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Burlington

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It’s a Ticking Epidemic!

Quote of the Month

Tell me what ticks you off and I will tell you what makes you tick”

Have you or anyone you know experienced a tick first hand?

A few weeks ago I was outside eating my lunch on a curb beside some green space and trees…15 minutes later I returned inside only to find a tick on my arm. After I calmed down, I caught it and flushed it down the office toilet. Good thing it didn’t latch on yet!

I also have a dog, so I’ve been experiencing ticks for years. When my dog was younger (she’s now 12), she never had any ticks; however over the past 4+ years, we’ve found more and more of them each year.

I think the creepiest part is when you find them on yourself as well. They will jump off the dog onto you – definitely unsettling if you’re afraid of bugs.

People often wonder why there are more of them around. I think it’s due to several things:

  1. climate change
  2. loss of natural predators due to use of pesticides, herbicides, etc…please stop using all those lawn care weed & garden sprays!! Even all the government aerial spraying doesn’t help!
  3. suburban development – we’re building closer and closer to nature and taking over the landscape

If you’re wondering what the big deal is…ticks spread Lyme disease and other illnesses to people and pets. It’s not something to be taken lightly!

Having experience, I can give you a few tips on how to safely REMOVE A TICK:

  • Get a pair of fine tipped tweezers
  • Pinch the tick with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible.
  • DON’T squeeze their belly or apply oils or heat on the tick while it’s latched on – it may release the potentially infected contents of it’s belly into you!
  • DON’T twist and turn while trying to remove the tick.
  • Place the tick in a ziploc bag and bring it in for identification.
  • After it’s been removed, you can place a drop of oregano or myrrh essential oil to help disinfect the area.
  • Buy a ‘tick removal tool’ – it’s another great option.

If you’re looking for a tick repellant, here’s one that I use for the doggie and myself. It’s easy to make and works well…plus you’ll smell nice!

  1. Get a 250ml bottle with a cap. If you have one with a pump that would be even better.
  2. Into the bottle add the following oils:
    1. 3 drops lavender
    2. 5 drops peppermint
    3. 6 drops lemon eucalyptus
    4. 3 drops geranium
    5. 2 drops citronella
    6. 5 drops cedarwood
  3. Top up the bottle with liquid coconut oil, grape seed oil, almond oil or even avocado or olive oil.
  4. Shake well. You can customize the # of drops per oil to your liking as well.

Other options:

  • add the oils to a container with baking soda. Shake to mix and spread it on your dog’s coat and even your carpets…helps with fleas this way too!
  • add the oils to a 250ml spray bottle containing a mixture of 50% distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and water. This mixture you’ll have to shake each time prior to use.

Here are some other important tips that I took directly from the ontario parks website:

  • Wear light-coloured clothing. It makes ticks easier to spot.
  • Wear closed footwear and socks and a long-sleeved shirt tucked into long pants. Tuck your pants into your socks.
  • Search your clothes and body for ticks at least once a day, paying special attention to areas such as the groin, navel, armpits, and scalp and behind ears and knees. Use a mirror to check the back of your body or have someone else check for you. Don’t forget to tick check children in your care.
  • Take a shower as soon as you can after being outdoors to more easily find and wash off any ticks crawling on you.
  • Place outdoor clothing through the dryer cycle for 60 minutes on high heat before washing to kill any ticks that may be hard to see. Ticks thrive in wet environments.

If you’re open to something ‘outside the box’, I do have a needle-free Lyme test kit (for those of you who are already a client of mine, you’ll already understand what I mean here).

Stay safe!