Most of us are aware of ticks and their potential dangers. These eight-legged arachnids can be dangerous and even deadly to both people and pets. In fact, ticks are considered only second to mosquitoes when it comes to their prevalence for causing diseases in people and animals.
Unfortunately, getting rid of and repelling ticks can be tricky. This is especially true for those interested in organic gardening and pest control.
The good news is that there are plenty of natural ways you can go about protecting yourself from ticks.
In today’s article, we are going to talk about the best natural methods to repel ticks, including a list of plants that repel ticks and other organic products you can use to help protect yourself and your loved ones from these pests.
Let’s get started!
What Are Ticks And Why Are They Dangerous?
Ticks are arachnids closely related to spiders.
Ticks are small critters that belong to the arachnid family. They are closely related to spiders and scorpions, though they are often considered parasitic due to their appetite for blood and their need to survive via another host.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, there are 850 species of ticks prevalent throughout the world. However, only a few species are known to bite and spread disease to humans and animals.
The most common ticks known to be dangerous to people and animals include:
- The American Dog Tick
- The brown Dog Tick
- The Blacklegged Tick
- The Gulf Coast Tick
- The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
- The Western Blacklegged Tick
- And The Lone Star Tick
Depending on where you live, ticks can be a serious concern year-round. However, in many regions, they are most active during certain months. Typically, ticks are most common from March to May, and then again in August to November.
It’s commonly thought that only adult ticks can spread disease to people and animals, but the truth is that both adult ticks and their nymphs can bite and cause serious disease.
Some of the most dangerous diseases ticks can spread to people include:
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Borrelia miyamotoi Disease
- Powassan Virus Disease
- Borrelia mayonii Disease
- And Tularemia
Some of the most common and dangerous diseases ticks can spread to animals and pets include:
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- And Ehrlichiosis
Why Do I Have Ticks On My Property?
Ticks are common pests throughout the world, but there are only a few species that bite and spread illnesses to people.
Ticks can be prevalent in many different environments, but they are most common in areas abundant with a lot of foliage. Ticks are highly attracted to debris like dead leaves, woodpiles, wood debris, and tall or overgrown grass.
This means that many types of gardens can make attractive homes for ticks. Properties that border fields or woodlands may also fall victim to tick infestations.
However, it’s not just your environment that may be attracting ticks. Like mosquitoes, ticks are also highly attracted to the carbon dioxide released when people and animals exhale. They are also drawn in by the lactic acid in our sweat and the body heat we naturally produce just by being alive.
Although both male and female ticks can bite, it is generally the female tick that is the most dangerous when it comes to spreading disease. This is due to the fact that male ticks generally die upon mating.
Ticks must have a blood host in order to survive, and they must have blood at every stage of their lifecycle from the moment they hatch. The full life cycle of a tick can take up to three years. In that time, female ticks can feed continuously for several days. Male ticks generally feed intermittently.
Ticks don’t fly or jump, but they are stealthy. They cling to debris or long grasses and latch on to people or animals as they brush by.
Their bite is often painless, which makes it even more difficult to realize you’ve been bitten. Sometimes trick bites will itch or cause mild swelling, but for the most part tick bites can go unnoticed for several hours to days.
In that time period, the tick will cling to you and continue to feed. The good news is that ticks must generally be attached for over 36 hours before they are able to successfully transmit diseases.
Still, no one wants to deal with ticks or tick bites. So, how do you get rid of them if they are prevalent in your area?
It’s time now to talk about the best plants that repel ticks. Keep reading!
What Are The Best Plants That Repel Ticks?
Ticks can be controlled using common products, but they are also repelled by a number of plants.
While getting rid of ticks completely can be challenging, there are a few methods you can use to repel them.
Along with using a quality pest control regiment year around to control and manage pests like ticks, you can also plant certain plants around your home.
Like mosquitoes, spiders, and other types of pests, ticks are sensitive to certain smells and plants.
Some of the best plants that repel ticks include:
Intermittent planting of these above plants that repel ticks is an excellent way to keep ticks out of your garden. You can plant these plants in your vegetable garden, around your property, or even along the border of your property if you border a forest, field, or woodland.
Many of these plants can help repel not only ticks but also other pests as well. Some of these plants that repel ticks can also be potted and placed around your porch or along windowsills to keep pests from getting inside!
Let’s learn more about these plants that repel ticks.
