With summertime in full force, many of you are likely to be out camping once or twice. Maybe you simply live in a woodsy or otherwise rural area. A cabin in the woods makes for a fantastic bug out location as well. Regardless of why you’re out in nature, it does lead us to one of my least favorite things in the natural world: ticks.
I hate parasites of all forms, but the most common one to see are woodland ticks. Here are a few things you can do to prevent being bitten by one of these less-than-lovely critters.
Say Yes to the Dress
Don’t actually do that. Dresses will leave your legs easily accessible by bugs. Wearing clothing that protects your bare skin is the simply best way to stave off ticks. Drawstring pants or socks pulled over longjohns or pants are good ways of keeping them from climbing that sweet tender lunch you call legs. Additionally, long sleeve shirts, glove, hats, and so on are good ways to reduce the risk. If you have long hair, I suggest you tie it up. Men, beards increase the chances, so you may want to give it a trim before trekking out.
It’s been a very hot summer, though. So I get why you’d want alternative methods.
DEET and You
DEET, or diethyltoluamide, is a chemical oil developed in the 40s as a bug repellent. Some believe it is harmful to apply to your skin. While I can confirm that it isn’t too good with certain plastics, studies are still going as to whether it’s safe for your skin. If you don’t want to risk it, you can apply it to your clothing instead. This should prove just as effective at warding the little bugs.
You may want to perform a patch test with the oil first. You may have a negative reaction to the compound, which you should avoid using at all if so.
Let’s say you want a more natural method of dealing with things. Fortunately, there have been a number of different natural oils that have shown to be affecting as a tick repellent. These oils include Lemongrass, Clove, Peppermint, Wintergreen, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree.
This is my favorite suggestion to give. A flock of guinea fowl and backyard chickens will do wonders at eating/killing not only ticks, but spiders and baby snakes as well. You don’t need to let these birdies run free either, a movable chicken pen will suffice. What a better way to protect yourself from the enemy than a small, feathery army at your feet?