find out how tough ticks are. So he bagged up nymphs from two species--the lone star tick and the deer tick, (Ixodes scapularis), the creature that transmits Lyme disease--and put them in the washing machine.

    Carroll used a combination of water temperature settings and detergent types to wash the ticks. The majority of lone star ticks survived all the water-detergent combinations with no obvious side effects. Most of the deer ticks lived through the cold and warm water settings as well. But when one type of detergent was used with a hot water setting, only 25 percent of the deer ticks survived.

    When it came time to dry, all the ticks of both species died after an hour of tumbling around at high heat. But when the dryer was set to "no heat," about one-third of the deer ticks and more than half of the lone star ticks survived.

    Carroll placed the ticks in mesh bags, which kept them from draining away during the rinse cycle and perhaps increased their odds for survival. However, ticks might also survive a sudsy interlude by sheltering in the folds and crevices of a typical load of laundry. Some tick species have been observed to survive hours of submersion in fresh water.

    Both adult ticks and nymphs can transmit disease. Carroll's research reinforces recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to wash and dry clothes at high temperatures after spending time in areas known to harbor ticks.

    Carroll conducts research at the ARS Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Beltsville, Md.

    ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


    If anyone can find out what kind of detergent was the best, PLEASE let us know...
    [This Message was Edited on 11/20/2007]
  2. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    This is scary stuff!!! They are die hards for sure.

    thanks for posting Victoria,

  3. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I read about that somewhere. They said they also can climb back out of the septic/sewer system, so flushing them down the toilet is no good.

    The best thing to do is put tape on them and wrap it around them. They can't get out of that.

    Some people send them somewhere for analysis, I can't remember the details. I'd ask your doctor if he has a preference to send it to a lab, or just toss them in the garbage. For sending them to be studied, putting them in a plastic ziplock bag is recommended.

    I hope to never see one again in my life.
  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I've seen plenty of others, but not deer ticks, I don't think. Altho plenty of people around here have seen them, especially hunters since they're prone to sitting up in trees etc. Of course you get them walking thru high grass as well, but I read somewhere that if you sit on logs, sit up in trees, lean against them, that you pick up many more that way.

    I guess the lesson should be now,


  5. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    Ticks like to hide in or under wood piles.



    Per the email I received from this company they will be expanding the areas where you can buy these in 2008 and 2009. As soon as they are available in IL I plan on buying a bunch.

    For now, Damminix Tick Tubes are available in the states of MA, MD, ME, PA, NY, RI, CT, NH, NJ and VA.

  6. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I'm sure it would help to some degree. I wonder how much I'd have to use tho, may be cost-prohibitive ... living out in the country. And taking into consideration birds are also vectors.

    Seems like one would have to constantly be replenishing them... and since we're on 15+ acres with our dogs running free, I'm not sure how much good it would do us, altho maybe in more controlled circumstances like subdivisions it would help more. Especially if everyone did it.

  7. highcotton

    highcotton New Member

    When i was in high school my best friend got crab lice. ughh.

    I will never forget her washing her laundry in hot water and pinesol.

    Of course, if you are chemically sensitive, this is a bad solution!
  8. FreethinkerX

    FreethinkerX New Member

    nasty little varments...
  9. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Unfortunately, I have seen plenty of dog ticks. We had a tick epidemic in our neighborhood about 8 years ago, which came out of nowhere. They were even on some of our neighbors clothes, inside in their closets, and all over our yards. This happened in the most urban, densely populated county in Florida too!

    We don't like to use poison, but having two dogs, we were forced to have our yard treated twice, and go over the dogs every time they came in, picking ticks off with a tweezer and putting them in a small jar of rubbing alcohol, which does kill them.

    However, I am not posting about my tick experience, since they were not deer ticks. I am posting to remind people who are "allergic to everything" now, thanks to what this illness does to our immune systems, that modern cold water washing will not kill dust mites either. It just gives them a nice bath.

    Even though it raises your electric bill, if you are allergic to dust mite feces, you must wash all bedding in water heated to a minimum of 140 degrees to kill them.

    Also, don't forget to buy new pillows about every two years, since they literally double in weight, due to body oils and dead dust mites (eeewww!). Inbetween times, you can put pillows in the freezer for 8 hrs. about every 3 weeks to kill mites, or buy expensive non-allergenic pillow covers and wash them every 3 weeks in 140 degree water.