Tick Kit: How To Make A Homemade Tick Kit

Tick Kit: How To Make A Homemade Tick Kit

Why would you need an all-natural tick kit?

 

Well, if you’ve ever had Lyme disease, you know how miserable it can make you.

 

If you’ve never experienced it, believe me when I say you want to do everything to prevent it.

 

And if you’ve been bit by a tick recently, you want to rule it out right away. A tick kit will help with all of the above.

 

My Lyme Disease Story

I had a brush with Lyme disease about 12 years ago. At first, the doctor didn’t believe me – he decided it was a Staph infection because there wasn’t a traditional bullseye rash.

 

Newsflash: Not all deer tick bites develop the traditional bullseye rash.

 

I asked for antibiotics to treat Lyme disease anyway, as well as a test because I had the symptoms (excessive tiredness, flu-like symptoms, joint pain).

 

What followed was 14 days of miserable joint pain, fever, loss of appetite (from the antibiotics) and I felt really drained all the time.

 

In fact, the only thing I could eat was greek yogurt with peaches for about 2 weeks.

 

Now, we keep a tick kit on our farm, which helps us stay organized should someone get bit (or even find one on them).

 

The chickens do a pretty good job of keeping the tick population at bay, but realistically, they can’t get them all!

 

What should be in an all-natural tick kit?

Here’s what we keep in our tick kit (we keep one in the house and one in each car so I don’t have to remember to bring one with us).

 

 

I prefer to use small plastic containers like these for a tick kit because they stay cleaner and are less likely to break if jostled in our truck.

 

We also keep tick repellent in our truck and house to try and beat the ugly buggers to the punch. You can get more information about how to repel ticks naturally right here.

 

 

How do you remove a tick?

From the Center For Disease Control website, after grabbing your tick kit, you should:

 

  1. “Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.”
A tick kit can potentially save you a lot of heartache. Here's how to make one in 5 minutes with common household items!

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

Another option we’ve used is to cleanse the area with rubbing alcohol mixed with an essential oil like lemon or oregano. (These are the exact oils we use).

 

If you’re allergic to rubbing alcohol, or have sensitive skin, you can use an essential-oil based soap and filtered water to cleanse the area.

 

A tick kit can potentially save you a lot of heartache. Here's how to make one in 5 minutes with common household items!

Image by Center For Disease Control via Wikimedia Commons

 

What next?

After removing the insect, tape it on a piece of paper you keep in your tick kit and write down the location of the bite and the date. Watch closely for symptoms of Lyme disease or other infection.

 

We also draw the boundaries of any redness, swelling, or rash with a Sharpie; if the skin gets red or irritated-looking outside of those boundaries, it’s evidence there is an infection of some sort, and it’s spreading.

 

As a precaution, we make a doctor visit for an opinion and if it seems at all like Lyme disease is present, we ask for antibiotics (I don’t mess around with Lymes since it has powerful long term effects

 

You can check the CDC website for common symptoms for all kind of tick-borne illnesses here. Print out a copy and keep it in your ll-natural tick kit for easy reference.

Bug Bite Relief Stick You Can Make Practically For Free

Bug Bite Relief Stick You Can Make Practically For Free

Nothing is worse than bug bites, except watching your kids be really, really unhappy! In this article, I’m going to show you how to make an all-natural, bug bite relief stick.

 

When things get a bit creepy crawly on your skin, you CAN grab a bottle of over-the-counter stuff….but you’re taking your chances. We’re trying to lead all-natural lives right?

 

There are all-natural options, and you can use essential oils to bring some bug bite relief to yourself and your little ones with a bug bite relief stick.

 

Got itchy kids? Make my favorite homemade bug bite relief Stick in your own kitchen with essential oils! Easy to follow recipe!

 

What essential oils will we use?

 

In our house, we rely on lavender essential oil for lots of things – including bug bite relief. It’s soothing, promotes healthy skin, and smells good.

 

(The scent especially can provide relief to small children who might be unhappy because of their itchy bug bite.)

 

In this stick, we also will use melaleuca, which promotes healthy skin and has cleansing properties should any dirt or other nasties get into the bite (especially if your child has been scratching at it.)

