Sunday, October 16, 2016

Herbal Tick Repellents: Sage, Rosemary & Basil

Hello Everyone . . . it's feeling very much like fall here in northern, coastal Maine - and I LOVE this kind of weather!  Along with this chill, I would have thought that the ticks in my lawn and outlying "wild property" would have become more scarce, especially after our first-of-the-season frost last week.  Sadly . . . they have not!  After walking my two indoor kitties  outdoors around my yard and garden (they've been leash-trained) a couple of days ago, I discovered several ticks crawling about on their bellies and faces . . . yuck!  I always do a thorough inspection and combing of their fur after every walk just to remove any fleas and ticks that may have pounced on them. I was truly surprised to see this many parasites - didn't have that many all summer long - and it was a hot, sticky summer (favorite weather for ticks - and fleas)!  The weekly powder blends that I'd been rubbing into their fur hadn't been enough this go round - apparently.  Time to use other "tick shield" treatments in my arsenal of herbal tick repellents (they also work great against fleas, too). 

That's just what I'm going to share with you today . . . these are simple to make formulas using inexpensive, commonly available herbs.  The recipes come from my latest book, "Naturally Bug Free: 75 Nontoxic Recipes for Repelling Mosquitoes, Ticks, Fleas, Ants, Moths & Other Pesky Insects".  The book is only $10.95 and offers a boat load of valuable information on how to keep all manner of bugs off yourself, your dogs and cats, and out of your home - naturally and totally chemical-free!  If you haven't purchased a copy yet (available from online retailers and lots of bookstores nationwide) please do . . . and get another for your pet-loving friend(s).  They make great Holiday and birthday presents.

Herbal Tick Repellents: Sage, Rosemary & Basil

Powdered rosemary and sage are particularly effective against ticks.  Infused basil tea used as a spray creates an effective tick-repelling herbal haze around your pet. These also make fleas hop elsewhere, too!  Here are the DIY details . . . 

Herbal Powders

Grind 1/2 to 1 cup of dried, whole sage and/or rosemary leaves in a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor.  To use, massage the powder into your pet's fur, all the way down into the skin.  Most pets will shake off a good bit, so apply it outdoors in order to prevent a dust cloud in your home - but enough should remain to be effective.  Store powder in an airtight container by the door where you can apply it before every outing if you wish.

NOTES:  Powdered sage is readily available at most grocery stores or in bulk at natural markets (if you don't want to grind your own) and both herbs can be found in powdered form online - try You can use the above technique to make almost any herbal powder, including lavender, neem leaf, and lemongrass - which are included in other flea- and-tick-fighting recipes in my book.

Basil Infusion Spray

Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried basil or 4 heaping tablespoons of fresh, finely chopped basil leaves.  Cover, and steep for 2 hours.  Strain the liquid, then pour into a 16-ounce plastic spray bottle.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

To use, spray your pet's entire body before every outing; the effect lasts several hours.  If your pet spends most of its time outdoors, reapply several times per day in the height of tick (and flea) season.  

NOTE:  Portions of this blog have been excerpted with permission from the author's book, "Naturally Bug Free"  (Storey Publishing, c2016).  The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the Ms. Tourles.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

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