Ticks have a bad reputation: their bites are unpleasant and can transmit dangerous diseases. Therefore, you should keep the bloodthirsty arachnids away from your skin – for example with coconut oil, one of nature’s miracle weapons.
When temperatures drop below seven degrees, ticks go into a kind of hibernation and thus survive the frosty months without any problems. A few years ago, the arachnids were mostly seen in the warmer federal states, but they have now spread throughout Germany. They live in forests and meadows – i.e. wherever it is humid enough. They remain there until a human or (pet) animal brushes past and they can bite into the skin with their jaw tools. Only when they have sucked their fill of blood do they let go of their host. They can transmit pathogens that cause life-threatening infections such as Lyme disease. The right protection against ticks is all the more important: There are a variety of chemical insect sprays, but also natural repellents such as coconut oil.
Study proves it: That’s why coconut oil repels ticks
In a laboratory at the Free University of Berlin, some employees made the astonishing observation that lauric acid has a deterrent effect on ticks. A ten percent lauric acid solution was used in their experiment – for comparison: butter, for example, only contains two to five percent lauric acid. The mere fact that between 81 and 100 percent of all ticks left the tested surface in the experiment provided a clear result: ticks do not like lauric acid. And natural coconut oil has more than enough of that.
Untreated coconut oil can contain up to 60 percent lauric acid. This makes it an effective repellent against ticks – even without chemical ingredients like Icaridin and DEET, which are found in many bug sprays. Unfortunately, these active ingredients can also cause allergies and skin irritation, so coconut oil may be a better choice for people with sensitive skin. Apart from the fact that you don’t have to dig deeper into your pocket for the natural product when you calculate the ratio of price to quantity.
Does coconut oil also help against ticks on pets?
Coconut oil is obtained from the dried flesh of the coconut, called copra for short. Due to its high fat content, which is between 60 and 70 percent, coconut oil contains a corresponding amount of lauric acid – i.e. saturated fatty and carboxylic acids. In industrial production, the copra is heated and pressed, then refined or bleached and deodorized (i.e. the inherent odor is masked). For this reason, you should always rely on natural coconut oil that has been cold-pressed and processed without chemical additives. If you decide on an organic product, this is also suitable (according to the manufacturer) for pets. You can use the oil as a natural coat care or dietary supplement to protect your dog or cat from ticks. The lauric acid it contains is said to have the same effect on arachnids as on humans.
How to use coconut oil against ticks correctly
Before you go for a walk through the woods and meadows, you should rub coconut oil on the affected areas of your skin. Depending on the size of the area, you will need different quantities. In any case, it is important that the skin is sufficiently moistened – then the effect lasts for up to six hours.
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