But seriously, one of the biggest issues with summer is that cases of tick-related illnesses spring up all over the place. With more time being spent outdoors, and a more hospitable environment being set up for the little arachnids, ticks become more and more of a problem.
Have you heard of Lyme disease? It’s an infectious disease carried by ticks, where the bites from the creatures can result in:
- Joint issues
- Neurological deficiencies
- Heart problems and more
The increase in tick bites also means an increase in chemical-filled tick repellents being pulled off of shelves in big-chain stores. Many of these repellents contain ingredients that can be harmful to you, your family, your pets, and your home. The downside is that by using them, you’ll also be putting yourself at risk of a number of other adverse effects that you could avoid by simply taking the natural route.
Q: So, What’s the Best Alternative?
A: Rose Geranium Essential Oil
This is basically the pure oil found in the rose geranium plant, which as it turns out, is great for repelling ticks! The oil is extracted from the plant, whose native name is the pelargonium capitatum, and concentrated into a purified liquid.
There are two common varieties, so which is the right one for you?
The two main varieties are taken from the same plant family, but not the same species. Look for the bottles that say “capitatum” instead of “graveolens.” Although the two are from the same family, they don’t necessarily have the same uses. In this case, the former will do MUCH better when it comes to tick prevention than the latter.
The best part about this oil is that while it does prevent tick attacks, it also smells amazing and works just as well (if not better). The toxic products that you pull off of shelves will smell just like everything they contain – toxic substances. Why settle for a worse option?
How does the essential oil work?
Well, to understand how this essential oil works, most of the answer actually lies in the nature of the ticks themselves.
For the most part, these little ticks operate and hunt through their scent (sort of like how bats use hearing to detect movement). They generally climb up blades of grass (you won’t find many in high places unless they climbed there), and crawl onto you as you walk by. Their front legs contain small organs that can detect your scent, so that’s how they know you’re approaching.
So, knowing that they don’t particularly like the smell of rose geranium oil is a great tip to keep in mind.
A few drops of the purified oil will do well. Pat them on your ankles and wrists, and a bit on the exposed skin on the back of your neck and your legs. You do not need a lot of it. This oil generally doesn’t have to be diluted, so the pure scent will be enough to drive away the ticks.
*** If you’re using them on pets, then you want to keep in mind that dogs have much stronger scent detection than humans do. If you apply too much, your dog won’t like it – and he or she will let you know. Just get a few drops on the tail and behind each shoulder blade to keep your dog tick free. Leave the face untouched.