Ticks... one of the worst creatures in our woods. I never thought I'd ever say such a thing about any of the animals in the woods (OK, I'll admit... it. Maybe I would about the creepy crawlers) but I have HAD ENOUGH of tick season. Every day while I work on our new garden greenhouse, Sean works in the yard, or we even just take a moment to relax with the dogs on the lawn we have to come inside and strip down to check ourselves for ticks. As crazy as that seems, the ticks have been so bad this summer our Mother who came to visit for the weekend, drove back home to NY and found one on her self in bed 3 days later. Isn't that insane?
Well we've decided to nip it in the butt before one of us ends up with a disease. We tested and found a super simple and all natural way solution that will keep them away! Plus, its a mosquito and other pesky bug repellent as well. We call it The Tick Trick.
*This spray is perfectly safe for humans and pets. Be sure to give the solution time dry before letting kids or pets role around in the grass, just to avoid any skin irritation.
What you'll Need:
4 Gallon Backpack Sprayer
16 oz bottle Cedarwood essential oil
16 oz bottle Grapefruit essential oil
16 oz bottle Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil
16 oz bottle Peppermint essential oil
4 oz Alcohol (vodka)
Water for diluting
This is not an essential oil Ad. No, I am not trying to sell you on any specific brand. You can see in my photos the brands we use. This is because of cost effectiveness and what we found actually works. We have tried some other brands but they have either proved to be ineffective or way too expensive. So feel free to purchase the same brands as us or use what you see fit. Just go for the purest oils you can get. The oils we use are available on Amazon.
How to make the solution:
The ratio of essential oils to water is about 1/4 oz of each oil per gallon of water. You can use a shot glass to measure the ounces. (lets be honest, I know you all have at least one in your house, amirite?)
For a 4 Gallon backpack sprayer like ours mix:
1 ounce of Cedarwood oil
+ 1 ounce of Grapefruit oil
+ 1 ounce of Lemon Eucalyptus
+ 1 ounce of Peppermint oil
+ 4 oz of alcohol (vodka)
+ 4 gallons of water
Cedarwood and Grapefruit oil are proven to repel ticks. Lemon Eucalyptus was proven by the CDC to repel mosquitoes just as well as deet. Peppermint oil is great used as a general purpose insecticide.
For more information and the studies on these oils refer to: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/prev/natural-repellents.html
How it works:
This is a two step process. You MUST do two separate applications for it to work correctly. Do your first application on any day that it's not supposed to rain for the next few days. The second application must be within a week of the first application. This is to break up the egg cycle of the ticks. Depending upon how bad your infestation is you can reapply once a month.
How to use:
Mix the essential oil/water solution in a back pack sprayer and spray evenly over your lawn/the area of your property you'd like to treat. If you are using a backpack sprayer or any other spraying device, make sure you use the mist setting not the hose setting. This is so you can cover the most surface area possible with out burning through all your solution. Spray the solution evenly over all lawn areas and surrounding shrubbery. Any areas 3 ft high or lower should be sprayed. Emphasis on the common areas where you will be spending your time outside. The solution only needs to be sprayed on greenery where the ticks and bugs would live. You may also spray around the base of your home to keep bugs out.
Your lawn and common areas must be up kept in order for this to work. Ticks live in 4 inch grass and taller. They cannot survive in direct sunlight, so if your grass is cut short, they wont live there as easily.
If you find that the two separate applications doesn't push them back enough, spray again a week later.
If for some reason the weather didn't hold out for you and it rained unannounced, just follow up with one more spraying after the rain subsides.
You can use any size sprayer you like, just asjudst the ratio accordingly. for small areas, feel free to use a spray bottle of whatever you have on hand.
*We hope The Tick Trick works for you. All of this information are things we have learned from various sources over time. But as always, there is plenty more to try and learn. If you have any more information on all natural bug repellents let us know! Lemon Eucalyptus is sold in a spray bottle by Repel and other brands in stores. It works well for general bug spray. We are still searching for information bug spray we can use in the woods while we and hunting. Let us know what you know!