Ticks are tiny parasites that attach themselves to the body of the host and suck on the blood. They are usually found in the fur of different animals, including pets such as cats and dogs. People who work in zoos and farms are also predisposed to getting ticks as they are constantly exposed to the most common form of tick carriers. Those who travel often to forested areas may also get ticks.
While these parasites do not cause disease, they are a source of discomfort for the most part owing to the signs and symptoms that present themselves. Some of these signs and symptoms include intense itching at the point of the bite, redness in the affected skin, localized pain as well as a burning sensation.
Some people may experience rashes on the skin, and this is sometimes accompanied by weakness, swelling and fever depending on the extent of tick infestation. The good news is that there are a number of home remedies available for the natural management of ticks, most of which are easily available in the home. Listed below are some of the remedies that are known to eliminate tick populations.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Any choice of aromatherapy oils and a cloth to soak in the oil.
One of the easiest ways to get rid of ticks is to use aromatherapy, a timeless solution to keeping the parasites at bay. This remedy works because the potency and aroma of the oils repels the ticks and makes it easy to eliminate the populations. It is best to mix the choice oils with gentler carrier oils to prevent skin irritation at the point of the bite while still maintaining the oil’s ability to repel the ticks. Some of the oils that you can use for this procedure include cinnamon, lemon, lavender and pennyroyal oils among others. Carrier oils available for this procedure include almond oil, olive oil and avocado oil. Follow the simple directions listed below in order to use aromatherapy.
- Use any of the three oils and mix it with one of the carrier oils.
- Take one drop of each of the three oils and mix it with your preferred carrier oil.
- The amount of oil that you use is dependent on the extent of the infestation, particularly for pets.
- Soak the cloth in the oil mixture for a few seconds and squeeze the excess.
- Wrap the cloth around your pet to get rid of ticks present in its fur coat.
- This remedy is also available for use on human skin. Simply rub the oil mixture on the skin severally.
- Use this remedy twice daily until you are able to completely get rid of the ticks.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Fresh lemon or orange, 1 cup of water, 10 drops of lemongrass oil and a clean cloth or some cotton wool.
Citrus is found in high concentrations in the citrus family of fruits, and these include lemons, oranges, limes and tangerines. The idea behind using this remedy is to prepare natural repellent oil from the fruits, which you can then apply topically to get rid of the ticks. Lemongrass oil is added to the remedy in order to improve its efficiency while acting as a natural tick repellent. Follow the procedures outlined below to make use of citrus as a home remedy for tick elimination.
NOTE: Citrus may not be applicable for tick elimination in cats as they detest the characteristic aroma of citrus. You may opt for any of the remedies listed below.
There are two ways to make use of citrus in the preparation of this natural remedy.
Using Citrus Peels:
- Peel the fruits, the number of which will depend on the extent of the tick infestation.
- Place all the peels in a pan and pour in just enough water to cover the peels.
- Bring the mixture to boil until the remedy’s aroma starts to waft through the air. At this point, the resulting solution will have a slightly different colour thanks to the pigment present in the peels.
- Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down.
- Once the remedy has cooled down, soak the cloth or cotton wool in it.
- Squeeze the excess solution and use the wet wool or cloth to apply the remedy topically on the skin or on the pet’s fur coat.
Using Citrus Juice + Lemongrass Oil:
- Roll the fruits on a clean working surface to stimulate maximum juice production.
- Juice the fruits and collect the juice in a cup.
- You will then fill the cup with water before transferring to a pan.
- Bring the mixture to boil, and after a few minutes, add 10 drops of lemongrass oil.
- Let the mixture cool down before using the clean cloth or cotton wool to apply topically.
- Use this remedy twice daily or more until you have the tick infestation under control.
3. Neem Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Neem oil, preferred carrier oil (jojoba, almond or olive oil) and clean cloth. Alternatively, use 0.5 ounces each of organic neem oil and mild soap, 2 cups of warm water and a spray bottle.
