10 Best Essential Oils For Ticks

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 natural compounds formed by aromatic plants that have a strong odor and evaporate easily1,2.

All plant parts can produce essential oils, including leaves, flowers, seeds, and roots1,2.

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?

Ticks are external parasites of animals and occasionally humans, which are accidental hosts3,4.

They must ingest blood in between each development stage to induce molting3,4.

Natural tick repellent.

Furthermore, adult female ticks feed on blood before producing eggs3,4.

When ticks bite their host for a blood meal, they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis3,5.

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.

Ticks are attracted to odors that mammals give off, such as butyric acid, carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and ammonia1,4,7.

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.

Cedar oil (essential oil).

Atlas cedar oil, also known as atlas cedarwood oil, is rich in sesquiterpenes, primarily α-himachalenes9.

It has insecticidal, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-leukemic properties9,10.

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:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-protozoan
  • Antioxidant
  • 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 (Artemisia annua) is a plant native to China belonging to the Asteraceae family12,13.

Research has shown that this medicinal herb has anti-malarial activities owing to its content of artemisinin13,14.

Moreover, Artemisia annua essential oil has insecticidal, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor properties15,16,17.

Sweet wormwood kills ticks

A study reported that Artemisia annua oil killed 100% of ticks at an 8% concentration14.

The primary compound present in sweet wormwood oil is artemisia ketone15,17.

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.

Related: DIY Homemade Tick Repellent Spray Recipe

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

  • Antimicrobial
  • Antioxidant
  • Insecticidal
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-cancer

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.

Related: 3 Best Natural Home Remedies For Ticks

10. Turmeric oil

Turmeric is a flowering plant (Curcuma longa) native to tropical South Asia27.

Turmeric root powder (curcumin)

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.

Related: 17 Health Benefits Of Turmeric Root Powder


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:

  1. Cedar oil
  2. Lemongrass oil
  3. Palmarosa oil
  4. Sweet wormwood oil
  5. Eucalyptus oil
  6. Geranium oil
  7. Juniper oil
  8. Clove oil
  9. Ginger oil
  10. Turmeric oil

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