With the mild winter, this is going to be a terrific (or terrible) year for bugs. Hopefully our beneficial insects are flourishing, because I have already seen that some of the pests are. I have been finding ticks on my cats for a few months already, and the other day I found one on myself. So it is time to talk about dealing with tick bites.
I am concerned about ticks because of the number of diseases they carry, such as Lyme disease. The first step is to try to prevent tick bites. There is some evidence that essential oils like grapefruit may help repel ticks. Tuck your pants into your socks so it is harder for the ticks to get to your skin. And when you are done with your outdoor activities, do a tick check to catch them before they bite you. If you are bitten by a tick, use tweezers to carefully remove it. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible so you are not squeezing the body of tick, which may cause them to inject more bacteria into the body. Likewise, do not burn the tick as a means of removal. After the tick is removed, treat the area with a topical antiseptic. Sometimes, the tick has deposited bacteria on our skin that we scratch into the wound. I use tea tree oil on my tick bites. To deal with the itch of the bite, apply ozonated olive oil. A few applications should neutralize the itching. I have also found this to work for chigger bites where hardly anything helps. Finally, make note of where the tick bit you and watch that area for a red rash that can be the first sign of Lyme disease. Let’s enjoy the spring and stay healthy.