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DIYAnimalsKnow-how 922

Useless tick products – and what really works against these nasty pests

At Galaxus, we recently banished useless anti-mosquito products from our shop. Now I’m going after questionable tick products. Beware, it’s going to be an esoteric ride! Plus we asked an expert in the field.

I have a problem with mosquitos. That’s why I recently browsed our shop for repellents. During my search, I came across products of which I’m sure they don’t work. That bugged me. Why are we selling this stuff?

<strong>Scam alert</strong> – These products do not keep off mosquitos
AnimalsKnow-how

Scam alert – These products do not keep off mosquitos

Before my mozzie article was published, we removed some of those obscure anti-mosquito products from our range.

When I was writing the article, I made sure to only include products that claim to be effective against mosquitos, even though it has been proven that they are not. And then there are all those other creepie crawlies. If a product description mentions something down the line of «effective against insects», one could assume that it theoretically works on other types of insects.

This gets me thinking. Wouldn’t it be better if only products with proven effectiveness were sold? But that’s probably too much to ask from today’s money-grabbing world. After focussing on mosquito products, let’s turn to tick products.

Tick expert scrutinises Galaxus products

Unlike the ultrasound products against mosquitos, there are fewer reliable studies on anti-tick products.

I need help from an expert and get in touch with Werner Tischhauser. He’s an environmental engineer and a tick expert at Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Together, we go through the products available from Galaxus. One by one, we look at my categories «esoteric products», «ultrasound products» and «sprays and lotion».

The expert’s judgement is always shown below the respective category.

Esoteric products

Ever shopped for a bio-energetic charge or an electro-magnetic field? If not, this is your chance.

Whether or not «esoteric» is the proper description for the following two products remains to be seen. However, after reading how these gadgets work, I can safely say that they are questionable to say the least.

Tic-clip pendants against ticks & fleas
CHF 39.–
Anibio Tic-clip pendants against ticks & fleas

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 5 – 7 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • All locations: approx. 6 – 8 days
    Currently > 5 piece(s) in stock at the supplier

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

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The Tic Clip pendant not only promises to deliver a «bio-energetic charge» but even has a «high storage capacity».

The product claims to generate a protective field around your four-legged friend within five days. By creating this «special vibration field», it provides protection against ticks and fleas.

shoo!TAG
CHF 49.90
Shoo Tag shoo!TAG

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 2 – 4 days
    In supplier's stock

Collection

  • All locations: approx. 3 – 5 days
    Currently in stock at the supplier

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

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The manufacturer of Shoo Tag is no less bold when it comes to promising wonders. The product – a card with a magnet strip – is supposed to be effective against ticks and mosquitos: «By means of its electro-magnetic field, Shoo!TAG creates a protective field against pests.»

It’s not just the German original’s grammar and spelling that make me shudder. Even a strong electro-magnetic field would not impress an ant. So how on earth is this lousy magnet strip supposed to do anything? I ask myself if the manufacturer thinks I’m a fool.

What our tick expert says about the esoteric products:

«These products would have to undergo standardised tests for us to find out more about them. It’s definitely a grey area we’re in and I think it’s safe to say that all these products really do is give people peace of mind. Scientifically speaking, these products are worthless.»

Ultrasound products

Before you can give a verdict on these products, it’s worth reading up on tick biology. Not on the whole tick but at least on its senses that detect potential hosts.

Haller’s organ:
Haller’s organ is located in a tiny cavity of the tarsus on the first pair of a tick’s legs. By means of this organ, a tick is able to detect approaching hosts. In 1881, a scientist named G. Haller published the first description of these structures although he misinterpreted their function. Haller thought these structures were acoustic sensors (ears) but they turned out to be olfactory sensors (nose). In other words, when a tick is sitting on a blade of grass with outstretched front legs, it’s sniffing the air to detect your scent.

Hairs and antennae:
Ticks have hairs and antennae with different functions. While some act as chemoreceptors, other have a tactile sensory function. It’s quite possible that these can also register certain acoustic frequencies.

Our range of ultrasound products against ticks is broad.

  • Pet
  • Pet
  • Pet
CHF 29.90
Tickless Pet
Ultrasonic tick and flea defence
1

Availability

Mail delivery

  • 6 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: today at 17:15
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: today at 16:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

Baby - Tick protection
CHF 28.30
Tickless Baby - Tick protection
Tickless Baby makes your time spent in nature worry-free.
3

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 1 – 3 days
    1 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • Unfortunately, this product cannot be collected.

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

Baby - Tick protection
CHF 28.20
Tickless Baby - Tick protection
Tickless Baby makes your time spent in nature worry-free.

Availability

Mail delivery

  • Only 1 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: today at 17:15
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: today at 16:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • Tickless Hunter
  • Tickless Hunter
  • Tickless Hunter
CHF 35.50
Tickless Tickless Hunter
The environmentally friendly, non-toxic solution against ticks.
1

Availability

Mail delivery

  • 8 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: today at 17:15
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: today at 16:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

Insektenvertreiber Portable Mo
CHF 30.–
Radarcan Insektenvertreiber Portable Mo

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 5 – 7 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • Unfortunately, this product cannot be collected.

