You will find the 10 best essential oils for repelling ticks on humans and dogs in this article.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation2.
Besides, they are known for their antimicrobial and medicinal properties2.
In nature, essential oils play an important role in protecting plants against microbes, insects, and herbivores2.
What are ticks?
How do essential oils work?
A tick repellent is a substance that diverts a tick from its original destination, reducing tick bite exposure1.
Essential oils repel ticks thanks to their strong odor and volatility6.
They obstruct the tick’s olfactory system, reducing its ability to detect attractant compounds6.
Advantages of essential oils
Natural products, such as essential oils, are an excellent alternative to pesticides for humans and dogs8.
They are also safer for the environment than non-degradable compounds, such as DEET1.
What are the 10 best essential oils for repelling ticks?
Here are the 10 best essential oils for repelling ticks on humans and dogs:
1. Cedar oil
The Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) is a large conifer tree native to the Atlas Mountains, a mountain range in North Africa.
Atlas cedar oil, also known as atlas cedarwood oil, is rich in sesquiterpenes, primarily α-himachalenes9.
Cedar oil eliminates ticks
Cedar oil is one of the best essential oils for ticks.
A 1% dilution of this oil completely suppresses tick reproduction10.
A reduction in the number of eggs can be linked to the destruction of mature ticks.
2. Lemongrass oil
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a tropical plant native to Sri Lanka and South Asia11.
The essential oil of lemongrass has a strong scent of citrus.
The primary compound identified in lemongrass is geranial10.
In addition to its acaricidal and larvicidal effects, lemongrass oil possesses a variety of therapeutic properties, including11:
- Sedative and anxiolytic
Lemongrass oil eradicates ticks
Lemongrass oil is also amongst the best essential oils for ticks.
Research has reported that a 1% dilution of lemongrass oil entirely eradicated the reproduction of ticks10.
3. Palmarosa oil
Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) is a grass native to India and Indochina.
The essential oil of this plant has a scent similar to roses.
Besides, palmarosa oil shows insecticidal and antifungal effects10.
The main component of this oil is component is geraniol10.
Palmarosa oil for ticks
A study revealed that a 5% dilution of palmarosa oil completely suppressed tick reproduction10.
4. Sweet wormwood oil
Sweet wormwood kills ticks
A study reported that Artemisia annua oil killed 100% of ticks at an 8% concentration14.
5. Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is a tall, evergreen tree native to Australia.
The essential oil of eucalyptus is well known for its effects against respiratory bacteria and viruses, in addition to its antioxidant and anti-diabetic activity8.
Moreover, it demonstrates insecticidal and repellent action8.
Eucalyptus oil for ticks
A study reported that a 10% dilution of eucalyptus oil caused a 97% mortality of ticks18.
The major constituents of eucalyptol oil are menthol and menthone18.
6. Geranium oil
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is a flowering plant native to South Africa.
This plant is traditionally used for its anti-dysenteric, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects19.
Geranium oil eliminates ticks
Research has revealed that a 10% dilution of geranium essential oil reduces by 97% the reproductive efficiency of ticks10.
The main component found in the essential oil of geranium is citronellol10.
7. Juniper oil
Juniper (Juniperus communis) is a small evergreen conifer tree.
The essential oil of juniper has insecticidal, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, and anthelmintic effects10.
Juniper oil for ticks
A study indicated that a 10% concentration of juniper essential oil diminished tick reproductive efficiency by 96%10.
Furthermore, juniper is comparable to DEET (a synthetic acaricide) in its effectiveness in repelling ticks20.
The primary constituent of juniper essential oil is linalool10.
8. Clove oil
Clove buds are the dried flower buds of clove (Syzygium aromaticum), a medium-sized tree native to Indonesia21.
Eugenol is the main compound in clove essential oil22.
Clove essential oil has a wide range of biological activities relevant to human health, including22
Clove oil repels ticks
A study has shown that a 3% dilution of clove essential oil repelled 83% of ticks23.
9. Ginger oil
Ginger is the rhizome of Zingiber officinale, a flowering plant native to India24.
Since ancient times, it has been used as a spice and traditional remedy24.
The ginger essential oil has therapeutic effects, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitussive, and anti-cancer properties25.
Ginger oil for ticks
A study showed that a 10% dilution of ginger essential oil reduced tick reproductive efficiency by 94%10.
The predominant compound in ginger essential oil is zingiberene26.
10. Turmeric oil
Turmeric is a flowering plant (Curcuma longa) native to tropical South Asia27.
Its rhizome is widely used as a spice, especially in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine27.
Furthermore, turmeric has a very long history of medicinal use in India27.
Turmeric oil repels ticks
A study revealed that turmeric essential oil had a stronger repellent action against ticks than DEET, a synthetic acaricide28.
Furthermore, dogs sprayed with turmeric essential oil had about five times fewer ticks than unsprayed dogs28.
The main compound in turmeric oil is curcumin27.
It is noteworthy that essential oils should neither be ingested nor applied directly on the skin or in the eyes.
Summary: 10 Best essential oils for ticks
Essential oils are natural compounds formed by aromatic plants.
In nature, essential oils play an important role in protecting plants against microbes, insects, and herbivores.
Essential oils repel ticks by diminishing their ability to detect attractant compounds that mammals give off, reducing tick bites.
The 10 best essential oils for repelling ticks on humans and dogs are the following:
- Cedar oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Palmarosa oil
- Sweet wormwood oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Geranium oil
- Juniper oil
- Clove oil
- Ginger oil
- Turmeric oil