Tick season is in full swing. To protect you and your family from ticks, here are some natural, safe solutions. “The People’s Pharmacy” is a column that appears weekly in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and this topic appeared in the August 12, 2012 issue by columnists Joe and Teresa Graedon with suggestions for natural tick repellents.
Catnip is an herb that most people use for behavioral effects on cats to keep them out of the garden. The oil extracted from the plant has a chemical component called nepetalactone which is found to be comparable to DEET. Catnip oil is also suggested to repel houseflies and mosquitoes. Catnip, however, can be skin sensitizing to some individuals. Geranium oil, long known for its use in repelling mosquitoes, is also good for repelling ticks (Graedon & Graedon, 2012).
If you have problems finding or are unsure how to safely use these oils, try a flea and tick spray made by Skin Therapy of Virginia. This product has a proprietary blend of essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin or sprayed on clothing. Because the base for this spray is distilled water and castile soap, it will not stain clothing. Contact Skin Therapy of Virginia for more information about this product (see contact form below).
Also be on the lookout for the Lone Star tick (which has a white dot on it’s back). In a news report on June 18, 2013 on WWBT-12 in Richmond, Virginia, “Researchers say spit from the tick provokes the immune system to make the anti-body in reaction to sugar in the meat. The next time a child or adult who’s been bitten by a tick eats meat, a violent reaction occurs several hours later such as a severe rash or respiratory problems. Help should be sought immediately if this occurs because it could be fatal”.
Graedon, J., & Graedon, T. (2012, August 12). The People’s Pharmacy. Richmond Times-Dispatch, p. G4.