It’s Tick Season!

44

One minute, my husband and I were having a perfectly ordinary conversation in the kitchen. In the next moment, I was ripping off my sweatshirt, my T-shirt, and what I had on under that. No, my husband’s words were not seductive and it wasn’t a hot flash. Can you guess?

“Ack! Tick! On my back! Get it! Get it! Get it!”

With all the restrictions on socializing, my only recreation has been taking my dogs for walks – and three times in the past week, I’ve suddenly felt the unmistakable sensation of something crawling on my body where nothing ought to be crawling. The one that made me rip off my clothes in the kitchen was the third one!

That creepy sensation

The first one woke me out of a dead sleep. I had fallen asleep on the couch while watching a late-night movie, and woke up thrashing – a tick was walking across my wrist! Somehow I came wide-awake immediately and managed to precisely grab the insect – a big dog tick – between my fingers. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has ever awakened me so quickly, zero to 60, as fast as that feeling.

The second one was while we were walking on a trail. I felt what I thought was maybe a mosquito on my neck. But when a wave of my hand didn’t stop the feeling of something tiny touching me, my fingers explored and I felt the insect crawling along my hairline. I flung it away from me and immediately regretted the action; it would live another day! Darn it! I could have killed it!

The only solace I have regarding the current infestation, typical for this season in this area, is that I haven’t (yet) discovered a tick that had already embedded itself on my body somewhere. I have pulled a couple off of Otto – who is a tick magnet – and just this morning, removed a teeny deer tick, smaller than the head of a pin, from Woody’s eyelid, where it was almost invisible among his eyelashes (he kept rubbing his eye, which made me investigate further). But so far, my sensitivity to the crawling sensation has kept me safe from a bite.

I’m struggling as I write this to keep myself from investigating an imagined crawling sensation every few minutes. I don’t have a tick on me now – at least, I am pretty sure I don’t – but after every discovery of one of the creepy insects, I suffer from lingering paranoia for days. Ugh, I despise them!

I have been flea-combing the dogs assiduously after our walks, and yet, somehow, ticks are getting brought home and into the house – and onto the sofa and onto me! This is making me wish for some sort of pressurized airlock that the whole family (canine and human) has to pass through in order to get into the house, something powerful enough to blow all loose particles off of us and into a flame chamber. If you’re an engineer, you can patent that puppy for free! Just send me a unit when it goes to market, will you?

What do you do that works best for protecting your family (canine and human) from ticks?

44 COMMENTS

  1. Sadly the only thing that has worked in my area is to avoid shaded woody or tall grassy areas. I spray my fur baby’s legs and underbelly with an EO spray, mist a bandana for her neck and spray her harness with it. I allow her to go potty only in short grass sunny areas or in the crushed rock area outside my door. Thankfully she does not need grass to get her to go! When we walk it is down the middle of the road. Thus far combined with daily tick checks, it has worked. I missed one last April that managed to hide at the base of her ear because I wasn’t t expecting ticks so early. Wont make that mistake again!

  2. Oh Nancy, I feel for you. I wish that I were as sensitive to those creepy crawlies when they get on me. I live in ‘Tick Central’ in northern New Jersey. I have to get as pro-active as you’re being now that the fifth season of the year has arrived. Yes, that would be tick season; the longest season of the year. I’ve found them on me as early as mid February and have pulled one off of me the day after Thanksgiving after checking my bird feeders. Why are they not on the endangered species list like so many of our beloved animals???

