Natural Repellent for Ticks

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natural repellent for ticksNatural Repellent for Ticks

The weather is finally warming up, the sun is shining and ticks will soon be lurking in the grass! Depending on where you live, your yard may be covered with thousands of ticks or they may be of no concern. Since living in the Northeast, as soon as Spring comes around, I am on high alert watching out for not only ticks latching on to my pets but also myself. Especially since more than half of the ticks in my area carry Lyme disease, it becomes a serious concern.

Animals are the most likely to pick up ticks with their long fur and bodies being closer to the ground.  Plus, your dog may roll around in the grass, mine sure does! Not only is it concern for your pets safety, but many of the ticks will take a ride on your pets fur into the house and end up on your floor or furniture where they could end up latching on to you or your family members!

Why You Should Use Natural Repellents for Ticks

The chemical tick repellents out there contain toxic chemicals which can end up being absorbed by pet owners. When the instructions state that you can’t touch your pet for a certain number of hours, you know you’re dealing with harmful chemicals. One of the most common ones that is sold contains Permethrin, which is a synthetic toxic pesticide that can be absorbed through skin and is also harmful to breathe .

Last summer, I set out on a mission to try all possible natural repellents for ticks. After trying several different essential oils and other natural mixtures, the ones that I found to work best and that have great reviews are listed below.

Natural Repellents for Ticks

1. Rose Geranium Essential Oil – Mix 3 Tablespoons of almond oil with 20 drops of Geranium essential oil.  Apply several drops to your dogs fur, particularly around the collar area. (To be used only on dogs)

2. Apple Cider Vinegar and Lavender Oil– Mix 1 cup water with ¼ apple cider vinegar and 15 drops of lavender oil. Apply to your dog’s fur, or spray on.

3. Citrus Repellent– This natural repellent for ticks can be used on dogs or cats. Boil 1 cup of water, remove from heat and add in 3 fruits, such as lemons or limes by squeezing out the juice. Add 5 to 15 drops of lemongrass oil (for dogs, but optional). Shake well and allow the mixture to cool before applying to skin or pets fur.

4. Garlic Powder– In general add 1/8 of a teaspoon of garlic powder per pound of dog food.

5. Pet grooming– To help prevent attracting ticks, make sure to keep your pets hair as short as possible. This will also make it easier to spot any ticks on their fur.

The first natural repellent for ticks of Rose Geranium seemed to be the most effective, many have also mentioned having great success with it. Although, I continue to use a combination of these to get the most benefits.

Have you tried any of these natural repellents for ticks?

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    • Anonymous says

      probably every day….no way they last long as citrus and oils break down. The stuff from the vet is a chemical that absorbs into their fat layer and redistributes itself for 30 days….yuk!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I use them daily, for the ones with essential oils, it is really the scent that is repelling the ticks, so by applying a little each day it should work really well.

      • Anonymous says

        Thank you, I’m going to try this this summer! After using coconut oil with my Gretta, and seeing GREAT results I’m down to try anything natural!

          • Amanda says

            Everyday with her food I give her a tablespoon of coconut oil. It makes her coat super shiny and during the winter months she gets dry skin, but not this winter! 😉 Also her breath is ten times better and her teeth are super clean. Plus I’ve heard that it helps with digestive issues, she had a sensitive tummy.

            • Jacqueline says

              Thank you so much Amanda. I will give our shitzu/cross some of this as well as her coat is dull and her skin quite dry. She has had Kidney stones removed in the past and is on a special food but surely this won’t affect her in a negative way. Grateful for your knowledge, have a nice day. :)

              • Amanda S. says

                Be careful, since she is a lot smaller than my 45 pound Gretta. I double checked and the dosage is 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds. But start gradually because it may cause an upset tummy when you start, but Gretta didn’t have any problems…

      • Sylvia says

        I use rose geranium oil for ticks. i put 2 or 3 drops on her collar and when the scent is almost gone I add some more. Lasts for a couple of weeks. I have sprinkled garlic powder on my dogs food for years and we have never seen a flea and we have golden rets. with long hair. I will not put poison on my dog.

        • Lori Klein says

          Rose geranium oil is my favorites to use too, it has worked so well and I live in the Northeast where ticks are out in full force.

            • Lori Klein says

              I’ve used it to make natural insect repellents and it has always worked well. I’m usually a mosquito magnet and it has really helped keep them away.

            • Anonymous says

              Edens Garden has a subspecies of rose geranium oil that was listed in one article as giving you “more bang for your buck”. It’s “Pelargonium capitatum x radens”

        • Anonymous says

          You shouldn’t give any garlic to your dogs. It causes red blood cell hemolysis (premature destruction) . You can google it. Just go with the oils . ?

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      You can apply it with a cloth or use a small spray bottle to spray a little on their fur ( I use a spray bottle). It is really the scent that is helping repel the ticks, so by applying it daily or every few days it should work very well.

