DIY Tick Repellent

It’s the season to be outside! Whether you’re spending your summer days hiking, biking, in the garden, or by the pool, there’s one pest we’re all a little paranoid about- ticks.

I feel my paranoia is justified. After one particularly lengthy “family walk” in the hills of southern Ohio, my father, sister, two brothers and I made our way back to my grandparents’ house, only to find that Dad had lead us right through a tick-infested field. We were covered in these little blood-suckers. (Thanks, Dad.) So after the long and arduous task of wrangling four squirming kids and removing every last pest, a thoroughly grossed-out 9-year-old me vowed that I would never again fall victim to the tiny vampires commonly known as ticks.

Ticks can carry Lyme Disease, so using a tick repellent isn’t just about avoiding an annoyance, but also about avoiding Lyme Disease.

Trouble is, when you spend as much time outdoors as I like to, you’re bound to run into them sooner or later.

There are commercial bug-repellents, of course. Some of them work, some of them don’t. Some of them are excellent for ticks but attract bees. Some of them ward off mosquitos, but have zero effect on ticks. The trial-and-error that goes into sorting out which one is which is, frankly, exhausting. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Have I mentioned the chemicals? The laboratory-smell of most store-bought bug-sprays is nauseating to me, but more importantly, it can trigger respiratory problems in those with asthma.

And of course, determining which ones are pet-safe and non-toxic (y’know, in case your toddler sucks their thumb or something) adds to the confusion.

But once again, nature provides an elegantly simple solution. Behold, the DIY pet-and-people-safe non-toxic totally natural tick repellent spray! (Cue gasps of amazement.)

All you need to make DIY Tick Repellent:

  • 1 clean spray bottle
  • 4 oz of water
  • 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

The bottles we recycled are roughly 12 ounces, so I make a triple-batch (12 oz water, 60 drops of each oil) in the spring and store it in a cool, dry place; it usually lasts us the summer.

Simply mix the ingredients in the bottle and shake well before spraying. Make sure to spray socks, shoes and pant-cuffs well, and don’t forget your four-legged walking companion!


tick identification guide