Safe Tick Repellents
Ticks are a common nuisance. Don't let them spoil your enjoyment of the outdoors.
Learn how to make your own natural tick repellents.
I will tell you what I have learned myself. For me, a long five or six mile walk helps. And one must go alone and every day.
10 Natural Ingredients to Repel Ticks
During tick season, April through October, ticks are common to find on your skin, in your clothing, and on your pets. Don’t let the dread of ticks keep you from your favorite outdoor activities. Try one of these natural tick repellents and enjoy hiking, playing in your yard, and gardening.
Tick bites should be taken seriously. Ticks can infect humans and their pets with bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Biting ticks can cause serious, long-term illnesses, such as Lyme disease. Some commercial tick products contain pesticides, organophosphates and other toxic ingredients, such as DEET. It’s best to try to avoid tick areas and prevent contact. When ticks are present try using one of the following natural tick repellents.
Spray Base or Carrier: Start with some basic ingredients.
10. Start with a Vinegar Spray
Ticks dislike vinegar. Spray it by itself or use as an excellent base for additional insect repellent materials. Mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. Pour into a plastic spray bottle. Spray onto skin and clothing. Repeat as necessary.
9. Add a Carrier Oil
To the vinegar solution, add a few tablespoons of almond oil or vegetable oil. The oils smooth the base and help to cut the vinegar smell. Almond oil also contains sulfur, which ticks dislike. Almond oil and vegetable oils, without the vinegar, can be carrier bases for the essential oils listed below. Other safe carriers are aloe vera gel, witch hazel, or vodka.
Use Essential Oils: To the vinegar spray or carrier, add 10-25 drops.
8. Rose Geranium Oil
Rose geranium oil is reported to be the most effective essential oil against ticks. Add 10-25 drops to the vinegar spray or in the carrier base. Or use the geranium oil by itself, just 1 or 2 drops on the legs or pants, the wrists, and the neck. No need to use more than just a drop or two straight up. On a dog, place a drop just above the tail and a drop between shoulder blades near the neck.
7. American Pennyroyal Oil
Pennyroyal is reported to be the next most effective essential oil against ticks. It is also called “tickweed,” for good reason. Add 10-25 drops to the spray solution or carrier base. Important Note: DO NOT use pennyroyal if anyone in the household, human or pet, is pregnant.
6. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus is a fairly strong scent, but many people find it calm and soothing. It can be useful as a tick repellent, as ticks avoid the strong scent. Lemon Eucalyptus is especially effective and it is an ingredient in some commercially-made, plant-based pesticides. Add 10-25 drops to the spray solution or carrier base.
5. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil is a useful insect repellent and is a nice-smelling scent. The crisp mint smell repels ticks and fleas. Add 10-25 drops to the spray solution or carrier base. You can also spray lawn areas with peppermint oil. Mix 25-30 drops of peppermint oil to about 16 ounces of water.
4. Neem Oil
Neem oil can be mixed with water and a few drops of liquid detergent for a spray solution. To 2 cups of warm water add 15 drops neem oil and 10 drops liquid detergent. Mix well and spray on skin and clothing. Use the neem water immediately as it loses its potency after several days.
Natural Plant Materials: Both fresh and dried herbs may be used.
3. Fresh and Dried Herbs
Lemon juice and citrus oils can be added to the basic spray base. Or boil 2 cups of water, add slices of oranges, lemons, limes, and/or grapefruit. Boil for several minutes and then simmer for half an hour. Remove the fruit and pour the citrus water into a spray bottle. This mixture can also be sprayed on areas of the lawn.
1. Four Thieves Vinegar
Here is a medieval recipe for antipestilential vinegar. The Four Thieves Vinegar was believed to protect users from the black plague. The legend says that thieves used this preparation to protect themselves when they were robbing the bodies of plague victims.
How to make Four Thieves Vinegar Insect Repellent:
The tick repellent essential oils listed can usually be purchased at health food stores or from online sources. These natural tick repellents are typically rubbed on skin, sprayed on clothing, or placed on dogs above the tail and between the shoulder blades. Re-apply several times, as needed, especially after swimming or exercising. Store mixtures between uses away from heat or sunlight.
Note: Many essential oils and other ingredients are toxic to cats. Talk to your vet before using any type of tick repellent on your cat.
If you liked this list of Safe Tick Repellents, you might enjoy reading these articles about Natural Tick Prevention and also Natural Remedies for Bee Stings.
Read more Simple10s articles about Alternative Natural Medicine.
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