Mint is one of the most popular plants that repel ticks.
Botanically known as mentha, mint is a perennial herb that is most famous for its fragrant leaves. The plant does flower, often producing purple, pink, or white flowers that are just as fragrant.
Mint is not only one of the best plants that repel ticks, but it’s also beneficial for cooking and medicinal purposes.
Best of all, it’s super simple to grow. You can plant it in your garden or grow it in potted plants indoors.
Along with planting mint in your garden as one of the best plants that repel ticks, you can also use essential oils like peppermint oil to repel these pests. We will talk more about how to use peppermint oil and other natural methods to get rid of ticks below.
Pyrethrum plants include chrysanthemums and daisies. These beautiful flowers can help prevent ticks and a variety of other pests.
Pyrethrum is a type of Chrysanthemum that is lovely to look at and incredibly effective when it comes to pest control. In fact, pyrethrum is so effective when it comes to plants that repel ticks that it is often used as a common ingredient in a number of different pesticides and insecticides.
Though natural, pyrethrum can be dangerous for people and pets in large doses. If ingested by pets, it can lead to issues like weakness, loss of coordination, tremors, twitching, and more. We don’t recommend planting pyrethrum in your yard and garden if you have pets that are prone to eating plants outdoors.
Otherwise, the pyrethrum is a wonderful plant you can use to repel not only ticks but also a wide variety of insects like head lice, mites, mosquitoes, and more.
Sage has long been used for a variety of medicinal purposes.
Also known as salvia officinalis, sage is a soft, leafy, evergreen plant that grows low to the ground. It can produce lavender-colored flowers and is common throughout the world.
Sage is edible and is a common ingredient in a variety of recipes. It can be eaten dried, ground, cooked, or even whole. It has been used worldwide for medicinal purposes, but sage is also one of our common plants that repel ticks.
Along with repelling ticks, sage repels snails, beetles, cabbage moths, flea beetles, and carrot flies.
For this reason, sage is a wonderful addition to vegetable gardens and makes an ideal companion plant for flowers and vegetation that is attractive to a variety of pests listed above.
Lavender can help repel ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, and many other types of pests.
Related to mint, lavender is a gorgeous flowering plant that repels a number of the same pests as mint and sage. It is identifiable due to its lavender-colored flowers and deep, green stems.
Like many of these plants that repel ticks, lavender is commonly used for medicinal purposes and is often used as an herb for certain dishes.
Along with repelling ticks, lavender can help repel mosquitoes, moths, water scorpions, fleas, flies, and moths.
Growing garlic won’t only help add some tasty herbs to your meals but also help keep ticks at bay.
One of the most popular ingredients in foods throughout the world, garlic is an incredible herb and one of our favorite plants that repel ticks. Garlic is a vegetable that belongs to the Allium family. Along with chives, shallots, leeks, and onions, garlic can help add flavor to a variety of meals.
It is commonly used for medicinal purposes as well and can even help treat parasites. It is easy to grow and is an ideal plant to add to our garden when companion planting to repel pests.
Garlic is not only one of the best plants that repel ticks, but it also repels mosquitoes, Japanese beetles, mites, weevils, fruit tree borers, and more.
Pennyroyal works to repel ticks and can even help fight common ailments like colds or pneumonia.
Pennyroyal is another one of our plants that repel ticks, but it is also quite commonly used to help treat a number of ailments like pneumonia, fatigue, and even the common cold. There has also been speculation that this plant and its natural oils can help alleviate gastrointestinal issues like gas, stomach pains, and gallbladder issues.
However, there are some safety concerns with pennyroyal, and the plant is quite controversial when it comes to aiding in overall health.
While we do like pennyroyal as one of our plants that repel ticks, it’s important to note that pennyroyal is highly toxic to cats. Whether ingested or touched, pennyroyal can cause serious problems for cats and should be kept out of reach of them.
This means that if you do have cats, we suggest refraining from planting pennyroyal in your yard or garden to repel pests.
Beautyberries are more than beautiful. They can also help repel ticks.
Have you ever heard of beautyberries? They sound like fictional plants, but their name does precede them.
These beautiful plants produce gorgeous and vibrant purple berries that are edible to over 40 different species of birds and animals. Beautyberries are also edible to people, though they’re not quite as delicious as they look when eaten raw.
You can cook beautyberries, however, and they are commonly prepared in delicious meals and jellies.
