We’ve enjoyed being able to go outside and hike around the many parks in the Minneapolis area. Being cooped up for four and a half months due to snow was really getting to me, and we try to be outdoors as much as possible.
One major drawback to this is that Minnesota has a ton of ticks. After a 90 minute hike, Sedagive? and I brushed off or extracted eight ticks between the two of us. While no one wants to think about a tick feasting on our hard-earned blood, tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease are a major concern here.
The first line of defense to avoiding Lyme disease is repelling the ticks. The chemicals DEET and Permethrin are a good combination for warding off ticks, but we are concerned about applying a constant amount of chemicals to our skin and clothing. We’d prefer to use a non-chemical alternative if possible.
There are several apps for mobile devices that claim to repel mosquitoes and other pests by using high frequencies. I decided to test out “Anti-Mosquito,” which is a free program from the Pico Brothers.
The idea is simple: Anti-Mosquito and similar apps and devices emit an annoying sound that drive ticks and mosquitoes away. Anti-Mosquito puts out a 14k, 16k, and 20k frequency. These tones are supposed to be out of the range of most humans. I can hear the 14k just fine, and the 16k frequency if I concentrate enough. If you are younger or have protected your hearing into adulthood you may be able to hear all the way up to 20k. If you like your music loud, shoot a lot of guns, or work around heavy machinery (some of my friends have the trifecta on this) then you may not be able to hear any of them.
Apparently ticks can’t hear these frequencies either, because the Anti-Mosquito app does jack shit to repel ticks.
Here’s a five minute video I made. This was the first time I used the app, and it will also be the last: