The weather isn’t really getting warmer yet, but tick season has indeed begun in Placer County. Because most of us aren’t worried about mosquitoes, we may be a little less cautious during these cold times of year. By being a little more proactive and aware, we can learn to protect ourselves, our families and our pets. Ticks are little “bugs” (officially arthropods) that attach to your skin and by tapping into your blood to feed off of it, they can also give back to you the disease they may be carrying. There are a number of diseases that ticks carry such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Babesiosis and a few others. The most prevalent one in Placer County is Lyme Disease which is carried on the Western Black-Legged tick, but the protective mechanisms are the same for wherever you live.
Here are some of the basic things you can do to protect yourself:
- When walking the trails or off of the trails, wear long sleeves and pants
- If possible, try to avoid walking/hiking/running/biking directly through or under thick brush where ticks may be hiding
- Try mixing the essential oils of Lavender and Geranium and spritzing them on exposed areas of your skin as a natural tick repellant (please try this on a tiny area of your skin first as some people are very sensitive to the potency of essential oils and may need to dilute them in a carrier oil like almond oil)
- This can also be used on pets
- You will need to vary the frequency you apply it as well as the amount depending on the amount of exposure you have.
- Whenever you get home from an outdoor excursion, do a thorough inspection of both you and your pets.
- If you have cautiously weighed the benefit of using a chemical repellant against the fact that it will absorb into your system, you could also consider using the insect repellant DEET. It works extremely well, and is a highly toxic compound to the ticks as well as to you, so please make this decision wisely.