Most importantly, beautyberries are one of our plants that repel ticks. When used properly as a companion plant, beautyberries can also help repel fire ants and mosquitoes.
Eucalyptus can be used for a multitude of purposes.
Eucalyptus oil is commonly used for medicinal purposes as well as pest control, so it’s no surprise that the eucalyptus plant would also be on our list of plants that repel ticks.
Native to Australia, Eucalyptus is often used for medicinal purposes to help alleviate symptoms from colds, and it is highly effective against mosquitoes. In fact, studies have found that eucalyptus leaves have a 72.2% effectiveness against mosquitoes for up to two hours.
Eucalyptus plants can be grown both indoors and out. They grow quickly, though they can be difficult to maintain as they are finicky to certain environments. They prefer sunny spots and require regular water and fertilization.
Best Products To Repel Ticks
Along with using plants, you also have the option of using natural products to get rid of ticks.
If you like the idea of using plants that repel ticks but you don’t have much of a green thumb, you’re in luck. There are plenty of products that utilize these plants and their oils to help repel ticks and other pesky and biting insects.
We have listed some of our favorite products that utilize essential oils and plant-based properties of many of the plants above to keep ticks and other pests at bay.
Take a look.
Wondercide Essential Oil Bug Spray
Wondercide is a product we often recommend to organic gardeners or those who prefer to use natural products to get rid of pests like ticks.
Not only does Wondercide make an outdoor pest control spray and a spray you can use indoors as well, but it also makes an essential oil-based pest control spray that utilizes oils from the above plants that repel ticks.
This spray is made for personal use and is safe to use on children as well as adults. It is free of harmful insecticides like DEET and offers protection from ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting bugs for up to two hours when applied correctly.
We suggest using this product when hiking or playing outdoors during tick or mosquito season.
Another product that offers personal protection from ticks is Cedarcide Tickshiled. This tick spray works using cedar oil which has been proven to repel a number of pests including mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and even rodents like mice and rats.
The spray is non-toxic and safe for children, and it can be used to repel pests for up to two hours when applied correctly. Just as with the Wondercide spray above, this spray is ideal for personal use when out and about hiking, playing outdoors, camping or gardening.
Wondercide Flea and Tick Outdoor Spray
This is the Wondercide outdoor spray we mentioned earlier, and we recommend it because it is again made with all-natural ingredients including essential oils from many of the plants that repel ticks we listed above.
It is free of any chemicals and is perfectly safe to use in areas where pets and people play. There is no spray and wait time, and the product comes concentrated with a ready-to-spray attachment you can hook to your hose.
This product covers up to 5,000 square feet and can be sprayed in gardens, lawns, along sidewalks, over brick, in patios, over grass, and even on edible vegetable gardens.
The essential oils used in this product include rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and lavender oil.
Eco Defense Flea, Tick and Mosquito Yard Spray
We like Eco Defense Flea, Tick, and Mosquito spray because it is also a ready-to-spray natural insecticide that covers 5,000 square feet and is safe for people, pets, and the environment.
It helps control a variety of pests without the use of chemical ingredients. In fact, this product uses a number of plant-based ingredients derived from the plants that repel ticks we listed and discussed above.
When applied correctly, Eco Defense Flea, Tick and Mosquito yard spray can help protect your yard from pests for several weeks and even comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
Other Natural Ways You Can Get Rid Of Ticks
Essential oils made from the above-listed plants can also help repel ticks.
Along with utilizing the power of plants that repel ticks, you also have the option of using home remedies to keep these pests under control.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils have long been used as a form of natural pest control and considering there are so many plants that repel ticks, it’s no wonder these same plants produce oils we would recommend for pest control as well.
Some of the best essential oils to get rid of ticks include:
- Peppermint oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Lavender oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Citronella Oil
- And Lemongrass Oil
To make your own essential oil spray to repel ticks, simply combine ten to 15 drops of the essential oil of your choice with two cups of water in a spray bottle.
You can also help repel ticks and other pests by saturating cotton balls in the essential oil of your choice and placing these cotton balls in your garden, along windowsills, and around your porch.
Invite The Predators
Ticks have a wide variety of predators and inviting these predators to your home can help you to battle any severe problem.
Some of the most common tick predators include frogs, chickens, squirrels, opossums, wild turkeys, and ants.
