I had a brief discussion with a friend yesterday concerning ticks. She was kind enough to alert me to a report from her husband’s doctor concerning the rise of Lyme’s Disease and Lyme’s Disease-carry ticks and that upland hunters need to be more careful than ever in preventing a tick bite both on themselves and their dogs.
I’ve done a small amount of research into this but realized that I had better do much more. I hadn’t had to worry about it in previous years as there didn’t seem to be a problem in the northwoods. PA is another story, but not in the far north–or so I thought.
I’ve been very fortunate in evading them with repellents and tick collars up until now. But because of an eye-opening event in my life—my 22-year old daughter’s diagnosis of cancer—I have become probably somewhat fanatical about a lot of things. The first of which is reading any material I can get my hands on. The second is that because I am convinced that pesticides, insecticides, preservatives, etc., have very much to do with many of our health problems today, including cancer, I have vowed to learn all I can and use as many organic and natural (chemical-free) products as I possibly can. Nothing processed, if I can help it, and anything organic.
Now, as I said, I am new to this and probably know just enough to be dangerous. This is a quite an undertaking and I have to undo my lifetime of wrong—and more convenient—thinking, habits, etc. I have a very long way to go, but I am trying.
So, here is a new situation to research for me. How do I safely and effectively keep ticks off me and my dogs without using a dangerous (in my new thinking) insecticide? My friend mentioned that there probably isn’t much harm done in using the products for just a few weeks. Okay. But, what if we will be exposed and need to protect ourselves for more along the lines of 5–7 months? That poses a different situation in my eyes. I don’t want to use an insecticide at all on my skin or clothing let alone everyday for 1/2 the year! I really want to become completely pesticide/insecticide free in my home, my person, and for my dogs. Dogs get cancer, too—and at an alarming rate these days. Why do you think that is? Could it possibly be perhaps because our dogs, just like us, are exposed to more and more of these products in our lawns, in the fields, and in the woods where we hunt? And, what about the preservatives used in the processed dog foods? And what about the food sources themselves being sprayed with them?
It is frustrating and alarmingly frightening to me to realize that just about everything we and our pets ingest or touch these days is treated with some sort of chemical (poison). After what I’ve read, it completely turns me inside out, upside down, and flat-out sick. There is barely a smidgen of a person around me that cares to listen to my tangents about it and they are not at all “believers” in this. I won’t buy sugar (it feeds cancer), processed food (but they buy it anyway), and on and on. But, I am going to keep on my quest to live a new-chemical-free, organic life (as much as I can). And, I won’t bother to go into how much they make fun of me for my “green” efforts as well.
So, back to the point, what natural, organic, pesticide/insecticide-free products can I use to ward-off Lyme’s Disease carrying ticks? The products on the market today are flat out dangerous to our dogs and I will not ever use again, if I can help it. The topical applications we put on our dogs puts us at risk also. I want rid of them. I have a case of tick collars I ordered earlier in the spring and am throwing them away (No, I won’t give them to anyone else to poison their dogs, either–and let me tell you they were expensive).
I have been using a wonderful dried-lavender product on the dogs all summer. I haven’t seen a flea, yet and the dogs seem unbothered by any bugs in general. They smell good, too! But, doing a little more research, I know this will not ward off ticks.
So far, I have found promising studies and comments, and testimonials for the use of garlic juice for the dogs. It is given in the food on a daily basis and ticks do not like it. Another benefit is that garlic also rids and prevents worms in dogs and is an anti-fungal agent, kills bacteria internally, strengthens their resistance to infections of all kinds, bolsters the immune system, and more! Garlic is also thought to have anti-cancer properties. You can bet I ordered some today. I also discovered it repels mosquitoes, fleas, and even black flies. Garlic juice does not harm anything other than insects and supposedly it does not smell for long to humans but the insects detect it and stay away. Garlic juice can even be sprayed around your yard and such to keep insects away. You can even mix the garlic juice with soybean oil and it will create a film of oil on standing water that will kill mosquito larvae. It seems it will not harm butterflies or bees and is completely safe for fish, birds, cats, etc., and children.
I, myself, have used garlic many times when I felt illness coming on and it absolutely worked. I use a lot of garlic in cooking and I am now wondering if this has anything to do with the fact that while Scott and I can be hunting together and he will have ticks on him, I don’t. I guess I stink!!!!
I am very optimistic about this and will report my findings. It is recommended to begin with a low “dosage” increasing amounts over a week or two. The dose to be given varies according to the form of garlic being used and I invite you to do your own research on this. I am going to use organic garlic juice for the dogs that can be sprayed on their food. You can also use fresh, chopped garlic, capsules, or powders. Because of the number of dogs I have, I chose the juice. It is recommended for the size of my dogs (21-50lbs) to use “6 sprays” on the food daily. I think I will start with 3 sprays, 3 days a week and increase it from there.
Please note: I encourage you to do your own research on this. There are some situations in which garlic should not be given to dogs, such as those with pre-existing anemic conditions or to puppies under eight weeks of age. Garlic should not be given in large doses. Please research this before starting it on your dog.
Now, I will begin research on what I can use to protect myself, but I am thinking the garlic I eat and capsules I take are doing the trick, already.
I would love to hear from you and your experiences or other suggestions.