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With rising temperatures of spring, ticks become active again, and the risk of tick bite increases. But the bite alone is not all that is troublesome, more than one out of ten ticks carries pathogens that can transmit dangerous diseases. Protection from ticks is more important than ever. You can choose between natural tick repellent for humans or synthetic products.
Synthetic products can contain chemical compounds like DEED, Picaridin, Permethrin, Fipronil, etc. These are very effective pesticides that repel or kill ticks and other insects.
But what works and is effective can also have undesirable side effects. In rare cases, some users may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions.
An alternative would be natural tick repellents whose active ingredients are obtained from plants. While natural tick repellent for humans is also not entirely free from undesirable side effects, the risk may be lower.
Natural Tick Repellent For Humans
There are many natural tick repellents, from coconut oil, black seed oil, brewer’s yeast, garlic extract, vitamin B, tea tree oil, to amber stone necklaces, herbs, and homeopathic remedies, the list is endless. But how good are these products to ward off nasty parasites?
The effectiveness of coconut oil, garlic oil, black cumin oil, brewer’s yeast, and or essential oils as tick repellents is well discussed. There are just as many skeptics as there are people that are convinced of their effectiveness.
Unfortunately, scientific studies on the effectiveness of natural tick repellent for humans are rare. So you have to try out for yourself what works and what doesn’t.
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Essential Oils Against Ticks
Natural tick repellents are made using a carrier liquid mixed with one or more essential oils that keep ticks away.
The most commonly used essential oils and includes lavender, lemon, citronella, eucalyptus, cedarwood, sweet orange, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, juniper, grapefruit, myrrh, rosewood, and geranium. Almost all of them have a strong odor.
How do Essential oils repel Ticks?
The smell of essential oils irritates the senses of the tick, or for that matter that of many insects, making it more difficult to located and identify a potential host. Some essential oils also have a damaging effect on the chitinous exoskeleton of insects.
Many essential oils are too strong in their pure form and can cause skin irritation and unpleasant reactions. So it is important to use essential oils diluted.
Coconut oil against ticks
People all around the tropics traditionally use coconut oil as a natural repellent against blood-sucking insects such as mosquitos and sandflies. Coconut oil contains Lauric Acid. Many plants produce Lauric Acid to deter sap-sucking pests.
Coconut oil can be used in its pure form and be directly rubbed onto the skin. Besides repelling pests it also a good skin moisturizer.
Garlic, the smell ticks don’t like
Ticks do not like garlic. A scientific study at Lund University Malmö with 100 soldiers showed that regular consumption of garlic capsules significantly reduced the number of tick bites.
Garlic is native to Central Asia and has been used there traditionally for its health benefits. The strong smell of the plant works as a natural deterrent against plant-eating insects.
Eating fresh garlic on a regular basis may reduce the risk of a tick bite and bites from other insects.
Nigella Sativa – Black Seed Oil
Black cumin (Black Seed) does not belong to the family of caraway or cumin but belongs to the family of the buttercup. Black seed, whose botanical name is “Nigella Sativa”, is cultivated in Central Asia, India, North Africa, and Southern Europe. It has traditionally been used as a cure for allergies, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, heart diseases and considered to strengthen the immune system.
Black Seed Oil contains small concentrations of citronellol, an effective insect repellent, that is also a component in Lemongrass oil.
Citronella Oil, also known as Lemongrass Oil is obtained from Lemongrass. To produce Citronella oil, the reed-like leaves of the Lemongrass are steam distilled.
Lemongrass grows all around the tropics and has traditionally been used as a medicine and spice plant.
The fresh citrus scent is fine and refreshing to the human nose, it repels mosquitoes and other insects and is thus perfect for insect repellent mixtures. Citronella is a natural and harmless oil if it is not used excessively.
Do Natural Tick Repellents Work?
Plant-based tick repellents can help against ticks, but their effectiveness may vary in different users. As not much scientific data exists on their benefits and how they should be applied, you have no choice but to try out which tick repellent is right for you and which one works best.