During peak tick season, which is in the spring and summer, it’s important that you protect yourself with tick repellent before going outside to help keep these parasites away.
Helpful tick repellents include products that are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered and have DEET, permethrin or picaridin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends using products containing IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone.
NATURAL TICK REPELLENTS
The EPA determined that products considered “minimum risk pesticides” do not require registration; however, the effectiveness of these products has not been tested in all cases.
While products containing chemicals such as DEET tend to be the best tick repellents, some of these products may not be safe for use on children under the age of three. Therefore, using a natural tick repellent may be the next best option. Natural plant oils typically found in insect repellents are peppermint, thyme, eucalyptus and garlic. Below are some additional natural tick repellent options, according to the CDC.
Undecanone, also known as methyl nonyl ketone, is an organic compound. It can be produced synthetically or extracted from wild tomato plants. It can be helpful against a variety of tick species, including the black-legged tick and the lone star tick.
Garlic oil is a compound extracted from garlic plants. This oil can be used as a tick repellent for the yard to help repel the black-legged tick species.
Mixed Essential Oils
Essential oils extracted from rosemary, lemongrass, thyme and geraniol plants can be helpful against the black-legged tick. This oil combination can be used to apply on skin (therapeutic grade oils only), lawns and gardens.
Nookatone is a natural organic compound typically extracted from citrus, such as grapefruit. It can be used on skin (therapeutic grade only), lawns and gardens to help against black-legged ticks and other tick species.
AVOIDING A TICK BITE
The best way to avoid becoming a tick host is to stay away from any potential areas where they may be hiding. In general, most ticks species will be located near host sites. Hosts range from small to large mammals and can be birds, rodents, deer and even your pets. Whether taking your pets on walks or hiking on your own, be sure to stay away from areas with thick vegetation. Instead, stick to the center of the trail and wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves and pants.
To make your yard less attractive, the CDC recommends:
- Rusty or reddish stains, caused when bed bugs are crushed
- Small dark spots, indicative of bed bug feces
- Tiny (1 mm) eggs or egg shells
- Live bed bugs
- Cover your mattresses and box springs with high-quality protective encasements to trap bed bugs. A light-colored cover makes the bed bugs easier to see.
- De-clutter your home, particularly your bedrooms, to limit bed bugs’ hiding places.
- Vacuum frequently.
- Avoid bringing home bed bugs after you travel. Inspect your suitcases and other items you return home with for evidence of bed bugs. Wash your clothes immediately after you unpack. Dry your clothes on the highest setting to kill any hitchhiking bed bugs.
Our professionals at Terminix® can inspect your yard for free to help identify any areas that may be attracting ticks. Contact Terminix today to schedule a free inspection