  3. I’ve purchased InsectShield clothes for me as well as sending my hiking pants to InsectShield to have InsectShield put permethrin on my favorite hiking wear. Also bought my furry golden retriever Tanner an InsectShield bandana, neck gaiter and sleeveless shirt. He looks crazy hiking in it but better than spending hours picking ticks off of him. The InsectShield coating lasts for 60 or 70 washings. I also spray permethrin on his hiking collar and harness (let dry before using). Sometimes I spray his legs with picardin and wipe it on his ears and head before hiking and give him a bath afterward. I put bug spray on myself too especially my shoes. When Tanner jumps back in the car he lays on an InsectShield car blanket (we’ve had ticks in the past find us in the car later so this hopeful stops that.) We carry a flea comb and a container of alcohol to put ticks in that we see crawling on him – check him at the end of hikes (and during hikes). Also use Nexguard on him monthly for fleas and ticks – but they have to bite him first. Ticks like grassy, bushy areas – not in the sun. They don’t drop on you from trees. Keep your dog from sniffing so much at the edges of trails. It is a battle out there with ticks. YUCK! Sometimes we don’t take him to some preserves here in Florida, too many tick issues. We take him canoeing and kayaking with us more when it gets hot.

  4. I would love to find something that actually WORKS and isn’t poisoning my dog. She has health issues and I’m so scared to give her anything that could cause more issues. We have to give up walking in the woods/hiking when its tick season. None of the “natural” sprays have ever worked well for her.

    • I use Ark Naturals Neem protect spray , available many places online , it keeps fleas and ticks away ! I have been using it for many years and it works very well . It does not remove ticks and fleas but keeps them off of dog. Do not use on cats . It uses all natural ingredients and to my knowledge has no side effects to pets , unless pet is allergic to ingredients. I use once a week year round and reapply if my dog gets wet as it washes off with water . do not get into pet’s eyes or mouth . I hope this helps . RL

  5. I broke down and bought the Seresto collar. We don’t go in the deep woods or underbrush, we stay on trails or short mowed grass, or dirt roads..I flea comb him after we are out, I use the herbal sprays.. NOTHING works. I have never used a chemical protectant on my dog and was steadfastly against it. But the risk of getting a serious infection from a tick was getting to be too much, I would find a random one on him every few weeks that had been there for at least 24 hours.. and this is on a GSP.. a short haired dog where ticks should be easy to spot!! But those deer ticks (in CT) are the size of a dust particle and carry so many nasty diseases.. I will say, he has had zero reaction to the collar and I haven’t seen a tick on him.. please don’t comment if you are going to condemn me for using this, it was not a decision I made lightly.. but those little disgusting creatures are everywhere here and I find there is no offseason any more.

    • I applaud you for doing what is right for your dog and keeping ticks off is good! I have used Seresto in the past and had no issues with it but it is a scary leap to make. My dog just had a tick on him the other day and I may go back to using Seresto for him.

    • I use seresto collars on my dog’s and cat’s for 3 or 4 years now, never have I had a tick problem on any of them and the cats go way into lands we will never know. I believe in this collar as the best of best and so do the vet’s here in NY. Best tick prevention as well as fleas I have ever found, no messy liquids on necks, skin, yuck. Love Seresto.

    • Becky. Tickencounter.org is a great resource.

      Gave me the idea for Insectshield.

      Copied and pasted from their site:

      2. Do ticks drop on you from trees?

      TERC Answer: No! Ticks don’t fly, hop, run, or even move all that quickly. Depending on the life stage and species, they quest for hosts anywhere from ground level to about knee-high on vegetation, and then tend to crawl up to find a place to bite.

      • Ticks don’t “drop” out of trees, but they can very well end up on low hanging branches that allow them to grab onto higher parts of your body if you happen to brush past. I had a tick end up on my scalp after just such an encounter with a low-hanging branch. If you’re touching vegetation – ANY vegetation – it’s best that you check yourself thoroughly afterward.

  6. Everyone has to make the decision on what to use for themselves. I live just outside of the National Park in VA. on 9 acres of woods and long grass. I use Simparica 365 days a year. Have picked dozens of ticks off me (yes, that crawly feeling will wake you out of a sound sleep) but only 2 nymphal, already dead ones off the dog in 6 years. I have made the decision for him and if it is the wrong one, I will have to live with that.
    Kitti

