If you get a tick bite, there’s something you can do to drastically prevent your chance of getting Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other tick-borne illnesses. It’s a natural remedy that works for people and animals (dogs, cats, horses, etc).
How to Prevent Lyme Disease (and other tick-borne illnesses) after a Tick Bite – For People and Animals
Just yesterday, I was in the grocery store, waiting in line to check out when I heard 2 ladies behind me talking about ticks.
Lady #1: “Did you hear the latest about that deadly Powassan virus from ticks? My brother found a tick on him and now he thinks he may have Lyme Disease.”
Lady #2: “I hate ticks. I won’t let my kids play in the woods anymore because I don’t want them to get a tick bite. It’s too scary.”
I’ve got to be honest. Hearing stuff like this makes me so sad. I’m a huge nature lover and I can’t think of much else that’s more enjoyable than playing, exploring, hiking and biking in the woods with my dog and my family. To me, there’s nothing quite like being right in the middle of God’s amazing creation, feeling the fresh air on my skin, hearing the birds chirping and seeing true natural beauty everywhere I look.
But with tick borne diseases like Lyme disease, Powassan virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), and more getting so much media attention, it’s no wonder people are scared to venture out in the woods.
The media loves to over exaggerate claims, make mountains out of mole hills, spew out scary statistics and fill your mind with fear (which is why I refuse to watch the news and haven’t watched the news for over 12 years). When you live your life based on fear, you usually miss out on some of the very best stuff life has to offer!
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to let fear rule my life. That doesn’t mean that I’m burying my head in the sand, pretending that tick-borne diseases don’t exist. It means that I’ll take some tick precautions that are listed below. But to not enjoy the great outdoors because there’s a slim chance that I could get a tick-borne disease? Not me! I won’t let fear run my life.
FYI – It’s not my intention to downplay tick-related diseases. In fact, my dog and I were diagnosed with Lyme Disease about 7 years ago. Because of our Lyme Disease diagnosis’s, I’ve learned a lot about natural ways to prevent ticks and what to do if you do get a tick bite that drastically minimizes your chance of getting any tick-borne illness.
I hope the information I’ve learned can help someone out there and help prevent tick-borne illnesses from happening. I don’t let my Lyme disease diagnosis or prognosis define me. I strive to live each day to the fullest. Still in the woods. Still loving it as much as ever. A disease only defines you if you let it define you. It only holds you back if you let it hold you back. I truly hope this doesn’t come across as insensitive to those suffering from tick borne diseases. It’s coming from someone who did let it hold her back until the one day she decided that it wasn’t going to any longer.
The truth about ticks
As much as the media tries to scare you about the dangers of ticks and being bitten by a tick, the truth is, the risk of acquiring a tick-borne infection is quite low. Not all ticks have been infected. And even if the tick has been attached, fed, and is actually carrying an infectious agent, the risk of getting a tick-borne infection is still very low. (source)
“Ticks transmit infection only after they have attached and then taken a blood meal from their new host. A tick that has not attached (and therefore has not yet become engorged from its blood meal) has not passed any infection. Since the deer tick that transmits Lyme disease (and most other tick-borne infections) must feed for >36 hours before transmission of the spirochete, the risk of acquiring Lyme disease from an observed tick bite, for example, is only 1.2 to 1.4 percent, even in an area where the disease is common.” In other words, there’s an extremely high percentage (about 98%!!) that you have absolutely nothing to worry about even if you get bitten by a tick. (source)
What can you do to prevent ticks naturally?
Instead of fearing ticks and being afraid of venturing out in nature, let’s focus on effective solutions so you can fully enjoy your time in God’s creation. Here’s the thing: I don’t like the idea of putting toxic chemicals on me, my family or my pets. The good news is that I discovered a very effective natural remedy for ticks that’s been working for us (including my dog!) for the past 4 years:
#1: Natural Tick Repellent: Rose Geranium Essential Oil
I’ve been using Rose Geranium Essential Oil for the past 4 years as my natural tick repellent and it’s kept my entire family, including my dog, tick-free since using it. I tell everyone I know about this stuff! We use THIS rose geranium essential oil. (This is NOT a sponsored post and I am NOT affiliated with any essential oil companies.)
