Non-toxic methods to kill ticks and fleas


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Old 04-30-15, 05:36 PM
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Non-toxic methods to kill ticks and fleas

Is there any non-toxic ways to kill ticks and fleas in the backyard? We have a dog and we don't want those blood suckers on him or us. We will be spraying the yard with beneficial nematodes this weekend. After a few days, we will be spreading diatomaceous earth. I am thinking of spraying with cedar oil but I've read that it is the compound found only in the Alaskan yellow cedar oil that kills ticks successfully. Testing with the red cedar oil shows that it is not successful in killing ticks. Everything on market is the red cedar oil because it is too expensive for the yellow cedar oil. So, what other options are there that is non-toxic?
 
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Old 04-30-15, 08:57 PM
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Diatomaceous earth is a great choice. It is a natural product that is non-toxic to humans and pets, but damages the exoskeleton of fleas and other insects, killing them within a day or two.

Be sure to use food grade diatomaceous earth that is labeled for home and garden use.... not the product labeled for pool use.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 05:15 AM
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Thoughts:

1) Learn as much as you can about tick harborage, specifically the ticks that are native in your area. Through this process you will learn where to focus and use your resources the most efficiently. Our species live on “edges”. They prefer to wait for a host where the shorter grass meets taller plant life. The tick needs to latch onto the body of the host so it will be at least that high up. If the host sleeps in the woods, on the ground like deer and mice then different story.

2) Your dogs and pets need to be protected with a preparation purchased from a vet or a store that has a veterinary license like Petsmart, Tractor Supply, etc. If you don’t do that then you are missing the best and most efficient opportunity to prevent/solve the tick problem.

3) I doubt that DE will work or last an appreciable amount of time when spread on the ground as it will soon blend in with the soil, probably after the first rain. It will still be there, but it won’t be available to the ticks and other insects. The oils, even if they are effective, won’t last long in the sunshine and rain. Are you sure that you can use the oils on grass without killing the grass? Oil and grass do not sound compatible to me.

I’ll think more about this today.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 08:10 AM
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I use Frontline. I've been using it for years and I haven't noticed any side effects or harm. I may find 2 or 3 ticks on my dog/s a year and no fleas at all. They become immune to fleas as they get older, too.
Unless you're in some room infested with fleas, I've never found fleas to bother people, and for the most part, a rare tick, but not any that have the lime disease, IMO.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 12:01 PM
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Contact or visit your county extension agent. They will have knowledge of local ticks and related issues.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 12:14 PM
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As if dealing with Lyme wasn't scary enough, this article showed up today in our local Bangor paper.
Tick-borne Powassan virus on the rise | Journeys Over a Hot Stove
Since that article will disappear at some point, the title is "Tick-borne Powassan virus on the rise" and a search would probably provide similar information.

10% fatality rate, almost instant infection, no prevention, and no treatment.

Since I live in the area they are identifying as a known problem area, I'm not going to be too concerned about how aggressive I get with eradicating ticks.

As a side note, I have twice encountered ticks in my house (come in with dogs) and outside right after a flock of birds have passed through. Both flocks were starlings and my yard was a stop over on their way south, but inviting birds with bird feeders may need some rethinking. No proof but fyi.

Bud
 
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Old 05-01-15, 05:12 PM
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Since I live in the area they are identifying as a known problem area, I'm not going to be too concerned about how aggressive I get with eradicating ticks.
Bud, did you mean to write "Since I [don't] live in the area..." Otherwise, why wouldn't you be concerned? I sure would.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 06:05 PM
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Hi Furd,
The thread is asking for non-toxic solutions, I'm going to use whatever I have to use so I'm not concerned about how aggressive I get. I do have to isolate the area my puppy dogs use and treat it without affecting them, but outside that fenced in area and the rest of the yard and the woods are getting treated heavily. Lyme is out of control around here and now this new Powassan virus it makes it hard to enjoy the outdoors.

Last year an article on our yearly moose hunt said the meat cutters who work right at the tagging stations were wearing full environmental suits when they skinned each moose, just too many ticks. I gave up applying for the moose drawing, not interested any more. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, mice, and birds are all being found loaded with ticks. Snow birds go south for the winter, I may have to reverse that.

Bud
 
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Old 05-01-15, 06:27 PM
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Ah, I understand now, you WILL be aggressive with the use of whatever it takes outside of your defined area.

Sometimes I have trouble understanding the way a sentence is worded.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 06:37 PM
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That's ok, when I get a reply I often have to re-read the whole thread to understand my own replies.

Bud
 
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Old 05-02-15, 03:13 PM
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Bud, Since we got our dog, we have put up a fence, cleared the areas in front of the fence, and cleared about 5 feet behind the fence. The 5 feet behind the fence is used as a barrier for ticks. Our dog got Lyme at 5 months old even though he was on Advantix II. Frontline, Advantix, Advantage, etc are all pesticides. I hate putting them on him and since he got Lyme anyway, I don't trust them either. That is why I want the yard as tick free as possible and inspect him for ticks after going outside. I also found this article about deterring ticks: https://sites.google.com/site/tickbo...ogs/prevention To be At this point, I am willing to use pesticide on the yard.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 04:02 PM
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I have a metal post fence with the wire fencing and this year, any day now, I will remove the fence and drop some 2' x 8' sheets of old osb. I am removing it from an old shed so no cost. But where I have left osb in the corners because it is difficult to mow or trim, it gets soft and blends in with the level of the ground. it provides a weed barrier and gives me an edge to mow and trim to. The grass/weeds that grow under the bottom of the fence provide a nice elevation for the ticks to climb up and wait for my puppies to pass.

From reading, they also indicate it is the puppy urine and poo that attract the ticks. Same in the woods, it is how they find the paths the animals use. Not much I can do about that, potty training is out of the question. But with my flat osb surface I will be able to treat the outer area and not treat the inner area.

I mentioned before that birds maybe transporting ticks into my back yard and I have plenty of squirrels and I'm sure mice. So even with my treated boarder there will be plenty of opportunity for critters to carry them over.

I will heavily spray the woods, 20 to 50 feet away and the lawn up to the fence. If the dogs still get ticks I may have to invest in a lawn vac. My area is not that big and would only take 15 minutes a day. Not sure if that would help, but if I'm going to live here another 20 years I have to get these bugs under control.

Bud
 
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Old 05-03-15, 08:42 AM
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When we put up the fence, I wanted to put something underneath it so that no grass will grow. Unfortunately, we didn't do it and our dog, like all dogs, love to run the fence perimeter. I planned to heavy spray with ivory liquid detergent. I can't DE the area since he loves to sniff there.
 
 

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