It’s Tick Time! Ewww!
If you’re anything like me, you can’t stand a fleeting thought about those disgusting arachnids. Honestly, I don’t want to come in contact with any arachnid that needs to be killed with a hammer or rock. Living in New Hampshire, though, gives me no choice since the state has become a hot spot for ticks and the diseases they carry. In the last few years, my own county has come in first in the United States for Lyme disease. Uggghhh! Ticks not only carry Lyme Disease (the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria), they carry Bartonella, Babesia, Rickettsia (Rocky Mountain spotted fever), Ehrlichia, Anaplasma and more.
This CDC page shows maps of seven different ticks and where they can be found: Tick Maps
Due to El Niño, tick season has unfortunately been around continuously for me this year. The 2015/2016 exceptionally mild winter didn’t bring them deep underground. December and January brought ticks to my dog and in January, I had symptoms of being re-infected. Keep in mind that spiders, fleas, and mosquitos can also carry Lyme Disease.
FREE TICK TESTING: As of today, 5/5/2016, Bay Area Lyme Foundation is currently accepting ticks for free testing. Please go to their website for more information.
Natural (and Toxic) Tick Repellents
Aside from spreading food-grade diatomaceus earth (DE) on my lawn in the areas we tend to walk most, I have an arsenal of tick repellents. Three are sprays:
2. As the weather warms and I switch from pants to shorts, I spray myself from the waist down with Buzz Away Extreme. Its active ingredients are: castor oil, soybean oil, cedarwood oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil and lemongrass oil. Inert ingredients are: purified water, coconut oil, glycerin, lecithin, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, sodium benzoate, and wintergreen oil. This product‘s smell is too strong for me (strong not offensive) so I use yet another product from the waist up.
3. I use Ticks Away Natural Spray from the waist up, since it has a milder smell than Buzz Away Extreme. It’s a New Hampshire product, sold by Cardigan Mountain Soap Works in Alexandria and I find it works well. This company also has a “bugs away” soap that I use during tick season. Ticks Away ingredients are: distilled water, pure essential oils, emulsifier, sorbitol.
4. Spreading Diatomaceus Earth (DE) on the lawn, especially in areas people tend to walk, can help. DE doesn’t feel sharp, but to small insects that have an exoskeleton, it can be deadly. Cutting their exoskeleton causes them to bleed out.
Trying Something New
I’ve seen a meme circulating Facebook touting that Lemongrass and Eucalyptus essential oils, mixed with water, will repel both ticks and fleas and is safe for both humans and dogs. I have Améo Lemongrass on hand, but today ordered Améo Eucalyptus Raidiata that will be in next week. I will try this mix as soon as it arrives and update my findings. Eucalyptus Radiata, by the way, is milder than Eucalyptus Globulas –figures–I had Globulas on hand. Spending quite a bit of time researching, I found Eucalyptus Radiata listed in a couple Essential Oil pet books as safe for pets. If you decide to try Améo’s clinical-grade essential oils, please contact me first so I can show you how to purchase them at the reduced, wholesale price.
I’ve also been told by a friend, who also has Chronic Lyme Disease, that her doctor suggested she use Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin. I have not yet tried this and know nothing about it. If you’ve ever used it with success, or not, please let us know if it worked by leaving a comment below. And please–let us know your best tick defenses!