In case our name didn’t give it away, cedarwood oil is the driving force behind our pest control products here at Cedarcide. So naturally, the obvious question is: How does it work? How does cedarwood oil (aka cedar oil) kill bugs? While the answer can get a bit technical, there are 6 basic ways cedarwood oil works to kill and repel pests like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, ants, mites and more. Here’s a simple outline of each one.
Most bugs are extremely sensitive to moisture loss, which is bad news for bugs that come into contact with cedarwood oil. Cedarwood oil is extremely effective at leaching moisture from insects and other bugs, leaving them dried out and eventually dead.
It Disrupts Their Pheromones
Pheromones are chemicals that many bugs use for navigation, mating, searching for food, as well as to regulate bodily functions. Cedarwood oil disrupts these pheromones which not only disorients the insects but interferes with their fundamental bodily processes like breathing. The disorientation helps repel insects and other bugs, the interference with their bodily mechanisms kills them.
It Dissolves Them
Insects in earlier life stages—eggs, larvae, pupae—are extremely vulnerable, so vulnerable in fact that cedarwood oil can dissolve them on contact. In adult insects, arachnids and other bugs, cedarwood oil helps dissolve their exoskeleton. This allows the essential oil to penetrate their shell, hastening the oil’s pest control effects.
Emulsification, or the breakdown of fat particles, is another way that cedarwood oil works to control bugs. Like many organisms, bugs require fat to live. By helping disintegrate this fat into smaller, more fluid parts, cedarwood oil attacks bugs from the inside out.
As mentioned above, cedarwood oil can interfere with bugs’ capacity to breathe. Unlike mammals, bugs breathe through openings located on the surface of their bodies. When faced with the lethal effects of cedarwood oil, bugs attempt to limit their exposure by closing these openings, which prevents them from breathing. In other words, the bugs suffocate themselves.
It Messes With Their Body Chemistry
Like most every living thing, bugs must maintain a specific chemical balance to stay alive. Any drastic changes in this balance can have deadly results. Cedarwood oil neutralizes the acidity within bugs’ bodies, effectively throwing this balance out of whack. As a result they cannot properly function, and shortly die.
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– Ticks are parasitic organisms that feed on the blood of their host.
– Although commonly thought to be an insect, ticks are actually arachnids which means they are more like spiders.
– The most common ticks are the deer tick (also called blacklegged tick), the lone star tick and the dog tick.
– Ticks can be active in temperatures above 45 degrees.
– Pets and people can contract multiple diseases from a single bite.
– Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichia are all contracted by tick bites.
– Dogs are more likely to contract ticks than cats.
Top Places To Check For Ticks
- Under Legs
- Between Toes
How to remove a Tick
Use tweezers to grip the tick as closely to the skin as possible. Slowly pull upward and try to keep the tick intact,. Leaving the head or any body parts in the skin can lead to an infection. Do not touch the tick with your hands as they can carry many diseases. Place the tick into a sealed container and mark the date. If you or your pet begins showing any unusual symptoms your medial examiner will likely want to test the tick. After the removal has taken place, thoroughly wash the area with rubbing alcohol, soap and water.
Preventing Tick Bites
- Wear the right clothing. Try not to leave any bare skin where ticks could easily attach. Wear long sleeves and pants. It’s also easier to spot ticks in light colored clothing.
- Use natural insect repellent.
- Stay on the trails. When possible, stay on walking trails and away from overgrown areas where ticks may hide.
- Check for ticks throughout the day.
- Eliminate their habitats. Make your property less friendly to ticks by keeping your lawn and plants trimmed. Spray a chemical-free insecticide to kill existing bugs and prevent future infestations.
- Check your pets. Regularly checking for ticks and using a extra-strength tick repellent such as TickShield will help prevent pets from bringing ticks into your home.