Homemade Tick Repellent

homemade tick repellent

With the tick threat in the United States escalating at a scary pace, how can you save yourself and your family from tick diseases and death?

With the world’s best homemade tick repellent recipe!

As purveyors of Tick Proof we spent years tinkering with essential oils and natural emulsifiers to perfect our proprietary blend, gaining vast knowledge of homemade insect repellents.

We are happy to provide you with a collection of the world’s best and most popular tick repellent recipes available on the web, assembled below, however we hope to convince you that buying our product is substantially easier than trying to make something similar yourself, and a lot more cost effective as well.

There are a plenty of commercially sold commodities that are of the type consumers can save money by whipping up a homemade version, others products offer an opportunity for you to break even on price if you craft a comparable product at home. Tick repellent falls into neither of those groups. You could literally not do worse making something as opposed to buying it, trying to mix up tick repellent from scratch.

What is needed to make your own tick repellent?

3 or more essential oils, at a price of $6 to $20 dollars per oil, or more. Essential oil pricing starts at $6 and up for a ½ ounce container, but you will feel poorly about your purchase buying small quantities, noticing how dramatically oil pricing drops with volume. It is hard to bring yourself to spend $6 on a half-ounce of oil when for $20 you can get for 4 ounces.

Most every tick repellent recipe calls for at least 3 oils, so depending on the quantity of oils you choose to purchase, you are $24 dollars into your homemade repellent, at the extreme low end of things, on oil alone.

Note there have been many credible scientific studies about the effacy of essential oil based insect repellents, and the consensus findings have been nearly unanimous in one regard, the repellent qualities of essential oils are amplified when any given oil is combined with other oils, so while it is possible to make a repellent spray with only 3 oils, it is unlikely to be as effective as one that combines 4 or 5 oils, or more. To make a 5-oil repellent spray recipe you would need to invest at least $42 in oils.

Our proprietary Tick Proof blend uses 5 oils.

You may need to order from one or more suppliers to get every oil you need, as not every essential oil wholesaler carries every type of oil, and many essential oil producers are commonly sold out of some oil types, up to 15 percent or more of the oils they carry, at any given time. 

What about the bottle?

You will probably need to buy a small spray container for your repellent. You cannot exactly just wash a bottle you have lying around and use it for the spray, it is unlikely you will have the right type. Essential oils will degrade if exposed to sunlight, so clear bottles are out. An amber colored glass spray bottle or amber colored PET virgin plastic spray bottle will do. You can easily find these online although many suppliers have order quantity minimums you will need to meet, and a lot of their websites are not so user friendly. Companies that wholesale bottles are “old school” brick and mortar companies, and that is how their websites are built, comparable to company catalog’s from the 80’s and 90’s, with SKU numbers as the primary means to perform site searches. Some bottle sellers also separate closures and the (bottles themselves), offering them independent of one another, so make sure you are getting an empty amber bottle that has a spray cap included. Seeing a picture of a spray bottle with cap does not mean necessarily mean you are buying a cap; you may miss the fine print that says, “closures sold separately”. In the wholesale bottle industry, it is generally understood that bottles and caps are items to be purchased independent of one another, therefore empty bottles for sale are listed not only by style and size, but by neck closure type. For example, the bottles we use for our tick repellent have a 24-410 neck style.

Once you have placed your potentially (multiple) oil orders with different suppliers and procured your containers you are not done buying yet, keep your wallet open and your credit card out.

Did you oils come with a dropper? Even though we are hoping you decide against making your own repellent and purchase Tick Proof instead, we are going to help you out with a tip, buy a dropper. Nobody selling essential oils puts a warning message next to the product stating "dropper not included”, and many oils are sold in bottles topped with basic plastic screw caps. You will have no way to measure your oils unless you buy a glass dropper. You should buy one dropper for every oil you will be using; full concentration essential oils are very potent and hard to rinse off anything, droppers included. If you use the same dropper for multiple different oils you will be compromising the purity of your oils.

What else do you need?

Any tick repellent recipe claiming you can just mix your oils with water and “shake” is not going to work well, oil and water do not mix. If you try mixing your essential oils with nothing but water only you will end up with a layer of oil floating on top of water. You will have a second or two after you first shake a (oil and water only) mixture where the oil and water will be somewhat combined, and if you can quickly spray yourself you will be able to get a semi blended application, but it will be an uneven one. You are likely to end up with large spots of undiluted oil applied directly to your skin and clothing. Aim for a correctly solubilized (blended) essential oil and water mixture, properly formulated tick repellent recipes will always include an ingredient that helps the oil and water combine. 

Insert solubize screenshot.

Options? If you are looking for something natural you can choose from rubbing alcohol, alcohol, ethel alcohol, lecithin, polysorbate 20, vegetable glycerin, dipropylene glycol, or propylene glycol, just to name a few. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Alcohol can dry out your skin, lecithin and polysorbate 20 may add an undesirable “sticky” feel to your spray.

