A woman from Mahone Bay has created a natural anti-tick spray, and the first scientific tests proved to be a total success.
Lisa Ali created AtlanTick after her sons developed Lyme disease from ticks back in 2016. The ticks that bit them were so small that nobody saw them:
“I wanted to protect them from getting Lyme disease again, but I didn’t want to put DEET on their skin. I didn’t want to put anything chemical on their skin.”
She created a tick repellent that had no chemicals in it. She used water, witch hazel, jojoba oil and other different essential oils. But how effective would it be?
Testing the Spray on Ticks
Scientist Nicoletta Faraone at the department of biology at Acadia University has tested the repellent. She placed ticks on a dish in three circles. Outside the circles there was AtlanTick. If ticks left the circle, it meant that the repellent wasn’t efficient. Faraone explained what the ticks did:
“The results are pretty interesting because the AtlanTick body spray repelled about 75, 80 per cent of the tested ticks. These results were compared to DEET, which recorded 100 per cent of repellency. It’s pretty encouraging, because we clearly saw a repellency effect.”
Ali has previously done a lot of research to find out what natural substances repel ticks and she felt great when she saw that her concoction worked:
“It’s very satisfying and it’s reassuring. Now I know for sure that the oils I mix together actually work and for people who do think of essential oils as kind of new-agish, this is a great way to show them that it does work.”
The next step is to get approval from Health Canada to sell her product as a tick spray. She will have to wait for a couple of years, though. Faraone explained that they would have to conduct more tests in different situations.
“For now we have data up to 10 minutes, so we want to see after one hour, after two hours and so on, and also we want to test on the skin to see if the tick is repelled or drops off.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.