I have been getting a lot of inquiries about natural remedies for ticks, do essential oils help? Are there any essential oils that help to keep ticks off us and our pets? Back before I was an aromatherapist, I had tried several home-made tick sprays. Unfortunately, none worked, we still had ticks crawling on us after being out in the yard or hiking.
After doing research and consulting with some fellow aromatherapists, we narrowed it down to these essential oils that have been known to help keep ticks at bay. They include:
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Palmarosa (Cymbopogon Martini)
Rose Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone)
Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
Choose 4 of the above essential oils, mix together 12 drops of each of the chosen 4 oils (48 total drops), with 1/4 cup of distilled water, 1/4 cup of vodka, 1/3 cup witch hazel, and 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin in an 8 ounce glass, or PET plastic spray bottle. Gently shake before application, apply to clothing before going outside. There is no preservative so it needs to be kept refrigerated and used within 3-4 days. If you can't do so, make a smaller batch. I am not saying any of these will work consistently, I can't get them to. We have ticks regardless or which combination we use. This information is based on chemical constituents in the essential oils.
As with all essential oils, please do your own research to make sure there are no contraindications or drug interactions. Also, since this contains no preservatives, please store in the refrigerator when not in use and make a new batch often to avoid bacteria growth. I have written blog posts regarding children and essential oils, access them at:
Children and Essential Oils Blog
and pregnancy, access at:
Pregnancy and Essential Oils Blog
Eucalyptus radiata should not be used with children under 10, asthma or other breathing problems. Lemongrass can be very skin irritating, should not be used on children under 2, those with sensitive skin, or during pregnancy and breastfeeding. *1
Since I am not an animal aromatherapist, I cannot recommend using this on dogs, cats, horses or other animals. Before you use any essential oils on an animal, please consult an animal aromatherapist, many essential oils are toxic to our furry friends.