 

Ingredients To Make Your Own All-Natural Homemade Bug Bite Relief Stick

 

1/2 oz pure beeswax pastilles, about 1 tablespoon (I use this brand)

4 oz carrier oil, about 3 tablespoons (such as olive, coconut, or almond oil)

20 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops melaleuca essential oil

Empty lip balm containers (I like these or these)

 

Directions To Make Your Own All-Natural Homemade Bug Bite Relief Stick

 

To make your bug bite relief stick, you want to melt the carrier oil and the beeswax together, then add the essential oils before everything cools and hardens.

 

The carrier oil works to make the mixture easily spreadable, while the beeswax gives it some structure. The essential oils do the job of helping your little ones with their bug bite.

 

To make the bug bite relief stick, combine the carrier oil and beeswax in a heatproof container, such as a mason jar.

 

Fill a small pot ½ way with water and place your mason jar with the carrier oil and beeswax in it, creating a double boiler. Heat the water slowly, until the beeswax is completely melted.

 

Stir gently to combine, and remove from the heat. Immediately add the essential oils, and stir gently to combine.

 

While the bug bite relief stick mixture is still completely melted, pour into the lip balm containers, and allow to cool until the mixture is completely solid.

 

Once cool, store and apply as needed. If the bug bite relief stick is too soft, you can melt it again and add more beeswax, or simply adjust this bug bite relief stick recipe when you make it again.

 

If desired, you can also add a few drops of peppermint to the mixture; it’s cooling and some kids love it on their bug bites.

 

Roses and calendula, as well, promote healthy skin. One option is to infuse the carrier oil with rose or calendula petals for 2 weeks before making your homemade bug bite relief stick.

Naturally Get Rid Of Insects In Your Home With Essential Oils

Naturally Get Rid Of Insects In Your Home With Essential Oils

I don’t like insects outdoors, and I REALLY hate them indoors.

 

We used to use chemical sprays, especially against ants and cockroaches (and let’s face it, those traps just don’t cut it, plus there’s always a chance a stray kid or cat will get involved with it.)

 

With children and pets, however, those sprays are a definite no-go. They left me feeling light-headed and dizzy anyway.

 

Essential oils are my go-to source to naturally get rid of insects, and they’re definitely cheaper than hiring an exterminator (and much safer!)

 

In this article, I’m going to show you how you can use essential oils to defend yourself and prevent insects in your home with essential oils.

 

The multi-legged critters we’ll discuss are:

 

  • Spiders
  • Bedbugs
  • Earwigs
  • Silverfish
  • Ants
  • Roaches

 

Spiders

Full disclosure: I don’t really mind spiders as long as they’re not poisonous. But we’ve all seen the memes with people torching their house because of a spider, so I’m guessing a portion of people reading this article aren’t exactly in love with our 8-legged friends.

 

Orange essential oil will destroy spiders (and most insects). To prevent or get rid of them without killing spiders, you can use orange, eucalyptus, or tea tree essential oil. If you can find it, you can also use neem essential oil.

 

You can either spray the oils, or put a few drops on a rag and swipe around problem areas in your home or around window and door frames.

 

To make a spray, grab your favorite food-grade spray bottle and put 10 drops of essential oil into 8 oz of water or rubbing alcohol. Spray liberally around problem areas or directly on the insects to kill them.

 

Bedbugs

Bedbugs are a definite no-no in our house, and everyone else is so scared of them, there’s even a registry that exists for reporting hotels with bedbugs.

 

You can make homemade sprays to deter and eliminate them. You can also diffuse the oils (with a diffuser) to keep them at bay.

 

To make an all-natural spray for your bed and other furniture, add 10 to 12 drops of cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, thyme, or eucalyptus essential oil to 8 oz of water. You can also put the oils on cotton balls and distribute around problem areas.

 

To diffuse them, add 10 drops of any of the above oils, and be sure to follow your diffuser’s directions.

 

Earwigs

Earwigs are one insect I hate, and whenever I find one in the house, it has to be gone. (Kind of like people who hate spiders in those memes). They’re harmless to people (but they’ll decimate your garden, given half a chance), but I don’t want them hanging around nonetheless.

 

I use oils on cotton balls to prevent earwigs. You can use citronella, cinnamon, or lavender oil, but my preferred is cinnamon. Just put 3-4 drops on a cotton ball. Because the oils are so powerful, they go a long way.

