Spring is finally here, hiking season too, but that also means increased exposure to ticks. A bite from a tick can cause Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne disease in North America. It can cause serious, long term disability if left untreated. According to the BC Center for Disease Control there are a few good ways to protect ourselves.

According to useful tips for home.com, all we need is a lint roller and essential oils. The lint roller should use adhesive layers. Take it with you when you’re going outside and roll it on your clothing every once in a while. You might be surprised with what you pick up in a very short amount of time.

Adding some essential oil may help to keep the ticks from climbing on you while you are outside. Spray the essential oil on your clothing and rub it into your skin and the ticks may just stay away. It also works for mosquitoes and black flies. It’s a good alternative to insect repellent and reduces your chemical exposure.

Here are 5 essential oils that repel bugs.

1. Lavender – This smells sweet to us but bugs absolutely hate it. It works on mosquitoes, flies and other insects.

2. PennyRoyal – this is a member of the mint family and it is toxic to insects.

3. Lemongrass – This essential oil comes from tropical lemongrass and has a citrusy sent. It is a natural flea and tick repellent and can be sprayed directly on the skin.

4. Eucalyptus – use this alone or along with citronella oil to keep bugs away. According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, eucalyptus extract can reduce tick bites and infections.

5. Lemon – some lemon essential oils can work against fleas and other bugs. Slightly dilute it and spray it on your clothing and skin.

Here are 6 ways to protect yourself against tick and insect bites:

  1. Walk on cleared trails wherever possible when walking in tall grass or woods.
  2. Wear light coloured clothing, tuck your top into your pants and tuck your pants into your boots or socks.
  3. Put insect repellent containing DEET on all uncovered skin. Reapply as frequently as directed on the container.
  4. Check clothing and scalp (covered or not) when leaving an area where ticks may live.
  5. Check in folds of skin. Have someone help you check hard-to-see areas. When a tick is located, remove it immediately. Check the whole body! Don’t stop when you find one tick. There may be more. Make sure the lighting is good so that you will not miss seeing the ticks.
  6. Regularly check household pets for ticks.