In my 28 years of life, I've gone camping hundreds of times, spent countless days at the lake, and gone on numerous hikes. I have always loved the outdoors. As a photographer, I spend many evenings rolling around in fields and dirt trying to get that “perfect shot.” I've dealt with my fair share of mosquito bites, but have never found a tick on myself until recently. I came home from a session and got started on my editing. My husband was rubbing my neck and shoulders when suddenly, he freaked out, ran out of the room, and told me not to move. He came back, brushed something off of me, and picked it up with a paper towel. He examined the towel for a second and then declared, “You had a tick! You're lucky this thing didn't burrow.” Since that incident about six weeks ago, I have found no less than seven ticks in my house, on myself, and on my dog (luckily none on my kids!). How do you get rid of ticks? Read and find out. I know not everyone deals with ticks, so I've also included some tips on how to repel mosquitoes, as well.
1. Peppermint Oil. Ticks HATE peppermint. I learned recently that it causes their central nervous system to break down, their heart rate to slow, and leads to death. So… If you REALLY want to torture that little beast, it seems peppermint is the way to go. You can either mix peppermint with a carrier oil and rub it all over to deter the pests, or, if you happen to have a tick burrow, drop a couple drops on to make the tick release its grip. Peppermint oil works to repel mosquitoes, as well as ticks, and is a safe pest repellent for both you and your furry friends. You want to make sure that your pet is not ingesting the peppermint oil, though, as it can be harmful.
2. Avon Skin-so-Soft. This product is not meant as a bug repellent, but it does work to repel ticks and mosquitoes. If you are planning on going out for more than a couple of hours, you will want to make sure you have the product on hand to reapply. It tends to wear off after 2-3 hours.
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3. Lavender oil. This is an oil that can be used as a repellent – if you've already been bitten by a tick, stick to the peppermint oil. Lavender is a natural mosquito and tick repellent and should prevent you from even getting the bite in the first place. This is also safe for topical use on your furry friends.
4. Frontline Plus and/or Bravecto. These are obviously options for your furry pals, but I feel like they need to be mentioned! Frontline is a topical flea and tick repellent with a dosage that lasts up to a month. We personally have had a great experience using Frontline on our pup. I haven't used Bravecto, but I have heard great things about it. You get it at your vet, it comes in treat form, and one dose lasts 3-4 months.
5. Bug repellent with DEET. This one is a no-brainer, but it's also something that many people prefer to avoid. Between the smell and the chemicals, I have found that many people don't exactly love bug spray. But you know what most people hate more than DEET? Lyme disease. It is no joke. If you can't find or use any of the methods mentioned above, go for the DEET.
Other ways to avoid ticks and mosquitoes feasting on your blood? Wear long pants tucked into your socks, hats, long sleeves, and avoid rolling around in tall grass.
Do YOU know of any other methods for avoiding Ticks and Mosquitoes?! Let us know what we forgot in the comments!