Kid & Pet Friendly Tick Repellent
Summertime, sweet summertime! Golden days packed full of outdoor activities with the sun on our shoulders is all glory, until the biting begins! Go outside prepared with a safe and sane natural alternative to DEET that's kid and pet friendly with some sunscreen protection to boot! This year we're spending our summer in the mountains of Wyoming with a puppy in tow! Now I'm more concerned than ever about ticks and how to repel them without using harmful chemicals like DEET, proven to be harmful to humans (soft puppy bellies included) and the environment. A natural version with a touch of sunscreen protection is easy to make with a few ingredients and takes only minutes to blend! It's important to know that ticks operate mostly by using their sense of smell, this is why pure essential oils can be effective. Ticks don't jump or fall from trees, instead, they do something called "questing." They climb to the top of a blade of grass or plant and stick their front legs up in the air, waiting for the scent of a victim to walk by. If you find one on your head, then it crawled there...they don't jump. Their front pair of legs have what are called Haller's organs
, which detect smell, temperature, movement and carbon dioxide. This is how they know that you are coming. And since it is well known that they like warmth and moisture, they are waiting for a warm, moist environment to call their home. According to the experts, ticks are not attracted to the scent of several essential oils which I'll list below or, vinegar. I know I say this a lot, but the versatility of essential oils make them the best value around for true health and wellness at home, in the wilderness, travel or on the farm. Just had to mention that because it still blows my mind how nature has us covered!
I found this article interesting: How to Get Ticks off Dogs and where to look! Furry pets are especially vulnerable because they're closer to the ground and their fur is an easy grab-on for ticks.
According to my own research there are a few essential oils that are particularly effective in a tick repellent, which of course, can double as a good all round bug repellent too:
Lastly, vinegar. It can be white vinegar or apple cider vinegar but either one is stinky to a tick so I add it! Also, I've become so enamored of Carrot Seed essential oil and it's high SPF (35 - 48) that I've started adding small amounts to lip balm
, bug repellent and moisturizer. Remember, an essential oil won't protect you from burning if you've been in the sun too long so be diligent about reapplying any kind of natural sunscreen
and by all means cover up when needed! On the flip side, sun is healthy too, we need that vitamin D!
Tips to hike tick free from the American Hiking Society!
Happy Trails :)