How To Make Tick Tubes: 5 EASY STEPS DIY

Tick or Spider? Which of these make you more nervous if you find one crawling on you or your pet? Tick Tubes can help reduce or eliminate ticks in your area. Learning how to make tick tubes is quite simple and a very effective method in helping control ticks in your yard.

5 easy steps how to make your own tick tubes
5 easy steps how to make tick tubes


How To Make Tick Tubes DIY

5 Easy Steps to Make Your Own Tick Tubes

  1. Safety First. Put on your protective eyewear, disposable gloves, and breathing mask. Carefully read and follow the Permethrin label precautions and safety instructions for use and risk of exposure.
  2. Fill a spray bottle with a diluted Permethrin and water mixture based on the label instructions for use. A 7%% to 10% concentration of Permethrin should be plenty for tick tube applications.
  3. Spread out the cotton balls or dryer lint balls and generously spray Permethrin on them with the diluted Permethrin solution from your spray bottle.
  4. Insert the treated cotton balls or dryer link balls into each cardboard toilet paper roll or paper towel tube. You do not need to tightly pack the cotton balls in the small tubes. 6 to 8 cotton balls in each tube should be enough.
  5. Place each treated tick tube around the perimeter of your property about 10 feet apart, just outside of your yard line. You want mice and rodents to find the tubes, so placing tick tubes directly on the ground and under a bit of leaf or brush cover if possible.
  6. Optional Step – tie a stick or small rock to the outside of your cardboard tubes. This will prevent the tubes from blowing around your property. If you place the tubes underbrush or cover, the tubes shouldn’t blow around too much.

What Are Tick Tubes?

A tick tube is a cotton-filled treated cardboard tube placed around your property to help combat and kill ticks. The tubes are loaded with cotton balls that are treated with a chemical called Permethrin which is deadly for ticks.

A tick control tube works by leveraging the natural nesting habits of mice and other small mammals or small rodents. Mice happen upon the mouse tubes filled with cotton balls or similar nesting material in the tubes, and they take the nesting material back to their burrows or nests.

The treated cotton balls or nest-building material do not necessarily affect the mice or other small animals, but it is quite fatal for killing ticks. Ticks walk across the treated nesting material and can die within seconds or minutes.

Ticks, in the Arachnids family, sure do get a reaction from people when they are crawling around. Likely there is a high-pitched shriek followed by a nervous quick-step dance as people try to encourage the tick off of their body.

More and more, it seems that people feel that ticks are more frightening than spiders. Perhaps the ongoing reminder that the eight leg tick potentially carries Lyme disease and the tick is targeting you for lunch.

DIY Tick Tubes

Ticks can be found in high grass and brush, around woodpiles, forest areas, and around nests or burrows of their hosts. Through the use of DIY tick tubes, you can effectively kill ticks where they breed and hatch. If you are in an area where there are a lot of ticks present, you can take a few easy DIYsteps to control and reduce the tick population.

Tick Tube Materials

  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Cotton Balls
  • Permethrin
  • Spray Bottle
  • Water
  • Safety Breathing Mask
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Protective Eye Wear
  • String (optional)
  • Sticks (optional)

Abide by Federal, State, and Local laws regarding the use of Permethrin as well as the directions outlined on the Permethrin container label.

Permethrin should not be used in any form other than the intended use identified on the label. It may be illegal to make DIY tick tubes. Safety First.

Permethrin Concentration For Tick Tubes

As a general rule, a 7% to 10% permethrin concentration is recommended when mixed with water.


Permethrin can be found easily online and possibly even at your local hardware store like Home Depot. We ordered a 32-ounce bottle with 36.8% permethrin listed as the active ingredient. As mentioned above, a 7% to 10% tick tubes permethrin concentration is recommended Permethrin 10%.

Permethrin Dilution For Tick Tubes

Please consider Permethrin dilution with water for your application. 7% to 10% tick tubes permethrin concentration and the rest water is the recommendation. It is also plenty to eliminate ticks with DIY tick tubes permethrin concentration.

Permethrin works during each stage of the tick life cycle including tick larvae (6 legs), nymph ticks (8 legs) and adult ticks. It also works on all ticks including deer ticks and blacklegged tick.

For outdoor use only. Safety first, avoid ingesting, contacting your skin, eyes with permethrin.

How Do Tick Tubes Work

Does Permethrin Kill Ticks

Permethrin is an insecticide that kills ticks by interacting with a tick’s nervous systems. This leads to tick paralysis. When a tick becomes paralyzed, they no longer are able to crawl around leading to the eventual death of the tick.

The reaction time is quite fast when ticks encounter Permethrin. Often within minutes. Permethrin does kill ticks in a very effective way.

When To Put Out Tick Tubes

As a general rule, it is best to put out tick tubes in the spring and late summer. These control measures work best when deployed twice a year to align with the nymph ticks (sprint) and the larvae ticks (late summer). Twice a year should dramatically impact the percent reduction of ticks in your area.

Commercially Available Tick Tubes

If making your own tubes isn’t for you, no problem. You can purchase pre-assembled tick tubes as there are a number of commercially available tick tubes on the market.

Commercial tick tubes can be found online or at retailers such as Home Depot or Lowes.

If a DIY tick tube is not for you then consider the convenience of a control tube already set up and ready for deployment around your yard. Thermacell Tubes are effective at controlling ticks as an option.

The goal is to keep ticks at bay and you can buy tick control or try your hand at how to make tick tubes. There are different pack sizes available from Thermacell. Available tick tubes include 6 pack, 12 pack, 23 pack, 48 pack, and 96 pack.

Thermacell Tick Tubes

Damminix Tick Tubes

Damminix also makes control tubes and have varying pack sizes. Use tick control tubes outdoors. Hide away these items for ticks in your yard, around fields, near wood piles, tall grass, wooded areas, or bodies of water.

The best time to apply any tick tube is early spring and late summer. For control of ticks in your yard, a tick remediation tube should be placed around the perimeter of your yard.

Biodegradable Cardboard Tubes

There is nothing fancy with these biodegradable cardboard tubes. You may be thinking that they remind you of the toilet paper rolls that you have at home or at the cabin next to your portable toilet.

After these tubes do their job in distributing Permethrin lined nesting material they will slowly biodegrade and disappear. You probably will not need 30 rolls for your application area so save the remaining rolls for the next application cycle.

When making tick tubes, you don’t need to purchase rolls or tubes. Tick rolls can be made using toilet paper rolls or paper towel tubes from home. The same paper towel rolls you may typically throw away.

Cotton Balls

You will want to use Eco-Friendly and biodegradable cotton balls. A cotton ball (aka nesting-material) that will break down overtime while sitting out in natures elements. Dryer lint from your dryer lint trap could work in the same fashion as cotton balls.

Final Thoughts On How to Make A Tick Tube

Controlling the number of ticks in your area helps reduce tick bites and increases disease control. Homemade tick tubes or commercial control tubes will help keep an infected tick at bay.

Making your own tick tube is relatively easy as a DIY activity. Just grab your toilet paper tubes, cotton balls, and Permethrin for your tick tubes DIY project.

Once you master how to make your own tick tubes, perhaps you could also show a neighbor how to make a tick tube, further increasing the areas of your property (tick boundary areas).

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered advice. If you think you may have been bitten by a tick please consult a care provider. If a tick may have bitten your pet, please consult a veterinarian. Abide by Federal, State, and Local laws regarding making and the use of Tick Tubes, Permethrin, and other insecticide products.