5 Ways to Control Ticks Naturally
Preventing tick bites is important because ticks can carry serious diseases. While commercial repellents are effective, there are many natural ways to prevent and avoid tick bites.
Keep Them Out of Your Yard
Although many people think of ticks as a hazard only found in more remote areas, such as hiking trails, people can pick up ticks while gardening or playing in their own yards. Controlling ticks in your yard does not require harsh pesticides. Instead, look at eradicating their habitats. Ticks prefer long grass and shrubs, especially in shady areas. Keep your lawn mowed and try to limit tall and thick vegetation in shady areas. Shrubs in sunny locations are safer, because ticks tend to avoid direct sunlight when possible.
Venturing into tick-infested areas in inevitable sometimes, but you can prevent ticks from biting you by wearing the right clothing. Ticks tend to climb onto people below the knees. Some tick bites are higher, but this is because ticks climb upward to look for a place to bite. Avoid tick bites by wearing closed-toed shoes and long pants tucked into your socks. Try to stick to light-colored clothing because ticks are dark and you can spot them more easily and brush them away before they bite.
Use Citrus Juice
Ticks are naturally repelled by the smell of citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons and limes. This makes the juice an effective repellent, though it can be short-lived. Try spritzing yourself or your pets with lemon juice before short trips through tick-infested areas, but reapply frequently. Citrus essential oils may also be effective, but stay away from them if you have pets because they are too concentrated and can be toxic.
Treat Your Pets
Pets can carry ticks into your home, where they eventually drop off and look for another host, which may be you. Natural tick prevention on pets often follows the same basic guidelines as tick prevention on people. Cover up your pet with a T-shirt and boots if possible, and spritz it with lemon juice. Check your pet for ticks after every outdoor excursion, and remove ticks immediately. Rose geranium oil is an effective tick repellent for dogs, but it is toxic to cats.
One of the best means of tick control is simply to check yourself after every potential exposure. Ticks are so widespread that completely avoiding them is impossible in many regions. Instead, thoroughly inspect yourself after every outdoor excursion. Mirrors can help you see hidden areas, and showering can help make bumps and small ticks more obvious. Try to do this inspection within two hours of returning from the outdoors.
Ticks are a common hazard in most of the country, and preventing them sometimes requires harsh methods. Chemical repellents, such as DEET and permethrin, are a common aspect of prevention advice. While these chemicals are effective and generally safe, there are natural ways to help control ticks and prevent bites.