Try Neem Oil
Neem oil is a common ingredient in a variety of natural pest control products. You can also use pure neem oil to repel ticks and protect your garden, yourself, and your loved ones.
Neem oil can be purchased alone or you can buy it pre-mixed in pest control. You can also make your own pest control spray using neem oil by combining one teaspoon of neem oil with one liter of warm water, along with a ⅓ teaspoon of liquid dish soap.
Add these ingredients to a spray bottle and shake the bottle until the mixture is sudsy.
Avoid spraying this product directly on plants as the soap can damage some vegetation. However, you can use it indoors and outdoors to not only repel ticks and other insects but to kill ticks and pests on contact.
If you love garlic, then you’ll love this home remedy for how to get rid of ticks! Garlic naturally repels a number of pests, and consuming it can help you protect yourself from tick bites!
Garlic is a fragrant vegetable that can cause that ever-famous garlic breath most of us know and despise. But that garlic breath and the scent of garlic seeping from your pores may actually help keep ticks from biting you which, in turn, can help prevent the spread of tick-borne illnesses.
Unfortunately, garlic is toxic to pets, so this method won’t work when it comes to protecting your dogs and cats from ticks.
Make Your Own DIY Spray For Ticks
Along with the above plants that repel ticks, ticks are also repelled by cinnamon, lemon, orange, and rose geranium. You can use the combination of these ingredients or just a few you have on hand to make your own tick repellent.
Sprinkle cinnamon around your garden to repel ticks, ants, and a variety of other pests. You can also combine cinnamon with lemon, oranges, or rose geranium in a spray bottle with two cups of water. Shake the bottle to combine the concoction and use it as needed to repel ticks in your yard and garden.
Tick Protection and Prevention – Expert Tips and Tricks
Ticks can be nasty and dangerous, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Protecting yourself from ticks can be tricky, especially if you live in an area that is rich with these blood-sucking pests.
There are a few ways you can prevent them and protect yourself from them, however.
Along with using the above methods, products, and plants that repel ticks, experts also recommend you follow the below tips and tricks for tick prevention.
Keep Up With Routine Landscaping
Remember, ticks are most attracted to yards and gardens that are overgrown or contain a lot of debris. They are especially attracted to wood piles and long grasses.
To best avoid ticks, we suggest keeping up with routine landscaping. Make sure you trim grasses short and remove woodpiles, dead leaf litter, and other debris from your yard or garden.
Keep Your Pets Protected With A Flea and Tick Prevention
Because of their curious nature, pets are some of the most common victims of tick and flea bites. Luckily, there are medications you can invest in that help protect pets year-round from these biting and disease-carrying pests.
You can buy many forms of tick and flea repellents for pets over the counter, but if you’re not sure which type is best for your unique pet, we suggest contacting your veterinarian.
Use A Tick Repellent With DEET, Picaridin, or Permethrin
As we discussed earlier in this article, permethrin is a common ingredient in a number of pesticides and insecticides and is derived from the Pyrethrum plant. Other ingredients like DEET or Picaridin are also common ingredients in pest control products that are proven to help fight ticks.
While some of these products are considered chemical insecticides, they are generally safe when used as directed and can help prevent the transmission of tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, rocky mountain fever, and more.
Consider Wearing Light-Colored Clothing With Long Pants and Sleeves
Ticks are less attracted to lighter-colored clothing than they are to dark-colored clothing. They also will have a more difficult time finding skin to latch and bite too if you are wearing long sleeves or pants.
When hiking in tick country, we suggest wearing protective clothing and considering tucking your pants into your socks or shoes. It’s also wise to wear hats and potentially even head nets to protect against these disease-spreading pests.
Check Yourself and Your Loved Ones For Ticks After Being Outdoors
Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to check yourself and your loved ones and pets for ticks when coming inside after a day out. This is especially true if you have been hiking, gardening, or playing in open fields or woodlands known to be heavy with ticks.
Be sure to check in areas where ticks are known to hide like behind the ears, in the hair, on the backs of legs, and other common places you may not think to look.
And remember, while there are plenty of plants that repel ticks, none of them can offer you 100% protection from these nasty pests.
It’s important to use routine pest control when dealing with a tick infestation and to contact a professional pest control expert if you feel your tick problem has gotten out of hand.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on plants that repel ticks! Now we want to hear from you. Have you ever tried companion planting?
Tell us in the comment section below.