We’re a nature loving, active family and we live deep in the woods of Pennsylvania. We hike daily all throughout the woods and through brush. Before we discovered Rose Geranium Essential oil as a tick repellent, we were pulling at least 2 ticks off each of us daily (sometimes over 10!). Ever since I first posted about rose geranium essential oil as a natural tick repellent on my blog, the word has gotten out about it and many people have had a lot of success with it on themselves and their animals. Don’t just take my word for it. You can read the amazon reviews to see how well it works as a natural tick repellent HERE. I also have a very easy, homemade tick repellent spray recipe using rose geranium essential oil you can check out here:
#2: Do full body tick checks
Since almost all tick related illnesses require the tick to feed on you for a minimum of 24 hours, full body tick checks are one of your best defenses. Do a full body check on yourself, your kids and your animals every time you get back from the woods or grassy areas.
What should I do if I find a tick on me or get a tick bite?
If you do find a tick on yourself, your child or your pet, stay calm. Know that all ticks are not infected and even if they are, it’s still a very low chance of you getting infected. Here’s what you should do:
- Remove the tick as soon as you can using tweezers.
- With tweezers, grasp the tick by the head or mouth parts right where they enter the skin.
- Pull firmly and steadily outward. Do not jerk, twist or puncture the tick.
- Flush or kill the tick.
- Wash your hands.
- Clean the bite wound with 1 drop of tea tree essential oil (I use THIS one). For pets use 1 drop lavender essential oil instead.
- Take Ledum as soon as possible after a tick bite (see below for more information on Ledum and dosing instructions).
Ledum: A natural defense to protect against tick-borne diseases from a tick bite
Ledum is my defense for tick diseases from a tick bite that I discovered after getting diagnosed with Lyme disease. I wish I would have known about it years ago and I want as many people as I can reach to know about it now.
Ledum is a nautral, homeopathic remedy and a highly effective defense against tick-borne diseases from a tick bite. Many holistic vets and Chinese Medicine doctors use it in their practice with great success after tick bites to prevent Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and all other tick related illnesses from a tick bite. It’s safe for all animals (dogs, cats, horses, etc) and people – it’s all natural with zero side effects. You want to take it as soon as you can after a tick bite. Doing so will drastically minimize your chance of getting any tick-borne illness from a tick bite. The dosing instructions are below.
Ledum dosage instructions per the advice of Dr. Margo Roman:
For humans: Dissolve 1 pellet of Ledum 30c under your tongue twice a day for 2 days following a tick bite. (Ledum 30C can be found at most health foods stores. If you can’t find it, click HERE to get it online.)
For animals: Give the same dose of Ledum 200c. If you pet spits the pellet out, you can dilute the pellet in 4 ounce of distilled water. Once the pellet has dissolved, shake briskly and give 1/4 teaspoon on the tongue. Keep the water in the refrigerator and discard it after the second day. (Ledum 200C is very hard to find locally – most health food stores only carry Ledum 30C. I get my Ledum 200c HERE.)
Go outside, enjoy the fresh air on your skin and allow yourself to feel the peacefulness of the pathless woods, worry free. There is so much beauty, adventure and inspiration waiting for you when you decide to kick your fears to the curb. Just remember to put on your rose geranium essential oil before you go out. Do your full body checks after you come back. And grab yourself some Ledum just in case you do get bitten by a tick.
Here’s to many happy days out in the woods!
Pin What to do if you get a tick bite HERE:
wow, Kelly, this is so helpful! I was not familiar with Ledum. I have seen so many people affected by Lyme. Like you, it hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the outdoors. Oh, and I stopped watching the news (and pretty much all TV) years ago. Don’t miss it one bit!
It’s tick season here in Northern-Northern California, too. It’s hard to pick up deer ticks unless you venture off the path into tall grass. Easy for me, but not so much the dogs. Came back in the gate after yesterday’s walk and took 3 off the legs of Tula and 1 off of Leo. I happily squish the little buggers with a pebble. If I miss one the dogs are good to let me know with voracious scratching. I’ve never heard of Ledum, and hopefully I’ll never need it! Oh, we also don’t have TV! 🙂
Excellent post with great information! Thank you for dispelling the fears that folks have around this very popular diagnosis. I believe a lot of people are told they have Lyme disease that do NOT. It’s become kind of a “catch all”.
We already had to pull a tick off of our dog this spring. Out came the Ledum! Homeopathy is great!
Kelly, Thanks for the tip. I certainly can use this solution. Another question…..What kind of flowers are those on your table? Are they Hydrangea’s
Hi Michele! Aren’t they gorgeous? They are peonies. I have a bunch of peony plants growing outside my kitchen window – they bloom around May here in Pennsylvnia (zone 6). They make the best flowers for arrangements – love em!
what about a natural flea repellent and also mosquito repellent as well for dogs and humans too.
