Dealing with Fleas and Ticks While Traveling

On the road or in the woods, here are some options for those times you have limited resources.

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Fleas

Dogs

There are numerous options available such as flea collars, powders, shampoos, sprays, and spot on products. These are globally available. Not near a store? You can make a natural deterrent out of boiled lemons. Let them set overnight and spray your dog the next morning. This is a deterrent not an eliminator. It will make things manageable until you have access to something better. Tea tree oil is a deterrent also. Rub this inside your dog’s collar and create your own version of an all natural flea and tick collar.

The best way to spot fleas is to roll your dog on their belly and lightly run your hand over your dog’s lower abdomen. You will likely see fleas scurrying away in the hair. Fleas also leave behind a gritty black residue that is easiest to spot on your dog’s belly where hair is scarce.

Humans

Fleas don’t survive well on humans. This doesn’t stop them from giving it a try and taking a few sips off of you.

Shower daily, wash your clothing and bedding, and, if you have access to one, a vacuum is your best friend. Suck those wily parasites off anything you think they and their eggs can hide inside. If your dog tolerates it, run it down your dog a few times (it’s also great for removing dead hair). Tea tree oil is my homeopathic cure all solution. It minimizes itchiness and also is a natural antiseptic. So if you have over scratched a bite, this will serve a dual purpose while you are on the road or in the woods.

Ticks

Dogs & Humans

Tick hooks and picks work best.

If you do not have one, smother the tick with dish soap or vaseline. Give this a minute or so. The tick will loosen its hold in its attempt to get air. Grasp the tick with tweezers close to the skin. Be careful not to detach the head from the body. If it does detach, it is best to dig out the head immediately. I have found from experience usually the heads will fester like a zit and can be popped out a few days later. I do not advise leaving the heads in, but don’t panic if you are unable to find it. No tweezers? Lay a piece of duck tape on the tick and pull the tape in a smooth motion. This is a last resort and not as effective as the above options. If you have no other tools, this is more efficient than using fingernails.

Yes, using a hot needle/match may also work, but good luck getting your dog to hold still while you attempt to press a smoking hot match to his/her body.

After you remove the tick, be sure you kill the tick. Contrary to popular belief, ticks do not die after you remove them. Once a tick is full of blood, they hit the ground and procreate. Easy solution; place the body in a piece of scotch or duck tape. Killing the tick by decapitation may expose you to the blood inside of it. This may not be a healthy option if this is someone/something else’s blood.

Helpful tip, not only does tea tree oil serve as an anti-itch agent and antiseptic, but it also is a deterrent to ticks.

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