Easy and Homemade Natural Tick Repellent Recipes to Fight Ticks and Lyme Disease

2012-04-16 05:44

The warmer than usual winter and early spring have meant a surge of activity among people, plant, and animals, and those pesty critters called ticks, which can carry the threat of Lyme disease. If you want an alternative to chemicals to repel these pests, this may be the year you try natural tick repellents.

Some tick repellents are hazardous

If you live near or in wooded, grassy, or other natural areas or you spend your vacation in such places, one of your rituals during spring and summer months should include checking for ticks on yourself, your family, and your pets. Ticks can carry a number of diseases, perhaps most notably Lyme disease (the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern hemisphere), as well as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and Colorado tick fever, among others.

A number of chemical tick repellents are on the market, including DEET and permethrin. DEET is applied directly to the skin and has been associated with neurological damage in humans, including slurred speech, confusion, and seizures.

Permethrin is an insecticide derived from a chemical in chrysanthemums, and it is sprayed on clothing because it is deactivated when it interacts with oils on the skin. It can irritate the eyes if not used correctly.

Natural tick repellents are easy to make
Here are a few natural tick repellents you can make at home for yourself and for your pets. You should get a spray bottle (one that holds at least 16 oz) for some of these combinations.


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While not organic, Tick Tubes do a good job of keeping the ticks down, without upsetting the balance of nature. They do contain permethrin, but the chemical is so diluted (I know because I called the company and asked!) that it doesn't harm animals, only the ticks it targets. You place the tubes around areas of mouse habitat, and they take the permethrin treated cotton to nest with. This kills a lot of ticks, without harming anything else.
Thank you for the suggestion. Consumers should be aware of their many different options when fighting ticks.
The suggestions sound very promising over the use of DEET, but the article contains no documentation or citation of sources. Can you please add citations and source links for these various methods including info on their relative effectiveness compared to DEET and permethrin?
Thank you for your comments. Admittedly, little research has been done on the effectiveness of natural substances to deter ticks, which is why this article does not say these natural tick repellents are better than or have been proven to be better than DEET or permethrin. I was careful to point out the disadvantages of the chemical products and to only suggest there are alternatives if people choose to try them if they want to avoid using harsh chemicals. There are many anecdotal reports of people using natural tick repellents for themselves and their pets, but unfortunately few scientific studies. However, there are many products on the market that contain one or more of the natural substances mentioned in this article. Here are a few references you can check: Weldon et al, Journal of Chemical Ecology 2011 April; 37(4): 348-59; Jaenson et al, Journal of Medical Entolomogy, 2006 Jul; 43(4): 731-36; Denardi et al, Microscopy Research and Technique, 2011 Oct; 74(10): 889-99; Abdel-Shafy, Zayed. Veterinary Parasitology 2002 May; 106(1): 89-96
I am going to try the citrus combination on my cats and lawn. Anything is better than peaticides or getting bitten by a tick.
There is a tool on the market designed for the specific use of removing ticks. Its shaped like a tiny nail bar and is called "o'tom tick twister" it works by removing the tick without squeezing the ticks body. Using tweezers can squeeze any ingested material back into you or your pets blood stream.
Thank you for sharing this information with my readers.
I tried the citrus water spray on my dogs and it did not work.
I can't remember exactly where I learned this trick but it works! If you are removing a tick and having a hard time getting it to come off just drop some dish soap on the tick. They suffocate and release. It's the weirdest trick but worked on my little Pomeranians, one tick on an eyelid and one deep in the fur. I won't try to remove without dish soap ever again. Just give it a few seconds to impact the tick and it pops off.
I just tried that and it didn't work. How long did you leave it on? Maybe I didn't do it long enough.
Elizabeth: Yes, I have heard of this trick as well, but never tried it. Thank you for sharing it! can use alcohol to remove ticks, too...
Thelma, thanks for sharing this tip. I believe it's rubbing alcohol...not gin or vodka (although they might work too!)
Tea tree oil works to kill fleas btw like instantly on contact... I work with essential oils and i am about to try some tests.... Ill get back to u all to let u knw which is more effective
Petroleum jelly when rubbed over the area where the tick has gotten in will suffocate the tick leave it on for about an hour and then go back and pull the tick out. Works on humans and dogs.