Hi Nancy! The Rose Geranium has seemed to work at keeping all insects at bay, especially mosquitos and gnats. A lot of my readers have said it’s helped repel fleas for them, too. I have a blog post more about natural options for fleas here: http://www.primallyinspired.com/natural-flea-control/ Hope that helps!
Hello! Do you think regular geranium oil would work as well? Asking because I already have some in my cupboard!
Regular geranium is also known to have tick repellent properties, too! Personally, I haven’t had as much success with it as the rose geranium, but if you live in a place that’s not a tick hotspot, it may be sufficient for you. Hope that helps!
Thanks for sharing! We live in upper Midwest where ticks are no strangers!!
Wanted clarification of amount of rose geranium oil to use. I understand you to say 40 drops, but it actually looks like you put about 4+ into your bottle during the video. Understand you’re not going to stand there and count out 40-but just wanted to make sure!:-). Also have you ordered directly from Eden Gardens? Thanks for your kind help. Blessings!!
Hi Sue! It’s 40 drops for the tick spray! For some reason, the dropper on that particular bottle makes the rose geranium come out SO fast – in the video, I may have even gotten more than 40 drops in my bottle because of how fast it comes out. I forgot how fast it came out when doing the video and was like woah hahahaha! I order the rose geranium from Amazon but it’s sold on Amazon directly from Eden’s Garden (http://amzn.to/1WbC9g1).
Excellent post. Exactly what I need – I also live in and love a forest and no ticks have so far scared me off, but the possibility of a debilitating illness always lurks and spoils the fun.
Just wanted to ask about the tea tree oil purpose, and can I substitute it with something else because I’m allergic to it?
Hi Vicky! The tea tree oil is to sterilize and cleanse the bite and to promote healing. Hydrogen peroxide would be a good substitute.
Wow Kelly thank you so very much for this wonderful info! Now my family and I will be able to enjoy the summer worry free thanks to you!! Bless you and I wish you continued wellness and happiness 🙂
Have a great summer with your family, Kimberly! Thank you!
Thank you SO much for sharing this! We live on a farm in Oklahoma with ponds and wooded areas. We love to fish and camp but are constantly getting ticks. This is such a blessing to have natural ways to keep the ticks at bay and also to treat us and our dogs after a tick bite.
I’m so glad it was helpful to you! Thanks for your comment, Stephanie!
Hi Kelly, I found a tick on my head this morning and I have no idea how long it has been attached to me. It didn’t look overly engorged, and the girls that took a look at my scalp said that it didn’t look like my skin was broken, but that it was red where the tick was attached. They all said it looked as if I got the full tick (head included) out effectively. I have ordered Ledum Palustre to be overnighted and am wondering if I start taking it tomorrow evening, will it still be effective? or is that too long to wait before taking it? I haven’t been able to find much info on this and would love to hear from you!! Thank you!
Hi Kelley! I had a friend in the same situation last month and she was advised to take an additional 3 days of ledum on top of what I shared here. This of course is not in any way a substitute for real medical advice — I’m just sharing her experience.
I understand! So far my doctor and the hospital have been less than helpful with advise so I appreciate you taking the time to get back to me! I will start the Ledum for 5 days tomorrow! Your article has been very helpful and I will be making your tick spray this weekend!
Thank you, Kelly, for this great post.
Hi, thank you for sharing this lovely recipe, and your story but there is some grave misinfo here. Lyme is actually becoming INCREASINGLY epidemic and the info provided saying that the incidence is low is INACCURATE. ILADS has been at odds with the CDC for years as the CDC DO NOT recognize chronic LYME which is VERY REAL. Long term antibiotics use is not defined by 2 months of use as stated there. PLEASE, PLEASE understand the VERY COMPLEX and political world of Lyme disease. It is INDEED a VERY REAL and growing threat. This does not mean we need to fear the outdoors, but to say the incidence is low is not true. My entire family and a growing number of friends have been diagnosed and have or are struggling with CHRONIC LYME. I am an EXTREMELY healthy person doing everything i can to battle it, but we cannot spread misinformation about the non existence and low incidence of chronic lyme as is being done by our wider medical community. Any LLMD (Lyme literate medical dr. would concur). Please refer to the ILADS site for more info. Thank you mucho! And i’ll check into the lovely spray as i love essential oils!!:)
ALSO, VERY IMPORTANT to note is that ticks DO NOT need to be attached for 24 hours. This information has been proven WRONG and lyme can be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes. This is very important to understand and share.