Information subject to change.

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Insektenvertreiber Multifreque
CHF 47.–
Conrad Insektenvertreiber Multifreque

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 5 – 7 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • Unfortunately, this product cannot be collected.

Information subject to change.

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The products all promise to provide protection against ticks with ultrasound impulses. Tickless even claims that: «The effectiveness has been proven by a study conducted by the University of Camerino (Italy).»

I took a look at this study. Unfortunately, the study does not describe the testing method in great detail. Furthermore, you neither learn about the tick types (there are 18 different types in Switzerland and around 900 types worldwide) used for the test nor the dog types. What is described, however, is that the test was carried out on 30 dogs for 30 days. None of the dogs had thick or dark fur, in order to make counting the parasites easier. Tests on human beings are mentioned at the beginning of the document but there it is not a word about them later on.

Furthermore, the study does not confirm the effectiveness of the products. All it says is: «TICKLESS PET seems therefore capable of preventing parasites, always present in the place where the dogs were kept, from infesting the host.» \

So why does the manufacturer claim that the effectiveness of the product was proven? Maybe the author was simply not bright enough to read and understand the (incomplete) study? (Feel free to correct me in the comments field.)

What our tick expert says about the ultrasound products:

«It cannot be ruled out that ticks can perceive ultrasound. However, the Camerino study seems to have tested the product on animals only. What’s more, it is unclear which type of ticks were used for the study. If a certain type of tick did react to the ultrasound, this does not mean that the effectiveness applies to all ticks. Furthermore, it cannot be concluded that something that may be effective on animals also works on human beings.»

It seems that the ultrasound has simply not been explored enough. Even if ticks do perceive ultrasound, this does not necessarily mean that they are impressed by it.

Sprays and lotion

Finally! This category only contains products that are scientifically supported.

  • Protection Plus Zeckenschutz
  • Protection Plus Zeckenschutz
CHF 8.95
Autan Protection Plus Zeckenschutz

Availability

  • approx. 3–4 weeks
    Currently in stock at the supplier

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

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Anti-Zecken Spray
CHF 16.20
Care Plus Anti-Zecken Spray

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 3–4 weeks
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • All locations: approx. 3–4 weeks
    Currently > 5 piece(s) in stock at the supplier

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

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Anti-Insect Natural Spray 30%
–12%
CHF 14.60instead of 16.501
Care Plus Anti-Insect Natural Spray 30%
Highly effective natural insect spray provides up to six hours of protection

Availability

Mail delivery

  • Only 2 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: today at 17:15
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: today at 16:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

Zeckenschutz Milk
CHF 9.–
Kik Zeckenschutz Milk
Protection against ticks for 5 hours.
3

Availability

Mail delivery

  • More than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: today at 17:15
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: today at 16:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

What our tick expert says about sprays and lotion:

«Kik works well and contains a natural active incredient (citriodiol), which has good skin tolerance.
Generally speaking, it is always the active ingredient that is decisive. Outdated ingredients are very rarely used these days. However, Autan still contains DEET (Diethyltoluamid) – an ingredient that became a household name during the Vietnam war. DEET can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. The ingredient icaridin is far more gentle.
Another important thing to know: Lotions and sprays are effective for less long than what the packaging says. It is recommended to divide the stated time by two. If you want to be on the safe side, apply every two hours.
Furthermore, these products do not have the same effect on all people. Similar to mosquitos, ticks also prefer some people to others. Certain people are real tick magnets because of the metabolic waste products their skin gives off. It is possible, that these people see no effect after applying these products.»

You’ve been bitten by a tick despite your bio-energetic field

Should you still come across a tick on your body after that walk in the forest, you’re going to need proper tools.

Zeckenpinzette
CHF 11.90
Josty Zeckenpinzette

Availability

Mail delivery

  • Only 3 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: today at 17:15
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: today at 16:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

TT03 TICK TOOL
CHF 41.–
SWIZA TT03 TICK TOOL

Availability

Mail delivery

  • More than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: today at 17:15
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: today at 16:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

Zeckenpinzette aus Metall
CHF 8.90
Zeckenpinzette aus Metall

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 5 – 7 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • All locations: approx. 6 – 8 days
    Currently > 5 piece(s) in stock at the supplier

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

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Zeckenpinzette Zeckengreifer E
CHF 4.40
Conrad Zeckenpinzette Zeckengreifer E

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 5 – 7 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • Unfortunately, this product cannot be collected.

Information subject to change.

