Even though you will read about using commercial DEET or permethrin products as insect repellents, these chemical are highly toxic. So, what do you do? You should use a natural tick repellent instead!
Ticks often transmit Lyme disease, Bartonella, Babesia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and more dreadful diseases. Other insects also cause problems. For example, mosquitoes transmit Bartonella, West Nile, Dengue Fever and more. Fleas and spiders carry Bartonella, too. Lyme disease can be transmitted by a variety of insect vectors as well.
If you already have chronic Lyme disease and/or if you want to prevent tick borne infections, then you should highly consider a natural tick repellent with essential oils.
Essential oils are oils from plants that have been highly concentrated. Many essential oils have been scientifically proven to repel ticks and other vectors that harbor disease or insects that are just plain annoying to you and your dogs: mosquitoes, fleas, flies, chiggers, spiders and more. In particular, mosquitoes and fleas quite frequently transmit Bartonella.
Please note that cats, rabbits and other pets are more finicky than dogs when it comes to essential oils. So, do your research and/or ask your vet about essential oils for pets other than dogs.
Everyone seems to have their own opinion about which essential oils make the best natural tick repellent. And so does Dr. Richey!
In previous years, she used Purification from Young Living which is a general insect repellent and which contains citronella, rosemary, lemongrass, tea tree oil, lavandin, and myrtle. It was quick and easy. Just add drops of Purification to distilled water . It worked reasonably well, but not as well as DEET.
So, back to the drawing board!
more research, she found that the top essential oils for tick
repellents include lavender, lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus, thyme, oregano, cloves
and rose geranium. The latter oil seems to hold the most promise for
Mosquitoes and fleas also respond to peppermint well in addition to lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus, citronella.
Peppermint is the preferred oil for spiders.
Similarly, chiggers respond to lavender, lemongrass and thyme.
Flies are a bit more particular. They seem to despise basil, clove, and rosemary in particular as well as the more typical lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint in general.
Please note that these lists are not comprehensive. Other essential oils often work well, too. However, the essential oils must be high quality and therapeutic grade. Therefore, Dr. Richey uses essential oils from Young Living. If you want to get their wholesale pricing as a member (highly recommended if you plan to order in the future), then use 1323429 as the sponsor ID and enroller ID numbers.
Dr. Richey wants to not only repel ticks, but other insects as well. No creepy crawlies on her or her dogs or in her home!
So, her custom formula starting in 2017 consists of the following essential oils which she already had on hand.
Just add these 90 drops to about 2 ounces of distilled water or witch hazel or apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake before using to disperse the oils well. And you are good to go!
If you want to make a larger quantity, just use the same ratio of about 90 drops per 2 oz. For example, use 180 drops per 4 oz to make the same 7.5% solution. If you prefer an even stronger solution, try 240 drops per 4 oz to make a 10% solution.
Keep in mind that the spray will need to be re-applied every two hours to remain effective.
Of course, you can adapt the above information to meet your specific needs and your available products.
If you desire a much simpler approach just for ticks, then consider using rose geranium neat (without dilution) by applying a drop directly to wrists, ankles, back of knees, and back of neck. Dogs will require less drops.
Dr. Richey has not tried rose geranium yet (it is on her to do list!), but it holds lots of promise and is worth consideration. For example, this testimonial about rose geranium is amazing! So she plans to use rose geranium (Pelargonium capitatum x radens only) IN ADDITION TO the above formula for more effective tick and insect bite protection.
You can still enjoy nature and the outdoors safely and confidently with these appropriate precautions!