My Son Was Bit By A Tick... What We Learned & How To Respond

My Son Was Bit By A Tick... What We Learned & How To Respond

It was a wake-up call for our entire family.

Yesterday, we went for a bike ride on a path through an open meadow.  It was a beautiful day and we thought we were being safe and protected.  We all applied our Sun Up Before Sun Protector to block the harmful sun rays, donned our helmets, water bottles filled, and headed off for a ride we will never forget.

Funny how one thing can put fear in your heart and change your day in a second.

We went on a 6-mile ride. Not wooded, no tall grass.  

The kids all showered when we arrived home. After their showers, we were getting ready for dinner when Roman felt a “sharp sting” in the hairline of his neck. 

He felt something hard, pulled it out of his hair, took one look at it, and screamed “I was bitten by a tick!!” 

My heart dropped.  I examined his scalp and it was bleeding.  We combed the carper, vacuumed, and found the tick. 

tick bite     Dog tick

A Dog Tick.  They can carry and transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF).  The ONE time we think we don’t need Boot-A-Pest Bug Spray because we are biking on a trail in the open.  Roman stopped and went to the bathroom in low grass near a tree… innocent and low risk.  That must have been when the tick crawled on him.

He pulled the tick off… head intact with a piece of his skin with his stinger still intact. 

The way I formulated Boot-A-Pest is via a tea-infusion brew.  This ensures that every spray has neem, rosemary, thyme, and lavender deterrents in it.  It absorbs into your skin (or sprayed on your clothes) and the scent is repulsive to ticks and mosquitos.  The key is in the infusion. 

Many fragrances that smell wonderful to humans are highly repellent to ticks. Lavender, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, cedar, geranium and citrus have all been shown to keep ticks away.  These are the ingredients I put in Boot-A-Pest Bug Spray and we have never had an encounter with ticks.

I learned my lesson.  It was a wakeup call for our family.  We will never forget to spray ourselves with Boot-A-Pest even for the innocent bike ride.  You just never know.

I did an experiment with Boot-A-Pest Bug Spray in the video below.  We are sending the tick to to be tested for the bacteria it could carry.  I feel it is safer to know if the tick was carrying any diseases so we can treat before symptoms show up.  The testing is anywhere from $30-$200 depending on the lab and the amount of testing you want to be done. Ticknology will keep the tick for 2 years in case you need more testing.  

Because I know how scary finding a tick on yourself or family member can be, I am sharing a DIY Bug Spray recipe below. 👇

My Post-Tick Treatment

After the Tick was removed from my son's scalp, we cleaned it with alcohol I blended a detoxing, quick healing balm and applied it to the bite.  Ticks are dirty and the infections they transmit are from their gut.  Once your skin is pierced by the bite, the possibility of contamination increases. 

What I treated his scalp with work for all bug bites, cuts, lacerations, road rash, and any skin break. 

I scoop off a small amount of Torn Up Skin Repair made with healing oils and essential oils know to be antibacterial and cleansing. I then break open a capsule of activated charcoal and blend the charcoal with Torn Up.  The charcoal is used to remove toxins from the wound.

This morning, his bite looked almost healed- and the redness was almost gone.

I wanted to test what the ticks reaction is to Boot-A-Pest Bug Spray so I did an experiment.  Some essential oils are safe and enjoyed by humans, but deadly to ticks. Those include rosemary, peppermint, and lemongrass and are included in Boot-A-Pest Bug Spray.

I put the tick on a white paper and put drops of Boot-A-Pest on the paper.  The tick avoided the drops and when it did ingest some, it became very sluggish and confused.  This is perfect because you want them to smell it and stay away.  If they do get on you, making them confused and sluggish will help it fall off instead of traveling to a discrete spot. 

The video shows you how the tick reacted to Boot-A-Pest Bug Spray.


Roman removed the tick before it could really embed it's head so we were lucky.  Most people do not feel the tick bite because their saliva contains analgesic properties to numb the sensation. 

To remove a tick properly, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. Do not squeeze the body of the tick.  The gastric juice is the "toxic soup of bacteria" that is harmful. 

I am sharing a recipe you can make at home to fend off ticks and flying pests.  I don't want you to have to go through the stress I just went through.

It takes 3 weeks to brew, but totally worth the time and effort. 

If you are not the DIY type, Boot-A-Pest Bug Spray is made with these (and more) ingredients, and while you will love it, pests will not!  The BREW is what sets my Bug Spray apart from the rest... Brewing means a uniform application and better protection.

DIY Bug Spray Recipe

1 cup witch hazel astringent 
1 tbs organic neem leaf
1 tbs organic thyme leaf 
1 tbs organic rosemary leaf
1 tbs organic lavender flowers
10 drops organic lemon eucalyptus essential oil.
10 drops organic citronella essential oil.
10 drops organic tea tree essential oil.
5 drops organic geranium essential oil.
5 drops organic lavender essential oil.

In a jar, combine witch hazel with neem leaf, thyme leaf, rosemary leaf, and lavender flowers.  Let sit for 3 weeks to brew. 

Gently shake the container twice a day.  After 3 weeks, strain out the “tea” leaves and add the essential oils and pour into a spray bottle. 

Enjoy your pest-free outdoors!
Many recipes do not call for the infusion, but essential oils do not fully blend into witch hazel leaving you with spotty results. Making a tea infusion ensures that the witch hazel will contain neem, thyme, rosemary, catnip, and lavender even if the bottle is not shaken well before use.  Neem oil is a strong pest deterrent. 

Do not skip the infusion- this is the key to a successful bug spray.

Update:  6/19/20, results from

Dear Trina,
Your American dog tick was negative for all pathogens on our panel including Lyme, Bartonella, Rocky Mtn. spotted fever & Tularemia. Please read the attached report for details.
Wishing you good health!

Dr. H. Szerlong

UNIVERSAL TICK TEST: Female American dog tick

The results for the submitted specimen are fully consistent with the absence of Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), and the absence of all other pathogens tested including Bartonella, Rocky Mtn. spotted fever (RMSF) & Tularemia (see table below). My interpretation of these results are based on quantitative thresholds as well as direct comparisons to control groups performed in parallel.

Pathogen Associated Human Disease

Test Result

Tick DNA tested negative for all:
Borrelia species (broad detection) Borrelia burgdorferi
Borrelia mayonii
Borrelia miyamotoi
Anaplasma phagocytophilum Babesia microti
Rickettsia rickettsii
Rickettsia parkeri
Ehrlichia chaffeensis
Ehrlichia ewingii
Babesia duncani
Francisella tularensis

Stay safe.  Trina