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I just moved to a tick-infested land...HELP! How to keep them off my dog?

To make a long story short, my old man labrador and I just moved from a temperate, tick free area to a very humid tick filled habitat.

There is a risk of Lyme disease in the area, so I want to be extra careful about keeping him tick free. The winter here was apparently especially warm this past year, so the ticks are more abundant than usual. He has had his first Lyme vaccine shot already, but still has to have the booster.

I’ve switched his monthly preventative from Frontline (fleas only) to Advantix. This has definitely helped a lot but I am not entirely comfortable with it as I do have cats. The cats do not groom/lick the dog and I do separate them for a few days after application of the Advantix, but I have yet to find any “cat friendly” tick control products. Despite the Advantix, I’m still pulling a tick or two a day off of him.

I keep the grass/shrubbery in my yard short, but as my yard backs right up to the woods and I will not spray pesticides I’m not sure if there is too much I can do about controlling the source population.

Any suggestions on additional topical products (bonus points if they are cat friendly) and tick control in the yard would be much appreciated. Also, do any of you put anything on your dogs’ tick bites to limit itching?

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Subbing in to hear answers…I am having TERRIBLE trouble with ticks this year. Just started Ultrashield to see if it helps by recommendation of an employee at the feed store. I typically use Advantix or Advantage II but it is NOT doing the trick on the ticks this year…

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One hint that I’ve found effective is to keep the grass short, and collect the lawn clippings, and toss the clippings. Whenever I’ve lived where there are ticks this has helped tremendously.

This has been a good product for us (it’s a pesticide, for those interested):


It is a granule, not spray on product. So far, our dog has been tick free when only out on our (treated) yard. We also back to large forest and live in a very humid area (northern VA). Some of the wholesale clubs sell it (Costco, I think, maybe BJ’s, too).

Also, and I have not used it yet, but I am thinking of ordering this for the dog for walks that take us to areas with higher grasses:




If anyone has tried either of these insect-shield products, please chime in…

I switched to Advantix this spring from Frontline, and it works MUCH better. I have a cat but it’s easy just to put on the advantix and take the dogs for a walk til it dries.

Quick slighty OT Q

Intended to bathe fluffy Pap tonight before camping trip that straddles Bath & Alleghany in VA so 1) he smells decent while sharing a tent with pet-free people and 2) his coat slips dirt and debris. OP’s thread reminded me: ticks!! They are darn hard to find on him.

Both dogs got K9 Advantix (Advantix and Advantage are confusing; hopefully it’s the former since Advantage does squat for ticks) about 10 days ago after I spotted this crawling across my blanket right under my chin as I lay in bed. :eek: Then Joey was bathed Thurs prior to a pet therapy visit.

Should I apply another dose now and skip bath? Vet says to not apply three days before or after bathing.

I’m in a concrete jungle so I’m out of touch with how bad the ticks are…save from one finding its way to my home! :mad:

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Preventic collar and Frontline…spray the yard every three weeks the permethrin or a tick repellent. Keep the grass short, keep the dog away from bushes, etc. If you can have a border of bare earth or mulch at least three feet wide between any plantings, woodland edges or long grass, it helps.

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When I was in high school, we moved into a house we had inherited. After moving in, we found out that almost every house on the block had at least one person with Lyme disease. Needless to say, we started checking the dogs religiously, but never found a tick until one day I pulled the dog’s toes apart and there were ticks all between his pads. My mom called an exterminator and who came out and treated our yards. Our closest neighbors also had their yards treated at the same time, and we never had trouble with ticks after that.

The ticks in my area were horrible this spring. We had been treating our dogs with Frontline, but I think it has become mostly useless. I switched to Vectra, and there was a marked improvement.

Get thee some chickens or a rooster. We have one rooster and he keeps our whole yard tick free. My poor Corgi used to be loaded with them, but no more. Wish my rooster took care of the fleas!


Preventic collars or the new topical with Amitraz in it is the best thing for ticks, however, amitraz is toxic to cats so I would be concerned if your cats have much contact with your dog. You may want to consult your vet before using it. Spectracide granules will work on the yard. If you have a large area, chickens or guineas are great for tick and general insect control.

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Love Frontline Spray and preventive collars!

I was babysitting two other dogs this week. They were both on frontline and I was picking ticks off of them all week. Mine, that has a color and frontline spray, I didn’t see any!

PS- I SWEAR by Frontline spray on the horses for ticks. My grey mare who always gets eaten alive has found some reprive this year with the frontline spray.

Good Luck!

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I use InsectShield clothes on me, and they seem to be working. They have permethrin bonded to them so it lasts a long time.

If your dog has long hair you could clip/shave him. I have a collie and I shaved him due to heat issues but found that he had WAY fewer tick bites with little hair. It was impossible to find all the ticks with his thick, luxuriant coat.

The EPA list I’m on recommends wearing permethrin treated clothing as the best preventative for tick bites.

I’ve always had success with Frontline (or it’s generics that you can get now), and part of the trick seems to be applying it every month even in tick-free season. I very rarely find a tick, and when I do, it’s not attached to the dog at all.

Frontline spray discontinued

Love Frontline Spray[/QUOTE]

A breeder with a heck of a pack swears by Frontline Spray but told me she can’t find it anywhere anymore and has not made headway with the manufacturer.

How old is your current bottle? Where did you get it from?

Thanks all! This is super helpful information. I was initially not wild about spraying with pesticide, but the granules sound like they may be a great solution for my yard.

And chickens are definitely in the works at some point for my new, rural home, but it may be a few more months before I’m ready for that. Glad to hear that they will help with my tick problem as well as making me tasty eggs!

I use InsectShield clothes on me, and they seem to be working. They have permethrin bonded to them so it lasts a long time.

The EPA list I’m on recommends wearing permethrin treated clothing as the best preventative for tick bites.[/QUOTE]

Ok, thanks for the input :slight_smile: Looks like the InsectShield dog clothing will be in my next shopping cart.

Guinea fowl are wonderful for taking care of ticks. Our chickens were not up to the job. The 3 guineas have gotten rid of almost every tick on the 8 acre lot.


I have a small flock of Guinea hens. (actually I have boys) They not only keep my area tick free but have substantially reduced the fly population by going through the manure!

They won’t give you eggs, but they can fly short distances so I have lost very few to the local Coyote population unless the birds have gotten old. My current birds are 8 years old and still lively.

I haven’t found but one tick on any of my four dogs this year. I haven’t found a single one on any of the 30 horses on the place!

I swear by them! :slight_smile:


Another vote for the guineas, they do an excellent job of getting rid of ticks.