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Homemade Tick Repellent Recipe

Tea tree oil is most commonly known in the U.S. for uses like skin irritations but it can also be used to ward off fleas and ticks. Here is an effective homemade tick repellent recipe for humans while outside in areas that harbor ticks and fleas. Make sure to find out the many other tea tree oil uses.

Homemade Tick Repellent Recipe Tea Tree Oil

Homemade Tick Repellent Recipe

Lately I’ve been finding teeny tiny ticks on the dog – and I almost wouldn’t have seen it but for the fact that I’ve been hyper-vigilant about checking for ticks. It looked like a piece of dirt!! But those teeny tiny ticks still bite and they still transmit lyme disease.

Last week I made this homemade tick repellent recipe using tea tree oil and a few other essential oils and low and behold – NO MORE TICKS!

tea tree oil benefits

What is tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tree using steam distillation or a similar process. A natural tick repellent can be made for both animals and humans using tea tree oil as an active ingredient. If you are not into DIY or don’t have time, scroll down to the bottom to find a ready-made mixture you can apply easily to repel ticks naturally!

In small concentrations (.1% to 1%), tea tree oil is tolerated and safe for cats and dogs.

I love Rocky Mountain Oils because of their quality 100% pure essential oils that require no minimum purchase and always gives FREE shipping! Plus they always have specials going on!

Rocky Mountain Oils’ essential oils are verified by a third-party, independent lab. GC/MS tests verify purity and quality of the oils sold so you can look at the bottom of the bottle to find your individual batch code and then input that number into our website to pull up the GC/MS test results.

Purchase your Essential Oil here!

100% pure essential oils

geranium oil

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium essential oil is safe to use around kids and this study showed it as very effective in repelling ticks.

This study from the National Institutes for Health found that geranium oil works comparably to DEET in repelling ticks. This is for humans and NOT dogs.

Cedarwood Essential Oil

According to this study in Environmental Entomology, cedarwood oil repels fire ants and actually kills ticks! It is so toxic to ticks but safe for kids!

If you do happen to get bit by a tick, learn how to remove a tick properly.

100% pure essential oils

natural tick repellent spray

Homemade Tick Repellent Recipe

Never apply tea tree oil directly to the skin as it could cause an allergic reaction, particularly if the oil is highly concentrated. Mix the oil in some carrier oil like sweet almond oil to dilute it a bit.

For best results, use a glass bottle. Oils such as tea tree oil react with plastic and may cause dangerous chemicals to leech into your repellent. Before each use, shake the bottle vigorously to thoroughly mix the oils. When applying to pets, rub the repellent under their fur so that it reaches their skin.

You can also use a plastic spray bottle that is labeled as safe for oils, like this one.

2 ounces liquid oil such as jojoba oil (which is non-greasy), olive or almond oil.
15 drops geranium essential oil
15 drops tea tree oil
15 drops cedarwood oil


  • Mix oil and essential oils together into spray bottle. Store in a cool, dark area when not in use. Should last 2-3 months.
  • Spray directly on skin before going outdoors.

If you prefer, you could add peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, or camphor oil or lemongrass.

essential oils dilution chart

Alternative to making your own homemade tick repellent

Don’t have time or patience to make the Natural Tick Repellent Tea Tree Oil Recipe? Don’t have all the oils on hand? No worries, you can get Bug Off! essential oil blend to help keep mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and other insects away. The gentle blend features Citronella, Cedarwood, Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus citriodora, Thyme, and Lemongrass. You can also try diffusing it on your patio in the evening, or mixing it with a carrier oil in a roller bottle and applying it to ankles, wrists, and back of the neck.

Bug Off! Mist Spray Recipe

75 drops Bug Off!
4 ounces Distilled Water

Add all ingredients to a 4 ounce, fine mist spray bottle. Shake well before every use. You can apply to areas where you might be bit. (If the spray is for your pet, use 10-15 drops) You can also use a light carrier oil or witch hazel instead of water if you are spraying on the skin.

Bug Off! Carpet Freshener Recipe

100 drops Bug Off!
1/2 cup Baking Soda

Mix all ingredients in a ziploc type bag. Seal and massage bag until essential oils are thoroughly mixed in. Pour into a glass jar and seal with a lid. Sprinkle over carpeting, leave for 10–15 minutes and vacuum. Use when you have a big problem with ants and other bugs.

summer pest control bundle

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Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Almond, geranium, and tea tree oil are all toxic to dogs. Cedarwood does kill ticks, but it is dose dependent and, more importantly, it does NOT repel ticks.


Wednesday 27th of November 2019

Hi Steve - I agree with you about needing to be cautious using those oils with dogs. However, this tick repellent recipe is for humans. And Cedarwood actually has been proven by the CDC to repel ticks! :)

Nancy Andres

Friday 24th of May 2019

Wow. What great information. I use tea tree essential oil for so many things, but am going to try you combo for tick repellent this week. Will pin and reshare. Congrats at being featured at Pretty Pintastic Party #262, where I posted Recipes for Remarkable Vegan Meatballs (a vegan meatball roundup). Have a great weekend and be well.

Tina Peterson

Friday 17th of May 2019

Thanks for doing the research on safe oils for pets AND kids. For some reason people don't seem to realize they need to know if a oil is safe for them. They also aren't told that a carrier should be used with oils (!). Thank you! I'm going to check out the link for the cats & dogs you posted above. I have a indoor only cat so I'd definitely like to see what you have to say on that. And I need to see about the tick recipe for the kids and I - we live at the parks in the summer time!


Tuesday 28th of May 2019

Thanks Tina! Yes a lot of it is hit or miss so I like to include other oils that also work but you don't have to use ALL of the oils. And cats are so different from dogs.


Tuesday 14th of May 2019

I definitely prefer natural solutions for my family - including our dogs. Does Bug Off have a scent? My hubby is highly sensitive to smells.


Tuesday 28th of May 2019

Hi Sinea - Yes Bug Off does have a scent. I believe it has citronella in it so it smells like bug spray. I am sensitive to smells as well and perfumes can trigger migraines but I am not affected by essential oils because they are natural. If he really doesn't like citronella, I would make your own spray using lavender, lemongrass, cedarwood and tea tree oil. Those are not strong-smelling oils especially when mixed together!

Mother of 3

Monday 13th of May 2019

We have lots of wonderful friends we hike with that share their spray with us and I know I have heard her mention all of these in it. It does work quite well; not perfectly of course but quite well.