The first time you see a tick, it might cause quite a shock. Whether it is crawling on you, your pet or already feasting on your blood, you're likely to have but one thought -- you want it gone.
Ticks are nasty. These arachnids (they are not insects, but instead cousins of spiders, mites and scorpions) are the most common disease carrier worldwide, after the mosquito. Of the more than 850 species in the world, at least 100 transmit more than 65 diseases such as Lyme's disease, Rocky Mountain fever and other bacterial diseases. Ticks are parasites and their sole purpose in life is to feed.
Salt is a wonderful natural product to kill fleas inside the home. It is a desiccant -- it dries them out. But when it comes to ticks, there is little evidence that salt will kill them. Additionally, when it comes to removing a tick embedded on yourself or a pet, applying salt to make the tick release and die is a bad idea. It can actually cause the tick distress, which could result in the tick releasing deadly toxins and bacteria into the bite.
The only natural product that works to kill ticks is diatomaceous earth, a rock that is powdered and spread on carpets, floors and other surfaces. Do not apply it to an animal or on yourself. For pets, products made specifically for ticks is safer. On either your pet or yourself, pull ticks off with tweezers and clean the wound with Epsom salt to disinfect.
Karie Lapham Fay
Karie Fay earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in law from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. After growing up in construction and with more than 30 years in the field, she believes a girl can swing a hammer with the best of them. She enjoys "green" or innovative solutions and unusual construction.