Deer spread ticks infected with Lyme disease, yes. But it is these same ticks that get Lyme disease from mice, not deer. Ticks Tubes rely on “the natural nesting instincts of mice to deliver tick-controlling permethrin directly to this host animal and the ticks it infects.” Cardboard tubes, filled with permethrin treated cotton balls, are placed in targeted host-habitat areas. Mice collect the cotton to build their nests. Deer ticks that feed on mice in the spring and the fall are exposed to permethrin, a mild insecticide, and killed.
Permethrin is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring pesticide, pyrethrum, an extract from flower heads of the chrysanthemum. Permethrin, while highly neuro-toxic to ticks, is mild otherwise. (Permethrin has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in head lice shampoo for children.) The mice, other animals, and your land remain unharmed. Because it is targeted, it has little to no impact on non-target organisms. Because the active ingredient is bound to cotton fibers and is not water-soluble, there is no potential for contamination of groundwater or other water supplies. The cardboard dispenser tube and cotton is completely biodegradable. Tick tubes are environmentally friendly, effective and EPA approved.
Small children or pets would need to eat more than 1800 cotton balls in a single dose to reach 5,000 mg/kg.