Your loyal canine companion or your fuzzy tabby can all be targeted by ticks. Ticks are arachnids that suck the blood of animals and sometimes people. The problem here is that these creatures aren’t just bloodsuckers. When they bite, they can also transmit dangerous viruses and parasites to your pet. So, at the first indication of a tick infestation, you should deal with the problem right away to keep it from worsening. Consider asking your vet about what treatments are available or you can also opt for natural remedies, which will be discussed further below.
Why should you decide on natural treatments for ticks? First of all, natural options are more Earth-friendly, and so these are less toxic to the environment. Plus, natural remedies are safer for your wellbeing and the health of your pet as such methods reduce exposure to stronger and more harmful chemicals.
So, what are some natural remedies for ticks that are plaguing your house pets? Here are some examples.
1. Essential Oils
Essential oils are aromatic substances derived from the flower, bark, stem or leaves of plants or trees. There are several kinds of oils that you can use to repel ticks. Citrus scents, including lemon, orange or lemongrass, as well as tea tree, juniper, oregano, thyme, and rosewood oils are a few examples. You can find different recipes online. Some oils, such as rose geranium oil, can be directly applied on collars. You only need a few drops. Others have to be diluted in carrier oils, like olive oil and sunflower oil, or alcohols, such as vodka. However, ask your vet first before using any type of essential oil on cats since felines are very sensitive to such, especially citrusy oils.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth, which is also called diatomite, is a powdery substance that is often used as filtering material. This can help kill insects with exoskeletons, which are the hard outer structures of certain creatures, such as ants, lice, ticks and fleas. DE sticks onto the outer layer of insects and then slowly scrapes these away. Once the exoskeleton is damaged, the insect becomes dehydrated or injured, and it will eventually die. For tick and flea control, food-grade DE can be dusted onto your pet’s coat. It is alright for animals to ingest DE as this is non-toxic and it can even help get rid of worms in an animal’s GI tract. To prevent further infestation, apply DE onto your pet’s bedding too.
3. Citrus Fruits
Just cut an orange or lemon in half and then rub this onto your pet’s fur. Orange peels are also popular options. The citrusy odor repels both ticks and fleas. Rubbing fresh fruit on your cat is fine, but since felines generally dislike citrus scents, you’ll be making it very unhappy. Also, remember that essential oils and fruit juices are very dissimilar. So, don’t rub orange oil on your pet’s fur, especially if you have a cat, because, as mentioned earlier, felines are very sensitive to strong oils.
- Mr. T in DC. “Havre de Grace Dog Greeting”. April 3, 2010. Online image. Flickr. July 2, 2013.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Claire Brent is a freelancer who likes to blog about pests and how these affect households. If you are interested to learn more about pest control, she suggests that you visit http://www.preventivepestcontrol.com/locations/new-mexico/rio-rancho/ for more details.