 

Silverfish

You might find silverfish in boxes of books or in your basement (anywhere that’s dark and damp with things they like to eat, such as paper.)

 

Like ants, silverfish hate the scent of cinnamon, so a good go-to essential oil to prevent them is cinnamon essential oil. You can also try lavender, cedarwood, and orange. To prevent silverfish, dip cotton balls in cinnamon oil or the essential oil of your choice.

 

The orange essential oil is known to kill insects like silverfish because it destroys the exoskeleton. If you already have an infestation, combine up to 20 drops of both cinnamon and orange essential oil with 8 oz alcohol in a spray bottle. Shake before using.

 

Ants

If you follow this blog, you know I have an undying hatred of ants, even though they service biologically-necessary jobs in nature. They definitely don’t belong indoors, though.

 

The BEST I’ve found to repel ants is cinnamon oil, although peppermint is an alternative. Because cinnamon essential oil is so strong, it interferes with ants’ neuroreceptors, preventing them from sending signals (by pheromones) back to their nest. Ants can’t take the lack of communication, and leave the area.

 

Apply 3-4 drops of cinnamon essential oil to cotton balls, and leave them in the area you want the ants to leave. If you want to make a spray, you can dilute 10 drops in 8 oz of water or rubbing alcohol. Shake before use, and spray away.

 

Roaches

Roaches are probably my #1 most hated insect. They’re disgusting, and whenever I spot one (we live in the country, so it’s going to happen from time to time), they need to be immediately gone.

 

To prevent and get rid of roaches, peppermint oil is the way to go, according to science. Fill a spray bottle with 8 oz alcohol, and add 20 drops of peppermint oil. The alcohol will clean the area and the peppermint oil will get rid of the roaches.

9 Essential Oils To Repel Insects Naturally (And Get Your Yard Back)

9 Essential Oils To Repel Insects Naturally (And Get Your Yard Back)

It’s summer…and it’s buggy. This time of year, the heat and humidity are bad enough, and I break out my go-to essential oils to repel insects when we’re outside.

 

(This article is based on my new book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. Grab it on Amazon here!)

 

I have another recipe where you can use herbs, but I’ve found oils work better because they’re concentrated plants in a bottle – so much more powerful than just the herbs themselves when it comes to insects.

 

Because they’re weaker than oils, if you spray yourself with an herbal solution, it will dissipate faster – so you’ll need to spray yourself again and again. With oils, I found we only need to do it once or twice while outside.

 

In this article, we’re going to talk about recipes you can make at home that you can use on yourself and your family to keep bugs at bay.

 

The bugs we’ll discuss are:

 

  • Ants
  • Flies
  • Wasps/Hornets
  • Mosquitoes
  • Ticks

The Go-To Essential Oil For Killing Insects

Yes, there is a single one you can depend on (although there’s more you’ll want to use). Orange essential oil kills insects because it destroys their exoskeletons. In any recipe you make yourself, be sure it includes orange essential oils.

 

A word of note: Citrus essential oils, in large quantities, can harm your cats because it interferes with their liver. (It’s fine with other animals.) If your kitties hang out outside a lot, then don’t spray orange unless you can be sure your kitties will not be outside for 24-48 hours. Use any of the other alternative oils we talk about in this article, and just make sure there’s good circulation.

 

Ants

I hate these buggers. They’re arrogant insects, thinking they can get into whatever sugar I leave on the counter and invading my home whenever suits them….but there is hope.

 

The BEST I’ve found to repel ants is cinnamon oil.

 

Because it’s so strong, it interferes with their neuroreceptors and they can’t send signals (by pheromones) back to their nest to come grab whatever goody they’ve happened upon. It unnerves them, and they leave the scene rapidly.

 

It’s satisfying to watch the insects scurry away.

 

You can apply cinnamon directly to the area you want the ants to leave, without dilution, or you can dilute 10 drops in 8 oz of water or rubbing alcohol. Shake before use, and spray away.

 

If you plan to spray it directly ON the ants, also mix 10 drops of orange essential oil into the spray bottle. (If you’re allergic to cinnamon oil, you can use any of the oils listed above as an alternative).

