An at home guide to keeping ticks off your family and what to do if you’re bit.
By Erin Frigerio (The Doctor’s wife.)
It’s spring!! But oh no, it’s tick season!! If you have a yard in New Jersey or the northeast, it’s likely that you are as aware of this as I am. Sadly, this year is positioned to be an especially big tick season because many of the ticks have survived the mild winter. Sigh. Well, there is only one thing to do…be vigilant and honor the naturopathic principle of Prevention!
Here is a short list of what we have done at home to prevent ticks in the past few years. These efforts have made a huge difference in reducing the number of ticks we have found on us. With the help of Dr. Frigerio, I also address what to do if you do get bit, including removal and testing of the tick. Hopefully, you will find this helpful for you and your family!
Spray your yard with Neem oil and Geranium Oil.
Every 2 -3 weeks in the spring and the fall, 1x a month in the hot summer
We have found that purchasing a natural pesticide container with the hose attachment is the easiest approach. After you’ve used it up, you can make your own mix (see recipe below) and add it to the now empty container.
- Empty Pesticide Spray Container
- 2 oz Neem Oil
- 1 tsp Geranium Oil
- 32 oz warm water
We like to use Neem oil as it helps interrupt the ticks reproductive cycle as well as keep them off your grass. This spraying step is key! Be sure to cover the walkways, other areas people frequent, and the perimeter of your yard. Our 5-year-old son loves this job!
Spray any bug repellant of your choice on your shoes and lower pants before going out.
If you’re gardening or your child is playing in the yard, long pants and boots really are best. Spray those shoes and lower pants well. I like to keep a bottle by the back door so I remember to do it on our way out.
Shower or Bath every night
Yup. Every night.
Remove and wash clothes
As soon as possible, remove and do not re-wear clothing that you have played or worked outside in. Keep in mind that the best way to ensure that ticks die is the using the dryer. So, be sure to dry your clothes with at least medium-high heat. For clothes that don’t need a washing, toss them in the dryer for 15 minutes on high heat.
A good friend of mine just told me about this. She uses it on her dogs and kids and claims it really helps. What a great trick! I now keep one by the back door and in my car for after a hike.
Removal and Testing
So, you’ve been bitten by a tick. I’m sorry, that’s the worst! Try and stay calm. Most experts say that a tick needs to have been attached for more than a day to give you Lyme disease. There are other theories on this, but let’s just say the odds are in your favor. Also, there are a few types of ticks and the one that carries Lyme’s disease is a deer tick. That being said, remove the tick carefully (see video below) and consider having it tested so you can sleep at night.
This video has a cool trick to removing a tick that is highly effective in getting the tick completely out. If it’s a very small tick, just be patient as it may take a minute. Do not use Vaseline and have a ziplock bag ready if you are having it tested.
We have sent a few ticks here and luckily, they have all been negative. Either way, don’t you want to know? Follow the sites easy instructions and user-friendly site. Once they have the tick, they will send you a full report that includes the species, sex, stage and any diseases the tick carries. They test for more than Lyme!
Treating the site
Dr. Frigerio recommends contacting your primary care physician as soon as possible to create a plan of action. In the meantime, we use the following protocol to try and minimize the likelihood of infection. You can purchase these items online here or contact Dr. Frigerio’s office for a custom kit that contains enough for a few rounds of treatment, since so little is required, and costs less.
Detox 2 paste
Byron White Detox 2 powder
Make a thick paste using a small amount of the powder with a few drops of water. Apply to the bite site, let it dry, and wash off with baking soda. Repeat this step 2x more times…
Byron White A-L Complex
If the person does not have a chronic Lyme infection already, you can take 15-20 drops of A-L complex 2-3 times a day and use it on the bite area, rubbing it in, daily. This recommendation is based on a 150 lb person, so adjust the dosage accordingly. For example, if it is a 50 lb child, you can use 5 drops 2-3 times a day.
Good luck this tick season and stay safe by being mindful of the things you can do before you get bit!
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.