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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - July 23, 2012

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Ticks on native grasses in Katy, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Are there native grasses that are less susceptible to tick infestation than others?

ANSWER:

Ticks are parasites of warm blooded animals and have a complex life cycle spending a portion of it on an animal, sucking blood from the host, and another portion in the environment going through developmental stages. The tick does not feed on the grasses, but climbs up the leaf blades in order to get on a new host. Height of the grass probably makes more difference than the species in regards to infestation. Another factor is the availability of hosts, eg rodents, cats, dogs, and deer in the area.

Here are two links to help you learn more about ticks and how to control them.

gardenweb.com

smdc.army.mil

 

 

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