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
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 are simply nymphs – the baby ticks that haven’t reached full-size yet. But they 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 on my dog! I love that I can use this on my dog AND myself.
I spray it on my dog’s harness and behind her ears where she can’t lick every morning. On the days that I forget to do it, I usually find a tick on her. Once I even had one in my hair recently – it was nasty. Creepy crawly nasty.
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.
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.
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, watch this video to learn how to properly remove them.
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.
- 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.
Tick Repellent Spray for dogs!
Follow the same directions as above, but use these measurements of oils specifically for dogs. Find more about flea and tick repellent here!
2oz olive oil
5 drops tea tree oil
10 drops cedarwood
10 drops citronella
10 drops lemongrass
10 drops lavender
Mix in spray bottle and spray on dog’s harness and behind ears.
Do not use geranium on dogs as it is toxic.
Dilution chart thanks to the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies.
Alternative to making your own homemade tick repellentBug 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.