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Natural Ways to Keep Ticks Away

Chemical Free Mosquito Repellent Tick Repellent

What Are Ticks?

As pests, ticks are almost as notorious as mosquitoes. These tiny bugs are actually arachnids, not insects. In fact, depending on its stage in the life cycle, a tick may have 6 or 8 legs and resemble a spider if you look closely enough. Hopefully, you will never have to see one up close, but if you do, here are some tips to follow:

Ticks are active year-round, as long as temperatures are above freezing, but they are most often found on humans during the summer months, the tick’s mating season. Ticks like to hide out in tall foliage and grasses, usually around the edge of a wooded area. They perch and wait for animals or humans to walk by.Contrary to popular belief, ticks don’t jump, they crawl up their victims to their preferred feeding spot. Ticks generally aim for the head and neck regions of their host, where they will feed for usually 2–3 days.2

© Semenovlgor via Canva Pro

Serious tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease are often associated with certain tick species. Two of these disease-carrying ticks, the American dog tick (a carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever) and the deer tick or black-legged tick (known to carry Lyme-causing bacteria), are prevalent across much of the United States. Presently, the New York region faces a growing concern with the black-legged tick. It's not only transmitting Lyme disease but also spreading anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Powassan disease, and Borrelia miyamotoi disease.

While not all ticks carry these diseases and not all ticks will transmit them to you,1 it’s very important to take common-sense precautions when spending time outdoors.

If you spend the day outside hiking or walking in a grassy or wooded area, you should always check yourself for ticks. Experts recommend checking every 2–3 hours. In general it takes a tick 24 hours to start transmitting diseases, and it is thought that the Lyme-causing bacteria aren’t passed until a tick spends 36–48 hours on its host.2

But ticks aren’t limited to wooded areas and tall grasses. If deer or rodents such as chipmunks or squirrels visit your backyard, be sure to check yourself for ticks even if you’re just gardening outside. Check your pets as well to ensure ticks don’t hitch a ride into your home.

Natural Tick Removal Tips

If a tick is on you, it will look like a small brownish-black bump. The tick buries its head into the skin when feeding, and it can’t be easily flicked off. If you see one, don’t panic. Keep a cool head and proceed with care when removing. The CDC provides great information on tick removal. We discuss the steps to take at the bottom of our Tick Seasonality post.

Many articles have been written about using different items to suffocate and remove the tick. The CDC cautions against these methods and suggests sticking to the tried-and-true method of removing the tick with tweezers. Using pointed tweezers to pull the tick up and off will permanently stop the tick from feeding on you. Sometimes the tick’s head will stay lodged in the skin with the tweezer method, but this is okay. The tick can’t do any further damage once it’s been ripped in two, and your skin will naturally push out whatever part of the tick remains.2

If you are able to remove the entire tick with tweezers, flush it down the toilet, put it in alcohol, or wrap it in tape and secure it in a bag for disposal. Never crush a tick. Clean the tick bite area of skin thoroughly.3

How to Prevent Ticks on Humans Naturally

To avoid tick bites, always cover up completely when walking in wooded and tall-grass areas. Tucking your pant legs into your socks is also a good practice, even if it looks silly.2 Some sporting goods stores even sell tick-repellent clothing, and many bug sprays have tick repellents. Always follow your vet’s advice on tick medication for your pets to ensure they don’t become prey too.

© Chalabalaphotos via Canva Pro

What Do Ticks Hate?

Ticks really hate the scent of lemongrass and rosemary, so much so that the CDC published studies on these essential oils and their effects.4 These same natural oils are in our Mosquito Repelling Incense Sticks, and lemongrass is one of the oils in our insect repellent.

What Will Keep Ticks Off Humans?

Our insect repellent is the perfect accompaniment for a day hiking the woods or working in the yard. The body mist will not only keep off the mosquitoes, they also repel ticks, two of the most dangerous yard pests around (and no-see-ums, gnats, sand flies and black flies). Tick-related diseases are entirely preventable when you take sensible precautions. It just rests on you to do your part!

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