Protect yourself from Lyme disease without exposing yourself to a lot of pesticides.
Step 1: Dab on a little eucalyptus Dab on a little eucalyptus oil—studies show ticks hate it. Just add ten drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your sunscreen.
Step 2: Try fabric softener sheets Tie a fabric softener sheet to your belt. Though no studies have been done to prove it, many hikers swear the smell repels ticks and other pests.
Step 3: Plant things deer hate Put a few plants in your garden that deer hate: ferns, daffodils, tiger lilies, snapdragons, geraniums, and morning glories.
TIP: When you are walking through tall grass or a tick-filled area, tuck your long pants into your socks.
Step 4: Apply neem oil Rub some neem oil directly on your skin. Derived from a plant native to India, this oil has been a popular natural insecticide in Asia for centuries because it repels over 200 kinds of pests, including ticks. Find it at health food stores.
TIP: Whatever repellent you choose to use, apply it generously to your ankles, a tick’s favorite stomping ground.
Step 5: Do spot checks No matter how careful you may be, if you’ve been in an area with deer, and therefore ticks, have someone check your skin right away. If you see a tick, don’t freak out. Many don’t bite right away, and it can take up to 24 hours after the initial attachment for ticks to transmit disease.
FACT: Lyme disease got its name in 1977 from the town where it was first discovered—Lyme, Connecticut.