In the Woods (with the ticks)

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In these early weeks of warm weather, my kids have been spending much of their time in the woods. The girls have an elaborate new “home” complete with guest accommodations. We’ve all been playing along (and in) a small creek in the woods, my little boys typically ending up head to toe mud. I ordered some woodland flowers and have been planting them here and there. (I have ordered from two different licensed nurseries on ebay: this one and this one.) Exploring these new to us woods in spring is my favorite activity right now. I try to take a walk everyday to see what has changed and what is blooming. I’m spending lots of time with this field guide.

We are already finding ticks, and quite a few of them. I guess that’s expected after such a mild winter. The good news is that I made a tick repellent spray using 1/3 cup water, 1T witch hazel, and about 45 drops of rose geranium oil, and while I hesitate to say so, it seems to be working. I’ve been using it all week and haven’t found any ticks on myself. Those who haven’t remembered to spray themselves have still been finding ticks. That’s part of the trick, remembering to actually use the spray! We’ve got to make it a habit, all of us. Jonny sprayed some on his arm and then placed a tick in his hand and let it start crawling. As it approached the sprayed area it literally dropped to the floor. Could be coincidence, but we didn’t get a chance to retest, because Jonny accidentally smashed the tick when he picked it up off the floor. I’m just glad to have something natural to try, that seems to be helping so far. I’m thinking of making soap and body butter for my kids scented with rose geranium oil too!

If you have any natural tick repellent tips, please share…

p.s. Mabel’s hat is from Nova Natural. It’s great because it is made of lightweight wool, stays on, and keeps her neck warm too.