One of the (only) downsides of the warmer weather we’ve been enjoying is the number of ticks has increased. Zelda, in particular, is a tick magnet. It’s not unusual for me to pick seven or eight ticks off her during grooming, sometimes more. She reacts quite badly to the tick bites and I can usually see the swollen area around the bites from a distance. And, of course, they follow me home, too. With Lyme disease a real problem in New England, keeping them off her (and me) is a priority.
I tried all kinds of topical sprays and nothing worked. Every day she was covered with those nasty creatures. Freedom and Curly get some ticks, but not to the same extent Zelda does.
I’ve read that feeding garlic can help repel ticks, so I thought I’d give it a try. I fed Zelda the loading dose of Manna Pro Nature’s Force Bug Clear. Within days the number of ticks had diminished to maybe two or three a day. Sometimes I couldn’t find any. I thought how much more comfortable she must feel. The container says it’s highly palatable. Zelda certainly didn’t turn her nose up at it and Freedom ate it without complaint as well.
Then, it got cold. Usually, the ticks disappear once the weather shifts, so I stopped feeding the garlic supplement. Then the weather warmed up. Within days, the ticks had returned. Today I found about eight ticks. I kind of lost count. Based on my anecdotal experience, I’m going to say that garlic does repel ticks.
One of the questions about feeding garlic is whether or not it’s safe. Garlic, fed in high doses, can cause anemia. So, if you decide to try it, just stay within the recommended limits.
Do you deal with ticks? What have you found to be an effective defense?