Does Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Ticks?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has become popular as a “cure-all”, and I’ve even got a buddy that drinks the stuff daily for its apparent health benefits.

I’ve even seen people suggest using it as a natural tick-killing solution and repellent.

If you’re looking for an at-home solution to get rid of ticks, you might wonder if apple cider vinegar can do the trick.

But does apple cider vinegar actually kill ticks or can apple cider vinegar be used as tick repellent?

While it’s possible that dropping a tick in apple cider vinegar could kill it, there is no evidence that it’s an effective solution for killing ticks. It’s also not proven to be an effective tick repellent, and although it may irritate a tick, you should opt for proven products and tick sprays.

Apple cider vinegar is unlikely to make a tick back out and you should always remove ticks with fine tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool.

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Ticks are stubborn little parasites that feed on human blood, and they can be a bit tricky to get rid of once they latch on.

Apple cider vinegar is acidic and it’s possible that a spray might irritate a tick enough to back off. However it’s very low in both acidity and strength and if you didn’t know already, ticks are annoyingly persistent little creatures.

It might have a lot of benefits, but when it comes to tick control, apple cider vinegar is not a solution I would recommend. Instead, opt for one of the proven methods covered below.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Repel Ticks?

I’ve seen plenty of claims that apple cider vinegar can be used to repel ticks and keep them away from your home, car or campsite. But unfortunately there’s really not much evidence to support or deny these claims.

The general consensus is that ACV can irritate ticks and that the strong smell is unpleasant to ticks, which can work to repel them from any areas where it’s applied.

But, as I said, there’s really no evidence to demonstrate how effective it is at repelling ticks, and there’s no guarantee that it will protect you or a pet from a tick bite.

Similar to pure vinegar, the acidity of apple cider vinegar may be enough to kill a tick if you drop the tick in a cup of the stuff, but it’s not strong enough to be as effective as some of the popular tick-killing solutions (like rubbing alcohol, bleach or permethrin).

If you do want to give apple cider vinegar a try, you can dilute it with water and spray it on clothing and skin as a potential tick repellant. It shouldn't harm yourself or your clothing, it'll just give it a strong smell. 

I’ve also seen people suggest using it as a rinse after showering or adding it to a bath, but it’s important to test it on a small area of skin first to make sure you don’t have any adverse reactions.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend using apple cider vinegar as a go-to for tick repellent since there’s no guarantee it works 100% of the time, and instead I’d suggest using a proven method for keeping ticks off your clothes and body and I would remove any embedded ticks with tweezers or a tick key/removal tool.

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Can Apple Cider Vinegar Remove Ticks from Dogs?

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most frequently suggested solutions that I’ve seen for treating dogs for ticks. 

Most people suggest spraying bedding and fur with an ACV solution or even adding some to your dog’s water bowl.

This shouldn't do any harm but unfortunately, there’s really no evidence to suggest this helps to keep ticks away from your pets or will protect your dog from these nasty creatures.

Most people attempt to use apple cider vinegar in order to avoid using anti-parasitic pet products that can possibly cause bad reactions in their dogs, but from the evidence that we have, ACV is generally ineffective for repelling ticks from pets.

Although the solution may irritate the ticks they are incredibly persistent and apple cider vinegar is not nearly strong enough to keep them from latching onto a host. 

If you want to protect your pet from ticks, I’d recommend using established, effective tick repellents that are designed safe for dogs, and I’d always recommend taking certain precautions to keep your dog safe from these pesky parasites.

How Do You Remove Ticks from Dogs?

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I’d recommend checking your dog for ticks routinely, especially if you take your furry pal along with you on any hikes or outdoor adventures.

Ticks can transmit a number of diseases to dogs, including Lyme disease and the earlier you catch the tick the less likely your pet is to get an infection.

If you do find a tick on your pet, it should be removed in the same way they’re removed from humans.

Find a pair of fine-tipped tweezers and grab the tick as close to your dog's skin as possible. Gently pull upwards without twisting or jerking, as this could cause part of the tick’s mouth to break off in your dog’s skin.

You can dispose of any tick you remove by flushing it down the toilet or by dropping it in a solution such as rubbing alcohol or bleach.

If your dog follows you along on adventures frequently, you might be interested in a specialized Tick Removal Tool for Dogs.

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This tool will make it quick and easy to get rid of any pesky ticks on your dog's skin, and you can see how effective it is in the video below.

What’s the Best Tick Repellent for Dogs?

One of the most popular non-prescription tick repellents for dogs is Frontline Plus. One dose protects for up to thirty days, and it’s a safe and effective way to keep your dog safe from tick bites.

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NexGuard and Bravecto are also very popular products for tick prevention, but you’ll need to speak with a vet to learn more about what specifically fits your pet the best.

Ticks can still attach themselves even if your dog takes preventative medication, so it’s important to take certain precautions to avoid tick-infested areas.

Cedarwood oil is a natural deterrent for ticks, and cedar sprays like this one from Amazon can be used as a topical repellent for your dog.

I personally like this solution since it’s safe for the kids and your pet, and it’s obviously cheaper than oral treatment (although probably a bit less effective).

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If you’re a big hiker like me and enjoy taking your dog along, make sure to always stay centered on any trails and keep your pal away from any tall grass or bushy areas.

Ticks wait on tall blades of grass for their hosts to wander by, so stay away from thick-grown vegetation.

Always remember to check yourself and your furry friends after any hike. Ideally before you get in your car otherwise you can end up with ticks in your car.

But if not in your car then definitely once you get home. Doing this will allow you to quickly find and remove any embedded ticks before they cause a problem.