With the heat of summer in full blast, people aren’t the only ones out enjoying the weather. With warmer temperatures come pests that that can make life miserable for people who enjoy the outdoors. One of the worst offenders is the tick. This nasty little critter buries his head into your skin, and not only drinks your blood but also passes along a number of diseases such as Lyme Disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In this article we’ll check out a few of the most commonly recommended natural tick repellents, starting with peppermint oil. But does peppermint oil repel ticks?
An insect repellent containing DEET is the recommended way to keep ticks from snacking on you, but what about those who are sensitive to it, or who are concerned about the long term effects? Are there natural ways of repelling ticks that are actually effective?
Does Peppermint Oil Repel Ticks?
The answer is yes! Peppermint oil, especially in combination with other oils does keep ticks away. There is still uncertainty as to why peppermint oil works as a tick repellent. The assumption is there is something about the smell that they dislike and naturally shy away from.
If you’re interested in natural tick repellents containing peppermint oil, this all natural tick repellent spray available on Amazon is highly rated and can be used on the whole family, including your pets!
Pros Of Using Peppermint Oil To Repel Ticks
- It’s easy to find. There are peppermint tick repellents available commercially
- There is no negative environmental impact
- It is safe for use on pets
Cons Of Using Peppermint Oil To Repel Ticks
- Peppermint oil can be irritating to some people
- It needs to be reapplied more frequently than repellants containing DEET, usually around every 30 minutes
A word of caution. Do not attempt to use peppermint oil to remove a tick that has latched on to you. This may cause them to release more bacteria causing saliva, which could lead to illness.
Other Ways To Repel Ticks
1. Garlic Or Garlic Oil
Garlic is great for adding flavor. It even adds a little flavor to you, and that flavor is repellant to ticks. If you regularly consume garlic or garlic tablets, you will release an odor that is repellent to ticks. Throw a little extra garlic in your pasta, or invest in some garlic capsules to keep yourself tick free when you go out into the woods. You can also add garlic oil to your essential oil blend if making a DIY repellent. Feeding garlic to your pets is not recommended.
2. Geranium Oil
Geranium oil is a highly effective natural tick repellent. The evidence surrounding the effectiveness of geranium oil isn’t just anecdotal. It has been put to the test in laboratories multiple times. If you want to make your own insect repellent, you can try this 100% pure geranium oil that’s highly rated on Amazon.
3. Carvacrol Oil
Carvacrol is an oil found in both oregano and thyme that gives them their distinct aromas. It has been shown to be effective in repelling ticks, as well as mosquitos. When mixed with other essential oils it has been shown to be as effective at repelling ticks as a 20% dilution of DEET
4. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is excellent for repelling a number of insects and arachnids. Ticks are among the critters that have an aversion to eucalyptus oil. Some studies have shown it to be almost as effective as DEET. It can be used on pets but must be diluted with water to be used safely. If you aren’t sure how to dilute it yourself, you can find a pre-made solution like this eucalyptus spray on Amazon.
5. Cedarwood Oil
It’s no surprise that cedarwood oil is effective against ticks. Cedar chips are frequently used outside to keep bugs away. Cedarwood oil dehydrates ticks and also causes them to become disoriented. It is a common ingredient in many plant-based tick and insect repellents because it is so effective at repelling ticks and other unpleasant creepy crawlies. You can buy cedarwood as an essential oil or in a pre-made spray like this one.
Lemongrass is very closely related to citronella, which is well known for its insect repelling properties. Like its relative, lemongrass is effective at keeping critters, including ticks at bay. It works when used in soaps and shampoos, and if mixed with a carrier oil such as almond oil, can be added directly to the skin. There are also lemongrass sprays made especially to be used as insect repellents available. This variety available on Amazon is in a bottle that can easily be packed for camping or hiking.
Nothing quite beats the insect repelling properties of DEET, but if you are trying to find more natural ways to protect yourself there are plenty of options available. No matter what you use, carefully scan for ticks after activity outdoors. If you find any ticks on you or your pets, practice safe removal techniques to prevent infection. Don’t let these tiny terrors ruin your outdoor activities. Take preventative measures to keep your family safe this summer.