If you are heading outdoors at any point in the spring and summer (don’t we all?), it is imperative that you know how to prevent ticks from biting or attaching.
Ticks are in every state and are notorious for carrying several kinds of parasites and illnesses that can be deadly, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. Some ticks are so small they are hard to see and may be as small as a grain of pepper.
Many commercial and chemically laden products are on the market to repel ticks, but more natural options can work, too. If you’re concerned about the harmful chemicals, you might want to try natural alternatives to enjoy more worry free summer.
Natural Ways to Prevent Tick Bites
Keep your property as tick free as possible. If you have lots of grass or live in a country setting, keep your lawn short. You can also prevent ticks by keeping critters out that harbor them: deer, rabbits, and mice. Additionally, keep any compost piles as far away from your home as possible, and keep children and pets out of them as tick nymphs love a good leaf pile.
Dress properly. One of the biggest ways to prevent ticks is to dress properly to avoid them. Ticks are very likely to be in tall grass, so make sure you wear long sleeves and long pants and tuck your pant legs into your socks. You may look silly, but proper clothing creates a barrier between your skin and the bug so they can’t attach or burrow. Also, light colors are best as you will be able to see any that get on you easier.
Eat some garlic. While this may be a wonderful way to enhance our meals, ticks despise the scent of it. When we eat garlic, it is often secreted in our sweat and this in turn makes us smell like something ticks want to stay away from. If you will be outdoors all day, take a few garlic pills or eat something with garlic right before you head out.
Essential Oils that Repel Ticks
Use essential oils. Mix essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil and rub it on your skin, paying attention to cover areas such as ankles, scalp, behind ears and in warm areas of the body so the smell radiates off you. Like garlic, scents such as citrus, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, and cinnamon repel ticks. Do not use cinnamon on young children, however.
Tick Repelling Neem Oil
Neem Oil can be used as a repellent. Neem grows in India and it has a garlic type smell to it as well. It is actually a main ingredient in many natural pesticides at garden supply stores because not only does it repel ticks, but it also repels a lot of bugs the way planting garlic does in gardens. You can buy organic neem oil pesticides at garden supply stores (but use that in your garden and not on your skin) or buy pure neem oil online for use to repel ticks. Just use it with a carrier oil and apply to your skin and scalp as it has to be diluted or it can be irritating to skin. You can add a couple drops of it to your shampoo as well and wash with it.
Perform Tick Checks
Do tick checks on yourself, your kids and your pets daily. If your kids play outside, they need a tick check as ticks live in cities and yards, too. After coming inside, do thorough tick checks of scalps, in between toes and in spots ticks can hide and take a shower within 1 hour of coming inside for the day.
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What do you do to keep your family safe from ticks?