Repellents are a very personal choice. Some people don't want to take any
chances and use the most potent and toxic product available. However, I
would urge you to consider the personal health implications of using these.
On the other hand, there are effective "natural" repellents available that
can also have toxic effects if not used in moderation. The biggest difference
between the two is the effects it has on pets, livestock, wildlife, soil health,
and groundwater. In this arena, natural wins!
I encourage you to do your own research to determine the pros and cons of
any product you consider using. Make an educated decision for yourself and
your family. If you have children, be sure to read all warning labels and
thoroughly research products before using them. Discuss options with your
pediatrician. Whatever you choose, please make sure you use a repellent.
Here are some great links to get you started:
How to choose Insect Repellent
Deet vs. Permethrin
Insect Repellent Reviews
CT.Gov Insect Repellents
Permethrin is the most effective synthetic tick repellent available. It has been
proven to cause some problems with toxicity, so it should not be used directly
on the skin. It is best used for clothes and yard. It is also toxic to cats, so do
not let your cats on your sprayed clothing or outside until it has dried
completely and prevent ingestion. For this reason, you should never apply
topical dog medications or human sprays on cats.
Insect Shield Repellent Clothing
Feline Permethrin Poisoning
Deet tends to be less effective than Permethrin mostly because it evaporates
quickly. If you prefer Deet, try a time release version.
Sulfur works as a tick repellent. It is not toxic to humans, pets, or livestock, so
can be used in powder form to sprinkle in the yard. I'm not sure if it will last
through rain, etc... or its efficacy.
Repel Ticks with Sulfur
Sulfur Repellent for Ticks
There are MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) supplements that contain sulfur and
also help with many of the cognitive and joint symptoms that go along with
Lyme. In fact, sulfur is required for proper brain and cell function. And you can
get it naturally from leafy greens. It's win win.
Bluebonnet MSM Powder
Warning: DO NOT use natural or botanical repellents that contain essential oils
IN COMBINATION WITH other synthetic repellents. This can allow toxins to be
carried into the blood stream. See the Essential Oils page for more details and
Natural Insect Repellent Recipes
Natural Tick Control Tested
Cedar Oil (Cedarwood)
Cedar Oil is proven to be one of the most effective Repellents and Pesticides
for arthropods. And the best part of it is it is safe for people, pets, and the
environment. Cedarwood Oil therapeutically also gently stimulates the
circulatory system (do not use internally). It's a win-win.
Note: There is a myth that cedar oil is harmful for rabbits. Studies show that
this is not the case. However, frequent Cedar Oil use, use in large amounts, or
ingestion by humans or animals can be toxic, so exposure should be limited.
Cedar Oil History/How it Works
You can purchase it here and a portion of the proceeds will go to the
Harrisburg Area Lyme Disease Support Group.
Citronella is not really very effective. That's what all those garden candles and
tiki torches contain, although it is usually a synthetic version of it. For anyone
who has tried this, I feel like it repels me more than it ever repelled a mosquito
let alone a tick. Unless you like the smell, I would avoid this option. Plus, it can
be toxic in large amounts.
Garlic is an effective repellent, but is not good for use on pets. It tends to be
more effective on mosquitos than on ticks. I would save this one for yard use.
Enjoy your garlic with your food for good health also!
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Lemon Eucalyptus is a specific type of Eucalyptus. It is not a mixture of other
Eucalyptus oils and Lemon Oil. It has a strong odor. It can cause skin irritation
and does need to be limited to no more than 2 applications per day. Toxicity
from Eucalyptus oil can and does occur.
Bugs Be Gone
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus
Lemon Eucalyptus Effectiveness
Neem oil has proven to be an effective tick and insect repellent. It is also an
insecticide. It is believed to be safe for use on the skin.
Neem Oil and its Uses
Effects of Neem Oil on tick infested sheep
Rose Geranium Oil
Rose Geranium is also an effective insect repellent and has shown to be
effective against ticks. As with all essential oils, care should be taken to dilute
and use sparingly to avoid toxicity.
Rose Geranium for Ticks
Rose Geranium Oil for Tick Control
For information on Pet repellents, please see the Pets page.
For information on Yard repellents, please see the House & Yard page.
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