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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Why do some still do yard work/gardening?

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Author Topic: Why do some still do yard work/gardening?
beaches
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I am really perplexed as to why some folks here still garden and do yard work.

I used to have my hands in the dirt every Spring and Fall. I had tomato plants and strawberry and raspberry bushes, along with a bunch of herbs.

I planted bulbs and perennials. I snipped the beautiful Peony flowers throughout June. I weeded all the beds.

These days, I don't do any of the above. I just can't take the risk of being bitten or bringing ticks inside. Despite spraying for ticks, we've found one too many.

Since I can't resist the peonies, I spray myself before I cut the flowers and I leave the flowers outside the house for awhile before bringing them indoors. That's the extent of my "gardening" these days.

I gave my landscaper spray that would help protect him and his workers. He probably thinks I'm nuts but at least he knows my intentions are good [Smile]

I just don't understand why anyone here would put themselves at risk by continuing to garden and do yard work.

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hiker53
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I do this kind of work for several reasons:

1) I love it.
2) I am not going to let my fear of ticks or my tick-borne illnesses define who I am or what I do.

Lyme has taken away so much of what I used to be able to do and I can do some yard work and gardening.

I totally understand it if some people do not want to risk it. I am still afraid to go hiking, although I made myself go a few years ago.

I won't sit in the grass without a blanket underneath. But I will still play in the dirt. [Cool]

Hiker53

--------------------
Hiker53

"God is light. In Him there is no
darkness." 1John 1:5

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Lymetoo
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I don't know, beaches. We can't judge and we all make our own choices in life.

I choose to sit out... [Big Grin]

If I were MUCH younger, I might look at it differently. I don't know. But at my age, I choose to hang up the towel and cut my losses.

Whatever we choose is good for US.

PS.. My "gardening" is now limited to pot plants. I'm happy with that.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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lpkayak
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Its one thing i can do and it makes me happy. At least it did until recently when i had two separate tick interactions

I learned in the last 20 yrs with my schnauzers and horseback riding if i use the right tick stuff on the dogs and my riding clothes i never see a tick. I have been able to keep the environment around my home tick free

But once last fall and once this weekend i saw ticks after bringing mulch and plants to my property from businesses

It made me mad and shocked me and if it continues i will change my behavior

I keep my grass short and it is sparce and soil is sandy except where the flower beds are

I have a lot of mint that is supposed to repel rodents-last year i used rags soaked in ammonia to get a skunk to find another place to live

Last fall i saw a robin out my window...i was 3-4 feet from it and it was totally covered in ticks. Then this year i noticed a family ofrobins was visiting every morning. I was going to get one of those plastic owls that scares them away...but i realized the day after i put my easter bulbs out the robins were gone

I followed advice of someone here and planted moth ball flakes with the bulbs. Maybe that is why the robins left

I also have a few veggies in raised bed so i am not digging in the dirt the eay i used to.

I get good exercise and good emotional experience from.gardening...but i do have to control the ticks or i will stop

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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dbpei
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Beaches, I moved from my home of 20 years to a condo this past year so I wouldn't have to expose myself to the ticks any longer. I used to love gardening and I had created a monster with the amount of work needed to maintain my beautiful gardens. That is how I got sick.

We did not have the funds to pay workers to take care of everything. And I did not have the stamina for the amount of work required to keep everything up either. This disease really impacts you in so many ways.

Moving here was the best thing I could have done despite the toll it has taken on my immune system. I know it will come back once I have recovered from the move. It will be container gardening for me from now on.

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beaches
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Hiker, I totally get what you're saying. For me, I won't risk gardening and lol I've never been a hiker so not hiking has been an easy decision.

LT, yep, me too. Potted plants/container gardening is the extent that I'll go these days.

Kayak, maybe the sandy soil where you are is a good thing? Keeping the grass short is supposed to be good when it comes to ticks.

