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Use natural ingredients for DIY tick repellent
tick bites
Ticks are basically spiders that feed on both human and animal blood. Though they generally do not feed on humans, they will feed on anything warm-blooded. - photo by California Department of Public Health

If you are afflicted with a tick borne illness such as Lyme disease, or to increase your understanding of tick borne illness, its prevention and treatment, attend the monthly Lyme Disease Support Group meeting 6:30-8 p.m. March 28 in the meeting room of the Hillsboro Public Library, 819 High Ave.

DIY tick repellent

Don’t let ticks’ desire to feed on you upset your outdoor plans this spring and summer. Make your own repellent from some natural ingredients. This recipe can be used for you, and with a small twist, for your pets.

For you and your family: In a 4 cup or larger spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar with one cup of water. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar.

If you don’t want to smell like vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oils. Eucalyptus oil is a calming, soothing scent which also repels ticks. Peppermint and citrus oils give off strong, crisp scents, both of which repel ticks.

After mixing the solution, spray onto your clothing, exposed skin, and hair. Reapply every four hours for best effect.

For pets: Mix in a sprayer the same proportions of the vinegar and water solution. But instead add two tablespoons of vegetable or almond oil. Both contain sulfur, which repels ticks naturally, but helps the pets’ fur to carry the repellent.

When applying to your pet, avoid their eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals, which can be irritated by the vinegar and oil.

If fleas are an issue, add a few teaspoons of either lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil.

Examine your own skin and hair when going back indoors to make sure no ticks are on your body. Do the same for your pets.

For more information regarding the meeting, or tick borne disease, email, call 608-489-2725 (ask for Gary), or write Gary Cepek, S1468 Cepek Rd., Elroy, Wis. 53929.