Ticks can be troublesome outdoor pests, all of us who are outdoors often can probably relate to that. Some retail products are available and designed to repel ticks, but these are many times high-priced items and no more effective than a simple homemade solution.
Ticks are small arachnid insects that are considered ectoparasites, because they feed on the blood of humans and animals by staying on the outside of the host’s body. Ticks live in trees and in tall grass and will latch onto the host’s skin or fur. Ticks are hard to remove from the skin, and some ticks carry disease, such as deer ticks, which can carry Lyme disease. You can purchase tick repellent, or you can make your own at home for a fraction of the cost.
Repellent for Humans
- You can create a natural tick repellent spray for your clothing. Take a spray bottle filled with water and add a few drops of palmarosa and lemon essential oils to it. Spritz the mixture over your clothing and allow them to dry. When you put them on, your clothing will be impregnated with a scent that will repel ticks, according to “Tiny Game Hunting,” an insect guide.
To protect your skin from ticks, slice up a lemon and pour a pint of boiling water over it. Allow the mixture to sit and cool for several hours; then put the liquid in a spray bottle. You can spray your skin down with the solution and it will repel ticks and other insects, too.
Note: If you are going out into the sun for a long period of time, make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen because the lemon and water mixture can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.
A simple homemade repellent can be made with a few inexpensive household ingredients. In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. To make a scented solution so you do not smell like bitter vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil or bath oil. Eucalyptus oil is a calm, soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong crisp scent that also repel ticks.
After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to keep ticks at bay, and examine the skin and hair when returning home to make sure no ticks are on the body.
Repellent for Pets
For pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be easily be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent). To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil, which will all repel ticks and fleas while also creating a scented repellent.Spray onto the pet’s dry coat, staying away from sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. When outdoors for an extended period, spray this solution on two to three times per day. When pets are outdoors generally to use the restroom only, spray the solution onto the animal’s coat once per day.