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 Post subject: Ticks
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:41 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Austin
Is there anything non-toxic to mammals that will kill ticks? Anything that will repel them? I've searched the forum and saw several recommendations to use beneficial nematodes to control the ticks in the soil. But it's so dry, and the ticks are up in the vegetation now, so I doubt BNs would work.

We just moved our horses to a new pasture, and there are ticks in the trees -- the horses are getting ticks crawling into their ears when they take shelter under the trees. On a couple of the horses, I've been able to pull the ticks out with tweezers. But some of the horses won't let us touch their ears because of the pain. And they are developing bloody sores in their ears from the bites. I'm going to get some tranquilizers later this week, so we can sedate them and clean their ears out properly -- but what can I put in them to heal the sores and repel new ticks? Would tea tree oil work?

Help????

Judith


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:57 pm 
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That is a real bummer for your horses. Can you spray or wipe orange oil on their ears? Would a powdering of DE work?

There are fly masks for head and ears but I always think they look silly.

Also, have you thought about recruiting an army of birds. When we moved to a home in the country we had a tick problem. Soon I started a flock of chickens and ducks. No more ticks. You might attract wild birds to do this by providing bird feed and water.

Also, supplements like DE and garlic in their diet might help even with ticks.

Finally, if you provide alternate shade, the horses might avoid the treed area.

Good luck!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:58 pm 
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That is a real bummer for your horses. Can you spray or wipe orange oil on their ears? Would a powdering of DE work?

There are fly masks for head and ears but I always think they look silly.

Also, have you thought about recruiting an army of birds. When we moved to a home in the country we had a tick problem. Soon I started a flock of chickens and ducks. No more ticks. You might attract wild birds to do this by providing bird feed and water.

Also, supplements like DE and garlic in their diet might help even with ticks.

Finally, if you provide alternate shade, the horses might avoid the treed area.

Good luck!

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 7:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:41 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Austin
Thanks for the suggestions. We have some wild birds (they flock around the stock pond). We regularly feed DE, but not garlic -- I'll try adding that. There is alternate shade, but they have to walk down to the barn, and they prefer staying out in the grass most of the day.

Tea tree oil really does seem to work. I got a small bottle and poured it into a little sprayer (travel-size hairspray :)). For the horses that wouldn't let me touch their ears, I just sprayed the oil in. Not only are the sores slowly healing, but I saw one tick crawl right out of an ear after I had sprayed it, and we haven't seen new ones, which makes me think ticks might not like the oil.

Would orange oil sting the open sores? I've never used it.

Thanks
Judith


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:22 am 
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I have used orange oil on my horses, even around sores made by flies. The horses don't seem to mind. Just make sure it is diluted enough or you may "burn" their skin. I don't use it much anymore because the flies aren't nearly as bad as when we first moved here.

I am glad to learn about your success with the tree oil. I'll file it in my noggin for future problems.

Happy tick hunting!

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


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 Post subject: Tea Tree & Flies
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
Tea tree is great for all types of wounds! I'm glad you tried it. I've used it for a few years now pn myself, my kids and my pets for everything from burns & cuts to insect bites & even spider bites. Glad you thought to use it on the horses. For flies, have you tried the water-filled plastic bag trick? I've seen that used on two horse barnes now and not a fly in sight. You fill up a large ziplock bag with water, usually about halfway to 2/3 full, and hang it about a foot below the top rail of the stall toward the outside of the barn. Darned if it doesn't keep the flies at bay! Also, there is a citronella insect repellant product called Skeeter D'Feeter that has been tested successfully on horses & cows for flies, mosquitoes & such. I know it works on dogs for biting flies but I don't' know if it would work on ticks. Worth a try, I'd say since it repels a lot of insects. It's available at most Lowe's stores around Texas and lots of independent feed stores & such. Hope this info is helpful if you haven't heard of it before.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:41 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Austin
I'll pick up the Skeeter D'Feeter, thanks. We don't have much of a fly problem -- we have a bag of water hung in the barn, with scent attractant, plus I release some natural predators (the name is escaping me right now, they're tiny fly parasites). On the other hand, on 40 acres, there are still some flies -- and they clearly were overjoyed at the sores on the horses' ears from the tick bites :(

The vet said one of the problems was that their ears were drying out, so they were scratching on the trees and breaking the sores open. So I am now alternating between tea tree oil and camphophenique lip balm (the ticks don't seem to like the smell of the camphophenique, either). We're treating their ears every other day, and they all seem to be improving.

Thanks for all the suggestions
Judith


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