For the rest of my life, I won't ever forget the date: March 8, 2007. That's the day I was hooked up to an IV drip and told that I had early localized Lyme disease.

In March of 2007, I was living in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio and a few days before my diagnosis, I'd spent several hours in shorts and a t-shirt, hacking away at tall grass at the back of my property, never for a second considering the dangers that lurked in the grass. More specifically, ticks.

Up until my run-in with a tick in Cincinnati, I'd lived many years in wooded areas and I thought I knew about all the scary bugs. I was wrong. I knew that something was wrong when the rash around the area where the waistband of my shorts fell and it wasn't getting better. I felt like I'd been run over by a Mac truck which is what caused me to reluctantly drag myself to a walk in clinic and in all reality, that's probably what saved my life.

Since my run-in with Lyme in 2007, I've become obsessed with checking for ticks and researching ways to protect myself and my family, especially now that we live in a densely wooded area filled with deer. Deer are beautiful creatures, but they're also tick transporters and contrary to what the majority of the general population believes, ticks don't die in the winter. They might not be as active in the winter as they are during other times of the year, but they are active.

If you're worried about ticks but not crazy about the idea of using harsh chemicals to ward them off, you might be interested to know that ticks absolutely hate rosemary. Sure, there are other herbs that ticks hate, but rosemary is one of the easiest to grow and maintain. Rosemary oil is also super easy to get your hands on. Here are some of the easiest ways to use rosemary and rosemary oil to keep ticks away.

  • 1

    Scent Your Wool Dryer Balls

    You can put some rosemary oil on wool dryer balls, let them dry for an hour or two, and then toss them into the dryer with every load. Whatever you do though, don't put oil on the wool dryer ball and then toss it right away into your dryer because you run the risk of getting oil on your clothes and we all know how well that works out. Also, note that oil is flammable and while most people never have a problem putting oil on wool dryer balls, as with all things in life, there's always a risk that fire might happen.

  • 2

    Add Rosemary Oil to Your Cleaning Water

    Before washing your floor, add a couple of drops of rosemary oil to the bucket of solution and then mop away.

  • 3

    Spritz Your Your House

    You can pick up a cheap spray bottle at any dollar store. Mix equal parts water and rosemary oil and then spritz the solution around window sills and even on outdoor furniture. You can also spritz some on old washcloths that are just taking up space in the closet and lay them out around your patio to help keep ticks away while you're hanging around outside.

  • 4

    Drop Some Sprigs

    Ticks hate rosemary so much that if you drop of sprigs around your yard, they'll flee the area. An added bonus is that deer won't eat the rosemary because they don't like the taste.

  • 5

    Spray Yourself Down

    Just like with spritzing down your window sills and such, pick up another spray bottle and again, mix equal parts rosemary oil and water, shake it up and leave it by the door. Before you head out the door, spray yourself down.

  • 6

    Cover Your Lawn

    Wanna pull out all the stops? You can literally spray your lawn with rosemary oil. You know the Miracle Grow feeder thing that hooks up to your hose? Think that...

  • 7

    Run Your Diffuser

    While not quite as effective as spraying a rosemary/water mixture on yourself or mopping up the floors with drops of rosemary oil in your water, you can always run your oil diffuser with rosemary oil.

  • 8

    Soak in the Scent

    Add 20 or so drops of rosemary oil to your bath water and soak in it.