Do you guys see a problem here? We're creating bugs that are immune to our chemicals. Adding more chemicals on top of old chemicals is only going to be effective for so long and at what cost to our animals and the ecosystems in which they swim and the water we drink? There doesn't seem to be an answer besides allowing natural selection to push the genotype one way or another. That may be cold and pragmatic, but what else is there that will not make us or our dogs even weaker than we are as species? (see below) While we add selection pressures to strengthen the tick and mosquito, flea and bedbug, we are stifling our own and our animal's capacity for genetic shift. The bugs evolve to meet selection pressures but we do not. Short term good. Long term very very bad.
I've used cedar oil, neem and tea tree oils mixed with mineral oil and sprayed daily last year with marginal success. Not reliable for ticks by any means but not completely ineffective either. No other bugs whatsoever with a few ticks here and there.
This year I've been testing Insect Shield bandanas and so far after 5 weeks in a high tick zone... zero ticks. Even with the money I spent on the bandanas I've already saved $20. Next month it will be a total of $80 saved, and so forth. 100% effective with a permethrin impregnated bandana. We're not at the height of tick season yet, but we've had ticks consistently all winter here and found 4 attached the week before the bandanas arrived. Then... the ticks were gone from the dogs. Still finding ticks on me which proves they are there. Yeah, I know it is still permethrin, but it is worn, not applied and absorbed. It seems a better option than putting poison into the dogs and may be a less effective selection pressure as it seems to prevent attachment. They make people garments as well. Others might want to give them a try and see if they help minimize the amount of poison we put on our dogs and cats. At $11 a pop, it's worth a shot.