Had no idea that mint is supposed to repel rodents. I have mint growing in the yard that is out of control. Maybe I should let it go so it repels the mice/whatever other rodents. It doesn't seem to repel the resident groundhog though.

Wow, a robin was covered in ticks? That isn't good. I always enjoyed visits from red-breasted robins! Now, not so much...

LOL that "someone" who told you about the mothball flakes under the bulbs was me [Smile]

Totally get the whole gardening experience as I used to enjoy it so much, but for me worrying if I'll get bitten has negated the whole experience.

dbpei, I can't imagine how difficult it was moving from a home into a condo after 20 years. I too created a monster--several beds in the front of the house and a huge backyard with so many beautiful bushes/trees/flowers.

Thank goodness I found a wonderful landscaper whose prices are reasonable. But honestly, I don't know how long we can sustain the upkeep of our home long-term with all the medical expenses.

I'm just grateful that we can do so right now, but within the next few years that won't be the case.

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GretaM
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I need to. I like the way my hands feel in the dirt. I like to help nature along as best I can by seeding pruning tinkering.


I find ticks on my 4th floor balcony from birds landing.

I can't escape the ticks.

I won't quit what I enjoy for fear of getting lyme again.

This is the second time I have got TBD's. I stilll have them. Fighting like crazy but feel like I'm not making the headway I hope for.

The latest tests found 22% of ticks tested from a bird from Vancouver Island had lyme.

So I spray the Off like crazy. And I wash my clothes as soon as I come in, and blast myself in the shower.

Plus I'm on 5abx-hopefully it will stop any new TBD's in their tracks

[Frown]

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Lymedin2010
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I can tell you why people around here still walk the grass. They don't know the full & complete story. Many of them also got bit, treated shortly & don't fully comprehend that their few symptoms are still due to Lyme.


They have a false sense of knowledge & belief that this is easily curable. They continue to let their children out & as a result many children here have been bit as well.


I just saw a dead deer on the road today, with DOZENS of fully engorged ticks on its body. I've never seen such plump ticks in my life.


I really miss going around lakes in the tall grass. I miss hiking into the woods & lifting stones up to see what creatures I can find (bugs, newts, frogs, snakes....).


What I do now instead is I bring nature to me & without the ticks. Check out my reef aquarium. It is just like a garden. You seed the corals & they grow for you, just like a real garden.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzhNpkXmDV8

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LisaK
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I was at my son's baseball game yesterday and looked pianfully at the grass I had to walk over to get to the bleachers. but what do you do?

my husband newly diagnosed and has lived through my terrible ordeal says, "what are you gonnna do? you can't stop living."

we have a large yard with tons of gardens. my son remarked the other day that I have become "lazy". HA! I can explain until my face is blue, but most people will not get it. My whole family is infected and yet they don't see the relevance that I do. They call it paranoia.

Like most of you above, I do not see ticks in my yard. I have never seen one actually. The three ticks I have ever seen on or near myself were 16+ years ago and that was when we lived in the city with the tiniest garden!

it is also where I got my infamous EM rash and have been sick ever since.

Last week I couldn't stand the mess outside any longer, so I carefully chopped with a trimmer and picked up the stuff with a pitch fork.

my husband has tilled the veggie garden and is waiting for me to plant like I used to. I am so sad. I want a concrete yard now.

It all looks different now..... birds, bunnies, flowers..... I really don't know if anything will help us unless major changes happen very soon. My husband spent all day outside working last weekend without any spray.

we cannot afford anything let alone a gardener

What am I gonna do ? divorce him? makes me sad sad sad [shake]

--------------------
Be thankful in all things- even difficult times and sickness and trials - because there is something GOOD to be seen

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kam
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I miss not having a yard. Teh good news is that I have yet to see a tick in thsi area.

The hunters have told me that they have never seen a tick while hunting nor have they ever seen one on their dogs while hunting.

Where I use to live in CA, I saw ticks walking across my computer table and in the classroom.

