NDSU Extension - Traill County


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Traill County Extension

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Soil field Day

Controlling Ticks  
Wood Tick

With the warm spring weather, tick season is upon us. Three species are found in North Dakota: American dog tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick, and winter tick . Of these, American dog tick is the most common species. Lyme disease is vectored by the black-legged tick, also known as deer ticks. Fortunately, the black-legged tick does not occur naturally in North Dakota, but is brought in from neighboring states. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following strategies for preventing tick bites:

Minimizing direct contact with ticks by avoiding woody and high grass areas and walking in center of trails, if possible. Ticks are most active in May through August in North Dakota.

• Use repellent with 20-30% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin and clothing. This should provide several hours of protection. Or wear clothing treated with permethrin.

• Quickly find and remove any ticks from body by using a tweezers. Grasp tick close to skin and pull straight up to avoid breaking off the tick’s mouthparts in the skin. Clean bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

• Inspect and bath yourself within 2 hours after coming indoors to find any ticks crawling on you and to remove them before they attach to feed on your blood. Ticks like to hides in hair, armpits and other areas that may be difficult to inspect.

• Wash any clothing that you were wearing soon and then dry in high heat for an hour to kill any ticks. Otherwise, ticks can attach to you later after hitchhiking on your clothes into your home.

• Reduce tick habitat near home.

• Keep lawns mowed around home.

• Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns, patio or play areas and wooded areas to prevent tick movement.

• Exclude wildlife (especially deer) that may be carrying ticks into your yard.

• Some insecticides registered for control of ticks by homeowners in residential areas include: carbaryl (Sevin®), cyfluthrin (Tempo®, Powerforce™), permethrin (Astro®, Ortho® products, Bonide® products), and pyrethrin (Pyrenone®, Kicker®). Always read and follow the EPA approved label on the product container.

Farm Safety Tips

If the sun keeps shining and precipitation keeps to a minimum, farmers will be able to start in the fields by sometime in the next couple weeks. With the later planting start dates, producers will be very anxious and chomping at the bit to start in their fields. It is easy to put safety checks on the back burner, but they are extremely important and may save you or a loved ones’ life.

Here are some safety tips regarding anhydrous ammonia equipment:
• Are fittings and valves free from rust and wear?
• Does the tanks have a slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblem mounted in the rear and are in good condition?
• Are all tires in good condition and properly inflated?
• Are all hose free of kinks and in good condition?
• Do you have emergency water supply available and is that hose in good condition?
• When transporting, are the hitches secure and equipped with locking pins?
• Are safety chains securely connected?

Also, always use gloves and goggles approved for handling anhydrous ammonia when transferring anhydrous or when checking for worn hoses and plugged applicator knives.

The first treatment for exposure to anhydrous ammonia is to flush the area with clear water for at least 15 minutes. Remember to always seek medical attention after any exposure to anhydrous ammonia.

Spring Lawn MaintenanceSnow Mold

Is your lawn "hurting" this spring from snow mold, dog damage or other problems? The snow has started to melt, but with all good things, spring is taking its sweet time getting here. Now is the time to start planning what lawn maintenance items will need to be done this spring.

Snow mold is a common issue seen during this time of year. Once most of the snow has melted away, go out and spread the rest of the snow out to encourage a faster melt. If the grass seems to be matted down go out with a fan type rake and fluff up the grass. This will cause the area to dry out and warm up quicker. If this is done the grass will usually recover from snow mold.

Dead spots or thin areas in your lawn can be repaired be replanting specific areas or inter seeding the whole lawn. Bluegrass seed is recommended when correcting these problems. If these areas are shady, creeping red fescue would give you better results.

When replanting the dead spots or inter seeding your lawn, just work the soil slightly with a garden rake. Spread the grass seed over the area and rake into the soil gently. Be careful not to damage the existing grass if your inter seeding. If thick thatch creates a seeding problem, use a garden rake to remove some of it. Thatch will serve as a barrier against moisture evaporation and as a mulch for protecting the new grass seedlings. The replanted areas must be kept moist until the grass seed has germinated and become established.

To Do: Check the Sump Pump!

Now is the time for homeowners to check their sump pump now to make sure it works properly.

Sump pumps are available in two basic models: upright (commonly called a pedestal) and submersible. This is how a sump pump works: The sump is the pit where the pump sits. The sump may be connected to tile that drains the footings of the house, the area under the entire basement or just the area where the sump is located. A sump pump removes the water that drains into the sump.

The pedestal pump's motor is on top of the pedestal and the pump is at the base, which sits on the bottom of the sump. The motor is not meant to get wet. A ball float turns the pump on and off. One advantage with this type of pump is that the on/off switch is visible, so you can see the ball float's action easily, Scherer says. Submersible pumps are designed to be submerged in water and sit on the bottom of the sump. The on/off switch is attached to the pump.

Pumps have three main types of on/off controls. The first type uses a ball float attached to the pump and connected to an internal watertight switch. The second type is a sealed, tethered float switch with an on/off setting that is adjustable by changing the length of the tether. The third type uses a diaphragm to sense the water level and turn the pump on and off.

Both pump types should have a check valve on the water discharge pipe so water doesn't flow back into the sump when the pump shuts off. Backflow can cause the pump to turn on and off more frequently than necessary, which decreases the life of the pump.

Here is how to check the pump:

• Make sure the discharge pipe on the side of the house is not frozen shut or plugged and it directs water away from the house.

• Make sure the pump is plugged in.

• Remove the lid (if the sump has one) and use a flashlight to check if the sump is clean and the pump inlet screens are not plugged.

• Slowly pour water into the sump. Try to simulate the speed that water normally would flow into the sump. Watch the on/off switch's action and listen to the pump. Make sure the pump turns on and off at least twice. If something doesn't work or sound right, fix it as soon as possible.

If you have a battery-powered backup sump pump, make sure the battery is fully charged. Then shut off the power to the main sump pump and the battery charging system on the backup pump. Pour water into the sump until the backup pump comes on.

Traill County Courthouse


NDSU Extension/Traill County
114 Caledonia Ave. W.
Box 730 (mailing address)
Hillsboro, ND 58045
Phone:  701-636-5665   
Fax: 701-636-5666

Office Hours:
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday
Summer Office Hours:
(Memorial Day - Labor Day)
7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.,  Monday-Thursday
8 a.m. - Noon, Friday

Related Links:
NDSU Extension
North Dakota Department of Agriculture

Traill County
City of Hillsboro
Cities of Mayville-Portland
City of Hatton

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