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Outside, no matter where you go in nature or what you do, ticks are a problem to be reckoned with. The small ectoparasites are found in tall grass or undergrowth, where they patiently wait for a suitable host. In passing you touch the ticks and with their outstretched front legs they grab and cling to you. Then the tick begins its search for a good place to bite.
The big bad thing about a tick bite is the risk of transmitting dangerous diseases such as Rocky Mountain fever, Lyme disease, and others. These are serious illnesses that can lead to long-term health problems or worse.
Fortunately, there are some really effective synthetic tick repellents available. But what works well may also have unwanted side effects when used on a regular basis or when overdosed. At least, these are some of the concerns some people have. Out of concern for such undesirable side effects or long-term consequences, some consumers avoid synthetic repellents and try to make homemade tick repellent as a natural way to repel ticks.
Well, there are a number of essential oils that have insect repellent properties that make them an interesting alternative to synthetic tick repellants.
To make your own homemade tick repellent, use a blend of different essential oils mixed with a carrier oil. This is easy to do and safe too.
Essential oils that repel Ticks
The following essential oils have a strong odor that is repelling to ticks and many other biting insects
- Rose geranium
How does homemade tick repellent work?
Ticks find their victims by being able to smell the body odor, i.e. the metabolic products (especially lactic acid and butyric acid) and carbon dioxide emissions from their potential host. They do that with the so-called Halle organ, fine nerve cells that sit on their front legs.
While these stimuli have an attractive effect on the ticks, there are other smells that disturb this perception or even have a repulsive effect on the ticks.
Plants produce essential oils in their leaves, flowers or bark to attract or repel insects. We use essential oils with particular strong insect repellent properties. A blend of these essential oils can conceal human odor and irritate the ticks’ sensory organs so they will have problems recognizing a potential victim.
How to make a tick repellent spray?
To mix a homemade tick repellent, you will need a suitable container, best is a pump spray bottle that can hold about 3 to 4 ounces.
A suitable carrier liquid to mix the essential oils in; is a water-alcohol mixture or base oil such as coconut oil, or hazal-water, there are many you can experiment with.
One or more essential oils to go into the mixture. Effective are the essential oils of citronella or eucalyptus, they are proven and are often used in many organic products you can buy.
After getting the things ready, proceed to make the spray by following the steps below.
- Take the spray bottle and clean it thoroughly. Avoid plastic bottles, some essential oils may react with plastics.
- Fill the carrier into the bottle you are going to use to dissolve the essential oils in
- Now, add essential oils, about 20 to 30 drops for the 3 -ounce bottle
- Shake gently to mix it all together
- The natural tick repellent is now ready to use.
How to apply homemade tick repellent?
Before first use spray over a smaller area on the skin and check if there are any skin irritations or hypersensitivity reactions. Once you are sure there are no unwanted reactions, spray it on your clothes and skin, and avoid the face.
When you go outdoors, make sure you take this bottle along with you. As it is a natural homemade tick repellent, you will have to apply it in regular intervals to be effective.
Which homemade tick repellent is effective?
You need to experiment a bit and find out which combination of essential oils with which carrier, either water-alcohol or which base oil works best for you. Keep in mind that no repellent provides 100% protection and no natural repellent is as effective as synthetic repellents containing Deet or Picaridin