Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Stepping into Essential Oils: Tick Repellent

By nature, I am an extremely curious person. Combine that with my love (obsession?) for good smelly things, you would have thought that I would be exploring the world of essential oils and all their benefits already! No, this is something I had actually never really thought about. Then the flea/tick drops stopped working on the dogs and I knew I needed to look into something better (and more natural).

Please don't get me wrong. I know a lot of people completely shun any and all uses of chemicals and I understand why. But where we live, there is an increasing risk of diseases such as Lyme disease that is transmitted by ticks. Then there is West Nile Virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes. When they worked, I was willing to put them on the dogs to protect them from these diseases. Lately though, I have been finding numerous ticks on the dogs only a week after putting these products on them. I am finally fed up with putting chemicals on the dogs that aren't even doing what they are claiming to do!

I have tried several different brands, and have had the same experience with all of them. My sister's dog even developed paranoia after being administered Vectra 3D (the same tick repellent that we were giving our dogs).

I decided that even if I have to apply it everyday, I am going to find a better solution. A more natural solution. In this post I am going to give you the different methods I am trying and the recipes I have found from my internet research. Because we are nearing the end of "tick season" I doubt I will be able to share my results until next spring/summer. That is one thing that has frustrated me through my internet research. I wanted to find REAL people with REAL results. I found plenty of recipes, but not many people that said, "This worked great for me!".

Here is the recipe I came up with, after researching different recipes.

Tick Repellent
10 drops geranium essential oil
6 drops lavender essential oil
approx 1 cup water

Mix together in a spray bottle and apply as needed.

Since the ticks are gone for the season (yay!) I will report back in the spring/summer with results.

Another tip I have found, is to directly apply a couple drops of the EO on the dog's collar (NOT the dog, this can cause skin irritation and other problems. Essential oils should always be diluted) for added protection. I did this with  the geranium and lavender oils when I first received them and did not find any ticks. I'm not sure if it is related to the oils, or simply the fact that ticks are less common at this time of the year.

I bought my essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs, per the recommendation of friends on a forum, although you can use any therapeutic grade essential oil for the recipes.

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