What Is Safe to Spray on My Bed & Pillows to Remove Ticks?
Ticks are perhaps some of the most dangerous arachnid pests in the world as they are capable of transmitting serious diseases, such as Lyme's disease, which is spread through deer tick bites. While you want to keep ticks out of your home, using most commercial methods of doing so means you will also be exposing you, your family and pets to toxic chemicals. Rather than spraying chemicals on your pillows and bedsheets, look for natural methods of keeping ticks out of your life.
While ticks are commonly mistaken for insects, these blood-suckers are actually arachnids with four pairs of legs as adults. Ticks do not have antennae and fall into two general groups: hard ticks and soft ticks. Hard ticks, such as those often found on dogs, feature a hard shield behind their mouth and resemble a flat shell before feeding. Soft ticks feature no hard shell and have a large raisin shape. There are numerous tick species, including deer ticks, brown dog ticks, winter ticks and Lone Star ticks, though most are about 1/8 inch in size and are reddish-brown in color. Ticks are found in wooded areas and tall grasses where they wait for animal hosts to pass by and latch onto for feeding. Ticks cannot fly or jump.
Numerous essential oils work as natural insect repellents for many insects including fleas and mosquitoes, as well as ticks. Citronella is one natural oil that repels ticks and, when combined with cedarwood oil, also repels mosquitoes. Lemongrass is another essential oil repulsive to ticks as is lavender and eucalyptus essential oils. Fill a pint-sized spray bottle with water and 10 to 20 drops of one essential oil or essential oil combination. Sprays with lavender essential oil will also help promote relaxation and sleep in addition to keeping ticks away.
Browse pet stores and online options for natural commercial flea and tick sprays, such as the Flea and Tick Home Spray from Vet's Best, which combines ingredients such as peppermint oil and clove extract to keep flea and ticks as well as their eggs out of your home by killing them upon contact. The natural flea and tick spray from Natural Chemistry is another option that kills on contact with active ingredients including cinnamon oil, clove oil and cedarwood oil.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Combine 1/4 cup of raw, organic apple cider vinegar for every cup of water used to make another safe tick spray for pillows and comforters. A tablespoon of the stuff can also be added to pets' water dishes to help keep ticks off of them as well, or try bathing your pet regularly and rinsing it with diluted apple cider vinegar. Use 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar per pint of water used.
- Ilinois Department of Public Health: Common Ticks
- Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits.com: Pet Care With Apple Cider Vinegar
- Paw Rescue: Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitoes--Prevention and Treatment; Robin Tierney; August 2011
- The Humane Society of the United States: Flea and Tick Product Ingredients: What You Should Know; March 2011
Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.
- Janie Airey/Lifesize/Getty Images