Did you know that 95% of Lyme disease cases occur in 14 states? No matter where you live though, your family’s spring and summertime adventures will probably bring you to a wooded area at some point. You don’t need us to tell you that wooded areas are prone to having ticks! Luckily, there are easy (and natural) ways to protect your family from ticks in your own backyard and in other places.
- Eat your garlic: Scared of using DEET? You’re not the only one! It may be an old tale, but using garlic to prevent bugs from bothering your family can be an effective trick. You can use garlic oil or a combination of other oils (rosemary, lemongrass, cedar, peppermint, thyme, geraniol) to create your own bug repellant.
- Set your boundaries: If you’re concerned about ticks in your own backyard, create barriers between wooded areas and frequently trafficked areas like the swing set, picnic table, or swing. You can do so with wood chips or gravel, since ticks aren’t fans of either of these.
- Say yes to lint rollers: After you or your little one comes in from being outside, lint roll clothing. Doing so will likely pick up any ticks that found their way onto pieces of clothing. If you want to be super safe though, toss the clothes in the wash.
- Tuck it: Yep, you’re that If you’re really concerned about your little one being exposed to ticks, tuck their shirt into their pants and their pants into their socks. We can’t guarantee that they’ll be happy about this…but it will make it challenging for ticks to make skin contact.
- SCRUB-a-dub dub: We really mean SCRUB. A quick rinse is unlikely to get a tick off your skin. Really scrub with a loofah or another body sponge and make sure that you’ve checked all your little one’s nooks and crannies.
- Check the chart: Did you know that there are about 90 types of ticks in the US? (There are about 850 worldwide). Do yourself a favor and check out this chart, since not all ticks look the same.
- Don’t Cuddle With Fido: Have an outdoor cat or a dog? Be mindful when you and your kids spend time with them, as pets are often carriers of pesky ticks.
If all else fails and you find a tick, don’t panic. Use tweezers to grab a tick by the head or mouth. Pull strongly until the tick detaches from the skin. Then, drop the tick into a jar or a zip-locked bag. Rinse your hands and the place where the tick was. Brush an alcohol swab over the spot and call your doctor – it’s always better to be safe than sorry!