We frequently get asked about natural methods for keeping ticks off of people and animals and also about how to prevent contracting Lyme disease when there is a tick bite. This article will give you some tips on those topics.
Keeping ticks off. Your best bet is a clothing barrier and throwing clothes in the wash when you come in from outside. Include a hat too. The deer tick nymphs are the size of a poppy seed and are carried on the wind. No tick repellent will keep them off of you once they are airborne; they just land where they land. Yes, the nymphs can also carry tick-borne infections.
Spray Repellent: For adult ticks, again, clothing is your best prevention, but unless you want to wear a wetsuit all summer, you might need some additional help. You can make your own essential oil spray. Use witch hazel as a base and include several drops of cedarwood, lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, thyme, clove and geranium – or ANY combination of those. Use a glass spray bottle because essential oils degrade plastic pretty quickly. You may need to reapply somewhat frequently as essential oils are volatile and tend to evaporate.
Stinky: There is some evidence to support the use of garlic for tick (and flea/fly) prevention. Of course, eating lots of garlic or taking garlic pills may keep more than just the bugs away! This seems to work for pets and horses too.
Removal: If you do find a tick attached, you want to safely remove it. I have had good results with putting one drop of peppermint essential oil on the tick and having it back out on its own. There are also some tick removing gadgets on the market, but you’d have to have that handy. This cotton swab technique is pretty impressive. Be sure to disinfect the bite afterwards with tea tree oil.
Tick Bite Trio: We have had success in our office with having people take three remedies in combination as soon as they find a tick attached (or a bullseye rash – which occurs less than 40% of the time). We like Berberine, Bacteria-Chord (or Bacteria-Tox or LymeStat), and Lymph Tone One in frequent doses for the days following the tick bite.
Preventative: It may be helpful to simply take a dose of Berberine and a dose of Bacteria-Chord (or Bacteria-Tox or LymeStat) every day during tick season. Children over one year old can be dosed at one drop per 5 lbs. of body weight. Pets may be dosed in their water.
Getting Support: We see several clients with Lyme disease every week. While it is rewarding to work with them, we’d prefer that no one contracted Lyme or its many coinfections. If you suspect (or know) that you have Lyme, please check out our Holistic Strategies for Lyme Disease page.
Purchases: We carry (or can order) all of the products in this article. Please let us know if you need anything.
The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any disease or condition. Please consult your healthcare provider when making wellness choices.