Why Are Ticks a Problem for Dogs & Cats?
As conscientious pet parents, you know that time outside is tick time for our pets. Ticks are known to carry a number of pathogens and their bites can become easily infected, especially if the tick is removed inappropriately.
Unfortunately, research is showing that these blood sucking parasites are only getting worse. Multiple factors are leading to larger, hungrier, and more dangerous tick populations.
Thankfully, knowing the facts, understanding the side effects of some treatments, and utilizing holistic tick repellent alternatives will help support your pets during tick season and, most importantly, keep them safe!
Why are the tick populations exploding?
Various factors are contributing to an explosion in tick populations; especially populations further north. The major problems are:
Climate Change & Warmer Winters
With warmer winters, ticks are able to reproduce more and survive longer. Normally, long, deep freezes would help keep ticks at bay, but since long cold snaps aren’t as common, populations are thriving.
Suburbanization brings together people, pets, wildlife, and ticks. Ticks are opportunistic and willing to feed on anything that crosses their path. And with humans and their pets advancing on wildlife’s terrain (and wildlife becoming more comfortable with people around), this path crossing is becoming much more common.
Increased Deer Populations
We’ve all seen deer feasting in our backyards and parks. Unfortunately, they have plenty of ticks feasting on them. This means ticks are finding plenty of blood to help them feed, survive, and reproduce.
Migratory Bird Nesting & Patterns
Migratory birds carry ticks to new areas. Ticks are no strangers to air travel, and with houses butting up against plenty of migratory birds’ nests, ticks are finding it easier to find one way tickets to your backyard.
(Not So) Fun Facts About Ticks
Sun Tzu famously said, “If you do not know your enemies… you will be imperiled in every single battle.” So before we go to war with ticks, let’s get a couple things straight:
- Ticks are small arachnids with 8 legs; making them close relatives to spiders and scorpions.
- There are 2 families of ticks found in North America, Ixodidae (hard ticks) & Argasidae (soft ticks).
- There are over 800 species of hard & soft ticks in North America.
- A female tick can lay between 300 and 3,000 eggs over the course of her life.
Fighting Ticks Effectively
It’s no secret that conventional, pesticide based tick prevention for pets can have side effects. The good news is, there are a number of natural tick solutions that are gentle on your pet, but effective at repelling ticks.
Flea & Tick Tag
Using your pet’s own bio-energy, this tag works synergistically to repel not only ticks, but pests like fleas and mosquitoes as well.
Natural Flea & Tick Collar
Harnessing the proven power of geraniol (an extract of geraniums) and citronella, this collar smells sweet to humans and their pets, but terrible to pests.
Cedar Based Yard & Home Sprays
Made with cedar oil, these sprays are most effective against fleas, but has been shown to work as a repellant for ticks as well.
Natural, gentle squeeze-ons use geraniol. They also include peppermint and soothing almond oil.
Flea & Tick Wipes
Featuring gentle essential oils, easy to apply wipes not only clean your pet, but also repel ticks, fleas and even mosquitoes. Plus, they offer the added benefit of closely examining your pet to see if any ticks have decided to hitch a ride.