Nasty creepy crawly critters can ruin a vacation, cause sleepless nights, and turn your home into a pest-be-gone war zone: it’s the time of year pet parents dread the most: Flea and tick season . Thankfully, Fidose of Reality has 8 hacks to prevent dog fleas and ticks:
Shake It Off
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE): I carry this stuff around in my dog’s “bag of stuff” on day trips and more. I will never again put anything on my dog that I would not personally wear myself. So for all those topical spot on’s that require humans to don a pair of gloves first, no thanks. I sprinkle this safe alternative to package chemicals on Dexter before trekking to the park, on walks or into woodsy areas. These fossilized remains of microscopic shells act as shards of glass to winged critters. I purchased a salt shaker from a local retailer and sprinkle this onto my hand and into his coat.
Did you know that farmers add it to their grain so insects do not invade them? They also feed it to their livestock to prevent internal worms.
Bonus hack: This is a good bedbug deterrent, so I like traveling with it, too. Slice those suckers before they get to you (better yet, know how to do a bedbug room check)
A word of caution: Don’t use it around the face or eyes, as it should not be inhaled into the lungs: by you or Fido. I use this daily during the height of flea and tick season.
Blot it On
I adore easy to carry, won’t soon be forgotten type products. Repel black flies (gnats), ticks, fleas and mosquitoes with Liquid Net Flea and Tick wipes. Containing deterrents such as lemon grass, citronella oil and cedarwood, I use this when we are going to be any heavily wood areas in addition to the DE. I also use it on myself. As a mosquito magnet, I’ve found the season’s blood suckers keep away. The scent is a bit strong at first, but I’ve found it dissipates after a short time. It comes in a sprays upside bottle if you prefer a spray type application or in wipes for areas like the top of the head and the ears.
The Taxi Ride You Want to Miss
Stop “tick taxis” in their tracks. Ticks can cling onto dogs and then hitch a ride into your home. Closely examine dogs before allowing them inside after a walk. Areas of interest include ears, face, eyelids, muzzle and paws.
Ticks are generally easier to remove if you put a small dab of liquid dish soap on them before removing. My weapon of choice to say buh bye to ticks is the Tick Key. I keep one on my keyring, one in Dexter’s Doodie Pack and one in my pocket when we go for walks. Hallejuah I had this when I visited the beach last summer. Though protected with the above products, we did have a tick incident – right on my baby boy’s head. Right where I didn’t apply any product. Bleaccch. Using natural forward leverage to remove the entire tick, this is the kind of product that pays for itself the first time you use it. Nicely priced for toting on a keyring, too
Water, Water Everywhere
I have tried this on vacation when we rented a cabin ages ago. Fill a small bowl with some soapy water and put it out overnight. Shine a lamp over the bowl of water (a table lamp). Fleas are supposedly drawn to the heat and will jump towards it, thus meeting their demise in a bowl of soapy water. Be sure other light sources are off. Change the water daily. If this happens while on vacation, don’t stay in that room.
Bonus hack: Ask if the pet-friendly property you are staying at has been checked for fleas/ticks prior to making reservations and how. Nothing ruins a vacation like a flea-filled room especially if your dog entered flea-less.
Tag: You’re It
I am not easily sold on a little metal tag that claims to ward off pests. Using state of the art holistic technology, the EasyDefense Tag from Only Natural Pet utilizes your pet’s own energy to create a natural barrier to pests. No chemicals, pesticides, or odors, and it easily slides onto your dog’s collar. Here’s what the folks at ONP say in terms of how it works and why it works: The EasyDefense tag is treated with a bio-energetic process and sealed in an electro-magnetic shielded envelope. When opened and placed on your pet, it uses your pet’s own inherent energy to send out frequencies that repel pests.
I used it in conjunction with hack #6 and we did not have one flea or tick problem for the entire 2014 spring-summer-fall seasons.
The process operates with quantum mechanic’s refined frequencies, and is somewhat similar to the basic principles of homeopathy. (It does not use traditional energy forms like electrical, chemical, thermal, magnetic, or radioactive.) Your dog needs to wear it on his or her collar to build up the defense shield and if you remove his or her collar, it is suggested the collar with tag remains nearby. A bit pricier than other treatments, but I am of the ilk of pay now or pay later. Judge for yourself and give it a try here: Only Natural Pet Easy Defense Tag.
Fret Free Flea Hack
I will never again use a chemical-based spot on for my dogs for a host of reasons, all of which are safety issues that involve my dog’s health and overall well being.
Because I live in a densely populated with ticks and fleas area, I didn’t want to risk using the Defense tag alone, so last year we tried the Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Squeeze-On. This product contains NO invasive chemicals. BecauseI no longer use products on my dog I wouldn’t first use on myself, this herbal defense fits the bill.
Active Ingredients are Geraniol 0.93% and Peppermint oil 0.1%. Inert Ingredients: Almond oil 98.97%. According to the folks at ONP, geraniol is 400% more effective than citronella at repelling fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, which will help protect your dog from serious health issues. It is a bit oily and goes on like a typical between the shoulder blades topical. I recommend putting an old sheet or two down on furniture for the first day or two where your dog sleeps or rests. It is a pleasant scent and by day three, on our furry Cocker Spaniel the oiliness disappears. Three vials costs under $20 and we are very happy with the product thus far. Here’s the link: Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Squeeze On
No matter how much time you spend preventing and treating the home and dog of fleas, they will get back in if you haven’t treated your yard and other surrounding areas. Use cedar wood type chips in areas outside to prevent fleas. Mow your lawn regularly to prevent long blades of grass for fleas to hide in.
Chemicals that are not pet friendly can harm dogs and seep into the bloodstream by way of paws or dogs who lick their paws. Do not use toxic variations.
We use food grade diatomaceous earth that is labeled for home and garden use. Keep pets indoors during the application process and be sure you wear a mask when sprinkling the lawn. Fleas hide in dark, dank places so be sure to get under outdoor furniture, decks, and any lattice. Don’t inhale the dust and wait a bit before allowing dogs outdoors. It is safe to walk on for people and pets but not for winged pests.
Good Protection Makes Good Neighbors
What if your neighbor has a dog with fleas? What if you have no idea if your neighbor’s dog has fleas and your yards are close to each other?
Cedar chips are a viable and friendly option that won’t cause a “stink,” pun intended. Be careful of using too much of anything, especially essential oils, as any product can be toxic if ingested.
Because flea larvae require moist, shady conditions to survive, make sure leaves are raked and foliage and branches are trimmed. Water your yard frequently (unless there is a ban) to help eliminate larvae.
No matter what kind of treatment you try, always talk to your vet first. Keep in mind that a female fleas lays dozens of eggs every day and can live up to 25 days. Patience, persistence, and safety are keys.
What do you do to keep fleas and ticks away from your dog?
Note: I am not being compensated for any of this information – we just like to share with our readers what works for us.