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According to JohnsHopkinsMedicine.org, “There are over 300,000 estimated new cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year.”
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) known to be carried by deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) found on:
- The black-legged deer tick (northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and North-Central U.S.)
- The Western black-legged tick (Pacific coastal U.S.)
In a recent presentation for Grow-It-Yourself / GIY Members, entomologist Dr. Leslie Mertz reported that deer tick populations are rising. She said that ticks did not die off from the cold due to warmer winters in North America in recent years.
The following is a list of natural tick repellents we have found in our research:
Cedar & Pine-Oil Based Products
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, cedar not only repels ticks but kills them.
Essentria G (Thyme & Clove)
Ecosmart – (a mix of geraniol, cinnamon, lemongrass, and wintergreen oils) Healthiline.com cites this study showing its effectiveness when sprayed on clothes.
3MomsOrganics – (a mix of cedar, geranium, peppermint, citronella, rosemary, and lemongrass). They are EPA-certified, and their product was born out of a story of having suffered through serious tick-borne diseases.
Mycopesticides (Using fungus to mummify the tick)
Farmers and researchers have recently used “mycopesticides” as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. This involves using a strain of fungi that parasitize their insect hosts and kill them. These fungi are called entomopathogenic.
The following are two fungi known to be used to control undesirable insect populations in farms and gardens:
Metarhizium anisopliae 52
To better understand how these mycopesticides are used, have a listen to Tradd Cotter present at the Virginia Association of Biological Farmers Conference.
To learn more about natural pest control, check out our webinar on Encouraging Natural Allies in the Garden with Nancy Lawson.
Do you have a natural or organic tick repellent to share? Please add them in the comments below!
We started using the EcoSmart last year, and I am really impressed with how effective it seems. I had used another natural bug spray for years, but felt like it wasn’t working well, so we switched back to a DEET containing spray. Even that was not keeping ticks off us when we would hike, plus it would nearly suffocate me when I sprayed it on the kids. So we switched to the EcoSmart, and we have literally not seen a tick on anyone in our family (of 8 people!) when we use it. Just Saturday my 7yo and I went on a hike in our favorite spot and forgot to use it, and lo and behold, I found ticks on myself. It made me realize that it really was the EcoSmart that was keeping them away. Not to sound like an infomercial, I just have been very happy with it. 🙂
Thanks so much for that review for EcoSmart, Brittany. I just bought the TickWise and tried it on mosquitoes, but not yet on ticks. I will probably end up getting Ecosmart and all the products listed here because we’re kinda scared about the possible ticks in the new farm we are moving into.