So many people in that area still live there and havn'et ocme down sick...so this tick thing is tricky business.

There is so much more they need to learn about it.

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Kudzuslipper
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I do it cause I'm afraid to let it go and therefore attract more ticks. I have dogs... So the cleaner I keep the yard, the less likely they bring them in. I have to prioritize what we pay other people to do... We hire people to spray for ticks and Mosquitos. And we have a lawn service... But pruning and weeding,clean up, that's up to us. My DH does most, but when I'm up to it, I like to be out there with him working. I spray myself with off when I do garden though... Prisons? Or ticks?
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beaches
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Greta, you find ticks on a 4th floor balcony?? Holy cow! That’s just unbelievable! Good lord, I hope the 5 abx you are on is protecting you!

Lymedin2010, I think most long-timers here “get it” and wouldn’t be caught dead letting themselves or their children walk in fields/grass unprotected. Newbies, well that’s another story :/

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I squirm when I see little kids playing in the grass unprotected and with their parents totally unaware. Your reef aquarium is cool

LisaK, yes, what are you supposed to do when your kid plays BB? And having a veggie garden? Totally understand the need for a concrete yard! Hang in there. I hope things get better for you.

Kam, well now you’re in an area where there’s “dry heat” right  So not surprising the hunters haven’t seen ticks.

I think I’d pass out if I saw ticks walking across my desk and in my classroom!

Kudzu…totally get the need to prioritize paying other people to do basic yardwork. Back in the day hubs and I would be out there planting/moving shrubs. I was always out there weeding and planting bulbs and perennials.

These days Hubs has no time at all to even think about doing yard stuff and I’m too worn out and busy with other things to get out there (not that I would take the risk these days).

Does it feel like I’m in prison? Yep, a little bit. I do miss gardening.

These days my “prison” is in being in most of the day taking care of sick kids. But that’s another post.

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lpkayak
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I dont want to make a problem but i see ppl thinking off will protect them and it wont

Research has shown(ive posted link before by tom grier) tht only permethrin kills ticks. And it kills them before they get to you

The off and other products repel...and i was tild that means they can be on you a long time before it makes themsick enough to drop off...and not necessartily die

The argument is they cant give you lyme anyway unless attaced 36-48 hrs...and i hope those reading this understand that isnt true

Permethrin is nasty and has warnings...but so far it is the only thing that kills them and lyme is nasty too

When i am worried about a tick on me i am a wreck-cant sleep-eat right-it isnt good to be worried about it all the time...you needto control it

There are ticks in central park and in the plant/flower urns all over big cities

There are ticks on airplanes

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Tincup
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Kayak said... "i used rags soaked in ammonia to get a skunk to find another place to live."

Interesting! Did it work?

We have skunks, possums- one with 4 babies, groundhogs- with 6 new borns, fox, rabbits, deer, squirrels, birds, bugs and snakes, along with most anything else you can imagine.

The guys are regularly asking me to provide them with something "stinky" like perfume, which I don't wear, so I'd like to have another way to chase off some of the animals "too close" to the home.

Please let me know! Thanks!

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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lpkayak
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Yes it worked! He(or she) had settled in late fall under the corner of my house and even tho he didnt"spray" there ws a mild skunky smell in that room

I read about skunks on internet a d did a lot of things:
Insude the house i turned radio up pretty loud in thst room
Outside i had three little bowls with ammonia in them i put themaround the entrance. Then i put rags in each bowl cuz if it spills or when it evaporates. It will last longer
I had already gotten rid of mny chipmunks by sprunkling fox urine peppers

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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lpkayak
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Peppers above is supposed to be pellets

I dont know what worked best but soon all the neighbors were complaining about skunk smell and i never smelled it agai

When i had all those critters i didnt have mice. Once i got rid of all the otherthings it seems the mice came back.

