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? Learning how to make tick tubes is quite easy and a very effective method in helping control ticks in your area.

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, wear 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 solution from your spray bottle.
  4. Insert the treated cotton or dryer lint balls into each cardboard toilet paper roll or paper towel tube. You do not need to tightly pack the cotton. 6 to 8 cotton pieces 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 tick 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. Tick tubes are loaded with cotton balls 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 a tube filled with treated cotton or similar nesting material, and they take the nesting material back to their mouse habitat burrows or nests.

The permethrin treated cotton balls or nest-building material does not necessarily affect mice or other small animals, but it is quite fatal for killing ticks. Ticks walk across the treated nesting material by mice 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 mice nests or burrows of their hosts. Through the use of DIY tick tubes, you can effectively kill them 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 DIY steps to control and reduce the tick population.

Tick Tube Materials

  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Cotton Balls or Dryer Lint
  • 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 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 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.


This product 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% concentration is recommended Permethrin 10%.

Permethrin Dilution

Please consider Permethrin dilution with water for your application. This should be plenty to eliminate ticks.

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 tick and blacklegged tick.

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

How Do Tick Tubes Work

Does Permethrin Kill Ticks

Permethrin is an insecticide that kills ticks by interacting with a tick’s nervous system leading to paralysis. When a tick becomes paralyzed, they can no longer crawl leading to their eventual death.

The reaction time is quite fast, often within minutes.

When to Put Out Tick Tubes

As a general rule, it is best to put out treated tubes in the spring and late summer. These control measures work best when deployed twice a year to align with the nymph tick hatch (spring) and the larvae tick hatch (late summer).

Applying Treatment

Applying treatment twice a year around your house should dramatically impact the percent reduction of these 8 legged crawlers in your yard. Treatment could help reduce your chances of being bitten which could reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease.

Commercially Available Tick Tubes

If making your own tubes isn’t for you, no problem. You can purchase pre-assembled commercial tick tubes as there are a number of commercial products available 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 commercial product already set up and ready for deployment around your yard. Thermacell Tubes are quite effective at controlling ticks as an option.

You can buy tick control. There are different pack sizes available from Thermacell. Available in 6 pack, 12 pack, 23 pack, 48 pack, and 96 pack.



Damminix also makes control products with varying pack sizes. Use tick control outdoors. Hide away these items for ticks in your yard, around fields, near wood piles, stone walls, tall grass, wooded areas, or bodies of water. Preferably away from children.

The best time to apply 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 products. You may be thinking that they remind you of the toilet paper tube that you have at home or at the cabin next to your portable toilet.

After these 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 these, you don’t need to purchase cardboard rolls. Rolls can be made using toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes from home. The same paper towel rolls you may typically throw away. They can also be made with PVC pipe.

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 pieces of cotton.

Final Thoughts On How to Make A Tick Tube

Controlling the number of ticks helps reduce tick bites and increases disease control. Homemade tick tubes or commercial control tubes will help keep these Lyme Disease carrier critters at bay.

Making your own tick tube is relatively easy as a DIY activity. Just grab your toilet paper tubes, cotton balls or lint, and Permethrin for your tick tubes DIY project. Place near known mice activity areas around your yard.

Once you master how to make your own tick tubes, perhaps you could also show a neighbor how to make these tube. This would further increase the areas around your house or property (tick boundary areas), and possibly decreasing the chance of spreading Lyme disease by helping control tick populations.

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.