Natural Ways To Prevent Ticks On Dogs – In many parts of the country, infested ticks are a serious problem, serious enough to convince some people to spray their lawns with pesticides and treat their coats with chemicals. However, many people are against injecting synthetic chemicals into the environment, even to control the most dangerous pests.
Over the past twenty years, this debate has led researchers around the world to look for natural ways to repel ticks from property and people, with some success.
Natural Ways To Prevent Ticks On Dogs
Before going to war, you must “know your enemy,” according to Chinese philosopher and military general Sun Tzu. This is especially important when dealing with ticks that have excellent habits and weaknesses that can be exploited.
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The two most common ticks in the United States, the American dog tick and the black-legged tick, seek out or “search” for hosts by climbing over vegetation and waiting for them to pass. They then pick up animal (or human) fur, hair, or clothing with their front legs and step on top of it.
“We call it the trap general,” said Kirby Stafford, senior scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and state entomologist.
Ticks also use vegetation as protection from the sun, which can dry it out. Black-legged ticks in particular are sensitive to tears, Stafford said.
For this reason, simply mowing your lawn can reduce the number of ticks you see in your area. Short grass does not provide enough shelter for some types of ticks to survive. Picking up dead leaves, trimming bushes and pruning trees can also help reduce certain types of ticks in your area.
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“What we’ve found in recent research is that leaf litter is critical to blacklegged tick survival,” said Chuck Lubelczyk, a biologist at the Lyme and Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory at the Maine Medical Center Institute. “Putting leaf litter out of the yard and letting the black-legged tick dry is not that inviting.”
“The whole idea is to reduce the suitability of the habitat around the house for ticks,” Stafford said. “You’re not going to eliminate them all like that, but you’re going to reduce their numbers.”
In a study conducted by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, about 67 percent of the ticks sampled were found in densely wooded areas, 22 percent were found in uncultivated transition zones between wooded and open areas, 9 percent were found on ornamentals, and 2 percent were found on found. in the hall. Then in the middle of the lawn, the most ticks (82 percent) were found three meters from the edge of the lawn, especially near the forest, stone walls and decorative plantings. The study also found that ticks are more common in shady areas of the lawn.
Given these numbers, it makes sense that another common tick management practice is to install a three-foot-wide barrier of paver or rubber mulch between lawns and wooded areas, and around turnstiles and sheds. This barrier, which is open to the sun, does not facilitate the migration of ticks.
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Unfortunately, there are some species of ticks, such as solitary ticks, that can tolerate dry conditions and therefore cannot be easily deterred by a lack of shelter, according to the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center. Additionally, the one-star mite searches for hosts by moving in response to carbon dioxide and movement.
“It’s an aggressive tick with a great hunting strategy,” said Stafford, who added that more research is being done on how to manage this elusive tick.
Although ticks like to attach themselves to humans, they are happy to feed on the blood of many other animals. For example, the black-legged tick is also called the deer tick because it often feeds on deer.
Therefore, one way to reduce the number of ticks on your property is to fence off high-use outdoor areas to keep out some tick carriers, such as deer. Another option is to plant deer-resistant plants such as daffodils, lavender, mint, asters and marigolds. These plants do not repel deer, but they also do not attract them.
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Also consider removing bird feeders during tick season, as birds can carry ticks, as can mice and rats. For this reason, it is also important to clean up trash and anything else that may attract these animals to your property.
In recent years, many scientific studies have been conducted to identify plant compounds that repel and kill ticks.
For example, a 2011 study by researchers in the United States, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia found that blackberry (Lindera melissifolia) essential oil repels lone mites and black legs. And a 2009 study published in the Oxford Journal of Medical Entomology found that a compound found in peppermint oil repels black-legged ticks.
In a 2003 Swedish study, citronella, clove, and marigold oils repel castor mites (European ticks, also known as sheep ticks). and lavender and eucalyptus oils repel the same type of tick in a 2016 study by researchers in the Czech Republic.
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Oil of lemon eucalyptus has also been shown to be effective at repelling ticks, especially black-legged ticks, Lubelczyk said. This natural ingredient has been tested in many studies and is now commonly found in natural tick repellents.
Encouraged by this research on different plant oils, some companies have combined different plant oils to create natural tick repellants that can be applied to skin, clothes and grass. Common ingredients include garlic oil and a blend of rosemary, lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, thyme, and geraniol essential oils. But unlike synthetic pesticides, these natural repellents are not regulated or regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“The problem with natural sprays is that most of them don’t work, unfortunately,” Stafford said. “There’s no need to test efficacy, so companies can just release these [products]. And the real problem is that you often don’t know exactly what you have. What’s the source of your plant? What kind of plant does the oil come from? How is it released?
Currently, the only natural tick repellent compound registered by the EPA is 2-undecanone, a compound found in the wild tomato plant. In addition, the EPA is currently considering registration of nootkatone, a compound found in the essential oils of Alaskan yellow cedar, some plants and citrus fruits, as an effective tick repellant.
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“There are two large projects here in Connecticut and New Jersey with a CDC grant that are testing nootkatone for tick control,” Stafford said. “It’s very variable, so that’s the other problem with these [drug] combinations — even if it works, you put it in and it’s gone in a day or two.”
“It’s going to take a lot of work and money to make a product that’s going to be sprayed,” he added. “Words matter.”
If you go beyond plants, there is an EPA-registered fungus called Metarhizium brunneum (formerly Metarhizium anisopliae) that has been used in lawns and gardens to kill blacklegged mites. This fungus grows naturally in soil worldwide and is commercially available as the pesticide Met25.
“Not only is it organic because it has petroleum distillate as a carrier to keep the grains suspended,” Stafford said, “but it’s a natural way to do it.”
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Free-range chickens and other domesticated birds such as chickens and turkeys naturally eat ticks and other lawn insects, but whether this can significantly affect tick numbers in an area has been debated.
“Very little is known about birds as tick predators, and reports are often based on anecdotal and anecdotal reports,” according to a 1996 South African study on chickens as tick predators.
The study found 461 mites (representing four different species) in the cultures and stomachs of 19 chickens over a nine-week period. These chickens were allowed to graze freely for a limited time on a cattle farm in Botshabelo, South Africa. About 20 percent of the ticks found were eaten, and the researchers observed the chickens removing the ticks from the cattle.
However, much is still unknown about how much of an impact chickens can have on tick populations, especially if they only forage for these tiny insects on plants.
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“There hasn’t been a lot of work done on this [topic],” Stafford said, “but given the limited data available, it hasn’t had that big of an impact.”
No matter how much effort you put into tick control, it’s unrealistic to think you’ll get rid of ticks from your property, says Stafford. — There is no silver bullet.
That’s why it’s important to stay alert when you’re outdoors, even if you’re in a tick-infested area. There are many natural strategies to protect yourself. One of the most common ways to protect your skin from ticks is to wear long pants tucked into socks. This won’t win you any fashion contests, but it can keep ticks from finding your skin and biting. This will make them crawl
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