View details

  • Careex
  • Careex
  • Careex
CHF 22.50
Wedo Careex

Availability

Mail delivery

  • Only 2 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: today at 17:15
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: today at 16:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • Zeckenentferner
  • Zeckenentferner
CHF 12.70
Josty Zeckenentferner

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 2 – 4 days
    In supplier's stock

Collection

  • All locations: approx. 3 – 5 days
    Currently in stock at the supplier

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • Zeckenzange
  • Zeckenzange
  • Zeckenzange
–10%
CHF 5.90instead of 6.551
Karlie Zeckenzange

Availability

Mail delivery

  • Only 2 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: today at 17:15
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: today at 16:00
  • Zurich: today at 17:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

Zeckenzange Kunststoff
CHF 3.35
swisspet Zeckenzange Kunststoff
- tick forceps
  • Made of blue plastic

  • For the removal of ticks

1

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 5 – 7 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • All locations: approx. 6 – 8 days
    Currently > 5 piece(s) in stock at the supplier

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

Zeckenschlinge tick sling Weiß
CHF 10.90
3iX Zeckenschlinge tick sling Weiß
Effective method to remove ticks virtually by lasso

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 2 – 4 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • Unfortunately, this product cannot be collected.

Information subject to change.

View details

«Wide-clawed tools are not suitable for humans. They are not great for animals either but they do give you a hand free you might need to hold your pet.
The tweezers by Karlie and Conrad are only for dogs. Magnifying glasses on tools are totally unnecessary and are just for show. Tick tweezers for humans should be pointed so you can grab the tick by the head without squashing its body. Splinter tweezers are perfect for the job. Tools with a v-shaped slit (SWIZA Tick Tool) also avoid squashing the tick’s body and are suitable for tick removal.»

Conclusion

If you’re an outdoorsy person and want to protect yourself against ticks, we have different solutions for you. Personally, I find the esoteric solutions dodgy. Our expert also frowned when he saw them. The ultrasound products are in a scientific grey area. The good news is: All active ingredients in the sprays and lotions work unless you’re a tick magnet and just smell too tasty for the arachnids (ticks are not insects).

Werner Tischhauser the tick expert was a big help for me – and hopefully for you, too. With all the information he gave me, I'd now be able to write a little book on this annoying arachnid. Werner Tischhauser shed lots of light on the matter. Thank you!

Just one more tip to send you on your way: If you want to learn more about ticks and their dissemination in Switzerland, download the app Werner Tischhauser and a team developed a while ago. The app is available for Android and iOS and contains more information on prevention, symptoms and the removal of ticks.

For more information without downloading an app, go to the homepage of the Swiss league for patients with tick-borne diseases (in German and French).

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User

Martin Jud, Zurich

  • Editor
I find my muse in everything. When I don’t, I draw inspiration from daydreaming. After all, if you dream, you don’t sleep through life.

9 comments

3000 / 3000 characters

User Anonymous

Bravo! Sehr guter Bericht, weiter so Martin.

30.06.2018
User DenisJG

Excellent article, Martin, well researched and with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek commentary to make it totally enjoyable. The entire idea of doing a series on dodgy products is fabulous. I look forward to reading more of these.

26.07.2018
User _chrigu

Was meiner Meinung nach auch ganz gut funktioniert ist Kokosöl. Dies kann eingenommen werden oder auf der Haut/Fell eingerieben werden. Weis nicht ob es bei Menschen auch funktioniert aber bei Katzen lösen sich sogar bereits eingebissene Zecken freiwillig, wenn man das dem Katzenfutter beimischt.

01.07.2018
User Athrandir

Das mit dem Kokosfett kann ich nur bestätigen. Bei unserem Hund in die Nahrung und bei uns an die Knöchel und Arme. Und das Beste Zeckenentfernungswerkzeug ist immer noch ein V-förmiger Ausschnitt in einen Karton wie z.B. eine Kundenkarte....das hat man auch immer dabei.

03.07.2018
Answer
User Anonymous

Warum nicht mit einem Naturprodukt versuchen. Für meinen Hund nehme ich Kokosnussfett, ins Futter und vor dem Spaziergang ins Fell einreiben. Die Zwecken mögen offensichtlich den Geruch nicht und seit dem hat mein Hund nur noch selten Zecke.

06.07.2018
User SuperPrivé

Concernant les systèmes à ultrasons, je me pose la question de la tolérance du chien... sachant que lui à coup sûr perçoit les ultrasons, et que ces derniers sont émis à proximité immédiate de ses oreilles, il est assez logique de penser que cela doit lui être pénible à supporter.

14.07.2018
User mibs959

No flamethrower? Disappointed.

28.07.2018
User matthewdjb

Nor axes for lopping off infected limbs.

01.08.2018
Answer
User awak05

Esotérique ou pas, le tic-clip fonctionne très bien! Je n'y croyais pas, et je ne sais même pas comment c'est sensé fonctionner! quand mes chiens recommencent à avoir des tiques, je prends le carton avec la date et à chaque fois ma réponse est : ah ouais, ça fait deux ans ! Je précise que les dates d'achat diffèrent, et que je le vois à chaque fois sur LE chien dont la médaille arrive en fin de vie.

23.07.2018