I hate to admit it, but in the past, I've caved in and used oral prescription flea and tick treatments for my dogs. And they do work. But something swallowed that's strong enough to keep bugs off for three months cannot be good for their body. This year I've decided to be vigilantly proactive and treat my boy "Bear" both internally and externally with consistent daily natural prevention. In Thailand, people eat A LOT of garlic and the mosquitoes do not bother them. But the tourists get eaten alive - in a BIG way. Garlic powder is sold in pet stores for dogs as an ingestible flea treatment, so I'm adding a small, fresh clove to Bear's food to get it into his system to deter insects. I believe this is cheaper and healthier than the powder, and since fresher, it's most likely more effective. I simply chop it up a little and toss it in the bowl. I also add between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of food grade diatomaceous earth to his food once per day as a parasite cleanse. I mix it with a cup of water, then just pour it over his kibble. Plus, he always gets a chopped hot dog or other cooked meat thanks to my sweet Sadie's picky food habits and her ability to get what she wanted - Bear has her for to thank for training me well!
Every morning we go for a long walk in a wooded area loaded with wildlife and thick vegetation and lots of ticks. Fleas are not an issue for us, but the ticks are problematic. And ticks are tricky. I experimented with diatomaceous earth as that is supposed to cut up the exoskeleton and then they dehydrate. Well - that did nothing to the tick I experimented on. He played dead, frequently giving me hope, but nada. Over 12 hours in the powder and he was still fine. Then I read they don't like aloe, and so experimented with aloe and some essential oils that are effective for repelling insects. I took that same tick and put him on a squirt of it and almost instantly he stopped moving for real.
So, I patiently waited for my next opportunity with a fresh tick to confirm. In the meantime, I had been spraying Bear thoroughly before and after each walk, as well as spraying my boots and lower legs beforehand. Had not seen a tick on him or in the house for over a week until today! On ME (my arm), right after our walk. So, I excitedly put it in a glass cup and gave it a squirt of my new concoction. It immediately lost "balance" and flipped over on its back unable to get right side up. That, in my humble observation, is a huge deal for ticks. They have an uncanny ability to flip themselves over. Not this guy. I thought he died within a minute of direct application. But then I saw a little movement. I left him alone and within a relatively short time (less than an hour, maybe a lot less but I left and did something else) he died.
My conclusion, the tick absolutely did not like the spray. It instantly affected its mobility, and ultimately killed it. The spray is an effective repellent, and if applied directly, will kill ticks. The aroma is nice and remains on the fur for some time but should be reapplied prior to and after each walk. I do not add cedarwood or tea tree or lavender. I select essential oils based on my personal experience, knowledge and nose. ;)
Mary's Botanicals FLEA & TICK NATURAL REPELLENT 16 oz