Ticks are small insects that live in moist and humid environments. They feed on the blood of animals, including humans. They can transmit diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick-borne encephalitis to people.
Ticks are a common problem, if not a nightmare for hikers. They can be found in many places, but they most often live in tall grass and shrubs. When it comes to the outdoors, ticks are the last thing you want to be thinking about. They can make your outdoor activities a lot more dangerous, and it’s not easy to avoid them. The best way to avoid getting ticks is to stay out of wooded and bushy areas, but for us, passionate hikers and lovers of the outdoors, this is unthinkable!
With the right precautions in place, you can prevent ticks and any illnesses they can cause. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can ensure you are protected from ticks.
There is no perfect outfit to protect you from ticks, but there are a number of ways to wear your outfit to avoid the tick coming into contact with your skin as much as possible.
The best way to prevent ticks is by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks, and closed shoes. It is also highly recommended to wear light clothing – not because it would protect you in any way, but because you can easily see a dark-colored tick crawling on you.
Make sure to tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from getting on your skin and that you wear clothes that are comfortable and suitable for the conditions in which you are. If you are in a warm climate, you can still wear long pants and sleeves. There is a range of breathable clothing in which you will feel good even at high temperatures.
Vinegar and rosemary
If you are considering buying a repellent but have not yet done so, try making a homemade repellent from vinegar and rosemary. It is very easy to make and exceptionally effective.
Both substances (vinegar and rosemary) have been shown to kill ticks on contact, and they also have a strong scent that will keep them away from your skin. This is how to make your own natural homemade repellent:
- Bring half a liter of water to a boil and add 3.5 oz or 100 grams of dried rosemary. If you have fresh rosemary, use a double dose, i.e. 7 oz or 200 grams.
- Weld, set aside, and allow to cool.
- Strain the decoction through a fine sieve or cloth and add a tablespoon of vinegar.
- Pour the liquid in a spray bottle, shake well, and spray on your clothes and skin before going out.
- Repeat every few hours while you’re outside.
Garlic is a common herb that’s been used for centuries for its health benefits. It is a great food to build up your immune system, cleanse your body and many people use it for its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. It’s also a great way to repel ticks (and maybe even vampires!)
The best way to harness the power of garlic against ticks or other insects is to rub it with a clove of garlic, especially on your legs, arms, and neck. Due to the extremely aromatic nature of garlic, it is not recommended to rub it around sensitive areas such as the eyes and nostrils.
Garlic is rightly considered one of the most effective ways to drive away ticks. However, we must remember that because of how aromatic it is, we will smell the garlic aroma for another two or three days, even after showering.
Use a repellent (especially with DEET)
DEET is the most common repellent in the market. It can be applied to your skin to ward off ticks, but it is also safe to apply to your clothes or hair. A few people may have allergic reactions to DEET so it is important to test it on a small patch of your skin first before going for the whole arm. Bear in mind that the repellent should be applied at least 10 minutes before going outside.
Another type of repellent is a bracelet that contains permethrin – a chemical that repels ticks from you. These bracelets are worn on the wrist and emit an odor and create a chemical barrier that repels ticks from coming any closer. This type of repellent is very popular, especially with children, and inexpensive.
We know that ticks aren’t the most pleasant of creatures to find on your outdoor adventures, but if you follow the tips we provide you, you should be able to keep the ticks at bay and reduce the risk of getting infected.