Ticks...bloodsucking, disease-spreading parasites. Unless you are looking for Lyme disease, there is no positive to having a tick on your person. This spring has been a bona fide tick season, and all indicators point to a population explosion for these creepy crawlers in the coming months.
I've tried several retail products labelled as tick "repellents", but
most are high priced and basically created using a couple items you have in your cupboards. Here are two simple, homemade solutions for you and your pets.
Repellent for Pets:
Add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent). To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil, which will all repel ticks and fleas while also creating a scented repellent. Spray onto the pet's dry coat, don't get it in their eyes (or other sensitive areas). Spray down your pet once per day if they are only going outside to go to the bathroom, spray them several times a day if they spend the entire day outside.
In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. To make a scented solution so you do not smell like bitter vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil or bath oil. Eucalyptus oil is a calm, soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong crisp scent that also repel ticks. After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to keep ticks at bay.
Even if you are using the tick repellent- be sure to give yourself a good "tick check" every day.