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Yes, summertime is fun, and it is also the prime time for ticks to have their fun. As kids play in the yard more often and families enjoy outdoor activities, ticks become much more of an unpleasant threat. Please take heed of these “tick tips”– I have some invaluable info for you.

Did you realize that tick populations are increasing each year due the use of less awful, poisonous pesticides (which is a good thing) and overall hotter climates? I say we ruin their next meal and learn about some practical tips that help you avoid the unpleasant experience of finding those ugly critters sucking the blood of you, your child or your pet. It’s relatively easy to protect you and your family from the myriad possible diseases associated with those grim little insects.

Outside tips to deter ticks:

Make Your Lawn a Place Ticks Don’t Like:

Mow your lawn regularly and clean up branches and other trash. Ticks relish long grass and damp, shady conditions.

Design Your Yard to be a Natural Repellant:

When using mulch, choose cedar or gravel. It’s interesting to note that ticks avoid materials that will irritate their legs!

Did you know that there are plants that ticks avoid? You probably have these in your garden already – garlic, lavender, rosemary, lemongrass, even sage. So now, in addition to adding a delightful aroma to your garden and invaluable taste to your dinners, these remarkable herbs are Anti-Tick Super Heroes. Plant more!

Dressing for Success:

When you and your family venture into places where ticks may be, wearing long white socks on the outside of the bottom of your pants can help you to spot those unwelcome hitchhikers. Ankles and feet are the most accessible places for ticks, so they’re the most likely place you will find them on your body. White long socks outside your pants may not be your favorite look, but once you notice a tick holding onto your socks instead of your skin, you’ll be grateful for this fashion faux pas.

Natural Tick Repellent:

There are many pesticides sold everywhere that may be harsher than you are willing to use on yourself, your family, or pets. Here’s a natural tick repellent. This recipe contains ingredients you have at home and it’s extremely easy to make!

By the way, I never fail to be amazed by the power of the household staple – white vinegar. Simply add I cup water to 2 cups of white vinegar along with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Pour into a spray bottle. This solution is safe to spray onto your clothing, your kids, and your pets before venturing into tick territory.

Inside tips to handle ticks:

Examine, Examine, Examine:

Check both humans and dogs thoroughly! That means everywhere! Ticks come in many shapes and sizes and are easy to miss with just a cursory check. And dogs, with all that hair, often serve as living hiding places for nasty ticks.

Cleaning Clothes to Eliminate Ticks:

All clothing or bedding used in suspect outdoor areas should be placed first into the dryer first, and then washed. Yes, you read that right. As mentioned in this interesting post, “the stubborn little suckers don’t drown, but they do bake.” 15 minutes on high should be sure to kill all different species. With an electric dryer, you may want to add an extra 5 minutes. Washing in hot water will eliminate some of them, but drying them out is best.

Organize Clothing – No Place for Ticks to Hide:

Piles of clothes are perfect hiding places for ticks. Maybe a little bit of “tick education” will inspire your kids to put their clothes in the hamper!

I realize this may not the most enjoyable post I’ve ever offered, but for anyone who heeds these tips and avoids a tick bite, it may be my most important! Easy precautions can make your summer both happy, and healthy!