Authored by Michelle McKeon
WHY 2019 IS THE WORST YEAR EVER IN TICK NUMBERS
Tick, Tick, Tick Boom! This season it is as if a “ticking” time bomb has exploded across the country! Ticks are found in parks, yards, fields, and even beaches! Along with ticks, can come some pretty devastating diseases. Many of you are probably familiar with Lyme disease, which is caused from the Lyme bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, spread through the bite of an infected tick.1 However, it is very likely that if a tick is carrying Lyme disease, it may also be infected with co-infections such as Babesia, Bartonella, and Ehrlichia just to name a few. The combination of having a mild winter and the absence of acorns this year has assisted the tick population to flourish.
In past years, acorns have been abundant, which lead to a significant increase in the white-footed mouse population. With this boom, the tick population also increased, as they were able to feed on these mice. Now that the mice population has decreased, ticks are looking to humans to fulfill their appetite.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Adult ticks are approximately the size of a sesame seed, and nymphs are about as small as a poppy seed.1 That said, they are not always easy to point out, and taking the proper precautions can be necessary. Before heading out or gardening, wearing white colored clothing will make it easier to spot a tick. Also, dressing in long socks, and long-sleeved shirts and pants will make it more difficult for the tick to bite your skin.
If you are going to be hiking, try to steer clear of long grass. Also, staying on the hiking trail will help reduce the likelihood of getting bit. If you have a pet, it is important to try and keep your pet on the trail too. Make sure to have your pet on a tick preventative, and check them regularly as well.
When preforming a thorough tick check, be cognizant that they like to burry themselves in difficult to see areas, such as the scalp, armpits, and groin. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully check these places. Also, when coming in from the outdoors, try to immediately take your clothing off, wash them, and put them in the dryer. The high temperatures of the dryer will kill any ticks left on clothing.
Another way to help protect yourself is using Tick Tock Naturals Spay, which is an organic tick and mosquito repellent. The great thing about this spray is that it is made from natural ingredients, such as lemongrass oil, thyme oil, eugenol, and grape seed oil. I love that this spray uses natural ingredients, as many of my clients suffer from chemical sensitivities, and are not always able to tolerate tick spays that use harsh chemicals. Also, this product lasts up to 4-5 hours for bug bite prevention.
Tick Tock Naturals spray is made with grape seed oil as its base, which doesn’t permit it to evaporate like products made with water, alcohol, or witch hazel. Using grape seed oil has hydrophilic properties, which allows it to be more absorbable into the skin, as it marries with the essential oil ingredients. Also, the founder of this spray, Dr. Susan Eisen, who is a Holistic Chiropractor, actually became inspired to create Tick Tock Naturals after being bitten by a tick and developing Lyme disease herself. Through this experience she came to understand the seriousness of this disease, and looked into ways that could effectively protect herself and others from ticks!