Neem oil is one of the best home remedies for managing tick infestation. The antimicrobial and antiseptic properties present in the oil create a hostile environment that does not allow for the ticks to thrive. This not only fights off the infestation, it makes it harder for the ticks to lay eggs, effectively providing a solution for dealing with them. There are two simple ways in which you can use neem oil to fight off ticks. The first involves mixing the oil with carrier oils to prevent sensitive skin from getting irritated. The second involves preparing organic neem oil spray as indicated in the simple steps outlined below.
Method 1: Topical application of the Neem Oil:
- Dilute the neem oil by mixing it with a carrier oil. This is an important step to avoid irritation of the skin at the point of the tick bite. Use the ratio of 1:1 to prepare this remedy. The amount of oil that you prepare is dependent on the extent of infestation.
- Pour some of the oil mixture on the palms of your hand and massage onto the fur coat or skin. Alternatively, soak a piece of clean cloth in the oil mixture and use it to rub on the skin or fur coat.
- Ensure that the affected area is fully covered with the oil for greater efficiency.
- Use this remedy twice daily until you have the infestation under control.
- When used to treat ticks in human beings, the oil is simply applied on the affected area and left to dry.
Method 2: Preparing the Organic Neem Spray:
- This method involves mixing the neem oil with an equal amount of the mild detergent first. You may use pet shampoo in place of the detergent.
- Shake the solution well before adding it to two cups of warm water for a dilute organic spray to fight the ticks,
- For a more potent solution, add 2 mls of the soap to the warm water before pouring in 5 mls of neem oil.
- Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and use immediately after preparation.
- This spray lasts for just about 8 hours, so discard any leftover remedy after this time period elapses.
- Use this remedy twice daily to get rid of the ticks.
NOTE: This remedy may not be suitable for cats.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of water and 10 drops of lavender oil. Neem oil (optional).
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most versatile home remedies, thanks to its ability to treat different health conditions. It is also ideal for the natural elimination of ticks from pets and human skin. The acidity present in this remedy makes it difficult for the ticks to survive, thus reducing the rate of tick infestation. You will need lavender oil whose aroma fights off the ticks. You may also use neem oil whose benefits have been outlined above. Prepare the remedy using the simple steps outlined below.
- Add 1/4 cup of the apple cider vinegar (ACV) to 1 cup of water and stir to mix well.
- To the mixture, add 10 drops of lavender oil and stir once more.
- Apply this mixture to your pet’s coat and rub in for proper absorption.
- The other option is to use the ACV alongside neem oil for increased potency.
- Add 5 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar to 1/2 a litre of water.
- Stir this mixture well before adding two tablespoons of the neem oil.
- Mix once more and use the resulting remedy to get rid of ticks on dogs.
- This solution may also be applied to the dog house and furnishings in the house.
5. Baking Soda:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon each of baking soda and salt, 1/4 cup of ACV, 1 cup of warm water and a spray bottle.
Use baking soda and salt to get rid of ticks from your pet. As a natural repellent, baking soda helps remove the ticks and clear the infestation. Add salt to improve the remedy’s efficiency. You will need some water, apple cider vinegar as well as a spray bottle. Make sure that you do not spray the remedy mixture into the pet’s eyes during remedy application. In addition to preparing this solution, you may also use the baking soda to prepare a paste and apply it locally on the affected skin.
- Mix both the baking soda and the salt so that you have a dry mixture that is evenly mixed.
- Place the dry mixture in a cup and pour in the apple cider vinegar before stirring well.
- When well mixed, pour this mixture in a spray bottle and use it to spray on the pets.
- Alternatively, prepare baking soda paste by adding a few drops of water to the powder and preparing a paste that is just about thick enough to apply without flowing.
- Let the paste dry on its own.
- Use this remedy twice daily to get rid of ticks.
In addition to these remedies, other options available for the natural elimination of ticks include garlic whose rich concentration of sulfur compounds acts as a natural repellent, petroleum jelly which smothers the ticks as well as vegetable oil which is also rich in sulfur compounds. Eucalyptus oil may also be used by mixing it with water before using as a spray solution. In the event that the infestation does not reduce even after remedy application, feel free to seek the services of a qualified vet.