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3 Tips On How To Prevent Tick Bites Naturally

Ticks are the tiny creatures that love to stick around in moist environments. Though tick bites are usually harmless, you can get a rash or a fever with a tick bite. As pets usually bring in the ticks hidden in their long fur, clean them often. Cover yourself head to toe in dark-colored clothes when in a garden or out hiking in the rains. Or slather some coconut oil onto the exposed parts of your skin.

If you are a green finger, you may already know that ticks thrive in both the woody and the mushy wetlands in your garden. You may also know that it is not wise to neglect the bites from these tiny insects because ticks spread Lyme disease. They also carry several other disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites.1

So whether you are out tending to your garden or out hiking, camping, or trekking, you need to know how to prevent tick bites naturally. You need to be extra-careful during monsoons and in the first few months of summer when the land is not very dry. This is when these biting insects breed.

Even if you are not the one doing the nature walks, keep a strict watch on your pets. The ticks can attach themselves to their skin and hide beneath the fur. Your pets then transfer these insects to you. Here are some practical ideas to keep these small insects away.

1. Wear Dark, Well-Fitted Clothing

Wear dark and tight fitted clothes

Wear full-sleeved, ankle-length, well-fitted, dark-colored outfits to avoid contact while making a trip to the garden or the forest. This prevents the ticks from attaching themselves to the body. Why dark-colored? Because a study found that dark-colored clothing seemed to attract fewer ticks than did light-colored ones.2 You can also wear close-fitted socks to keep these insects from crawling underneath and protect your head and neck with a scarf so that they do not hang on to the scalp through the hair and hide in there.3

In places where ticks are a true menace, look for specially treated clothing and bed nets to keep them away.4

2. Use Natural Non-Toxic Repellents

Use coconut oil as a natural repellent to solve the tick issue

You can use a natural, non-toxic repellent to reduce tick bite exposure and the transmission of pathogens that cause various diseases. Coconut oil is an effective repellent for ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. Slather the exposed body parts with coconut oil and let it soak and settle on the skin for some time. It is a handy, cost-effective ingredient you can use at all times.

A study shows that natural repellents made with extracts of lemon and eucalyptus can reduce the number of ticks getting attached to the body.5 Extracts from oils of citronella, cloves, and lily of the valley were also found to be very effective as tick repellents.6

3. Keep An Eye Out For Your Pets

Care for your pets

It is easy for ticks to attach to animal skin as they can hide behind the fur. They tend to the skin for quite some time and then slowly start to draw blood. The bite marks are mostly not prominent, but there can be inflammation, itch, and pain.7

It is also not very easy to detach them from the skin. The best way to remove the attached ticks is by grasping them with fine tweezers and slowly pulling them out. You could even use anti-tick collars for your pets.8 Or give them pillows and comforters stuffed with pest-repellent herbs so that you can keep the ticks away from your pet’s habitat.9

References   [ + ]

1. Githeko, Andrew K., Steve W. Lindsay, Ulisses E. Confalonieri, and Jonathan A. Patz. “Climate change and vector-borne diseases: a regional analysis.” Bulletin of the World Health Organization 78, no. 9 (2000): 1136-1147.
2. Stjernberg, Louise, and Johan Berglund. “Detecting ticks on light versus dark clothing.” Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases 37, no. 5 (2005): 361-364.
3. Appannanavar, Suma B., and Baijayantimala Mishra. “An update on Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever.” Journal of global infectious diseases 3, no. 3 (2011): 285.
4. Vaughn, Meagan F., and Steven R. Meshnick. “Pilot study assessing the effectiveness of long-lasting permethrin-impregnated clothing for the prevention of tick bites.” Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 11, no. 7 (2011): 869-875.
5. Gardulf, Ann, Ingrid Wohlfart, and Rolf Gustafson. “A prospective cross-over field trial shows protection of lemon eucalyptus extract against tick bites.” Journal of medical entomology 41, no. 6 (2004): 1064-1067.
6. Thorsell, W., A. Mikiver, and H. Tunon. “Repelling properties of some plant materials on the tick Ixodes ricinus L.” Phytomedicine 13, no. 1 (2006): 132-134.
7. Sándor, Attila D., Mirabela O. Dumitrache, Gianluca D’amico, Botond J. Kiss, and Andrei D. Mihalca. “Rhipicephalus rossicus and not R. sanguineus is the dominant tick species of dogs in the wetlands of the Danube Delta, Romania.” Veterinary parasitology 204, no. 3 (2014): 430-432.
8. Dantas-Torres, Filipe, Gioia Capelli, Alessio Giannelli, Rafael Antonio Nascimento Ramos, Riccardo Paolo Lia, Cinzia Cantacessi, Donato de Caprariis et al. “Efficacy of an imidacloprid/flumethrin collar against fleas, ticks and tick-borne pathogens in dogs.” Parasites & vectors 6, no. 1 (2013): 245.
9. Meekins, Victoria. “Herb-stuffed pet accessory for naturally repelling fleas and ticks.” U.S. Patent 4,763,604, issued August 16, 1988.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.