I just must be a tick magnet! Every time I go outside, I come back in to find at least one on me, and usually 3-4. But I have never seen any on my dogs. All short haired, so it would be easily found, so what gives? Any help for keeping the ticks off? I use insect spray regularly, because I live in bug hell. Biting gnats, deer flies, mosquitos, etc. but the repellant doesn't seem to affect the ticks.
We are in the same situation in Granville County, NC - we live in the woods and are surrounded by NATURE! Mostly this is good, but does present challenges. I don't think anything much deters ticks - any poisons strong enough to do much would not be good to put on yourself. We are struggling with this issue with our small Toy Fox Terrier - I am determined not to poison him just to kill a few ticks, but it is requiring constant multi-daily vigilance to find them before they attach. Same thing for my DH and myself. We are no longer taking our walks in the woods (even on paths) and am removing any piles of leaf litter as they hang out there. I use a repellent spray later in the spring to TRY to deter deer flies (those critters hurt!). I also spray it on my feet and legs to try to deter chiggers. It seems to help with deer flies (as well as just plain running away from them - they will chase you!). But it does not seem to really help to keep chiggers off. Same with ticks. I try to be calm about the ticks, etc. - I know they carry diseases. But riding in a car to the grocery store carries a greater risk of death than a tick. Being mugged in the mall is more likely (I think) than getting sick from a tick. So stay calm and carry on - I have no idea why the ticks are avoiding your dogs and would love to have the answer to that one - check between their toes as well as ears, etc. - ticks like to hide in those toes.
stillwood, you make such a good point about riding in a car, etc....
Happytail I just found this about your tick problem. I too am infested with them even when I walk on the lane. My Choc Lab Quill who passed Feb 1 was like a magnet. In March with lots of snow and -10* temp I found a tick on my Rottie pup. Geesh! The vet's office told me the ticks were so bad last year because the winter was so mild, That was not the case here this year - as I was raking leaves today I found a small patch of ice.
Anyway I have read and tried 1 of these methods - both have proven to be quite successful on humans and dogs. The first one was to take a cotton ball and soak it in dish soap. Rub it on the tick for 10 - 15 sec and apparently the tick will lift right off. I saw that remedy on FB. The one I used in March with Diesel consisted of me coating the tick liberally with vaseline. After a few seconds the tick lifted right off. I think it would have fallen off but I was too anxious to get the thing off of Diesel. An old farmer in the area told me he had been using vaseline for years and it always worked.
Dianne and Diesel
Thanks, I pulled one off me yesterday, and then found one just crawling on me just before dinner tonight.
Years ago my daughter had several ticks digging into her forehead and being quite young myself I had no idea what it was. There was actually a small bit of blood coming down her forehead. I took her down to the old-timers at our now long gone country store. Old Leo reach behind the counter and grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol and cotton balls and put them on them. They fell right off. The only possible preventative thing I can think of to do is to try putting up some bat houses. Not sure if they eat ticks or not but I know they sure help with all the other bugs. They are easy and inexpensive to build. Oh, and years ago my dad would light a match and blow it out and put it to the tick sack if it had already attached and they'd come right off. I personally would not do that to my baby Grace as I've heard the vasoline on the sack will smother them and kill them as well.
The Vaseline took one off pretty easily the other day. But the spot just itches like crazy where they were attached.
Wow wonder why? It must be a reaction of some sort. I heard a home remedy for theitchies last summer and while I have never tried it an old farming couple ( in their late 80's and still milking) down the road use Listerine. They swear by it! Have you tried the Benadryl ointment? Our Debbie would be the best person to comment on that though.
On the subject of ticks - this came onto my facebook page.
SOUTHERN & MIDWEST USA: If you let your cat outdoors there is a NEW, FATAL illness effecting cats who have been bitten by ticks. Please read the article and know the signs!
Aveeno makes a lotion for itchiness that works really well for me. It is kinda pink, and smells mediciny. And I never find them on my dogs, just me and my husband. Go figure.
Happytail, what fun to see where you're posting from! I lived on St. Simon's for a couple of years just after college, and it's still my heart-home, I think.
Do you wear a hat when you're outside? That can help. Tuck a dryer sheet inside to keep the gnats at bay (well, some of them anyway). Long pants are also good protection against both ticks & chiggers, especially if you put a rubber band around the cuff or pull your socks up over the bottom of your pant legs. I quit shaving my legs when i was down there, because there seemed to be nothing chiggers liked better than freshly shaved skin. ugh.
I found a tick on my shoulder a little while ago -- I seem to find them any time I poke around under our willow tree. Now I've got that all-over itchy-crawly sensation!
I found one between my toes the other day. Even with shoes and high top boots on. Now how did he get all the way down to between my toes without me knowing? And now, it itches like crazy!
I bet that tick crawled to your feet from other parts after you took off shoes & socks.
We get ticks on the kitties but thankfully have not found any attached to either of us. I suspect the chickens keeps the population somewhat under control. Of course Guinea fowl are famous for this and we did have them for the first 5-6yrs we were here. But they were too noisy for my DH.
I hate these biting creepy crawlies! Now off to scare myself reading the article Yankee posted for us.
Wanted to add that the CDC website says its best to remove the tick ASAP with tweezers rather than use petroleum jelly & other options. And to shower as soon as you get in from the outdoors as this will both wash off loose ticks and help you inspect yourself for attached ones. They have some other interesting info on prevention (treatments to property/pyrethrum on clothes/ DEET on skin etc)
Don't count on showering to remove ticks (loose ones). In my experience that only results in clean ticks! Those critters are so flat the water just runs over them. It seems to be some rule that when you look each other over, we never see ticks crawling around. They only show up later. I found one today crawling up the door on my sun room - it must have come in on our shoes.
And the ticks here are TINY. You almost don't even see them, and the one on my foot would not come off in the shower. I had to pluck his little biters off with tweezers. And now I have an extremely itchy spot between my toes.
The ticks are really bad here this year. I've seen dozens already, but we back up to woods and have 3 cats that love to "explore".