This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase I earn a commission at no extra cost for you.
There are more ticks than ever before, and protection is advisable all year round, because there are more of the little beasts than ever before, and not just in summer anymore. To keep ém away you can choose between natural tick repellent for humans or synthetic products.
Synthetic products may contain chemical compounds like DEED, Picaridin, Permethrin, Fipronil, etc. These are very effective pesticides that repel or kill ticks and many other insects.
But what works and is effective can also have undesirable side effects. In rare cases, users may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions.
Natural Tick Repellent For Humans
An alternative can be natural tick repellents, the active ingredients of which are obtained directly from plants. Natural tick repellents for humans are not entirely free of undesirable side effects either, but the risk can be lower.
YAYA Organics Tick Repellent
Products from YAYA Organics are natural and organic without any toxic chemicals. Their products are safe for both, humans and the environment.
YAYA Organics Tick Protection is a natural tick repellent for humans made from a combination of organic essential oils.
This plant-based repellent can be safely used by all family members and can even be used on dogs. YAYA tick repellent is an alternative to synthetic tick repellents for everyone who wants to enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, golfing, hunting, etc. without being bothered by annoying mosquitoes and ticks.
Key features: natural ingredients, essential oil.
Pros: suitable for all, safe, and used for many purposes.
Last update on 2022-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
More plant-based insect repellents
Last update on 2022-01-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Natural Tick Repellent For Humans
There are many natural tick repellents, from coconut oil, black seed oil, brewer’s yeast, garlic extract, vitamin B, tea tree oil, to amber stone necklaces, herbs, and homeopathic remedies, the list is endless. But how good are these products to ward off nasty parasites?
The effectiveness of coconut oil, garlic oil, black cumin oil, brewer’s yeast, and or essential oils as tick repellents is well discussed. There are just as many skeptics as there are people that are convinced of their effectiveness.
Unfortunately, scientific studies on the effectiveness of natural tick repellent for humans are rare. So you have to try out for yourself what works and what doesn’t.
Essential Oils Against Ticks
Natural tick repellents are made using a carrier liquid mixed with one or more essential oils that keep ticks away.
The most commonly used essential oils and includes lavender, lemon, citronella, eucalyptus, cedarwood, sweet orange, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, juniper, grapefruit, myrrh, rosewood, and geranium. Almost all of them have a strong odor.
How do Essential oils repel Ticks?
The smell of essential oils irritates the senses of the tick, or for that matter that of many insects, making it more difficult to locate and identify a potential host. Some essential oils also have a damaging effect on the chitinous exoskeleton of insects.
Many essential oils are too strong in their pure form and can cause skin irritation and unpleasant reactions. So it is important to use essential oils diluted.
Nigella Sativa – Black Seed Oil
Black cumin (Black Seed) does not belong to the family of caraway or cumin but belongs to the family of the buttercup.
Black seed, whose botanical name is “Nigella Sativa”, is cultivated in Central Asia, India, North Africa, and Southern Europe.
The oil derived from the plant has traditionally been used as a cure for allergies, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, heart diseases and is considered to strengthen the immune system.
Black Seed Oil contains small concentrations of citronellol, an effective insect repellent, that is also a component in Lemongrass oil. Read more about Black Seed oil.
Citronella Oil, also known as Lemongrass Oil is obtained from Lemongrass. To produce Citronella oil, the reed-like leaves of the Lemongrass are steam distilled.
Lemongrass grows all around the tropics and has traditionally been used as a medicine and spice plant.
The fresh citrus scent is fine and refreshing to the human nose, it repels mosquitoes and other insects and is thus perfect for insect repellent mixtures. Citronella is a natural and harmless oil if it is not used excessively.
Lavender oil is a natural product made from the lavender plant. It smells pleasant and has a relaxing effect on people. However, as pleasant as the smell may be to humans, it is as unpleasant to arachnids and other biting insects and has a repellent effect on small creepy crawlies. Lavender is found in many gardens as an ornamental plant or grown on large plantations as a crop for the production of lavender essential oil.
