The ick of ticks lurking on our bodies and our pets brings fear and dread every season.
The states located in the Northeastern U.S. are considered to be endemic for ticks, especially the black-legged or deer tick. Worrisome to humans and their pets because the deer tick can transmit Lyme disease, caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. This dreaded condition is rapidly gaining awareness and rightfully feared due to its debilitating effects if not treated from the onset.
The presence of ticks should not deter you from enjoying the outdoors. You just have to take necessary precautions and be on the lookout for these pests. Wear light colored clothing so they are more visible to spot and check yourself, your children and your pets frequently.
Ticks can be very stubborn to the typical flea and tick sprays. Rather than dousing yourself and loved ones with pesticides and organophosphates, and then worry about the risks of these toxic ingredients, try an approach these buggers naturally detest and don't build up a resistance. The scent of certain essential oils encourages them to flee. Ticks don't like the smell of the oil therefore try to avoid it.
Rose Geranium, Pelargonium caputatum x radens, is a necessary part of any effective eco-friendly tick repellent. This plant is a hardy, evergreen shrub with a lemon-rose scent and pink to purple flowers. The oils are distilled mainly from the leaves. Geranium is composed of terpene alcohols, which explains its many uses as an anti-fungal, an antiseptic as well as as aid in healing wounds and irritated skin conditions.
Emotionally, Rose Geranium has a calming, centering and grounding effect. High-strung people seem to give off signals and are more prone to draw insect pests and the likelihood of getting bitten. The use of this essential oil can help with one's mood and temperament.
Geranium is believed to contain plant hormones, that can help the body's hormone system function properly by being more balanced. The oil is said to help with nervous tension and mood swings. Pregnant woman should check with their physician before using.
This Tick Deterrent Spray is composed of distilled water, alcohol to help with preservation and the essential oil of Rose Geranium. Since everyone's body chemistry is different and the rate of sweating due to activity varies, there is no way to tell how long the effectiveness of each application lasts. Reapply every few hours. As with any new introduction on the skin, test first on a small area of skin to check for irritation.
Geranium essential oil is safe for children but if your child is under the age of five, let me know before ordering and I will know to dilute the ratio of essential oil to distilled water.
If using on cats, be sure to choose at checkout the option for the spray be made with lemongrass and cinnamon. Some essential oils can be dangerous to cats. Cats don't have the enzymes necessary to break down certain components and unless eliminated efficiently their build-up can lead to toxicity.
Geranium is on the safe for cats list, but since there is so much back and forth opinions on essential oils and cats, I'd rather just use a blend known to be without so much controversy.
Geranium is aromatically strong and being dogs' sense of smell is so acute he may shy away from being doused with this spray. Choices for application would then be to spray just your pet's collar, apply on neck and under the belly areas or further dilute the bottle if you want to spray the entire animal (simply reuse a larger spray bottle and add additional distilled water).
Tick Deterrent Spray comes in an 8 oz. plastic spray bottle.
A great tip to remember:
When you come in from outside or even periodically while on a hike or gardening, take a lint roller and go over your clothing to pick up any ticks. Roll it over your dog or cat to pick up any ticks. Being deer ticks are so small and blend in so well with darker clothing and fur, this tip is genius.
Veterinarians tell us the flea and tick treatments are deadly for the pests but safe for our dogs. Bug sprays for humans state the dosage isn't large enough to cause problems.
Yet on the other hand we are bombarded with warnings about the chemicals in these products.
How much is too much? How long till toxicity builds up? Unsure of what to believe anymore, taking the 'better safe than sorry' approach seems like the better choice. Some years are worse than others for fleas and ticks and situations may at times call for bringing out the 'big guns', but for every day, every month prevention, it may be better for all involved to go the natural route to ward off pests.
For more information:
What are organophosphtaes?
Organophosphates are found in pesticides. They are potent neurotoxins at the level of the neuromuscular junction so they cause paralysis and respiratory failure by blocking acetylcholinesterase. Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter in regulating muscle control and acetylcholinesterase is vital to regulating its activity.
Organophosphates kill because they interfere with the nervous system of both insects and humans. Under normal conditions, acetylcholinesterase sends chemical signals to halt nerve impulses at appropriate times. When the acetylcholinesterase enzyme is disturbed, neurological overstimulation occurs, leading to nervous system dysfunction, causing seizures and death.
Toxicity can occur via absorption through the skin, by ingestion, or by inhalation. Typical symptoms of poisoning comprise the SLUDGE syndrome: salivation, lacrimation, urination, defecation, gastrointestinal upset, and emesis. Increased respiratory secretions and pulmonary edema, with the victim drowning in his own secretions, can be the major risk of mortality.
Natural, environmentally friendly and affordable home remedies and personal body care for the family. Homemade, handmade, organic when possible, all with a touch of the love and wisdom from past generations. Knowledge of what is in your products is the start to taking back control as a consumer.