Great post! Such a blessing to hear proactive and positive steps to take to protect ourselves. I’ve been using the rose geranium for over a year now and it works beautifully! FYI, our holistic vet says tea tree oil is poisonous to dogs and especially cats. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Bree!
Your post is very helpful. I’m wondering, does this work for the Lone Star tick bite as well? I just got one off that was VERY attached, but not engorged. My daughter had one last year and eventually had to have an antibiotic.
Yes, it does, Delania!
Do you still use this brand of rose geranium? I read a comment they switched their formula and it’s not as effective.
I do, Karla! So far, we still have great results even with the changed formula. I’ve heard for some people it’s not been quite as effective as the old formula, but that hasn’t been our experience.
Thank you for a very helpful and balanced post. I’m in the UK and I keep getting ticks from my garden (yard) and remove them without much worry; as you say, live life and enjoy the outside. But as it is becoming so common I thought I ought to check it out. I have both Tea Tree and Ledum in the house so, bingo! And for those that are nervous of the risk – can I suggest that riding in cars, etc must be a much, much higher risk – I don’t have figures for that – just my own thought. Thanks
Great point, Lesley — there’s risk for injury or worse everywhere you go!
I just found your article because I found a tick on me that was slightly attached this morning, and I have a quick question: why do you recommend only one pellet of the Ledum? I have taken homeopathy for 25+ years and have always used the standard adult dose of 5 pellets for a 30c in this brand (this can change, obviously, depending on brand and pellet size). I’ve gone to a homeopathic chiro who muscle tests and I have never been told to use just one pellet of any brand, unless I was down to one last pellet left (he often gives doses in an envelope) and then I dissolve in water per your instructions above. Just curious. Thanks!
These aren’t my instructions, but the instructions per Dr. Margo Roman (who wrote this book: https://amzn.to/2YroXXW).
That’s awesome that you’ve taken homeopathic remedies for so long – homeopathy is amazing and I continue to be so fascinated by it! I’m going on a little over 20 years myself and I’ve learned that a dose is a dose no matter how many you take….despite what’s on the back of the pellet containers.
Because it’s based on energy and not a chemical, if you take 1 or 10, the energy is the same. The amount does not matter; what matters is potency and how many times it is given. I know this isn’t what a lot of people do and it’s certainly not what’s on the back of the containers, but if you look up the law of minimum dose, it may make more sense. All of the classical homeopaths I have had experience with only use and recommend the law of minimum dose, which is 1 dose for acute conditions (and then repeat with 1 pellet/dose as the body needs). I hope that helps answer your question! Take care!
Thanks for your info – I’ll look into her book! It’s interesting because my homeopath doesn’t suggest the one pellet as a dose and he’s a classically trained homeopath who uses kinesiology/muscle testing to dose. I know he’s told me that he has taken one before if it’s all that was available (running low while traveling, etc.), and also using one in the water method. I also know it’s based on energy so if he/I only had two or three pellets and set the intention of it being a complete dose, it would work, but he’s always just dosed five pellets as an adult dose (my littles all took one, then two, then three, etc. as they got older). And yes, the amounts given and potency is all key, too. Interesting how different practitioners do things differently. Thanks for sharing!
It is so interesting, isn’t it?! I’ve even found that just setting a clear intention/dose with no pellet can work, too – even on my animals, which is SO fascinating to me! I am continually amazed and enthralled by energy medicine and what I learn about energy. I know a lot of people think it’s bogus or woo woo, but for those of us who are open to energy medicine, it’s truly amazing as I know you know. I’m excited for the science to catch up one day 😉
Homeopathy has been repeatedly debunked by actual science. Over 1,000 studies have repeatedly shown that not only does homeopathy not work, it CAN’T work. The dilutions that are claimed by the supplement manufacturers would mean it’s impossible for any of the original material to remain. Any “effect” of homeopathy is placebo.
I’ve had an incredible amount of success with homeopathy as well as countless others from around the world…I can’t wait for the science to one day catch up! 🙂 Yes, you are right — it’s not based on actual physical material so I can see why the science has debunked it and many people think it can’t work. However, it’s an energetic medicine and works at the energetic level… science isn’t quite there yet. For those who are open to it, it truly can be a wonderful and very effective medicine.
