They say 2017 will be a really bad year for ticks and I believe them. Here in New Hampshire, we’ve already picked numerous ticks off the dog and found more than a half-dozen on my kids (just crawling thankfully!) And we’re in prime Lyme country too.
I’m careful about using only all-natural options with my kids. This year, I’ve turned to essential oils. During the past few weeks, I’ve been using a DIY essential oil tick repellent spray and we haven’t found any ticks. And my kids play outside in our yard (with long grass) and the woods (where ticks roam freely) almost every day.
The “secret” to repelling ticks naturally is rose geranium oil. It needs to be the rose geranium version, not just plain geranium oil if you want to get the best results. (I tried regular geranium oil and it was not nearly as effective.)
And yes, you can use this on dogs too! Click here to read my article about rose geranium as a tick repellent for dogs.
Please read my Essential Oil Common Sense Safety page before using this essential oil recipe.
I am not a medical professional and the information presented here is merely for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice. It is your responsibility to do your own research, consult with your doctor, and make safe decisions for yourself and your family.
Studies have shown that rose geranium oil is indeed helpful at keeping ticks away. This study determined that rose geranium oil (specifically the Pelargonium graveolens species) works just as well as DEET.
I haven’t been able to find the particular rose geranium species used in the study, however, I’ve found that Pelargonium roseum works well in my experience.
Typically, I prefer and use Rocky Mountain Oils for essential oils, but
this brand doesn’t offer rose geranium oil. Thanks to an amazing reader, I learned that Rocky Mountain Oils does sell Rose Geranium oil. It’s simply called Geranium oil, not Rose Geranium and, in fact, it’s the specific Pelargonium graveolens species that worked so well in the study listed above!
You can find it on Rocky Mountain Oils here: Geranium Oil (this is the cheapest deal right now – 15ml for $19)
Rose geranium oil is relatively mild when it comes to essential oils; it’s not a “hot” oil, meaning it’s not likely to burn or sting if you add it neat (without dilution) to your skin. But still, I prefer to dilute it with my children.
I use rose geranium oil two ways – a DIY roller blend and a DIY spray bottle blend.
I prefer the essential oil tick repellent spray bottle because it’s easier and quicker to apply (with four kids), but the roller blend works just as well and you can be more direct about exactly where you want to apply it.
I’ll show you how to make both here today.
DIY Essential Oil Tick Repellent Spray
- witch hazel
- rose geranium essential oil
- 2-ounce glass spray bottle – this is one I bought (it comes with a handy funnel too)
Add 50 drops of rose geranium oil to the glass bottle. Yes, it’s a lot but keep in mind that this is a larger glass bottle and rose geranium oil is a gentler oil.
Add 2 tablespoons witch hazel to the bottle.
Fill the rest of the bottle with water.
Shake before using and spray well, especially on your ankles, feet, and legs and anywhere you are more likely to encounter ticks. If you’re hiking in the woods, spray it all over. (Avoiding your face, ears, eyes, and nose.)
I’ve used this on clothes without any staining, but as a precaution, I recommend you test an area before spraying this all over your favorite shirt. Just in case. ?
DIY Essential Oil Tick Repellent Roller Blend
- rose geranium essential oil
- fractionated coconut oil or your favorite carrier oil
- 10 ml glass roller bottle
Add 30 drops of rose geranium essential oil to your glass roller bottle.
Fill the rest of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil. (Make sure you leave enough room for the ball stopper. I didn’t once, it wasn’t pretty!)
Add the ball stopper and roll between your hands.
Apply to the ankles, lower legs, wrists, behind your ears, neck, etc.
I spray or roll either of these essential oil tick repellent mixes on my kids once a day, usually in the afternoon when they get home from school. Unlike mosquitoes, I haven’t found that this needs to be repeated every couple of hours, but your needs may vary.
I still do regular tick checks on my kids, just to be safe. One of the best ways to prevent tick bites is simply to check for ticks and hopefully catch any BEFORE they bite!
I hope this all natural DIY essential oil tick repellent blend works as well for you as it has for my family!