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"The Ultimate Guide to Tick Prevention for Your Pets and Family: What You Need to Know"

The best way to avoid being infected with Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by a ticks.

General Tips

Ticks are generally found in tall gras or leaf litter, typically not more than 3 feet off of the ground. Avoid walking through these areas. When out enjoying nature, walk in the middle of trails, avoiding the brush next to the trail and wearing light colors can make it easier to spot the dark-colored ticks before they bite.

Pictured right is a Lone Star Tick. This was removed from Evey's dog the summer of 2021. The tick bite occured in her backyard, in Oshkosh, WI (clearly not Texas).


Ticks live in shady and moist areas usually around ground level. They will generally cling to tall grass and low shrubs and are ready to jump off these locations onto their next prey. Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns. Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.


Lawn Options

Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked. I know that it is an unpopular opinion, but do NOT participate in No Mow May. Long grasses and bushland provide the IDEAL environment for ticks. Ticks prefer to live in shady, humid, overgrown areas, especially tall grass and overgrown vegetation. Black-legged ticks are not usually found in open, sunny, manicured areas, such as mowed lawns. Ticks are sensitive to dry conditions so they gravitate to tall grass that takes longer to dry completely and that can shade them from the harsh sun. Overgrown grass also acts as a safe space for the ticks. So not mowing your lawn in May, is just an open invitation for ticks to move on in.


If ticks are numerous, we typically suggest treating with Wondercide; while not completely perfect, is still a better option. The Flea & Tick Spray for Yard and garden covers up to 5,000 sq ft. This ready-to-use yard spray is proven to work against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and even more bugs, while the residue is safe for beneficials like bees and butterflies. It's a smart, convenient choice powered by plants and is ready to use. Just attach and hose, spray, and let the play time continue. No dry time needed!


Another excellent tick treatment for the yard is diatomaceous earth (DE).

  • It's a powdered form of diatoms and probably one of the more potent natural remedies pests fear. If you plan to use this around your home, don't worry. It's entirely safe for kids, pets, and adults. When ticks come in contact with it, they will become dehydrated immediately. That’s a death sentence for ticks because it kills them within a few hours.

  • DE provides a safe and natural option that can be used inside your home, directly on pets and outdoors in the yard. 

  • Use a quality food grade DE (not industrial grade) which can be sprinkled on your pet’s bedding, as well as carpets, furniture, and anywhere else your pet spends a lot of time. 

  • Leave the DE dust down for about 24 hours and then vacuum. 

  • You can also apply DE directly into your pet hair coat and skin, but completely avoid their face, eyes, nose and mouth. It may be ideal to bathe your pet about 24 hours later too, because DE can potentially dry out their skin as well.

 

Permethrin

Consider pretreating clothing with permethrin. This is one of the most effective ways to avoid being bitten. Permethrin is an insecticide and kills ticks on contact. Treated clothing is effective for 2 to 6 weeks and lasts through multiple washings. There are certain companies that pre-treat with permethrin - one that is very popular is Insect Shield. They even have options for pets! Permethrin can also used to make tick tubes (see below!).


 

Tick Prevention For Pets

Pets should also be treated and checked appropriately. Some of our favorite prevention measures for pets include amber tick collars, Earth Animal Flea and Tick Prevention, Insect Shield gaiters and shirts, as well as diatomaceous earth applied to pets bedding as above.



DIY Flea and Tick Prevention Spray for Dogs

One option (offered by Dr. Karen Becker) for a home-made flea & tick repellent spray for DOGS includes: 

  • 8 oz clean water 

  • 4 oz organic raw apple cider vinegar 

  • 10 drops Neem oil

  • 10 drops Catnip oil 

  • 5 drops of one of the following choices of EOs: lemon, lemongrass, eucalyptus or geranium

Add all the ingredients to a large spray bottle and shake well. Spray your pup before heading out, paying special attention to the legs, belly, and neck.


 

Do Tick Checks!

When returning home from a hike, or coming in from working in the garden, change clothing immediately. Put clothing worn out doors in the dryer on high; the high heat will kill the ticks. Wet clothing should dried for an hour.


DO tick checks!! It is important to perform frequent and careful tick check during and after potential exposure to ticks/their habitats. This applies to pets too.


Check your entire body, especially:

  • head and hair.

  • in and around the ears.

  • under the arms.

  • around the chest.

  • back (use a mirror or ask for help)

  • waist.

  • belly button.

  • around the groin.

 

Essential Oils

What about essential oils for tick prevention? Trials suggest that nootkatone (a component of the oil in grapefruit) and carvacrol (present in the essential oil of oregano, thyme, pepperwort, and wild bergamot) have shown significant repellency against nymphal deer ticks in the laboratory, and also may have considerable potential as clothing repellents for both deer ticks and lone star ticks. Nootkatone was the most effective against repelling both species of ticks.


 

Tick Tubes

Tick Tubes are another option to place around your yard. Mice are tick carriers. Permethrin is a natural pesticide made from chrysanthemums, and it's highly effective against ticks. Mice LOVE to use these cotton balls to build their nests. The permethrin is not harmful to the mice, but is deadly to the ticks. These t4end to go quickly so the cotton balls won’t last long. Warning: NOT dog/pet friendly so advise not putting these in places where your pets can get to them. You can purchase them pre-made or you can make or own with items you likely have sitting around at home.


DIY Tick Tubes

  1. Gather supplies = cotton balls, toilet paper tube (PVC pipe works well too), and permethrin

  2. Spray the cotton balls with permethrin and let dry *make sure to do this outdoors

  3. Stuff the tubes with cotton balls

  4. Place out doors scattered in your yard or outdoor space



 

Tick Preparedness and Prevention Kits!

Avaliable for purchase at Green Medicine of Wisconsin

(1) Bottle of Permethrin Spray for clothing and shoes

(1) Bottle of Picaridin Spray for use on skin

(1) Package of 2 Tick Twisters for Tick Removal

(1) Tick Identification Tool

(1) Tick Collection Tube for sending Tick for testing

(1) Tube of Silver gel for use on the site of the bite

(1) Natural Tick Repellent Recipe

(1) Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe

Additional Handouts and educational materials


 

Bug Bouncer

Bug bouncer by Des Bio is for the temporary relief of symptoms due to insect bites such as skin irritation, redness, swelling, and itching. Mosquitos, ticks, and other pests can sometimes keep you from


enjoying the outdoors to the fullest. Though typical spray repellants keep the bugs away, they can be a toxic blend of chemicals that you don’t want to put on you or your family.


Bug Bouncer is a safe, all natural homeopathic insect repellant. Bug Bouncer includes the repelling properties of the Delphenium plant (Staphysagria), which repels mosquitos naturally and tricks bugs into thinking you are a Delphenium flower so they stay away!

 

When bug bites do occur, Bug Bouncer relieves symptoms such as swelling, burning, and itching with a blend of time-tested homeopathic ingredients.


 

For more information on any of the topics discussed above please feel free to reach out! You may call us at 920-651-3600


If you are interested in any of the products described in this blog, most are linked above. Some of the items are available for purchase in her Green medicine store, please clinic the link below!


Store access code: green1259


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