Coconut oil against ticks
People all around the tropics traditionally use coconut oil as a natural repellent against blood-sucking insects such as mosquitos and sandflies. Coconut oil contains Lauric Acid. Many plants produce Lauric Acid to deter sap-sucking pests.
Coconut oil has hundreds of uses ranging from food to skincare products. Coconut oil can be used in its pure form and be directly rubbed onto the skin. Besides repelling pests is also a good skin moisturizer.
Garlic, the smell ticks don’t like
Ticks do not like garlic. A scientific study at Lund University Malmö with 100 soldiers showed that regular consumption of garlic capsules significantly reduced the number of tick bites.
Garlic is native to Central Asia and has been used there traditionally for its health benefits. The strong smell of the plant works as a natural deterrent against plant-eating insects.
Eating fresh garlic on a regular basis may reduce the risk of a tick bite and bites from other insects.
Do Natural Tick Repellents Work?
Plant-based tick repellents can help against ticks, but their effectiveness may vary in different users. As not much scientific data exists on their benefits and how they should be applied, you have no choice but to try out which tick repellent is right for you and which one works best.
Synthetic tick repellents have proven themselves. But why are they being avoided now?
People have been using synthetic tick repellents for years now. The reason for such wide usage is due to its worthfulness. Most commercially available repellents use synthetic molecules. They use DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or permethrin as the most common ingredients. Permethrin is among the widely used synthetic pesticides for crops worldwide. It is also used in bug sprays and treat clothing, mosquito mesh, and outdoor gear to make them bug resistant.
DEET in higher doses may cause several problems. Improper use, i.e. overdosing, of synthetic insect repellents such as DEET and permethrin can cause side effects which vary from headaches, memory loss, breathlessness, skin irritation, and blisters, to behavioral and physiological issues. The chemical composition also holds the ability to contaminate ground, surface, and drinking water.
Synthetic repellents consisting of Cyfluthrin, Permethrin, and Pyrethroids have proven toxic to aquatic life and bees. Pyrethroids belong to the class of insecticides and might result in asthma-like reactions, nausea, and sensations of burning and itching.
Many studies have proven these symptoms and the effects of such synthetic repellents. Hence, people have begun to choose more natural-based tick repellents.
Several natural alternatives have come up as bug repellents compared to synthetic ones lately.
Essential oils such as lemongrass, cedar, peppermint, and thyme are a few natural alternatives to bug repellents. You can also find some mixtures of such oils commercially as bug repellents. Lemongrass essential oil is undoubtedly a strong repellent but at a higher concentration. Its effect is known to decline after a couple of hours from its first application. Garlic plants give out Garlic oil which we can use as repellents. It might, however, need numerous applications.
A new substance coming to market shows promise. Nootkatone is an effective repellent or insecticide against various ticks as well as against mosquitos and other biting parasites. Nootkatone is a natural organic compound that occurs in many citrus fruits as well as in the wood of the Alaskan yellow cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis). The substance is an environmentally friendly insecticide because it is a volatile essential oil that does not persist in the environment. It was recently approved by the U.S. EPA.
How effective are natural repellents compared to synthetic ones?
While synthetic repellents are safer for the skin or the environment, various studies and research show that natural tick repellants are not as effective as chemical-based formulas. Experts, therefore, recommend a combination of synthetic and natural repellents depending on the risk posed by tick populations in an area. Combinations with 20% to 30% DEET or 20% Picaridin are the best protection against ticks.
What other ways are there to avoid ticks?
If you want to avoid chemicals but don’t want to fall for the diseases caused by ticks, there are certain practices you need to follow. A tip you often hear is to avoid tick-infested areas, which is not very realistic because ticks can be anywhere.
Wear outfits that make ticks easy to spot. Light-colored clothing is helpful and recommended. Tuck your pants into the pulled-up boots, too. Take off your clothes after returning from outside. Clothes are better washed at high temperatures and dried in the tumble dryer, ticks do not survive the heat.
Follow your return from outside with a careful check for any ticks that may be crawling on your body. If you find ticks, remove them immediately. Using tweezers is the best way to remove ticks if they’ve already bitten and are lodged in the skin. Make sure you grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Using steady force, pull the tick straight back, avoiding squeezing the body.