Will Neem Spray Kill Ticks On My Dog?

by James

My dog has developed a great infestation of ticks. I have long used a dilute solution of neem oil in water with a dish soap emulsifier for plant pests. Will this be effective on killing ticks on my dog if I spray her fur? What effect must I expect from her licking her fur?

Can I safely spray the rugs and baseboards of the house to kill or discourage the ticks?

Comments for Will Neem Spray Kill Ticks On My Dog?

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Neem oil and ticks
by: Birgit

Hi James!

I'm afraid for your problem the answer is no. It won't. At least not in the way you might hope.

Ticks are a funny one and are quite hardy. Neem is not very effective in killing them. It does however affect the eggs and larvae, and also causes females to lay sterile eggs.

Neem oil also repels ticks, so future bites are less likely. A consistent program of shampooing and spraying the dog with neem oil, as well as spraying the surrounds, may improve the tick problem in the long run, but it would take a long time and it certainly will not fix the immediate infestation.

Most research that was done on the effect of neem on ticks was done on livestock (cattle and goats). People had good results with regular neem oil spraying regimes in controlling bush and scrub ticks. BUT, apparently the brown dog tick does not respond as well to neem. So it also depends what kind of tick you are dealing with.

The concentration that people have used with success on cattle ticks is 1%, 10 ml to a litre of water (plus enough detergent to fully dissolve the oil). This is also the concentration that showed the best results on cattle ticks in laboratory studies.

People sprayed their cattle every three weeks, so the ticks could not complete their egg laying cycle. It's obviously easier to treat a dog. I would shampoo with lots of oil AND spray, and I'd do it at least once a fortnight.

"What effect must I expect from her licking her fur? Can I safely spray the rugs and baseboards of the house to kill or discourage the ticks?"

Yes, spraying it on the rugs and all that is safe (if smelly...). It will also repel cockroaches and all sorts of other nasties.

To the best of my knowledge there is also no problem with the dog licking it. I treat my dog regularly because the mosquitoes are so bad here. Hasn't hurt her, and I have never heard of any warnings regarding the use of neem on dogs.

I know many people have used both straight and diluted neem oil on dogs with bad skin problems. Yet I never heard of any adverse effects.

There are very few studies that evaluate how much neem oil can be ingested before it becomes toxic, and of course those studies used rats, not dogs. The results of the studies indicate that if large amounts of oil are ingested on a daily basis they can have negative effects. The effects are mostly on reproduction and are not permanent. They disappeared when the animals stopped taking the oil.

Using dilute neem spray on your dog is safe (unless the dog is pregnant). Whether you will see an improvement of the tick problem is a different question.

I hope all that helps some.
All the best with getting on top of the problem!

Related pages:
Neem Oil For Dogs
Making Neem Dog Shampoo And Neem Oil Spray

Neem extract?
by: Bely

I am not able to get neem oil, but neem extract is very easy for me to find. It is made with neem leaves and bark.
Does it have the same effect as a pesticide with ticks and fleas in my dogs?
Thank you,
Bely S.

Neem extract vs neem oil
by: Birgit

Hi Bely,

Neem extracts are different. They are great for skin care purposes but their insecticidal and repellent action is not as strong as the raw, unprocessed neem oil. I would still expect them to have an effect against the fleas because fleas are very susceptible to neem.

ingesting neem leaf for dogs and cats
by: Anonymous

How much neem should I give to my dogs? Can cats drink the neem leaf tea?

deer ticks on dog
by: Anonymous

Tried lots of other things to get rid of deer ticks on my dog and I finally decided to put on a dob of neat neem dog shampoo. Next day the tick were dead and I could just brush it off. If he gets any more, I know what I will be doing to get rid of them!!

by: Ralph

Finally someone telling it like it is. The brown dog tick is a hardy pest to kill.
Thank you for your honesty.

Neem - It Does Kill Ticks
by: Anonymous

My little Shihtzu dog had a lot of tiny ticks under her arms and in desperation I used neem oil straight on a piece of cotton wool and rubbed it over the ticks.

They died instantly and came away on the cotton wool. I have never seen any more on her and use the oil twice a week by dabbing it on her coat. Her fleas have disappeared too.

I wouldn't use anything else now.

