My family and I decided we needed more room, so we moved to a town that is not so much considered a suburb. It is beautiful! It is peaceful! And there are a butt-load of ticks! I never used to think very much about ticks, but these ‘black legged’ little blood suckers gave my husband lymes disease after living in our beautiful, woodsy new home for 3 months. What a nightmare! Luckily, my husband was able to combat the lymes diagnosis and it is acute not chronic. Chronic would mean it affects the nervous system.
However, my protective mama-bear instincts kicked in and I HAD to come up with a way to protect not only my children, but my husband. We absolutely love living out of the city limits, but my fear of ticks and any of the bacterial infections they carry (which there are MANY), I needed to come up with a way to combat this. It also needed to be a simple plan and something able to be habitual for us.
I like to come at things from many different directions. I don’t think one thing is the answer, but there are many factors and ways to fix problems.
Ward Off Ticks:
- Use Young Living Geranium Essential Oil.
- Garlic oil in Vaseline under window/door frames.
- Old-fashioned flannel drag and burn barrel.
- Add garlic and apple cider vinegar to your diet.
- Get chickens (not an option for everyone).
- Perform tick checks every day during tick season.
1) Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is best known for skin healing properties. BUT there are so many uses. I will list a few:
- Tick repellent (I have a lot to say about this! Keep reading)
- Tightens saggy skin
- Promotes healthy skin and new skin cells
- Prevents bacteria from developing on wounds
- Promotes release of negative memories, balance of emotions
- Stops bleeding
I did not know what to do at first about ticks. A friend at work sent me an article about a woman who was diagnosed with lymes. Her and her dog were IN LOVE with the woods and hiking. They didn’t want to live in fear, so she came across geranium oil as their ticket to NO MORE TICKS. I then started researching non-toxic tick repellent dog collars and found that geranium essential oil was a popular ingredient and in some cases, the ONLY active ingredient in these non-toxic options.
We spent the rest of the summer putting Young Living Geranium Essential Oil on our ankles, wrists, and necks every time we wanted to go outside. With just this one change, I found zero ticks on anyone for the rest of the summer and fall. This was a little tedious to put the oil on before going outside, so I needed to come up with something more convenient for my husband and hyper toddlers. Again, I chose Young Living for many reasons, but the main ones, I trust their Seed to Seal Guarantee, purity, and the fact that not all essential oil brands can even be used on the skin. Look out for warnings from other brands that say “do not apply to skin”.
I decided to make a HUMAN-VERSION OF TICK REPELLENT BANDS/COLLARS. Here is what you need:
- 2 T of Witch Hazel
- 1 t of Garlic Oil (make your own):
- Mince/press one clove and put it in 1/4 cup of olive oil, warm up oil for 15 minutes, pull off heat and cover, let sit for at least 5 hrs) – DO NOT use heat higher than 350 degree F for olive oil, this will ensure not going over its smoke point and causing rancid oil.
- 5 drops of Young Living Geranium Oil (this is the KEY ingredient! If you are not already a Young Living member, please click on the link I have here to become one! I would love to be your sponsor and be available to help guide in an oil-infused lifestyle!)
- Woven or absorbent band or “collar” (something convenient either stretchy or with a buckle)
- Glass container (like a mason jar with lid)
Depending on how many bands you use, you may have to up the volume to submerge them. I mix the witch hazel, garlic oil, and Young Living Geranium Essential Oil in a glass container (essential oils can react with plastic, so make sure it is glass). Then I submerge the absorbent bands and let them sit for at least 10 minutes. Depending on what you are using for your bands the time may vary, you can squeeze a little part of the band and see if it is saturated. If you do that, place it back in the mixture to re-saturate. When ready, pull the bands out and let them dry over night. They can be used the next day. Also, just seal up the leftover mixture in the glass container, put the lid on, and it will store just fine. Add to or replenish the mixture as needed next time, so it won’t go to waste.
