7 Ways to Control Ticks Without Chemicals
Ticks can be a big problem in some areas, and they can spread several serious diseases, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and others.
Your dog should be checked every single day. It will only take a few minutes to check her, but it can make a big difference for her health. Keep her free of ticks and do not let them stay on her, suck her blood, and pass diseases that will hurt her.
Natural Tick Control
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
How Can I Prevent Ticks From Getting on My Dog?
Garlic: This natural supplement is used in the same way when given as a flea preventative. You just feed it to your dog and the scent from the garlic, allicin, will act as a tick repellent. You can give your 30-pound dog about a clove a day; give less if she is smaller, more if she is larger.
Some sources claim that garlic is toxic for dogs because it has the misfortune of belonging to the same family as the onion. A lot of people have given garlic to their dogs and realize it has no harmful side effects.
Omega 3 fatty acid: This product will keep your dog´s skin healthy and may make her less vulnerable to ticks. The best product available is easy to use--all you have to do is pour it onto your dog´s food once a day.
Vitamin C: Although this product has not been studied, many holistic veterinarians recommend it as a natural tick preventative. An accurate dose has not been determined for dogs; I would recommend starting out with the 500 mg tablet and moving up in the dose in 500mg increments. If your dog has loose stools you need to give one tablet less. I am lucky enough to have access to acerola cherries, a fruit very high in vitamin C. I supplement my dog with this fruit both for the Vitamin C and other vitamins contained in it.
Aromatherapy:The essential oil mixture that prevents ticks is mixed with olive oil and applied to those areas the ticks seem especially fond of; between the toes, in the flaps of the ears, in the underarms, and on the belly seem to be favorite targets for my dog. Try a mixture of 6 drops lavender, 6 drops of peppermint, and a bay leaf in about 15cc of olive oil.
Herbal supplements: Milk thistle, an herb normally used for liver repair, is now also used in tick control, but it may be most effective at removing toxins in the body after a tick bite.
Tick clothing: No, tick clothing is not just for humans.
If you are going to be hiking in an area where ticks are a big problem, you can try dog booties, tight socks to protect her legs, and a t-shirt that covers most of her body. As anyone who has ever gone hiking knows, protective clothing can help a lot but will not totally protect you. Some of the ticks will not be able to get into her coat, however, and you may be able to prevent that one tick carrying a deadly disease.
Environmental control: In the house, vacuum thoroughly to pick up any tick eggs and seed ticks. It may also help to spread borax powder over your carpet before vacuuming (this will help destroy the eggs and young ticks).
In my neighborhood most of the ticks are found out in the fields where the feral horses come each day, and since the environment is so large I raise guinea fowl to keep the ticks under control. If the area infected with ticks is smaller, you can use diatomaceous earth and spread it on your grass. Environmental control also helps with the fleas.
What Can I Do If She Does Get a Tick?
- Flea comb: This will pick up ticks as well as fleas. After each stroke, I rinse the comb to remove any live fleas or ticks. It is impossible to cover the entire body on every grooming, however, so sometimes a tick might be missed.
- Tick twister: This product allows the tick to be removed without squeezing it. (You can watch the video I attached to see a demonstration on how it works.) When the tool is in place, the tick is caught in the fork and is then rotated out, not pulled.
- Tick removal tweezers: Ticks can be removed with normal tweezers. The advantage of the tick twister is that the tick is not squeezed as it is removed. In addition, no mouth parts are left in the dog´s skin since the tick is rotated out slowly. If you do use regular tweezers, rotate the tick out slowly so as to lessen the chance of any tick mouth parts being left in your dog.
It does not matter if you are dealing with the deer tick in the east, the Rocky Mountain Wood tick in the northwest US, or with the dog ticks all over the US: any ticks you find can carry a disease. Some of them can survive for years without feeding but when the scent of butyric acid attracts them they will jump on your dog and feed. No matter how good your tick prevention program is, your dog is probably going to get ticks. If you care about your dog, you will check her daily.
Remove them quickly, before they have a chance to spread disease.
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Dr Mark