Ticks are spreading across the globe at a terrifying rate. I partly grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, known as ground-zero for lyme disease. I’ve contracted lyme disease a couple of times and I never want to go through that again. I successfully treated the virus, if it even ever goes away, but I go to any length to protect myself and loved ones from these tiny (at times almost invisible) little parasites.
The problem is that tick spray can be highly poisonous, containing chemicals that you do not want to put on your body (what goes on the skin is absorbed directly into the blood). So after some research, I discovered that certain essential oils are particularly powerful at repelling ticks. One of the most effective natural repellents is rose geranium essential oil, which has shown the be just as effective as deet in several trials (1) (2) (3) (4). Other powerful essential oil repellents include eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, tomato leaf, rosemary, cedar wood, peppermint, and thyme according to the CDC website. I made this oil with a blend of witch hazel and several of these essential oils. It smells incredible and I never have to worry about the dangerous effects when using these healing, natural oils on my body. Make sure to source your essential oils from reputable brands as they can enter directly into the blood and brain. Always use organic essential oils from reputable companies!
Rose geranium essential oil
Lavender essential oil
Eucalyptus essential oil
Lemongrass essential oil
Peppermint essential oil
Glass spray bottle(s)
This recipe can be adapted to any size spray bottle. Make sure to use glass as the oils can leech plastic into the repellent.
For this recipe I used 4 2ml glass bottles (tinted to protect from the oils breaking down in sunlight).
Fill the spray bottle a little more than halfway with witch hazel. If you don’t have all the oils listed in the ingredients, that’s fine, you can make the repellent with any combination, although I find the more repelling essential oils used, the more effective the spray.
Fill up the rest of the spray bottle with the essential oils, approximately 50+ drops for each different oil (or an equal amount of whatever oils you are using), until the bottle is almost full (leave room for the spray top!).
Spray the natural tick repellent on your feet, legs, shoes and clothes when walking in tick-ridden areas.
Make sure to shake the bottle well before using. And reapply every 30 to 40 minutes or as soon as the smell fades (that’s one of the downsides of natural repellents, they need to be reapplied more often than chemical-based ones, but it’s well worth it).