Important: You should re-saturate your bands once per month, so the affects of the Geranium Essential Oil keep working for you. Ticks HATE geranium oil. Another tip, make sure you put bands on your ankles. This is the most likely way a tick latches onto you! (I have the urge to call ticks little bastards here, but I won’t. Well, not directly.)
2) Garlic Oil and Vaseline under window/door frames
You can call your DNR and ask or research online when ticks tend to lay their egg sacs in your area. You only have to do this once per year. This is the time you want to put use your homemade garlic oil (directions in this blog above) and Vaseline combination to stop ticks from laying the egg sac or suffocating the ones that have not hatched. I sound horrible writing that, but I don’t have much sympathy for ticks. Use about 1:3 ratio of garlic oil to Vaseline and with this concoction on your finger, just run your finger underneath window frames and door frames all along the outside of your home. This is a popular place for ticks to put their egg sacs. This will help decrease the population of surviving ticks in your yard.
3) Old-Fashioned Flannel Drag and Burn Barrel
This sounds kind of ‘rodeo’ or ‘country’ and guaranteed this WILL get you strange looks from neighbors if they see you do this, but it works.
Use a large piece of material that you don’t care about like an old flannel shirt or other material that is relatively tacky (I don’t mean tacky like ugly, I mean clingy). Put the material/cloth on the ground and use a broom or old shovel handle to move or rake around your yard with the material. The idea is to drag the cloth on the ground, so that ticks cling to it.
Do this in areas where you are most concerned about ticks, maybe children’s main play area, or under shady trees where you like to sit, or wherever. Ticks do like the perimeter of yards where there are bushes, trees, or shady areas. When done raking the material around the yard, promptly bring the material or cloth to a fire pit or preferably a burn barrel and burn the material.
Important: Do NOT touch the material when bringing it to be burnt. There will be ticks on it. Best time to do this is when ticks are active. For example, our tick season is usually mid-May to September. I do this the first time in mid-May and again, once per month.
4) Add Garlic and Apple Cider Vinegar to your Diet.
Both garlic and apple cider vinegar are good for you, so these should be in your diet anyway, but even one more reason is that ticks do not like the smell or taste. This will help them to not like the taste of you. There is mixed research on the length of time required before a tick needs to be attached to you to pass on any of the bacterial infections they can pass on (including lymes disease), but all of the research seems to agree that the infected tick has to be attached to you for AT LEAST 24 HOURS before it is able to pass anything on to you or a loved one. Some research says more time, but nothing I have found says less than 24 hours.
When using garlic in your diet, it is good practice to press it instead of only mincing. This releases more of the wonderful properties garlic has. Also, before pressing and quickly throwing it in your food instead press it and set it in a side bowl for a few moments. This allows more time for the garlic to react with the air increasing its allicin that increases garlic’s infection fighting properties. Keep in mind, garlic loses potency quickly and all of the beneficial allicin will be gone in about an hour. Therefore, press garlic, let is sit for a few moments, add it to your food later in cooking and eat it within the hour. Dried, jarred, or powdered garlic does not have these benefits.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
There are many reasons to incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar into your diet besides warding off ticks. Apple Cider Vinegar supports a healthy digestive system, aids in weight loss, detox’s your body, balances pH, and much more! Here is a recipe you will love!
Lemon Aid (AKA “Good Girl Moonshine”)
5) Get Chickens!
Chickens eat ticks. The less ticks the better. Enough said.
6) Perform Tick Checks Every Day During Tick Season
It is just good practice before pajamas go on, check your spouse and your kids for ticks and your spouse should check you. Again, ticks cannot pass on bacterial infections if they are latched on less than 24 hours, so even if a tick gets through this regiment I am posting about, be diligent about checking your family.
Educate yourself about lyme’s disease and its symptoms. Don’t fear it, do something about it. The sooner you catch it and treat it, the better off you will be.
During tick season, I have also added Young Living Geranium Essential Oil to my DIY Shampoo recipe for my family.
Your Choices Do Make a Difference in Your Health!!