Tick Repellent Has Glowing Reports
RESEARCH SHOWS ECOSMART PRODUCT IS SAFE, EFFECTIVE
I scoff at poison ivy, or bee stings, or the other associated scratches and itches that come from a life outdoors. It’s part of it. And worth it.
But Lyme Disease has struck fear into many of us living in the Northeast and, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m in that club. As someone who has practically preached the benefits of an outdoor lifestyle through gardening and playing on the lawn for the past quarter century, it’s certainly disconcerting to think that we now have to worry about something that can make us really, really sick every time we roll around in the lawn.
As I put in my dutiful three-hour Mother’s Day session in the veggie garden yesterday, I pulled five ticks off myself. I was content in the knowledge that if I could actually see the ticks with my 51-year-old eyes, then the worst they were going to do was bite me. With Lyme Disease, it’s the so-called deer ticks that are roughly the size of the head of a pin that do the damage and spread the bacteria called called Borrelia burgdorferi. I’m definitely too old to see those, so my only hope is to feel them on me when I’ve settled down for the evening.
That leads to all sorts of paranoid flinching and scratching, what one might call a tick tic (sic).
So today I’m refreshing my supply of EcoSMART Tick and Mosquito Repellent. I used it in the past in Maine after I heard about the 2009 research at Maine Medical Center, which essentially stated that the product works as well or better than any chemical tick control on the market. It also doesn’t come with the potentially negative side effects associated with the synthetic chemical insecticides.
One quart of the EcoSMART stuff, made from food-grade botanic ingredients that are considered so safe they don’t require an EPA registration (read here about 25(b) eco-exempt pesticides), will cover 5,000 square feet. It’s most important to spray the perimeter of the yard, as well as any nooks and crannies, or rocks etc., where the ticks can hide from the bright sun. If you keep your lawn mown to 3-4 inches tall, the ticks generally won’t hang out there, but they definitely like taller grass.
Other application tips: 1) Make sure to shake the container well before using it because the ingredients will fall out of solution if they sit for too long; 2) If it’s too hot (above 85-90), then apply early in the morning; 3) Avoid watering after the application or if rain is predicted.
Company founder, lawyer turned scientist, Steve Bessette, has told me on several occasions that it’s best to apply the stuff fairly diligently for the first season (June through August) to break the lifecycle of the insects, which will really reduce the populations. Keeping deer and other rodents out of your yard will help, too.
EcoSMART also sells a personal insect repellent lotion that can be applied to skin. I haven’t tried this . . . but will next weekend when I get around to finishing that vegetable garden: http://www.homedepot.com/buy/ecosmart-6-oz-personal-insect-repellent-215971.html. (Yes, dear, if you’re reading this, I really will finish the garden!)
NOTE: To learn more about ticks and lyme disease, here is a great on-line source: