Natural Tick Repellents

A friend of mine posted these Tick Repellent recipes on Facebook today, so I wanted to share with all of you.  I don’t know where you live, but here in the Midwest, we have a LOT of ticks!  My husband and I love the outdoors, so I will definitely be trying this recipe next time we go hiking.  It’s crazy how different regions have different insect troubles.  For example, my sister and her husband live in New Orleans (this is their first year there), and they were completely shocked and disgusted to have a swarm of termites buzzing around their patio and trying to get into their home when summer began.  Meanwhile, when we lived in Alabama, I was covered in mosquito bites all summer and fall.  In fact, when I was still seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist regularly for fertility treatments, the nurses would always ask me what was wrong with my legs because they were constantly covered in pink bumps.  (I’m sure the fact that we lived by a lake and had a pond in our community made the mosquitoes much worse.)  We also saw cock roaches every night in the summer crawling all around sidewalks and parking lots.  It was absolutely disgusting!  However, in all our time in Alabama, I never once had a tick on me after being in the woods.  In fact, last fall, our puppy was finally big enough to go hiking (we started taking him when he was 4 months old and could handle the long walks better, although we never went on very long hikes with him at that time), so I took him with me on short hikes at least twice a week.  I mean, we lived just a few miles away from a beautiful state park, and within about 15 minutes of a few other great hiking spots.  He NEVER had a tick attach to him, and he spent quite a bit of time in the woods with us.  Fast forward to this summer, living in the Midwest, and we go on our first hike since moving here and he is covered in ticks!  We were forewarned, though.  When we took him to get his annual vaccines a few weeks ago, the veterinarian told us he needed to be vaccinated for Lyme Disease since he didn’t receive that vaccination with his other boosters at 8 and 12 weeks.  She told us Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are major concerns in this area because of the large population of ticks that carry those diseases.  Thank God we had him vaccinated before our first hike of the year, because wow–she wasn’t kidding about the huge tick population around here!

Anyway, that was a really long introduction just to give you these simple DIY Tick Repellents:  one for your pets, and one for you and other human friends.


Natural Tick Repellent for Dogs

Mix one cup of water with 2 cups of distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle.  Add 2 spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, put on the lid, and shake up your dog’s new tick repellent.  This is safe for dogs and should keep ticks at bay, because ticks hate the smell of vinegar, and the oils contain sulfur, which also keeps ticks from wanting to bite into your dog for a meal.

Spray this mixture all over your dog’s fur, avoiding sensitive areas such as the eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals.  Reapply no more than 3 times per day.

Natural Tick Repellent for Humans

Mix one cup of water with 2 cups of distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle.  Add in about 20 drops of an essential oil to prevent you from wreaking of vinegar all day.  Eucalyptus oil and citrus oils are good options, because they also work to repel ticks.  Put the lid on the bottle and shake up your new tick repellent.  This can be sprayed on clothing, skin, and hair, and should be reapplied every 4 hours as long as you are outside in a wooded area.


Even though these sprays should keep ticks from catching a ride on you or your dog, be sure to check everyone for ticks when you return home just to be safe.


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Independence Day

For those of you who live in the United States, what did you do for the 4th of July?  We had such a wonderful day!  We left in the morning to drive one hour to Pere Marquette State Park for a hike and picnic lunch.  I haven’t been there in years, so it was really nice.  And we saw several fun things along the way, which you’ll see in the pics.

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I packed us a yummy lunch to replenish us after our hike.  We had stir-fried sweet potatoes, sliced strawberries, a banana, and a broccoli salad that consisted of shredded broccoli, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and a homemade dressing.

After our hike, Xanh and I napped the whole way home, leaving my poor husband to drive in silence for an hour.  Then, we rushed to pick ticks off Xanh (he had 6!!!), give him a bath, feed him dinner, and get ourselves showered and ready so we could go to a party with my in-laws.  A family friend owns a Vietnamese restaurant in the area, so oftentimes they will host holiday parties up at their restaurant so there’s plenty of seating and a big kitchen to prep all the food.  And the female owner was so sweet and made a couple of special vegetarian dishes just for us.  🙂  Another plus of that party is my husband won $10 playing blackjack with the kids!  Haha.  After that, we came home, watched fireworks, and fell fast asleep after our packed day.

By the way, before I bring this post to an end, I need to pause here to tell you about the strange thing we saw when we were leaving the restaurant party.  We almost hit a turtle in the road!  My husband immediately did a u-turn and went back to get the turtle out of the road.  As we approached the turtle, a man came running out of nowhere to pick it up and told us it was his pet turtle.  He explained that he had his turtle out with him for the 4th so he could “play in the grass” and didn’t realize he was capable of making it out to the road so fast.  We thought it was kind of weird…  Who takes a pet turtle outside to “play”?  What if something ate it or a car ran over it?!

So what did you do for the 4th?  Did you grill anything good?  Share your 4th of July food ideas in the comments section.