Exploring the great outdoors is a wonderful thing to do in the autumn, but it is a joy that brings with it the potential pain of ticks. Ticks lurk just off of trails and in fields, thriving on moisture and humidity and waiting for hosts to pass by. When bitten by one, you are at risk for a number of diseases up to and including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease. To help avoid ticks and the diseases they carry while avoiding the use of harmful chemicals, try these natural methods for tick protection.
According to CDC.gov, the wild tomato plant, or Lycopersicon hirsutum, is a natural resource for the active ingredient 2-undecanone. The essential oil from the leaves and stems of the plant can be applied to skin, clothing and any gear being carried as a means to repel ticks. Applying up to 10 drops to your clothing or skin can help prevent attracting the attention of ticks.
According to LiveStrong.com, lavender has tested favorably as a natural means to ward off ticks and prevent tick eggs from hatching. To get natural protection for yourself, utilize no more than 10 drops of lavender essential oil by mixing into the rinse when doing laundry, by spraying it on clothing and backpacks or by applying to skin.
Homemade vinegar-based repellant
OhSimply.com recommends another homemade concoction that scares ticks away. In a spray bottle, mix approximately two cups of distilled white vinegar with one cup of water and about 20 drops of a bath oil scent of your choice. Eucalyptus, citrus and peppermint are recommended for their strong smells, which not only serve to cover up the odor of vinegar, but also help repel ticks on their own. It is recommended that the mixture be reapplied about every four hours or so for maximum effect.
Neem seed oil
According to a study published at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, neem seed oil proves 100% effective at killing certain tick larvae within 27 hours. As with other essential oils, neem seed oil can be blended with vinegar and oil to be used as a spray to naturally repel ticks.
Treat your pets regularly
Even away from the outdoors, it is possible to have a tick latch onto you that has come into your home via your pet. Using natural remedies on your pets helps reduce your risk for getting ticks at home. CDC.com recommends consulting with your veterinarian to learn about your options for regular treatment of pets.
Perhaps the simplest and most natural way to stay clear of ticks is to know how to truly avoid them. CDC.gov recommends that, when hiking or engaging in any outdoor activity, you avoid shrubs and leaf litter and stay as close to the center of a path as possible. At home, you can help make your yard tick-free by removing leaf litter, keeping the grass short, and laying wood chips or gravel between your lawn and any wooded area.
Ticks are not only painful once they’ve become attached, but the effects that they can leave on your body can be devastating. Keep yourself free of them by knowing where they might live and how to rid yourself of them quickly, and get back to enjoying the great outdoors once more.
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