It’s wonderful to enjoy the outdoors – hiking, camping, picnicking, fishing, visiting the lakes and rivers and parks. It’s not wonderful dealing with the bugs. In particular, the sneaky ones that silently descend upon you, your clothing, your kids, or your pets, and can be hard to find until they’re already entrenched. We’re talking about ticks. Those nasty little parasites that, besides having the nerve to dig into our skin, can more concerningly be purveyors of harmful illnesses like Lyme Disease. You need a quality tick repellent. Here are the ones we recommend.
Another player of protection
This Permethrin insect and tick repellent spray actually bonds to material and can remain effective through six washings or over six weeks, whichever happens first. Just treating your shoes and socks with it, a University of Rhode Island study found, makes it 73 times less likely you will be bit by a tick. It also has proven effective against more than 55 kinds of insects, including mosquitos, spiders, and mites. This is the stuff the military has used for years. And it’s odorless.
Buy: Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent
We like this one because of its lasting effects – up to 14 hours against mosquitos and ticks, and eight hours against flies, gnats, and chiggers. It contains 20 percent Picaridin – a natural-based substance that is an artificial version of a compound found in black pepper. And because it’s non-greasy and dries quickly, your kids can escape immediately after spraying.
Buy: Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent
Move the battle lines
Instead of covering humans, clothes, and pets with sprays, lotions, and oils, why not take the fight to them? Thermacell seeks to do just that, lacing your space with tick-killing tubes. Each 24-tube package is good for up to 1 acre of tick protection, and for a full year. It sounds strange, but the folks at Harvard’s School of Public Health devised a strategy in which mice – long recognized as the hosts of harmful ticks – feed on the treated tubes, use some of it to line their nests, and inadvertently become tick-destroying agents. Works best in northern regions from Maryland and upwards.
Buy: Thermacell Tick Control Tubes for Yards
A wholesome compromise
Founded by Stephanie Boone after her dog Luna suffered pest control poisoning from common flea and tick medication and yard sprays, Wondercide is an all-natural, plant-based strategy to protect you from insect bites without creating a separate set of dangers. That said, it doesn’t just repel hundreds of common pests, such as gnats, ticks, fleas, no-see-ums, spiders, and other biting flies. It is designed to kill them.
Buy: Wondercide – Mosquito, Tick, Fly, and Insect Repellent with Natural Essential Oils
An all-in-one solution
No-Bite-Me is a repellent cream made naturally, hand-crafted in small batches, and cut by hand. It’s a repellent, so the aim here is to keep bugs from biting rather than wipe them out. And if you are late to the game, or they somehow make it through, this proprietary blend of essential natural oils – which includes cedar, mint, rosemary, and lemongrass – also serves to alleviate any residual itch.
Buy: SALLYEANDER No-Bite-Me Natural Bug Repellent & Anti Itch Cream
S. Ruxton is a contributing writer to Florida Travel & Life, an online brand that inspires active, affluent travelers, providing them with insider information on discovering the best of Florida. Informative and engaging, the website showcases travel destinations, arts and cultural venues, vibrant dining scenes, recreational activities, the great outdoors and the revitalized real-estate market. A former baseball writer, S. Ruxton loves to revisit the smaller Gulf towns of Clearwater, Dunedin, and Bradenton. Historic Winter Park is also a favorite destination.