My husband has been bitten by a tick and we applied 1 drop of peppermint and it killed it and we went to a doctor and were able to get it up really well. I’m still concerned and I wanted to see what he can take preventative but I like herbal instead of homeopathic, if you can suggest!
You may be interested in the popular herbalist, Stephen Buhner’s herbal protocol for new tick bites and also tick bite prevention. Stephen recommends a minimum of 1,000 mg of astragalus daily if you live in a lyme endemic area. This will keep the immune markers high that need to be high to prevent infection. For new tick bites, Stephen typically recommends taking astragalus – 3,000 mg daily for 30 days, 1,000 mg daily thereafter, indefinitely. Also: using a paste made of andrographis tincture mixed with green clay, the paste applied on the tick bite area can often prevent an active infection. You can learn more in his book, if interested: https://amzn.to/2LLkZYy
Hope that helps, Tina…take care!
It’s Stephen Buhner, not “Bruhner.”
Yes, thank you! Typo. Fixed.
Hi there! Are you still recommending the geranium oil and recipe for prevention as well as the Ledum for treatment? It’s been a few years so wanted to be sure you haven’t started using something else 🙂
Yes, it’s what we are still doing with success 🙂
Hi. We pulled a Dog tick off our 3 year old daughter earlier this week! I’m wonder if the dosing would be the same for a child with the Ledum?
Thanks so much!
Is ledum safe for pregnancy
I also live in Pennsylvania, and my county is endemic for lyme now. I use ledum on my dog daily as I am pulling ticks off him daily right now with fall hiking, which I love and refuse to give up! I was wondering though, how you can stand the smell of the rose geranium oil?! I tried to use it once before, years ago, and it smelled so strong and I personally was not able tolerate the odor. I think it’s one of those things where some people love it and others can’t stand it, depending on your personal biology. I’ve tried so many things but nothing really repels the little buggers! He’s also been diagnosed with lyme several years ago, and I tried to treat with doxy but he came up unable to process the drug properly and got an overdose after just two doses so that had to stop. It is what led me to discover homeopathy though, so I am grateful for it! He tested negative last time he was at the vet, which was at least a year ago.
Hi Corinne, I’m so glad you were able to discover homeopathy and also that your dog tested negative for lyme now. And I think you are right about the rose geranium essential oil – people either seem to love or hate it. I’m one of those who truly likes and enjoys the smell. But my best friend can’t stand it and says it repulses her. Hope you continue to enjoy your fall hikes – this time of year is my favorite for hiking – SO gorgeous out there!!
Hi and thank you for the info. Regarding Steven Buhler’s book, do you by chance know if the dose of astragalus is the same for 8 year olds as adults? I would buy the book, but the only choices are Audible or paperback. Paperback will take forever to get here and Audible will take me days. I am panicking because her 2 lymph nodes near the bite are swelling into little beans. We started the Ledum (just got it 24 hours ago). Thanks in advance!
He generally recommends half the adult astragulus dose for children.
Here is his website, which is a wealth of lyme information. I linked to the page that is specifically for kids: http://lymeaware.free.fr/lyme/Websave/buhnerhealinglyme/buhnerhealinglyme.com/category/lyme/children/index.html
I hope this is helpful and sending healing blessings out to your daughter. Take care!
Brilliant article, thorough, smart and insightful!
I came across it after finding a tick in my 6 year old’s foot, after we spent an afternoon in the forest! She loves the forest but she got very scared by the tick. Amazingly the tick came out on its own accord and started walking up her leg 10 minutes after we found it (an hour after we came home from the forest). She cleverly spotted it and my husband caught it and squashed it, it had no blood in it! I gave her Ledum 30c instinctively, and put a drop of lavender oil on it.
I’m going to get Rose Geranium and make your insect repellent, I hope and pray she doesn’t get put off the forest as it’s the best place in the world! I’ve made my own insect repellent last year but that doesn’t have Rose Geranium, mosquitoes absolutely hated it and we didn’t get a single bite while summer :))
Thank you for your help Kelly, God bless you and your family!
Thank you for your comment, Anita! And I agree, the forest is the best place in the world! Hoping your daughter spends many, many wonderful years in the forest 🙂
Last year, my whole family and my dog had success with taking Ledum 6c twice a week for a tick repellent (and general bug repellent, too!). I came across this option when I didn’t want to use essential oils on or around my baby/toddler and I’m so happy to say that it worked all last year for all of us. We’re doing it again this year, too. Take care!