Still trying to mke those mice understand this is MYhouse

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Tincup
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Excellent info! I'm going to try it. And yes, the mouse thing. What a mess, what a choice!

Thanks kayak!!!

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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Lymetoo
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Greta .. Do you have pets?

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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beaches
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I am going to do the ammonia-soaked rags to get rid of the groundhog living underneath the deck.
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dbpei
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Opossums are good for getting rid of ticks! If you have them in your yards, keep them around!

http://www.caryinstitute.org/discover-ecology/podcasts/why-you-should-brake-possums

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lpkayak
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It says to make your yard possum friendly-i wonder what thst is

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Robin123
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Another garden tip: to use long-handled cut-and-hold pruners that hold the pruned veg such that you don't have to come in contact with it - obtain via www.wildflower-seed.com - I have no financial affiliation.

Re the question what are you going to do, you can't stop living, I say use good tick repellent. I like essential oils like Orange Guard, from healthfood stores and hardware stores - put a little in a spray bottle, fill with water and spray on clothing and gear. Use other essential oils for skin.

Am wondering whether rags soaked in ammonia could also keep people away who we don't want to see?

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lpkayak
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It says to make your yard possum friendly-i wonder what thst is

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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LisaK
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bdpei great link! maybe we should breed them and set them loose!

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Be thankful in all things- even difficult times and sickness and trials - because there is something GOOD to be seen

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hiker53
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I am laughing because my neighbor and I were just talking about possums. She wants to get rid of them.

As long as I don't come across one unexpectedly I don't mind them. They can be vicious when cornered and have sharp teeth.

Hiker53

--------------------
Hiker53

"God is light. In Him there is no
darkness." 1John 1:5

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Ellen101
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I do worry but I also know we can't live in a prison. My kids still need to be kids, play ball with their friends etc. But we need to be more aware.

I also think of the large amount of people I know that are put there every day and have been for years and they are not ill. Camping, yard work, hiking etc, but none of them are ill.

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Lymetoo
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Don't overdo the possum thing and don't adopt one as a pet. They can carry nasty intestinal diseases. I think they are OK at a distance as long as they are eating ticks. [Wink]

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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beaches
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Robin, good idea about the long-handled pruners! And [Smile] maybe ammonia-soaked rags will keep away ppl we don't want to see haha.

As for the possums, oh no, I will NOT welcome them or try to attract them. I am trying to rid my home of wildlife!

Ellen, yes, totally get what you're saying. I too know many people who camp/do yard work, etc. and are not sick. Seems to me that there must be a genetic piece to this.

As for my family, we will continue to avoid high risk activities. We've already paid enough of a price.

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LisaK
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I see tons of people that look and act sick, but deny that is COULD be tick disease!

I just told two of my siblings I saw the other day that I have probably had this even before I got married 20 yrs ago. they both looked so shocked. hey, we lived next to woods and cornfields our entire lives and played in them constantly!

I HATE the expression, but it is sometimes very apropos to use it: "DUH"

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Be thankful in all things- even difficult times and sickness and trials - because there is something GOOD to be seen

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Melanie Reber
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It took me many years to get past my innate fear of nature after being so ill for so long. I was one who would NOT walk on grass or even stand under a tree after doing so much research on tick habitats.

But, I came to realize that I also lost my way when I stopped doing what I loved so much. Digging in the earth and nurturing growing things is a part of my spirit, and I needed to come to terms with that.

Little by little I began to get past the fear of being bitten again. Now, I feel that because I currently live in a much less endemic place, it does help to ease that fear somewhat. (I actually was re-infected while living in California)

This is not only my therapy but my career as a landscape architect, so I have to traverse through some pretty scary looking places at times. I just always make certain that I do tick checks as quickly as possible now.

And when given a choice still of a sidewalk or a grass lawn... well, you bet I take the concrete every time! [Wink]

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GretaM
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Lymetoo: I have 4 indoor cats.

