Lily has already had Lyme Disease once. And since Massachusetts is a high risk state for Lyme Disease, you can bet your sweet bippy we were concerned about Lily spending all day outside hunting through the brush for chipmunks and mice (she still hasn’t gotten the hang of rabbits).
I lost faith in topical chemicals after Lily got Lyme Disease. After all, what good is a chemical that you put on your dog every month that doesn’t deter ticks, and doesn’t kill them until they’ve been attached for 24 hours? Lyme Disease can be transmitted starting 18-24 hours after a tick bites. So there’s a window of opportunity there, or a chance for the ticks to drop off and make their way to one of the cats, or Seth. Or me. Shudder.
When Lily first started at the farm, we pulled a minimum of 4 ticks off her per day. And that’s just the big ones. I don’t know how many of those poppy-seeded sized ones were on her. On the day we removed 9 ticks, I resorted to drastic measures — if by “drastic measures” you mean “homeopathy.” Yessirree-bob.
I heard about using rose geranium essential oil on dogs for tick deterrent from somewhere on the internet and decided to give it a shot. We had all natural tick deterrent spray from our favorite soap seller. It wasn’t great, to tell you the truth, and LIly would run from the sound of the spray bottle. But it had rose geranium oil in it, and it was in our cupboards, and gosh darn it we would use it.
I began by putting a few drops in between her shoulder blades and above her tail every day before work. The results were immediate: no ticks on Lily. None. Not one for two weeks. Then one day she went for a swim, and I pulled two ticks off her that night. Since then we’re down to about one tick per week or less, usually on days she cools off in the stream by the farm.
I’ve heard that straight essential oil works better than what we’ve got, even if your dog goes in water. I’m assuming it’s because the spray is diluted in water and essential oil is just oil. And since you’re dropping it right on your dog’s sebaceous glands (which then do the work of spreading things around), the glands distribute the oil better than water. Rest assured we’ll be switching to the essential oil once our supply of tick spray runs out.
I’m no expert, but I can tell you that the math here is amazing. Essential oil = very few to no ticks. And this is after 6 weeks or so. So thank you very much internet, we’ll take your essential oil and use it well.