Watch Your Back!

I love summer. I love the colors, the sounds, the plants!
But there is one thing I hate about summer: Ticks! I am usually the type of person that has no issues with bugs, or anything that creeps. But ticks, no thank you!
I’m pretty careful to always do a ‘tick check’ when I get home from being in the woods, and I highly recommend that if you are in the woods you do the same from time to time and at the end of your hike.
I have noticed this year, because of the unusually warm winter, that ticks are out in abundance. One common misconception is that ticks will ‘jump’ onto you as you pass by a tree. While its true they can sense body heat, and may fall onto you when you brush past a tree branch, the most common place ticks can be found is in high grasses. Fields or a thick-with-underbrush forest floor are the worst places for ticks!

It’s not so much the ‘bug’ factor that bothers me about ticks, its the diseases they carry. Because ticks feed on blood, whatever they carry is easily transmitted to humans.
Most people are aware that ticks carry Lyme Disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever seems to be showing up a lot this year. But did you know ticks can carry other diseases such as Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness.
If you are going to be out in the woods, be sure to use some sort of protection. High socks, long pants, long sleeves and hats are great, but lets be honest, who wants to wear all that on a 90 degree summer day?
A deep woods bug spray that states it works on ticks may help in repelling, but I tend to lean more towards natural and homemade remedies such as the one below.

10 to 25 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil is fine)
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)

Combine the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Dab a few drops on your skin or clothing.

Make sure to you know how to Properly Remove a tick!

I’ve also heard that if you place a few dryer sheets in your socks and pockets this works as well!

So, just be safe, and take proper precautions when you are out and about in the woods, and Happy Hunting!

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