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Doctor shares how you can easily turn your yard and garden into a tick-free zone: 'Use nature to your advantage'

Her tips are worth every free penny.

Garden into a tick-free zone

Photo Credit: @ kristinreihmanmd / Instagram

A board-certified doctor is giving a free master class on how to keep your garden tick-free, and it's worth every free penny. 

The scoop 

In an Instagram post, mother and doctor Kristin Clague Reihman (@kristinreihmanmd) shares how to naturally keep your garden tick-free so you can enjoy it peacefully.

The caption to the post reads: "I wanted to show you some methods that help me feel safer outside in my garden. Something simple is to use nature to your advantage! Here are some plants that can help deter ticks!"

"A lot of herbs and spices are actually naturally tick-repellent," Reihman said as she walks to a garden bed. "This is oregano. Of course, it smells like a pizza. … In the garden, it repels ticks. That's a good thing."

"Basil," she says as she moves through her garden. "I have five types of basil growing in my garden … also naturally tick-repellent." 

She ends by going to a lavender plant, which she says is also very helpful in repelling the nasty pest.

"There's probably more," she concludes. "I just haven't researched them all. I just wanted to show you how you can pocket things in your garden, and it will help you feel safer to be in your garden."

How it's helping 

Gardening provides pluses to both the gardener and to the environment. 

The gardener benefits from physical activity and time outside, and studies have shown that exposure to plants and green space — particularly gardening — also benefits mental health. 

Gardening produces multiple environmental advantages, too. It can provide crucial habitats for pollinators and other wildlife. Further, growing fruits and vegetables can grant access to healthy, pesticide-free options while also helping cut down on food waste. This is significant given that nearly 120 billion pounds of food is thrown away annually in the U.S., 42 billion pounds of which comes from homes. 

Ticks, however, and fear of the potential problems from their bite may deter people from spending time in a garden, as ticks may very likely be found there. 

The main concern with ticks is Lyme disease, which afflicts more than 475,000 Americans a year and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks). Symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, and skin rash; if left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. 

What everyone's saying 

Commenters were understandably appreciative of the tips, especially from an actual doctor. 

"Yay! I have all those things and didn't even know they are tick repellent," one wrote. 

"Deer ticks are shaking in their boots right now," another humorously added. 

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