Home Remedies To Prevent Ticks On Dogs – In many parts of the country, sickly mites are a major concern, a problem serious enough to prompt some people to spray their lawns with insecticide and chemically treat their clothing outdoors. However, many people oppose the introduction of synthetic chemicals into the environment, even to combat particularly dangerous pests.
For the past 20 years or so, this conundrum has led scientists around the world to find natural ways to rid property and people of ticks, with some degree of success.
Home Remedies To Prevent Ticks On Dogs
Before engaging in battle, “you must know your enemy,” said Sun Tzu, a Chinese philosopher and military general. This is especially important when dealing with ticks, which have significant 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 tick, seek out or “seek” a host by perching on vegetation and waiting for the host to pass by. It then drives by grabbing the fur, hair or clothing of an animal (or human) with its forelimbs.
“It’s what we call an ambush general,” said Kirby Stafford, chief scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and state entomologist.
Ticks also use plants to protect them from the sun, which can dry them out. Black-legged ticks in particular are susceptible to desiccation, Stafford said.
For this reason, mowing your lawn can reduce the number of mites you may see in your home. Short grass does not provide enough shelter for some species of ticks to survive. Raking dead leaves, cutting brush and pruning trees can help reduce some types of ticks in your home.
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“What we found with our recent study is that leaf litter is critical to the survival of blacklegged ticks,” said Chuck Lubelczyk, a field biologist in the Lyme and Vector-borne Disease Laboratory at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute. . “If you remove the leaves from the garden and dry them, they are much less inviting for black ticks.”
“The whole idea is to reduce the suitability of the immediate habitat around the house for ticks,” Stafford said. “It won’t eliminate it completely, but it will reduce the number.”
In a study conducted at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, approximately 67% of the ticks sampled were found in dense forested areas, 22% were found in unmanaged transitional habitats between forested and open spaces, and 9% in ornamental vegetation. , 2 per cent. Found on the lawn. Then, within the lawn, most ticks (82%) were located within 3 m of the lawn perimeter, particularly along woods, stone walls and ornamental plants. The study also found more ticks in shady areas of the lawn.
Given these numbers, another common method of tick control is to install three-foot-wide gravel or rubber mulch between lawn and wooded areas, around swing sets and seating. Open to the sun, this barrier prevents the migration of ticks.
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Unfortunately, some species of ticks, such as the Lonestar tick, can tolerate drier conditions, so they may not be easily deterred by a lack of shelter, according to the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center. In addition, solitary mites actively hunt their hosts, moving in response to carbon dioxide and movement.
“It’s a very aggressive tick that’s more of a hunter strategy,” Stafford said. He added that more research is being done on how to deal with these particularly tough ticks.
Ticks love to attach themselves to humans, but they also happily feed on the blood of many other animals. For example, black-legged ticks are also called deer ticks because they often eat deer.
So, one way to reduce the number of ticks on your property is to fence off high-use outdoor areas to keep out certain tick-carrying animals, such as deer. Another option is to plant deer-resistant plants such as daffodils, lavender, mint, asters and marigolds. These plants don’t repel deer, but they don’t attract them either.
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Also, consider removing bird trays during tick season, as birds can carry ticks, as can rodents such as mice and squirrels. For this reason, it is also important to clean up trash and anything else that could attract these animals to your property.
Much scientific research has been done in recent years to find plant substances that repel and kill mites.
For example, mulberry (Lindera melissifolia) essential oil was found to repel lone ticks and blacklegs in a 2011 study conducted by researchers in the US, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. And a 2009 study published in the Oxford “Journal of Medical Entomology” found that compounds derived from catnip oil repelled black mites.
Citronella, clove, and lily of the valley oils repelled castor mites (European mites, also known as sheep mites) in a 2003 Swedish study. In a 2016 study by Czech researchers, lavender and eucalyptus oils repelled the same ticks.
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Lemon eucalyptus oil has also been shown to be effective in repelling ticks, especially black-legged ticks. Lubelczyk said. This natural ingredient has been tested in several studies and is now often found in natural tick repellants.
Based on this research into different plant oils, many companies have combined them to create natural mite repellents for skin, clothing and lawn. Common ingredients include garlic oil and a blend of rosemary, lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, thyme, and geraniol essential oils. However, unlike synthetic insecticides, these natural repellents are not regulated or tested in the United States. Environmental Protection Agency.
“The problem with natural spray products is that, unfortunately, most products don’t work,” says Stafford. “There is no potency test requirement, so companies can launch these [products]. And the real problem is often they don’t know exactly what they have. What is the plant source? What plant species do the oils come from? Are they? How can I extract it?”
Currently, the only natural mite repellent compound registered with the EPA is 2-undecanone, a compound derived from wild tomato plants. In addition, nootkatone, a compound derived from the essential oil of Alaskan yellow cedar, certain herbs, and citrus fruits, is currently under consideration by the EPA for registration as an effective tick repellent.
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“Here in Connecticut and New Jersey, there are two large CDC-funded projects evaluating nootkatone for tick control,” Stafford said. “That’s another problem with these [herbal] compounds because they’re very volatile. Even if it works, you use it and it’s gone in a day or two.”
“It will take a lot of effort and money to develop a sprayable product,” he added. “The wording is important.”
Moving out of the plant kingdom is the EPA-registered fungus Metarhizium brunneum (formerly Metarhizium anisopliae), which has been used in lawns and gardens to kill blacklegged mites. This fungus grows naturally in soils worldwide and is marketed as a bioinsecticide called Met25.
“It’s not technically purely organic because it contains some petroleum distillate as a carrier to keep the spores suspended, but it’s definitely a more natural way,” says Stafford.
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Free-range chickens and other poultry such as guinea fowl and turkeys naturally eat ticks and other lawn pests, but whether this can have a significant impact on the number of ticks on a property is debatable.
According to a 1996 South African study of chickens, which are tick predators, “relatively little is known about birds, which are tick predators, and reports are often based on isolated observations and non-quantitative reports.”
A total of 461 mites (representing 4 species) were recovered from the cultures and stomachs of 19 chickens over a 9-week period for the study. These chickens were free-range for a limited time on a livestock farm in Botshabelo, South Africa. About 20% of the ticks recovered were submerged, and the researchers observed chickens actually removing ticks from cows.
However, much is still unknown about how much poultry can affect mite populations, especially if you only find these tiny pests on vegetation.
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“There hasn’t been a lot of work done [on the issue], but the data is limited, so it hasn’t had a big impact,” Stafford said.
No matter how much effort is put into tick control, it’s unrealistic to think you’ll get rid of ticks completely, Stafford said. “There are no silver bullets.”
That’s why it’s important to be vigilant when you’re outside, even in tick-controlled areas. There are several natural self-care techniques. One of the most practiced techniques is to tuck long pants into socks to protect the skin from ticks. This won’t win the fashion contest, but it may delay the tick from finding your skin and biting. Make it crawl.
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