 

If you plan to spray it on yourself, dilute it with carrier oils like coconut or sweet almond, or dilute with water or alcohol. Cinnamon is a “hot” oil, meaning on people with sensitive skin or children, it can cause skin irritation. Be safe.

 

Flies

I hate flies even more than ants. They’re just as annoying insects, except they ACTIVELY try to get in your face.

 

I have a great article with my favorite recipe to get rid of flies with essential oils here. It’s the best recipe I’ve found, and it actually works. It includes lemongrass and eucalyptus (which have many more uses than fly spray, by the way).

 

Wasps/Hornets

 

  • Mint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Citronella

Mix 8 drops of any of the above oils with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or any other oil you love. Rub it on your body to keep the suckers away.

 

In this article, I show you how to eliminate wasp nests with liquid castile soap – You can also add the above oils along with orange to the castile soap mixture to kill ‘em dead.

 

Word of warning: You don’t want to use the orange essential oils on your body to repel wasps  – it will ATTRACT them since it smells sweet (wasps are attracted to sweet smells), and it can trigger photosensitivity (potentially causing some nasty burns) if you plan to remain outdoors.

 

(Orange is otherwise VERY safe to use – just avoid it on areas that will be uncovered if you plan to be out in the sun for a while.)

 

Mosquitoes

Summertime is mosquito time on our farm. With all the poop we have, the rotten insects LOVE to build nests and breed….and freeload off our livestock.

 

Whenever we go outside, I grab my purple spray bottle containing the following oils (in equal parts, mixed with 8 oz of water). As a bonus, we all smell better.

 

Citronella : Everyone knows that citronella repels mosquitoes, and it’s my go-to oil to repel ‘em. You can mix it (in a roller bottle) with any of the oils we discuss below for a more powerful solution that’s convenient to put on.

 

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus oil has been used since the 1940s to repel mosquitoes, and is approved by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent.

 

Lavender: Lavender essential oil is great for relaxing and smelling good, but did you also know it can repel mosquitoes? Lavender can also be used to support healthy skin!

 

Ticks

Ahh…ticks. The lovely buggers that gave me lyme disease about 10 years ago. That was not fun…lots of yogurt, since I couldn’t eat anything else while I recovered.

 

These days, our chickens do a pretty good job of keeping the population down (yet another bonus to keeping a backyard flock), but if you plan to go camping or take a walk in the woods, here’s some essential oils you can put in a roller bottle or a spray bottle (along with water or alcohol – rubbing alcohol stays on longer) to repel the dirty insects.

 

You can mix and match 8 drops of oil with 8 oz of water or alcohol:

 

  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass
  • Cedar (cedarwood oils)
  • Peppermint
  • Thyme
  • Eucalyptus

 

The CDC has even said that the above are safe essential oils to repel insects (specifically ticks!)

Natural Fly Repellent You Can Make In Your Kitchen (Really)

Natural Fly Repellent You Can Make In Your Kitchen (Really)

Tired of gross chemicals in your fly repellent? Me too. Want a natural alternative? Cool, I have one.

 

It’s a dilemma we have every summer – do we suffer the flies or load ourselves with questionable chemicals?

 

There was a time when we would use any fly repellent that worked – it didn’t matter what it contained, as long as the bugs were away.

 

So, I started researching alternatives to over-the-counter fly repellents, which included researching essential oils that might work, and I came up with some great information.

 

I just wanted a simple, straight forward way to make fly repellent whenever I needed it without waiting, and using all natural ingredients that I already had on hand.

 

After some research, I developed an all natural fly repellent using organic herbs, and I’m going to share the recipe with you.

 

My recipe for all natural fly repellent requires 4 ingredients: Lavender, peppermint, water, and witch hazel.

 

Just having the plants around, however, isn’t enough of a repellent – you need to release the essential oils in the plant to light a fire under its effectiveness. 

 

Luckily, that’s a pretty easy thing to do.

 

You can make this today, in your own kitchen, with just a few ingredients.

 

Want a natural alternative to chemical-filled bug sprays? Here's a recipe for natural fly repellent you can make in your own kitchen - today. From FrugalChicken

 

1. Choose your herbs

 

Lavender

For this recipe, I used peppermint and lavender. Both are grown organically here on the homestead, and are a natural addition to any herb garden.