I would use permethrin along my doors but it is toxic to cats.
I think the ticks fall off the birds that land on my balcony. I do not feed the birds. They just land.

Melanie-I hear you, I am at the same place with gardening.

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lpkayak
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I bouught a fake hawk and owl to scare birds off cuz they carry ticks

Then i realized the birds were eating bugs that were eating my veggies

Now i am thinking about balance...

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lymetoo
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Greta .. I asked about pets because I wondered if that was how you were being reinfected. Do the cats go on the balcony?

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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oceangirlSA
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I am still in a very fearful place of doing gardening again. I have had two homes where I did all the gardening.

My first home I planted gardens with 100 rose bushes! I lived in my garden - just loved to get my feet dirty and feel the sun on my skin and hear the birds.

But I knew nothing about ticks or tick borne illness then as I had not been in this country long, and that's when I got bitten many times and did not get any treatment because I did not know about Lyme.

When I moved to my second house, I re-landscaped the yard and planted more rose gardens. I got bitten several times here too and then finally got sick, but by then it was way too late.

Even though I had learned by this time to get treatment, I was denied it every time I got bitten.

I have hung up my garden tools and now pay someone to manage my yard. I am looking at moving. In the process of looking at condos.

I also used to hike regularly, but I won't do that either. Maybe when I am better, but right now I can't risk getting bitten again.

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faithful777
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Aerogardens are wonderful for growing veggies or flowers inside the house, no ticks!!

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Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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lpkayak
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Oceangirl...so sad this country welcomed you this way...ct is where lyme began here...tick central

I love roses too i have carried some with me to many houses...i dont know how old some of them are

I love the ocean and "beach roses too"

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
randibear
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the ole saying is that some feel closer to God in a garden than anywhere else.

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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oceangirlSA
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kayak, there is such beauty and romance in roses - they appeal to my old soul and love of eras gone by. Plus as perennials, they give so much bang for your buck.

randibear, that saying is true. Being in nature always makes me feel closer to God when I see his gorgeous handiworks.

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Lymetoo
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Hope you find a nice place to live that has some green areas or scenery to enjoy.

I'm fortunate to have woods directly behind my patio. Nothing to look at out front, but very pretty in the back.

My gardening consists of a few pot plants on my patios.

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

Posts: 95344 | From Texas | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lpkayak
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I agree about god and gardens

Gardening also puts me in my happy place and i think that helps my immune system

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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lostlyme
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Garden for me was helpful , I felt appreciated , I felt useful in some way was therapeutic , it sort of took the edge off while being treated

I found a website and made my own growboxes .or if you want to call them self watering planters.

I grew tomatoes ,peppers ,cucumbers etc

Very easy to make and they are above ground place them where it is best. Don't take up much room.

Empty buckets, small pvc pipe. Drill few holes ,some screening. A glue gun. Screws.

I can make them in about 15. Minutes now.

Chances are some neighbors might have the supplys you need. And be happy to get rid of them.

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Lymetoo
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Are you saying they are indoor growboxes, lostlyme?

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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lostlyme
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No outside where ever would be good for growing in full sunlight , partial etc

On patio ,deck , in yard

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Sammi
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We have two porches that are open underneath, and one is fairly low so it is hard to see underneath. I saw a chipmunk run under it on more than one occasion.

I used a rake to put mothballs far back underneath the porch. I also put some closer to the front. I have not seen another chipmunk since. They do not like the strong smell. I don't either!

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lpkayak
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Moth balls give off toxic gas-be cateful-google it

They hate fox urine too...i ran about a hundred off with that but now mice have moved into the burrows...at least the chipmunks stayed outside

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MTMT
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You typically won't find ticks in your yard. I know I have never noticed any on me after being in my yard. They like tall grass. I am parnoid about getting back into outdoor activities that involve fields and woodlands but I do not fear my yard.
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Samlyme
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I was just reading today that permethrin, the anti-tick stuff you put on your clothes is a synthetic version of something extracted from chrysanthemums. It's highly toxic to ticks. Now I want to fill my garden with them. :-)
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beaches
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Sorry MTMT but you are dead wrong.

