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Story: My INDOOR cat[Simon] decided to (I'm assuming) attempt to get at some type of bug on a window screen, and since our rental home doesn't have extremely secure screens, Simon took a fall out of our second story window and out into the suburbs of Northeastern PA. Yes, I was completely freaked out to find my kitty outside, but I'm even MORE freaked out NOW to have found TWO deer ticks on his face. Yes, they were deer ticks, not wood ticks, as the guy in the Tractor Supply store tried to tell me today (because, he says, "you can't see deer ticks, their microscopic.") Luckily, my cat is entirely white, and the speck of dirt with barely-visible-legs that was attached to his chin was fairly easy to see. So was the one on his ear.

Now, while my cat is white, and has short hair on his face, my GSD is most definitely not. I've been a bit panicked all day because there is absolutely NO WAY I could find a deer tick on my 90lb Black and Tan GSD. Forget it. Dog tick, maybe. Deer tick, heck no.

I have been using Vectra on our two dogs last summer and so far this year. Now that I've realized our yard must be horribly infected with deer ticks, for my cat to have picked two up in the matter of an hour or so, I'm thinking it would be wise for me to protect Simon as well, on the chance one of us might track ticks into the house.

Questions: I'm now looking into Frontline spray, as that could be applied to all animals, and might be a bit less expensive(and possibly less harmful?) than separate topical ointments for each animal. Has anyone used this? Good or bad results? As much as I'd love to go with chemical free, I've spent the better part of the day trying to find stuff that will work NOW, not three weeks from now, that's safe for dogs and cats...can't find any.

Also, I'd like to try and get rid of as many in our yard as I can, so what do people recommend? I would love to use chemical-free stuff here, but I'm wary of essential oils since I know those are harmful to cats. I don't want the dogs to track anything in that could harm Simon. So far, peppermint oil, sulfur, and garlic, are the only things I could find that aren't pesticides, but none of them seem to be great options. I know peppermint is harmful to cats, can't find a straight answer on the sulfur, and the only garlic spray I found seems overpriced and has mixed reviews. If the best choice is to go with a pesticide, I will do it. I just hate to think of the side effects it could have on other animals in runoff water etc.

Any advice/personal experience is greatly appreciated!


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I don't use the Frontline spray myself, but my mother uses it on her chihuahuas since it's easier to control the dose, and it ends up being less expensive for her. As for your yard, try to keep it mowed low and a minimum of brush.

I've used Diatomaceous earth in the past, around the foundation of our house, and it worked. I can't use it inside though since my husband has asthma.
 

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It may be easier to give the topical to the cat then the spray. I use the frontline plus topical - also easier than trying to spray the whole dog. One dose does last a month in heavily invested tick areas.
 

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I have been delighted with the results of beneficial nematodes
They need to be in an area where the soil is moist but I have had wonderful results!

Beneficial nematodes control soil dwelling garden and lawn pests

And then DE around the foundation of the house.....
You need to get two of the products to cover the full spectrum of ticks as dog ticks are attacked differently than some of the smaller species of ticks. I posted a link to a university paper on that in another thread....but the folks at Arbico are very helpful.
 
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