 

Lavender is one of those power herbs you should have in your garden, and its been researched and proven to be a natural fly repellent on its own – I’m not sure why, but flies hate it.

 

Lavender also has the beneficial side effects of being a natural calming agent, and its great for skin – and in fact, whenever I use this natural fly repellent, my skin is softer.

 

 

Peppermint

The other herb I chose to formulate a natural fly repellent is peppermint. The strong scent is reported to get rid of even the most stubborn fly.

 

I sell it in my online store right here.

 

Want a natural alternative to chemical-filled bug sprays? Here's a recipe for natural fly repellent you can make in your own kitchen - today. From FrugalChicken

 

But it gets better:

 

Mosquitoes hate it too, making this another power herb you should have on hand to use as a natural repellent.

 

Peppermint is great to energize you, too.

 

I use stems containing the leaves, but it comes down to probably 3 or 4 tablespoons of herbs.

 

I don’t recommend dry herbs for this fly repellent – they don’t have the same level of essential oils as fresh herbs because they lack the moisture content.

 

2. Release the essential oils

 

If you’re using herbs, then the first step to creating your natural fly repellent is to release the essential oils in your herbs – they will be one of the active ingredients in your fly repellent.

 

This is a very basic way to create an essential oil mixture, and although it’s not the method used by essential oil companies, it will work well to create a natural fly repellent.

 

To release the herbs’ natural essential oils, you need to crush them slightly, then combine them with boiling water.

 

Want a natural alternative to chemical-filled bug sprays? Here's a recipe for natural fly repellent you can make in your own kitchen - today. From FrugalChicken

 

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil – not a rolling boil, however, so reduce the heat just before to gets to that point. 

 

Once it’s heated, add your herbs. 

 

3. Allow your herbs to steep while the mixture cools

 

 

To make the natural fly repellent effective, you need to release the oils in the herbs – let the herbs sit in the water until it’s cool. 

 

Yup, it’s like making tea, and it will smell great.

 

Be sure to cover the herb mixture to keep the released essential oils in the mixture – as they release in the steam, the top will encourage the natural oils to drop back down into the water.

 

This is important because you don’t want to lose the most effective part of your fly repellent.

 

4. Remove the herbs, and add in the witch hazel

 

Strain the herbs from the water – I strain it into a mason jar.

 

Want a natural alternative to chemical-filled bug sprays? Here's a recipe for natural fly repellent you can make in your own kitchen - today. From FrugalChicken

The herb mixture before adding in the witch hazel

 

Now is the time to mix in your witch hazel, which will act as a binder, and keep the scent of the herbs on your skin longer.

 

Since water is absorbed by the skin quickly, you need something, like witch hazel, that will sit on your skin longer than a few moments for the herbs to be effective in your fly repellent. 

 

Want a natural alternative to chemical-filled bug sprays? Here's a recipe for natural fly repellent you can make in your own kitchen - today. From FrugalChicken

 

For this formula, I use a 1:1 ratio, so since you’ll use 2 cups of water, add in 2 cups of witch hazel. Just dump it right into your mason jar.

 

If you don’t like the smell of witch hazel, you can use rubbing alcohol, which is just as effective in a natural fly repellent.

 

5. Stir to combine, and add your fly repellent to a spray bottle

 

Want a natural alternative to chemical-filled bug sprays? Here's a recipe for natural fly repellent you can make in your own kitchen - today. From FrugalChicken

 

Once everything is mixed together, you have your natural fly repellent. Just pour it into a spray bottle, and it’s ready to use immediately.

 

Spray it on yourself before heading outside – it’s safe for children too, since the herbs’ natural oils have been diluted in the water and witch hazel.

 

Oh, yeah, and it doesn’t contain any chemicals, which is great for kids too.

 

6. Some notes:

 

If you don’t like the smell of the witch hazel, you can use rubbing alcohol instead. 

 

You can use citronella as well as peppermint and lavender. I’ve used it as well, but left it out of this recipe since not everyone has it growing in their garden. You can purchase citronella essential oils to use in your fly repellent, and it works great.

 

If you want to get citronella essential oil, by clicking here.

 

 

While no fly repellent is 100% effective against bugs, going all natural is a great choice if you’re looking for an effective alternative to chemical-based products.