Home-grown solution: Vermont tick repellent growing in popularity
By DARREN MARCY
With the growing tick problem in Vermont it makes sense that a growing segment of the population is looking for a way to keep the little buggers at bay.
Nothing good comes from a day in the woods only to find a tick or 10 attached to your skin. It’s even worse when that tick is attached to your kid.
But getting bit by a tick is more than just a hassle, it could a serious health risk.
The risk of Lyme disease, spread by the black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick, is a growing concern.
More ticks are being found in Vermont than ever before and with that increase in ticks has come an increase in the number of Lyme disease cases.
According to the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont only had a few cases reported per year until about 2005. That’s when the numbers started going up.
In 2011, there were more than 500 reports of people with Lyme disease.
Most of those cases have been reported from the southern half of the state, but Lyme disease has been reported from all areas of Vermont.
The answer is to wear long-sleeves, long pants tucked into your socks, be vigilant about check yourself for ticks, and wearing an insect repellent.
Most experts recommend wearing a product that contains DEET, but who wants to goop themselves up with a bunch of chemicals that come with warnings that make you not want to put it on at all?
Now, one Vermont company is providing an alternative.
Green Mountain Tick Repellent is an all-natural repellent developed by a registered nurse in Dorset. As a certified skin and wound-care nurse, Victoria diMonda, said she didn’t want to put products containing DEET on her kids.
“The thought of something on my little kids’ skin that needs to be washed off as soon as possible makes me cringe, as I know it does for many other parents out there,” diMonda said.
In fact, it was the mom in her that led her to start experimenting with natural ingredients until she came up with the current formula about four years ago after finding several ticks on her daughter and 8-week-old puppy.
“I started making bottles for my friends and relatives and was encouraged by those people to start selling it, due to its effectiveness,” diMonda said. “I have always been a ‘bug-magnet’ and with my sensitive skin, I never felt good about drowning myself in chemical sprays.”
She said Green Mountain Tick Repellent contains essential oils of rose geranium, lemongrass and cedarwood. All are known for their insect-repelling properties.
And from fans comments on Facebook and elsewhere, it works.
One woman reported that she and her husband and dogs work in the woods every day and it was nothing to come home with ticks on all of them. She said using traditional chemical-based remedies wasn’t an option on the dogs because they played and would play bite each other.
She tried GMTR and reported the number of ticks dropped significantly. One dog had two ticks in three weeks while the other dog had none.
Plus she said, the pleasant odor helped with the “wet dog” smell.
Others are raving as well and the little business is expanding by leaps and bounds.
They have expanded their products range from the Dorset area to most of Vermont and now boasts more than 40 businesses that carry the product with more added every week.
“We are growing at a rapid pace,” diMonda said. “The demand and response to our product has been overwhelming.”
In fact, diMonda said they have sold more than 2,000 bottles since April.
The product is a big hit in natural food stores, co-ops, country stores, pet supply stores and others. It’s also available from the website (www.gmtick.com).
It’s even been sold in stores in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, California. One order was shipped to France.
“We have received emails from people all over the world who state they are looking for a product like ours,” diMonda said.
For more information, log on to www.gmtick.com, or find them on Facebook.
Contact Darren at firstname.lastname@example.org