Thursday, May 30, 2013

Flea & Tick Control

      As a breeder and pet owner, I do have concerns with excessive chemical use in our dogs.  However, sometime simply bathing and/or spraying may not be sufficient and a monthly treatment for flea and tick control is required.  Mastiffs and other Giant breeds dogs are large by weight but may not require a "dosage by the pound approach" for this control.  Older dogs and younger puppies may also have increase sensitivity--so discuss this with your vet before using prescription products.

I also have an earlier blog entry--"Safe Organic Pesticides"--  that may provide some valuable information for alternative approaches to control fleas, Ticks, and other pests  inside and outside your home.    It can be found at t

In addition, here are a few homemade "recipes" that pet owners may find helpful-safe non-toxic approaches to controlling pests on your pets and in your home.

Insect Repellent

 Insect repellent spray
Combine in a 16 oz bottle:
15 drops lavender oil
3-4 Tbsp of vanilla extract
1/4 Cup lemon juice. 
Fill bottle with water. 

You can also use any 1 or more of the following to substitute for lavender oil in the above recipe.
                 20-30 drops of Clove Bud Oil
                5-10 drops of Rosemary Oil
                5-10 drops of Lemon Grass Oil
  For babies and young toddlers- just  clove Bud Oil—will not hurt eyes!!

Items needed:
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle

1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)

Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.

Wasps , Bees & Hornet Trap

Take a gallon milk jug and cut an upside down V shape in the side 2/3 way up on the jug. Press the tab in. Pour fruit juice ( I use apple) 1 inch deep into the jug. Put the cap back on the jug and hang. Insects enter through the hole and can't get out.  To attract the hornets--place it within 6-10 feet of a known nest approximately 4-6 feet from the ground.

Please note: This will only attract honey bees if there isn't adequate pollen and water sources for them.

 Flea and Tick Shampoo
1/4 Cup regular blue Dawn dish soap
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Warm Water

Mix all ingredients into a bottle and shake well. Apply on your pet and massage into skin. Be sure to get from the neck to the tip of the tail and paws. Massage soap into your pet’s coat for approximately 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, and then rinse again to make sure you got all the mixture out. Once your pet’s coat is dry, use a fine tooth comb to comb through your animal’s to remove any dead fleas.

Repeat treatment a time or two for really bad infestations.

Flea & Tick Remedy ♥

8 oz apple cider vinegar
4 oz warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix dry ingredients first then slowly add to wet as the vinegar and baking soda will react slightly. Put into spray bottle and spray pets down. Be careful not to get in pets eyes.

Use Borax throughout the house, sprinkle it on the carpets and let sit for a few hours, then vacuum. This should kill all the fleas and ticks in your home and on your pets.

* It is safe for any animal, apple cider vinegar has a shelf life of about 3-5 years so I would assume you'd be fine to store it for a long time, just keep it out of direct sunlight and it shouldn't spoil. As for application, if your pet if flea and tick free then once a week, or after every bath. If they're infested, spray every couple days until infestation is gone, then do maintenance spraying of once a week or after every bath.

* Borax on animals: I wouldn't put borax directly on the animals, it might irritate their skin, but use on the floor is perfectly fine. I've used this combo in the past when I had dogs and cats that were indoor/outdoor. Works great! Also cedar chips in and around pet beds works to repel fleas and ticks.

I also use household laundry detergent for flea control in my dog houses, kennel runs and in my yard.  Simple scatter the soap powder (non-phosphorus, please!!)  and turn on the water sprinklers--or let it rain!!  Liquid  laundry soap will also work--place it in a 5-gallon bucket--add water with a power nozzle and spread  the soap foam around with back of a rack, floor broom or water hose spray.  Repeat the soap treatment in 7-10 days for any new hatched fleas--and repeat once again in 7-10 days.  I have used this approach very successfully in sandy and rocky soils--will not hurt your grass, and is non toxic to pets, animals, and you!!

I hope some of this information maybe helpful.  Enjoy your summer activities with your pet and stay safe!!

Catie C. Arney
KioKee Mastiffs
Hickory, NC

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