Sunday, February 28, 2010

natural remedies for tick bites in children

I came away from a walk in the bush with more than I bargained for.

Fifty or so almost invisible grass ticks had decided to chow down on the left hand side of my body.

Australia has a reputation for being a land of creatures that will bite you.  Grass ticks are only the size of a pin head, but boy can they make their presence felt.

Don't let bush ticks stop you and your children enjoying the beautiful Australian bush during tick season.  

Here a some helpful tips on avoiding and treating tick bites:

How to avoid being bitten by grass ticks
  • wear long sleeved shirt and pants
  • wear white or pale clothing
  • wear a wide brimmed hat
  • trim overhanging branches and bushes in children's play areas
  • keep the lawn moved in children's play areas and along pathways
  • remove Lantana (ticks seem to like Lantana)
  • remove your clothing at the front door when returning from a known tick area to avoid bringing ticks into the house
  • add a few drops of lavender oil and citronella oil into your wash
  • spray yourself and your clothing and hat with tick repellant.  You can make your own chemical free version (this is what we use at preschool):
Homemade chemical-free tick spray

You will need:

An empty spray bottle
Lavender oil

Simply fill the bottle with water and add a few drops of both Lavender and Citronella oil, and spray yourself and your clothing before going on a bushwalk.

Mighty Tick-Off

This is an electronic device that repells ticks with safe electronic pulses.  Some of the kids at school are wearing these around their necks with good results.

Grass Tick removal and relief

Because of their small size, grass ticks are very difficult to remove using tweezers.  The best method for grass tick removal I have found is a long soak in a bath with bicarbonate of soda.  If the tick still remains, gently go over the top of it with a razor.  Applying tea tree oil soothes and gives some relief to the itching.

What about you?  Do  you have any tips for dealing with ticks?


  1. I'm sorry for your bites -- I wonder if your repellant works for Seattle area deer ticks.

    Today as we were working on our new playground, some of the parents were talking about the bug hotels you posted about awhile back. I mentioned that I thought we ought to avoid that idea due to our tendency to have black widows and hobo spiders -- both potentially fatal to children. They all laughed. One of the dads said, "You're getting soft, Teacher Tom. They're building them at that preschool in Australia and they have insects down there that can drop an elephant!"

    He hadn't understood that you were sharing about other people's hotels, but it sure was a coincidence to come home and find your post was entitled, "Things That Bite And Sting."

    Maybe we are living an episode of Seinfeld.

  2. Or the Twilight Zone perhaps?

    And yes, although I love the idea that bug hotels exist in this world they have no place in a preschool in Australia next to the bush! We would have to have the ambulance service ready with anti-venom and on speed dial!

  3. Resorts are spread out as single or double storeys and boast many facilities and amenities.

    Pousada Do Rio Quente