I love taking walks with my daughter, Anya. Being out in nature, feeling the wind against my skin, seeing the trees…but what I don’t like is bugs that bite! Especially ticks. Because of this, I came up with this homemade tick repellent spray recipe that really works.
I’ve never really felt comfortable spraying chemical bug spray over my skin or my daughter’s. This homemade natural tick repellent has all-natural ingredients, smells great, and works well to fend off ticks and other biting and stinging insects.
Ticks are small, blood-sucking bugs. Not so pleasant, I know. But hang in there as we get to a solution for you!
They range in color from shades of brown to reddish-brown and black. Because they have eight legs, they are classified as arachnids, which means they are related to spiders. Not my personal favorites of the bug world!
Ticks range in size from as tiny as a pin’s head to as large as a pencil eraser.
What Do Tick Bites Look Like?
Ticks prefer bodily areas that are warm and moist. Once a tick gets onto your skin, it is likely to move to your armpits, groin area, or hair. When it finds a desirable spot, it will bite into your skin and remain comfortably attached, unless discovered.
Tick bites are painless, so you may not immediately know that you’ve been bitten. The tick injects an anesthetic into the skin at its point of entry, which helps it avoid detection to continue feeding.
If a tick bites you, it will remain attached to your skin for some time. A small red bump, similar to a mosquito bite's bump, often appears at the tick bite site and should resolve over a few days.
Location may help distinguish tick bites from other insect bites. The commonly bitten areas are the back of the neck, scalp, groin, and legs.
Are Tick Bites Dangerous?
Most tick bites are harmless and will cause no physical signs or symptoms. However, if you’re allergic to tick bites, you may experience pain, swelling, or a burning sensation at the bite site, a rash, blisters, or difficulty breathing in severe cases.
Certain types of ticks transmit diseases to us when bitten. Usually, a tick must be attached to the skin for 36 to 48 hours to pass on a disease. Symptoms may start occurring about 3 to 7 days from the time of infection.
Common Tick-Borne Diseases
Lyme disease is most often transmitted by deer ticks. They are mainly found in the north-eastern and upper-Mid-western parts of the U.S. Common symptoms include a rash that resembles a bull’s-eye, headache, fever, joint and muscle aches.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is spread by the American dog tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick, or a brown dog tick. These ticks are active east of the Rocky Mountains and on the Pacific. Symptoms include a high fever, rash, vomiting, and muscle pain.
Colorado tick fever is a viral disease spread by infected Rocky Mountain wood ticks. This tick is commonly found in Colorado and high-altitude western states at elevations. Symptoms include tiredness, body aches, and a fever that comes and goes.
Tularemia, also called rabbit fever or deer fly fever, is a rare infectious caused by a bacteria called Francisella tularensis. The lone star tick, wood tick, and dog tick can transmit the infection. It’s common in the south-central part of the U.S. Symptoms include a skin ulcer at the bite site, fever, and swollen glands.
How To Make Natural Tick Repellent
My homemade tick repellent spray is made with essential oils and a carrier liquid. In this recipe, I recommend using witch hazel and distilled water. Typically oil and water don’t mix. That’s why I use witch hazel, which helps the oils to disperse more easily.
Note: You can use vodka instead of witch hazel, but it stings like crazy if you have any cuts on your skin or recently shaved your legs.
I use one or a blend of these tick-repelling essential oils: lemongrass, peppermint, geranium, and cedarwood.
Geranium essential oil has components that could make it an effective tick repellent. A study carried out on ten different types of geranium essential oils found that each oil demonstrated some repellent activity against the lone star tick.
Cedar chips are popularly used as a form of natural tick prevention around gardens and yards. A study carried out on cedarwood essential oil revealed that it can repel ants and kill ticks.
Take a glass jar (label it so that it’s not used for food or drinks) and add ⅓ cup of distilled water. Next, add ¼ cup of witch hazel.
Add 30 drops of your preferred essential oil (if you’re using two, add 15 drops of each essential oil, and ten drops of each oil if you’re using three).
Screw on the lid tightly and shake the jar vigorously. Transfer the contents of the jar to a spray bottle, and you’re good to go!
Repellent spray tip: The key to adequate protection is to reapply frequently. As soon as the scent wears off from the spray so has the effectiveness, so it’s important to keep reapplying. Every one to two hours is recommended.
You can tweak this recipe to fit your own bug-repelling needs.Print
Tick Repellent — Natural, Homemade, Safe
- ⅓ cup of distilled water
- ¼ cup of witch hazel
- 30 drops of your preferred essential oil (tick-repelling essential oils: lemongrass, peppermint, geranium, and cedarwood)
- Take a glass jar (label it so that it’s not used for food or drinks) and add ⅓ cup of distilled water. Next, add ¼ cup of witch hazel.
- Add 30 drops of your preferred essential oil (if you’re using two, add 15 drops of each essential oil, and ten drops of each oil if you’re using three).
- Screw on the lid tightly and shake the jar vigorously. Transfer the contents of the jar to a spray bottle, and you’re good to go!
- Repellent spray tip: The key to adequate protection is to reapply frequently. As soon as the scent wears off from the spray so has the effectiveness, so it’s important to keep reapplying. Every one to two hours is recommended.
- Note: You can tweak this recipe to fit your own bug-repelling needs.
How To Use This DIY Natural Tick Repellent
1. Shake before using each time to help mix the essential oils for a more even application.
2. Do a little test area on your skin to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the oils you’ve used.
3. Spray well, especially on your ankles, feet, and legs and anywhere you are more likely to encounter ticks. If you’re hiking in the woods, spray it on your arms and shoulders as well. Avoid your face, ears, eyes, and nose.
4. You can spray your clothes as well, but as a precaution, test an area before spraying this all over your favorite shirt.
If You Like This DIY Recipe, Then Try…
My homemade face mask recipe that leaves you with glowing skin.
My homemade natural bath bombs recipe that’s made with essential oils and is a great way to indulge in some self-care.
This DIY muscle rub recipe from Wholefully that can help relieve minor aches and post-workout soreness.
Like this post? Share the article! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest boards!
**Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through them.
Leave a Reply