Mysteriously many tick repellent recipes also recommend witch hazel as a solubilizer. While witch hazel commonly has some alcohol in it, there is not enough alcohol content for effective solubilization, witch hazel is not a solubilizer, it will not work.

If you are out there on the web reading about tick repellent recipes you may also come across mentions of fractionated coconut oil, this is not a solubilizer, it is something that helps your oils blend with other oils, not a product that will help the oils and water mix. Coconut oil is a carrier oil, something that you would use if you wanted to make a tick repellent rub. Coconut oil can help oils mix with other oils (while remaining as oils), it is not something that, in our opinion, adds value to a spray. If you include this oil in your homemade tick repellent you are going to need to increase the amount of solubilizer you use, as now there is more than just essential oil to be blended with your spray water base, you have an added oil with no repellent properties, coconut oil.

When first creating our Tick Proof repellent we tested trial formulations with every possible natural solubilizing agent, and for someone making repellent at home we would advise kosher vegetable glycerin. We feel it offers the best solubilization capability in consideration of all the pros and cons of using any given additive, for home use. We use dipropylene glycol in our spray only because we have a mass-produced consumer product and dipropylene glycol is better than vegetable glycerin at 100% mixing the oil and water, creating a perfect even, clear, “presentable” solution.

Okay, are you still ready to make a homemade tick repellent?

Gather your oils, droppers, and solubilization additive, you are almost ready to go.

Just a couple more notes:

Have you worked with essential oils before? It is not necessarily a “fun” thing to do. While essential oils are natural, they are extremely potent at full strength, a serious substance to dabble with, use caution. If you spill them the odor can be overpowering, it is not so easy to just wipe off the spot of the spill, the scent will remain.

Also, what about the quality of those oils you bought? Essential oils are very commonly advertised dishonestly. Do you have the equipment necessary to check the purity of the oils you receive, are you sure they have not been diluted? How old are they? Fraud will always find a home in any marketplace where the consumer has no means to verify the product as stated, and the wholesale essential oil market has its fair share. We went to great lengths trial buying and testing the purity of oils before deciding on our suppliers, this was an expensive and time intensive process.

Skip trying to make your own tick repellent recipe and purchase a bottle of the world’s strongest all-natural tick repellent, Tick Proof. We have already done the legwork for you and created an incredibly effective tick repellent offered at a fair price. One of our big 8-ounce bottles will last you and your family a season or more, depending on how often you are recreating in tick prone areas.

If you have your heart set on spending three times as much to make your own, we hope our guide has helped you. One last thing we will mention, our repellent is crafted not only to offer not only the best tick protection in the world, it also smells fantastic. If you are going the homemade repellent route, take a moment to think about the oils you are choosing prior to making your buying decision. There are lots of different essential oils that will repel ticks, they do not all smell so good. Aim for a tick repellent and a tick repellent only, not a human repellent.

To make 8 ounces of tick repellent for a tick repellent recipe you will need:

70 or more drops of essential oil

Glass droppers

Purified or distilled water

Empty amber glass or dark colored pet virgin plastic bottles

A solubilizer (to help the oils and water mix) 1:1 essential oil to solubilizer ratio up to 2 ounces of solubilizer for an 8-ounce bottle, depending on the solubilizer

Clean working area and a steady hand

Oils that repel ticks:



Rose Geranium







Lemon Eucalyptus




Texas Cedarwood

Virginia Cedarwood

Bad Smell Warning! Thyme oil, Garlic oil, and Neem oil

Tick Repellent Recipe Instructions

Step #1 – Add your solubilizer

Step #2 – Add your oils

Step #4 – Mix your oils with the solubilizer

Step #4 – Add water

Step #5 – Shake

Step #6 – Store in a cool dark place, out of sunlight. This is not as important if you have the correct bottle (see above) but if you are taking a shortcut and using a clear plastic bottle do not store the repellent in sunlight, this can create a real issue.

We have assembled some tick repellent recipes from the world wide web below. We are not listing every recipe we came across; many are so bad as written; we cannot even bear to paste them here.

Tick Repellent Recipes

Tick Repellent Recipe #1

20 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil

10 drops of Sweetgrass essential oil

 5 drops of Lavender essential oil

 5 drops of Citronella or Lemon essential oil

 4 ounces of vodka

Alcohol Tick Repellent Recipe #2

30 drops Geranium essential oil

20 drops of Cedarwood essential oil

10 drops of Citronella essential oil

4 ounces of vodka or Ethyl alcohol

2 ounces of water

Alcohol Tick Repellent Recipe #3

30 drops Geranium essential oil

20 drops of Cedarwood essential oil

10 drops Lemon essential oil

4 ounces of vodka or Ethyl alcohol

2 ounces of water

Tick Repellent Recipe #4

1/4 cup vodka 150 proof vodka is best

1/4 cup water distilled water

1 TB vegetable glycerin

90 drops of Essential oils

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Tick Repellent Recipe #5

40 drops Geranium essential oil

10 drops of Cedarwood essential oil

10 drops Lemon Eucalyptus oil

25 drops Citronella oil

2 ounces of vegetable glycerin

6 ounces of water