We have sprayed our fenced-in yard vigilantly for years. Samlyme, the spray the company uses is a derivative of chrysanthemums.

Yet, our DD found a tick crawling on her after only spending a couple of minutes in the yard.

And our dog was dx'ed with Lyme Disease eventhough the yard was her only exposure to the outdoors.

Don't kid yourself by thinking that you're safe in your own backyard. You aren't.

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beaches
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I love my house, I love my front yard and I love my back yard and my side yards! I handpicked all the plants/trees/bushes/flowers that were planted, and hubby and I planted most of them ourselves back in the day.

I derive such satisfaction from seeing the 3 peony bushes I planted so long ago return every year with their beautiful blooms. I love the Spring and early Summer when I see everything we've planted come alive.

But I don't dare cut those peony stems unless I've doused myself in repellant.

And I don't dare wander into one of the garden beds unless I've done the same. Sad, but true.

The ticks are EVERYWHERE and ABUNDANT. I don't need any more sickness in my family so we take lots of precautions.

And OMG just today I killed 2 wasps and hubs knocked out another one. I HATE wasps. My family and friends keep talking about stinkbugs but I wouldn't know one if it hit me in the head. That's good...I'm better off not knowing what they look like [Smile]

Well at least summer is FINALLY here and we all in the NE sure do deserve some good nice warm weather!

But ticks need not apply!

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Lymedin2010
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WOW, there sure are a lot of people getting bit & re-bit from all the posts.


I had 3 family members get bit last year & this is after knowing all the dangers.


I miss going on the grass on a consistent basis & being oblivious to all this craziness!

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beaches
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Yeah, me too. I miss doing my gardening thing in the Spring and Fall.

I can't and won't take the chance of getting a tick bite. We've just been through too much/spent too much/can't risk anymore.

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dbpei
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I am curious... do you know if there as many deer ticks in open areas by the sea (with no woods) compared to yards surrounded by woodlands?
Posts: 2360 | From New England | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sammi
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quote:
Originally posted by beaches:
And OMG just today I killed 2 wasps and hubs knocked out another one. I HATE wasps. My family and friends keep talking about stinkbugs but I wouldn't know one if it hit me in the head. That's good...I'm better off not knowing what they look like [Smile]

beaches, I hear you about the bugs! Wasps AND stinkbugs have gotten into our house! If I go out to get the mail or go to the car, mosquitoes are swarming even in their "off" hours! I hate irritating bugs!
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lpkayak
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Dbpei-i know in nj there are. I lived in a seacoast town 3 blocks frim ocean un central jersy a few yrs ago

I have used permethrin foryrs onmy clothes and dog

Most places the residual permethrin keeps me from seeing or picking up ticks

In nj i was ok right at ocean as long as i didnt go into dunes where there is grass...but 2 blocks in if i walked dog in park on walkways where grass was short all around and no big wooded areas...he always came home with a few ticks...and my walks were short

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lpkayak
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I still dont see ticks in my yard but i think the permethrun i use on dog and clothes simehow keeps them away

One side of hoyse has woods but i keep grass short and sparse-soil is sandy and dry

I know i am taking risks using permethrin and i try safer products when they come out but so far nothing else works

I made a conscious decision a long time ago i would risk affects of permethin to limit re-bite and lower quality of life

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
beaches
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Sammi, already we are seeing gigantic mosquitoes here. I HATE them too! Actually, I hate all bugs [Smile]

NJ, like most of the NE and mid-Atlantic states is infested with ticks. Kayak is right...when you're right at the ocean, as long as you avoid the dunes, you should be OK.

Kayak, I'd rather take chances using the permethrin than risk another bite! Probably what helps too is that your soil is dry and sandy.

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