Chickens are becoming pets for more and more homeowners, but for good reasons. Homeowners can get the eggs from them but they also eat a lot of bugs. We know that ticks are very common in the summer, so homeowners are always trying to figure out how to keep them off clothes and animals. One way to control them is with chickens. Do chickens eat ticks? Yes, certain chickens will eat ticks but don’t take care of the problem right away. It takes time.
Let’s take a look.
What Is A Tick?
These are an eight legged small insect that is related to spiders. The body is oval and flat and when it eats, the stomach expands. They like the blood of humans, animals, and birds.
Why Chickens Like Ticks
Chickens are omnivores and like to eat insects and plants. They love a lot of different insects such as fleas, spiders, mosquitos, and hookworms.
Many homeowners seem to like the idea of owning chickens. People can get eggs from their chickens as well as the chickens like to eat bugs. Some homeowners are now buying chickens for tick control. It is said that they eat between 3 and 300 ticks an hour! The average chicken eats about 80 ticks! However, some people have not had good luck with chickens. This is because it depends on the type of chickens they have in their backyard. Only certain types of birds will eat ticks. Those are :
- Guinea Hen
- Golden Comet
- Jersey Giant
- Old English Game
Guinea hens are not chickens but are a type of fowl. You can raise them alongside chickens and they seem to eat more ticks than many species of chickens. There are also other birds that eat ticks and those are guinea fowl and turkeys. Unfortunately, guinea hens and other birds become hosts which is not a good thing as they can become infected with a disease that is tick-borne.
Where Do We Find Ticks?
They are usually in areas that are grassy, wooded, and near water. However, they also find their way to your yard, especially if there are animals.
Ticks That Attack Chickens
Unfortunately, sometimes ticks decide to attack our backyard chickens and birds. Fowl ticks are the type of tick that will bite and will go after chickens and also other birds. They will find the chicken’s nesting box and coop and hide during the day. At night is when they decide to attack.
The good news is you don’t have to worry about your chickens and birds contracting Lyme disease from this type of tick, but they can carry Avian spirochetosis. This is an infection that can be life-threatening and cause the reduction of egg production, diarrhea, weight loss, and listlessness.
Deer ticks also like to attack birds and chickens; this type will carry Lyme disease, so you must be careful. They are found predominantly in the eastern part of the U.S. but also found in most of the U.S. The Lonestar and Brown Dog ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to humans or dogs.
How to Keep Ticks Out Of Your Yard?
If you are wondering how to get rid of ticks or cut down on the tick population, there are a few ways to do this.
- Mow the lawn – doing this often and also keeping the grass manicured are the best ways to cut down on the number of ticks in your yard. It will also keep out other unwanted pests and animals.
- Remove plant debris – taking this out of your yard is helpful to keep ticks away.
- Move bird feeders – these attract squirrels and other wildlife so you may need to remove them during tick season.
- Check your kids – human and four-legged kids need to be checked when they come in from being outside during this season.
- Contact a professional – if there is a problem with ticks, you may need to contact a pest control company for assistance.
In addition to using chickens to control ticks, there are other ways to take care of them naturally. Check out the video below.
Now that you know about chickens and ticks, let’s look at some other maintenance areas. One of those is how to get rid of flying termites. This can be done using mulch made of rubber or cedar, orange oil, or boric acid.
Another one is fleas. If you have pets, you may wonder if they have fleas and if the fleas can fly. No, they do not fly but instead jump from the ground to the pet and are a nuisance.
Lastly, some people think that ticks are only in the eastern part of the U.S. In fact, ticks are also found in Florida. This is important to know as you will want to make sure that during tick season (summer and fall months), you check your family and four-legged friends for these pests.
When to Contact a Professional
If you have a problem with ticks in your yard or home, it is a good idea to reach out to your local pest control company. They can help get them under control for you and also give you ideas of some things you may need to change in the yard or home to keep them away.
Pest control is important no matter where you live, but especially here in Florida. This is because of our hot seasons and rainy seasons seem to attract a lot of annoying pests. You don’t have to keep these pests around and can get help having them removed. If you have a tick issue, reach out to All South Pest Control to determine your pest service needs in McDonough, GA, and the surrounding areas.