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With all the joys of summer come some pesky pests along with it! One of those pests are ticks. And ticks are no joking matter, especially since such illnesses as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are on the rise.
The late spring and summer months are the time most ticks are active. And you can pick them up anywhere! My husband recently found a tick on him one evening, and he had only been in the yard throwing the football with our boys.
These little critters can quickly latch onto their prey, and they hold on tightly for the ride.
Here are some solutions for dealing with these pesky parasites:
Do a Tick-Check
If you’ve spent any amount of time outdoors, it’s always a good idea to perform a tick-check. Parents can check kids before bath time, and they can also check each other in those areas they can’t see on themselves. If you remove a tick within 24 hours of finding it, the chances of it spreading a tick-borne disease are unlikely. Research shows that it takes about this long for the tick to transmit any disease to the host. That’s why checking for ticks regularly is your #1 line of defense.
Save The Tick
If you do happen to find a tick on you, carefully remove the tick, and place it in a jar with some rubbing alcohol, and seal the jar tightly. This may come in handy if you develop symptoms of Lyme-disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, as doctors may need the tick for testing. It is very important to be keenly aware of any symptoms that arise if you’ve been bitten by a tick. Some symptoms don’t show up for 4 to 6 weeks later, and many people forget about their tick bite! Prompt treatment by your healthcare provider is strongly recommended.
Use a Natural Insect Repellent
Many bug sprays on the market contain harmful chemicals, such as deet, which are very toxic to children and adults. A much safer alternative are insect repellents made with certified pure essential oils. The following oils are natural and effective insect repellants:
- Tea tree
- TerraShield Oil Blend & Spray (my favorite – it actually smells good! To order, click here)
These essential oils naturally repel insects with their strong scents and oils. You can also make your own by combining several of these oils into a spray bottle. Just use a base of witch hazel, and add about 10 – 15 drops of each oil you use to this. Apply around ankles, pulse points, and behind the neck.
Ticks don’t have to ruin your summer! Be proactive with these tips, and you can enjoy your summer tick-free.