Neem Oil neat
by: Anonymous

I found that neem oil (an organic one available online) mixed into some leave-on conditioner in very small amounts (the bottle had the recipe on it) caused fleas to avoid biting, and then apparently die of hunger. I had a huge flea infestation because, after one of my dogs spent the weekend in the hospital, having his life saved from an adverse reaction to Advantage, I wouldn't use anything chemical or pharmaceutical on them again. We went from my combing off about 40 fleas per day from each dog to none at all in about 6 weeks. I read that you can't put it on cats, so the cat got one dose of Advantage, and then all of the fleas were gone, so no more was needed.

It sounds like it works about the same on ticks.

I read that neem can be applied neat to address/prevent infection from scratches and such and used it on the hot spots one of my dogs got from the fleas, and they healed at least as fast as with the hot spot spray (one of which had neem in it). One of my other dogs is handicapped and scoots, and also wears diapers, occasionally getting abrasions or diaper rash. Neem has healed both, in a day or two. So, I think using it either neat on the fur or mixed in solution is very safe. The amount needed is really very low; I think the directions for the one I have say about 12 drops of oil in 8 oz of conditioner. The scent bothers one of the dogs a lot, so he hides when I get it out, but it dissipates quickly.

Neem has a long history of being used for humans in India, and seems to be very safe.

I would think that spraying with it around the property, given the low concentrations needed, might be very effective.

Neem leaf
by: Swetha S

Is it safe to give two neem leaves daily for dog?

Very effective on cattle ears.
by: Dorinna Floresta

Living in the tropics we are used to bugs everywhere on our animals and in the house and on ourselves. But this time of the year, the dry season, my cows got infested with ticks on the outside of their ears. It was like a complete village of ticks, one cannot even see the skin anymore. The cows try to scratch them off with their ears against trees, but it doesn't help the poor ladies.

So I came up with the idea to apply neem oil on the area.

The "neem oil" I used was actually sesame oil with a neem-extract (I think of the leaves).

Of course I first let the cows sniff the scent so that they keep trusting me (never do something suddenly) and then apply it fast straight out of the bottle and rub it in the skin.
The cows did not have much patience, they did not like the smell either. Although further on in the week, they were licking each other on the ears again, so no disgust either.

Two days later all the ticks were gone and the ears stayed clean for one month. Couldn't resist to share with you all my amazement! I am very happy with this result.

The smell was difficult to get rid of my hands though. Anyone a tip with what to wash it off? Simple piece of soap did not work that well.

Neem extracts with water or hydrophobic solvent
by: Jo

Neem extracts based on water only contain the repellant stuff that keeps ticks from hiking along on your dog or cat.

If you make an extract with a more 'fatty' substance, like alcohol or oil, the insect killing chemicals come out of the leaf too, right into your extract. But... this may harm your dog's kidneys if (s)he licks it off too often.

Besides cats cannot handle oil anyway. For them only the water extract is safe.
I spray my cat once a day, just before he goes out. He then comes home tickless. I forgot once and yup... I had to pull out a tick.
I live near a forest and even the lawn in front of my house is infested with ticks. So I spray my trousers/socks at times too.

You can keep the watery extract in the cooler (fridge?) for about 3 days. And freeze small portions so you can make a large volume at once.

By the way: I removed lice from my plants as well with the neem extract :)

Treating for ticks
by: Anonymous

Can I ask, is it safe to shampoo and spray dogs with neem products to maintain healthy skin but also to use Frontline to deal with ticks as we do experience ticks where we walk our dogs?

Why not apply Neem before going out?
by: Jo

Prevention is better than solving a problem afterwards.

Neem also repels ticks and fleas. So perhaps you could treat your dog with a Neem extract before you take him out? Then the ticks will not hike along with your dog, while you are walking him/her.

I spray my cats 1x per day (4 to 6 puffs from an old perfume bottle) and it definitely seems to work :)
I even apply it to my own shoes and socks before hiking.

Frontline plus neem
by: Anonymous

As the dogs have already had Frontline Spot On this week, is it safe also to use neem as we transition or should we wait for Frontline to "wear off"?

Neem for fleas on humans
by: Anonymous

My daughter adds a small amount of neem oil (about one tablespoon) to a large bottle of shampoo and uses this on the kids hair. Result - no more fleas/nits when they come home from school. Once or twice a week seems to do the trick.

Neem oil on a neckerchief
by: Paws and the planet

I am adding a few drops of neem oil onto a cotton neckerchief and putting on my dog when we go out. I refresh the neckerchief every 48-72 hrs for it to remain effective. My dog is a Griffon (about the size of a labrador) and it's working well.

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