Homemade Tick & Insect Repellents

Essential oils have been proven effective against preventing tick bites. This is a win in my books because above being natural and free of chemicals, essential oils boast loads of other health benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rosemary, geranium, lemongrass, cedar and peppermint are all effective choices. In my opinion, however, Geranium oil is the best pick. Why?

  1. Geranium oil is safe for both humans, including children over 6 months of age, as well as dogs. (Many essential oils are harmful to pets and children)
  2. It is gentle and safe for skin and clothing.
  3. It has a soft scent and wont irritate others (except those pesky ticks of course!)
  4. It’s effective at repelling other insects (such as mosquitoes)

Natural Homemade Repellents

Skin Ointment

Geranium oil is said to be gentle enough to apply directly to the skin. It is advised, however, to always use a carrier oil, especially if you have sensitive skin. 

For adults, mix 12 drops of essential oil with 2 tbsps of carrier oil 

Effective essential oils: rosemary, geranium (top pick), lemongrass, cedar and peppermint

Carrier Oil Examples:

  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
Application: Apply to exposed and target areas (neck, wrists, ankles, etc)
*This ratio of oils is safe for adults. For use on children, consult your practitioner*

Body/Clothing Spray

Making a spray is handy to use as a repellent on clothes or on your body. 


  • 20 drops essential oil (rosemary, geranium (top pick), lemongrass, cedar or peppermint)
  • 4 oz water
  • 1/2 tbsp witch hazel (optional)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small spray bottle. Shake before each use. 

Application: Spray on skin and/or clothing

*This ratio of oils is safe for adults. For use on children, consult your practitioner* 

Options Safe for Dogs

First off, know that Geranium Oil is not safe to use on cats. It is, however, safe for use on dogs and can be a very effective method to prevent bites and to avoid your dog bringing ticks back into your home. How should it be done?

  1. Put a couple of drops on their collar OR
  2.  Put a couple of drops of diluted oil between their shoulder blades and at the base of their tail OR
  3. Use a repellent spray mentioned above. Make sure to avoid eyes

(Some sources say it’s okay to apply undiluted oil directly, however, I stand by the notion that diluted is always safest and avoids irritation)

Other Natural Methods to Prevent Ticks

  1. Tuck your shirt into your pants 
  2. Walk on cleared paths or walkways
  3. Wear high socks & consider pulling them over your pant legs
  4. Wear closed-toe shoes

Thankfully, there are these methods to avoid getting bit by one (or some) of these blood suckers. That being said, they are sneaky and agile, so never forget to scan yourself (and your children or dog) after a day spent outside.

It is also a good idea to throw your clothes in a dryer and put it on high for at least 10 mins to kill any ticks that may be hiding in your clothes. Taking a shower or bath as soon as you can is also great help.

Share this post:

Have you ever encountered a tick?

I’ve never been bit, but I’ve found one crawling around my house after a hike…Another time I was hiking with a friend and she noticed a tick on her sandwich – good thing she noticed before taking a bite!

Leave a comment:

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The Foodie Behind the Screen

Hi there! I'm Bri.
I create and share nutritious and flavourful recipes for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

Top Related Posts: