Repel Ticks Naturally With An Unexpected Item From Your Medicine Cabinet

One of the unfortunate drawbacks of time spent outdoors is the potential for tick bites. However, there is a way to ward them off — and as it turns out, you probably already have the tool to do it in your home. This is a job for Vicks VapoRub. 

While there are plenty of ways to keep ticks out of your own yard, when it comes to things like camping and hiking, they can be harder to avoid. Sure, tucking your pants right into your socks can help, but ticks have a nasty habit of clinging to clothing, then crawling up to open skin. There's also always a risk of ticks on clothing coming into your home, then biting later once your guard is down, and you don't have adequate protection. The trick, then, is to dissuade them from getting onto your clothing in the first place ... and that's where good ol' Vicks comes in.

You've probably heard that Vicks is a great, natural way to repel bugs of all varieties. Thanks to two of its major ingredients, there is some truth to that — and it's for precisely that reason that you'll want to bring it along on your next outdoor adventure. Here's how to put this tick trick to work.  

Slather Vicks over your clothing

The next time you head out for a hike, take a note from social media's resident grandmother, Barbara "Babs" Costello. After tucking your pants into your socks, crack open a tub of Vicks and slather a layer over the fabric covering the heat-generating spots on the lower parts of your body. That would be, around your ankles and behind your knees. The scent of the camphor oil and menthol used in the product are known to be incredibly off-putting to ticks, making this a great way to ward them off. 

As for why you'll want to pay extra attention to your lower half, per Everyday Health, ticks tend to climb onto people from the ground, or from short foliage. As such, having Vicks on the areas they're able to reach makes them less likely to climb onto your clothes in the first place. That's not to say you can't apply it on other parts of your body, though. A1 Exterminators recommends applying it on all the heat-generating spots that attract parasites. 

One thing you will want to keep in mind with this hack is that it should be used as an added layer of protection. That means not skimping on your traditional bug spray. Verywell Health recommends sticking with picaridin repellents. Alternatively, if you'd prefer a natural repellent option, the outlet suggests oil of lemon eucalyptus-based formulas, easily found on Amazon. Vicks shouldn't be your sole line of defense — but it's a great bonus.