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I just got in my food grade diatomaceous earth. We gave the kids a bit of a dusting in the dark last night, but we need to wait for the weekend to get them good while preventing them from breathing in the dust. Our boys have lice. Not infested, but obvious increase in itching with winter. Our hope is to avoid poisons if we can, then use enzyme wash or tea tree oil in the summer. I will post when I see results (or don't).

We also mix our own essential oils for bug dope to put on people, dogs and goats. It becomes part of the evening routine of feeding and all that. I think they like the cedar oil (or one of the others) because they rub on each other when they have it on, and seem to really get excited when its time to get it put on. They may have realized it keeps the bugs away, but I think it is more like peeing on their faces, a stinky scent to be covered in.

I have found success with all insects you describe, here in Wyoming as well as in the north woods and salt marshes of Maine. Ticks can be an issue in places (like where I am from in CT) if there are so many that most dope doesn't work. It also won't prevent all mosquito bites for the goats, just reduces them to a tolerable level, but that will likely be the case with chemicals as well. Also, it usually prevents deer flies from biting, but they often remain close enough to be annoying and may still land but not bite. Again, I have found the same to hold true with chemicals unless the wind is exactly right to keep a scent cloud around you.

I don't use poison on myself or the dog. My thought for the goats is that they are always near or against each other and have their faces against body parts that get sprayed, so even if their hair keeps it away from their skin, they will get it in their mouths and eyes off of the others. When I was in Maine and CT I frontlined the dog because the danger of ticks and their associated diseases was far greater than the risk of chemicals, so I understand the need to make that assessment.

There can be a significant difference in duration of effectiveness in a lab test between the various products out there. I figure I would rather apply my natural stuff more often, than sweat all day with a dose of deet on me, especially if there is no shower for many days. I started making my own in Maine, when working for the Department of Conservation. I would spend my week in remote places sleeping in a tent. I washed in lakes when I could, but deet in the water isn't good, and if it was in my bag from days without a lake, I still slept in it all night.

I do still carry deet for emergencies, so if someone or myself is immobile and is in need of other urgent care, they can be sprayed once and not be worried about. Or for survival situations where shelter or fire my not be adequate to prevent severe insect attacks.

This has become a rather long response, so I will leave it at that.

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