  7. There is no tick “season” in southwestern PA, we have found them all year, every year for a very long time. They love our two shepherds long fur and cling to it every chance they get! After our walk, two days ago, I found FOUR ticks on one leg of my dog. You would’ve thought my house was caving in with the shrieking scream that soon followed. It took my husband and I a half hour of sorting through my dogs long fur on his leg to finally find the last one. They scramble fast and are sneaky in their journey….my Charlie is an angel and laid there letting us search and search. We didn’t even go into the woods, but along the edge, which is now off limits and makes me sad for my two, who love to explore. Now i just anxiously keep them in the middle of the yard, and we have acres to roam around our home but not anymore. I use Nexgard as well on mine, and haven’t found any embedded, but i don’t want them on them at all.
    Good luck to you all with keeping them away, no judgments on what you try, we try what works best for each of us, and what we have available.

  8. I always used natural essential oil and/or cedar sprays, directly on my dogs, on collars, on bandanas. That helped, but I still found ticks on them so daily tick checks were imperative. My girl started having skin issues which my holistic vet and I chalked up to seasonal allergies, but a couple of years ago I started to wonder if it could be the sprays, so I stopped using them and, you guessed it, no skin problems. So I could no longer use the sprays directly on her and just using the sprayed collar & bandana wasn’t enough (we live in NH, LOTS of ticks here). I relented in my all natural mantra and tried the Seresto collar, figuring that at least I could remove it if there were problems and also only have it on during high tick times. I have to say, it really does work! We also stay out of tall grass, deep woods where they live in the leaves, etc as much as possible and have been doing that for years.

  9. We live on 6 acres of wooded property in north Florida with 3 white shepherds. We have trails cut through the woods and it is heaven for all of us. We have grown accustomed to ticks after 15 years living here. We used Seresto collars from the time years ago when we could find nothing else that worked. But I have found in the last 2 years these collars no longer work as they used to. It used to be with the collars that we would find attached ticks dead on our animals. With the last collars purchased (we used Serestos year-round) we have seen live & engorged ticks on our dogs while wearing the collars. I made the decision to stop ordering Seresto. I don’t know what we will do now…considering options and open to suggestions!

    • Ugh. Also LOATHE ticks and just experienced very similar events on my own scalp(it had woken me up but thought it was the strap of my sleep mask) it had imbedded but not fed thank god! Hubby still asleep so I used my tick tool/alcohol and sacrificed a bit of hairline hair in my haste to get the thing off me! Ditto have found a few on Rita, our labradoodle. One sneaky one in her eyebrow, good thing she is blonde or I never would have seen it. I use natural spray but now she hides under the bed as soon as I pick up bottle. Flea comb too, I try to do daily but she has a lot of fur and hates the comb. As soon as I can, I will buy cheap clippers and work on some of that. I scissor groom her but I here is so much. Diatomaceous earth in bed(s), and on her too but not sure ticks affected as much as fleas.
      It’s a problem, even here in north S.F. Bay Area, Sonoma county.

  10. I have always used natural methods but now I live in a country with lots of ticks and lots of Lyme disease. I already have a few autoimmune disorders so the last thing I want is Lyme! I did some research, talked with some friends and finally decided to use a Seresto collar. So far I’m happy.

  11. I live on 5 acres of woods in Florida, my German Shepherd and my 3 house cats wear Seresto collars. No Fleas and only the occasional tick when I’m petting/checking and they are usually dead. Everyone in Florida has fleas, Not Me. I Love Seresto.

  12. I make a spray with geranium/lemon eucalyptus/neem oil/ACV/water for my dog and also spray my shoes with it when we go for walks. I do avoid tall grass/brush/leaves if possible. While its not 100% effective neither are the chemicals that vets recommend. Sadly ticks have become a severe menace and danger 🙁 I do place lime powder (from home depot etc) around perimeter of my yard (outside the fence).

  13. I work for a vet’s office and in the last couple of years found that at least some of the Seresto collar complaints were from owners who had bought them off the internet. When the contacted the company it was discovered that the collars were apparently forgeries, as they did not have the lot stamp on the collar itself that the company had moved to. These were shipped in Seresto branded canisters. Can’t say that this happened to those who had product failure, however…..