        • Lori, Health Extremist says

          I use about 3 to 4 light sprays on my Lhasa Apso, one or two on his back, belly, and around the collar area, but maybe I’m being overly cautious some just apply around the collar area.

  1. Heather says

    What about for people? We live in a high tic area, wild animals bring them into our yard. Over the past 3 summers I’ve pulled 5 tics off my boys (commercial natural repellent didn’t work). I hate putting the chemicals on the lawn, but I’m more scared of Lymes Disease. What do you think I should do?

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I know how you feel, I am pretty much terrified of Lyme disease! You can definitely use these for people! You can easily use the mixtures with essential oils by spraying a little on your clothing or skin. The scent is what is helping to repel the ticks. The essential oils are commonly used for many aliments such as burns, muscle aches, headaches, acne etc.
      Thanks for asking about this, I am adding a little more information on this on my post.

      • says

        I’m a big advocate of eating crushed, fresh garlic every day since it is so beneficial and if it can keep a tick or two away as well, I’m even more in favor of it. And so far,I haven’t lost any friends 😉

  2. Christo's Organic Living says

    Essential oils are great for many purposes, including tick prevention. Just be careful not to put “extra” essential oil into your mixture “for extra protection” because too much essential oil could cause irritation to your dog’s skin. Just like any other treatment, you don’t want to use too much.

  3. says

    Great article and thanks. I did have 1 question though. If permethrin is the synthetic insecticide I am guessing, based on its name, that it’s a synthetic imitation of the natural pyrethrin and if so, could you use pyrethrin as well or instead?


  4. Karen says

    This is great advice for dogs but what about cats? Do you have any suggestions for my
    kitty? Right now we do not use anything on her and she stays outside. I do use
    DE on her when I remember.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      The essential oils should only be used for dogs, but one natural repellent for ticks I’ve been using for my cat is neem leaf tea and it has been working really well!

      • Anonymous says

        I use a botanical powder made from neem, yarrow, and diatomaceous earth. You rub the coarse powder into the dog’s fur and it repels ticks. Needs to be reapplied every couple of weeks, more often if the dog is a swimmer or gets a bath. :)

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      These should also work great for fleas too! Geranium oil and lemongrass oil work great for repelling mosquitoes.

  5. Katei says

    The sprays sound like they would be a nice thing to try.

    Garlic is toxic to dogs and cats, so I don’t think giving them garlic powder every day would be such a good idea.

    Thanks for the recipes though

    • Anonymous says

      i have done a ton af research on garlic for dogs, and with my holistic vets instruction i have been feeding my 4 dogs garlic for years… it is actually good for them a it is us..

  6. FB says

    You’re not a vet but you’re giving out medical advice like you are. Very dangerous.
    As for garlic, some dogs can tolerate it in small amounts. In other dogs it affects their red blood cells and makes them sick. Breed, age and other factors play a role in determining whether or not a dog is adversely affected by garlic. You’re taking a real risk with animals’ lives by assuring everyone that garlic is safe. It’s not a risk I’m willing to take with my dogs’ health and I’m saddened to see you willing to take it with other people’s pets. This is my first experience with this blog and I doubt I’ll be back.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I am not giving out medical advice, I am not a physician. I am only sharing what I use with my pets. I live in an area where the incidence of Lyme disease is the highest in the country! I can’t even allow my pets to walk out in my yard without coming back with a tick, which has over a 50% chance of carrying Lyme disease in my area. When I brought up my concerns to my veterinarian, he instructed me to use DANGEROUS pesticides, harmful to my pet and my family, which I am not willing to risk! He did not support or inform me of ANY possible natural methods to repel ticks naturally. As a result, the only source of information to find natural remedies is the internet, without it, we would still be having ticks brought into our home. Since using these natural methods I have not had one tick brought into my home in the past 2 years! My pets can go out and enjoy our land and I don’t have to be in fear of Lyme disease. I shared these methods to inform others that they have worked for me and a natural way is possible. As with all information, before making any changes to your pets diet or lifestyle, a qualified practitioner should be consulted.

  7. Beverlee Groff says

    Thank you so much for this information. I refuse to put chemicals on my dogs but worry a lot about ticks and mosquitos especially now with the increase of triple E/west Nile. I was wondering if you use Brewers yeast?

  8. jenn says

    Hi Lori –

    I’m wondering which of these formulas worked best for you? You said you live in a high tick area and haven’t seen one…this is exciting!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Jenn, I live in CT, where Lyme Disease got its name and I am always worried about the ticks! The Rose Geranium Essential oil works amazing! We only had 1 tick this year and it was on our semi-indoor cat that we didn’t use any prevention measures for. I apply it to my dogs collar area and we let him go out in our yard and don’t really have to worry anymore! It is great! We also keep his fur short and check him for ticks, just to be sure.

  9. Brian says


    I have a question regarding to Rose Geranium Oil. Is it possible to use coconut oil with rose geranium? Like apply a bit of Rose on the collar, arm pits of the dog and tail. And then apply aloe + coconut mix on his body? Thanks for answering my question!

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