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You may think it's a little too early for posts about natural tick repellent (and repellent for other biting bugs).
However, our weather here has been wildly up and down lately. Nature doesn't know what end is up right now. The other day it was literally 70 degrees and I saw mosquitoes! Today I needed a hat and gloves to walk outside.
Those Disease Carrying Monsters:
I saw those little disease carrying monsters and I thought, "Oh dear God, already?" I guess that means other insects are getting active again now too; including the dreaded ticks. And so it's time for me to get stocked up on some more of the best natural tick repellent.
A little background:
You see, it wasn't that long ago that you couldn't even catch me outside at all in "bug" weather.
After seeing first hand what Lyme disease does to a person, I got really serious about avoiding bites. I was basically paranoid of any type of insect bite.
You know, there are some people who believe that Lyme can be transmitted via bites from other insects and not only ticks. Nevertheless, ticks are by far the most well known transmitters of the disease and the things that freak me out the most.
Luckily, in time, I started feeling better from the Lyme disease and I actually missed being outside in the nice weather. So, I ventured out cautiously. The beach was my first go-to, mainly because the wind blows the bugs away from you for the most part but I absolutely love the beach!
Then I graduated to walking on sidewalks in neighborhoods without a lot of foliage.
Chemical Bug Sprays:
But, if there was a party and everyone was outside on the deck, I would be rushing inside the second I saw a bug with some excuse like I was just too hot or needed to do some chores.
Essentially, I was phobic and that was affecting things I used to enjoy-like being outside all the time.
Bug sprays weren't working well for me either. I had tried the typical chemical based bug sprays and I still got bitten.
Even the ones with Deet in them. There have been studies saying that Deet is neurotoxic, can cause kidney/liver damage, and is often detected in our groundwater.
However, with all the nasty illnesses insects can carry, spraying some low concentration of chemical Deet on my skin was the lesser of the evils.
When you think about it, OFF was the only thing we used growing up. I was less concerned with the chemical hurting me than with the fact that it didn't work well for me. I still got bitten-many times!
Natural tick repellent
Then the wave of essential oil promoting appeared, and I started reading their recipes for homemade bug sprays. I tried a couple and these were not working as well as I would've liked. (They helped me some, but I got mosquito bites with the homemade ones too)
Then one day I was at my chiropractor's office and she told me about this product. She said she uses it when out in the woods (a place I didn't go unless it was dead of winter and nothing was alive) .
So, I went home and looked it up and trusting her, got a couple bottles. It was called, Ticks N All (Lyme Guard) and when I saw that it was created by doctors who specialize in Lyme, I was sold.
So What's in this stuff?
The active ingredients are organic and there are 11 of them. They are oil based too, but these guys seem to have discovered the right combinations/concentrations that make the bugs dislike you.
Castor Oil-Repel those mosquitoes with this oil. It's generally safe and mosquitoes hate it.
Sesame Oil-Contains acids that make you smell bad to bugs.
Cedar Oil-Keep a variety of insects away with this oil.
Soybean Oil-Is the same as sesame, with the acids that make you smell undesirable to bugs.
Rosemary Oil-Rosemary oil is toxic to insects like fleas ticks and mosquitoes.
Peppermint Oil-Smells good to us but bugs don't like the smell.
Citronella Oil-Acts to disguise our normal human CO2 and lactic acid that usually attracts insects to us.
Thyme Oil-This is also a bug repellent. But I was already a fan of this oil since I used it as an antimicrobial and antifungal for the Lyme.
Clove Oil-Clove is a flea and mosquito repellent and this is another oil I use daily on my skin as antimicrobial and antiviral support.
Geranium Oil-Is a well known flying/ biting insect repellent.
Warnings on the tick repellent label
As with many such products, they have a warning about not spraying it in your eyes. In addition they say not to put it on your kids' hands, lest they touch their eyes and have issues. They also state that some people may have some skin irritation from using this tick repellent.
I first tried it out on a family camping trip. We were outside at prime mosquito time. I think I got less than 5 bites all week. Other people around me got bit a LOT more times and they were using OFF spray with Deet in it.
That spring and summer, I did not find any ticks on me. Of course, I was careful and I would spray my pant legs and shoes if I was going to walk in any grass.
I would also spray my hat or head if I was walking under tress. Yes, I am a little paranoid but can you blame me?
Needless to say, I have been buying the same natural tick repellent ever since and will get my seasonal stash soon! I am going to add in the pet products this time in hopes the dogs won't bring any ticks in on them either.
Side note for this natural tick repellent:
Although this is great stuff, it did not work too well for May flies, sadly.
So maybe if the folks at Ticks-N-All, read this, they could work on that next.
To read more about how diet helped me heal from Lyme disease click here.