Ticks and things …

Can I tell you how much I hate ticks?  My dogs (and cats) do not get fleas, or if they do, it’s only on rare occasions.  I know fleas are out there, Kitty and Rose came with quite a collection.  I washed Kitty and Rose with peppermint castile soap which killed all of the fleas.  Now that they are on a species-appropriate diet, I’m hoping that they will not be so attractive to fleas.

Ticks, on the other hand, appear to be less discriminating.  I tried an herbal product that came highly recommended, but it seems the tick population around me is too heavy for an herbal preparation to work.  Also, my dogs are in the water (cooling off) almost everyday during the summer.

I gave in a few times this summer and used Frontline.  This is not something I’d normally do, but a few months ago, a female tick crawled off one of my dogs and laid her eggs in my bedroom.  Can you imagine how much fun that was?  I was complaining to my homeopath about the sensation of bugs crawling on me, only to realize bugs really were crawling on me!  I tried diatomaceous earth (DE) in my bedroom, but DE doesn’t seem to work against ticks.  I finally resorted to putting some Sevin dust under my bed which was were most of the ticks seemed to be coming from.  I vacuumed daily for quite a while.  The population is finally lessening in the house, but not on my dogs.  It seems Frontline isn’t working either.

You have to wonder if all these preparations that they sell for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, etc. isn’t somehow, in the long run, making our dogs and cats more susceptible to these insects.  I have no more Frontline in the house and do not plan to buy anymore because (1) I don’t think it works and (2) that it truly is causing harm.  The woman who makes the herbal product told me that because tick-borne disease has become so common these days that I probably should resort to something stronger during high tick months, but I am not worried about tick-borne disease.  My dogs’ immune systems are not compromised like so many others are. 

I don’t want the darned things crawling all over me and I am sick and tired of picking ticks off my dogs but it seems I am going to have to dig in and live with it for a while and find other means to deal with the rotten critters!  I suppose I’ll set up a grooming platform in my duck pasture and once a day bring each dog in there and pick ticks off them and feed them to my ducks and chickens.  Think of the grain I won’t have to feed because of all the ticks I’ll be able to feed to my chickens and ducks.  I wish I could train one of the chickens to do the picking for me.

Two things that I am going to try to make a concerted effort to do is to get more red meat into my dogs (red meat is higher in B vitamins) and try to get some garlic into them.  Both B vitamins and garlic seem to make creatures less attractive to bugs.  I need to do the same thing for myself so I won’t be so tasty. 

Regarding other unmentionables, if you are on the fence, or know someone who is about whether to administer heartworm medicine to your dog (or cat).  Read this wonderfully written article  that will detail the truth about heartworm and the poison that is recommended to prevent them.