What Smells Do Ticks Hate? 5 Natural Repelling Odors

Ticks are odd little creatures, and I’ve honestly found them to be some of the most stubborn crawlers in the outdoors.

A tick can fight its way around clothing and repellent and still make its way onto your body, but after all that, it can turn the other way if it catches an unpleasant smell.

Aromatherapy essential oils have been heavily studied for their repellency against ticks, and many scientists have found certain oils to be decently effective in scaring away these pests.

But what particular smells do ticks hate?

Certain essential oils have smells that are irritating to ticks, including lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and chrysanthemum, making them effective ingredients for natural tick repellents.

You’d think a creature that can stay latched on even after a shower could put up with a smell it finds unpleasant, but their smell is arguably the strongest sense that ticks have.

Ticks are drawn to humans through the smell of the carbon dioxide we emit when exhaling, so it makes sense that certain smells can also drive them away. Keep reading to learn more about essential oils that ticks hate, and the products that include these natural tick repellents.

1. Lavender

Studies have shown that lavender is one of the most effective naturally occurring ingredients in repelling ticks. 

What makes lavender so great is that it can be easily grown in the garden or around your house, which will help to keep ticks away from your yard and pets.

You can also find a diluted form of lavender oil in many skin care products and tick repellents available online, which makes it a good option for keeping ticks off of your skin and clothes.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint (and mint in general) is another smell that ticks despise. You’ve probably smelt mint leaves before, so you know how strong the aroma can be.

Growing a mint plant in the garden can definitely help keep ticks away, and peppermint can be found in several of the most effective natural tick repellents.

Wondercide is one of the most popular natural tick repellents for pets, humans, and around the house. Their Peppermint Tick Spray not only repels the nasty crawlers, but can be effective in killing them as well, and since it’s all-natural it’s safe for pets, kids, and daily use.

Rodent Sheriff Pest Control Peppermint Spray (2 Pack)
$27.99 $19.99 ($1.25 / Fl Oz)

Made with all natural peppermint oil this is safe to use around pets and children but rodents hate it. Made locally in the USA spray this in your home or garden to repel mice, raccoons, roaches, insects, snakes and more.

Buy Now at Amazon
03/07/2024 09:57 pm GMT

3. Eucalyptus

Lemon eucalyptus oil is actually one of the most effective and common ingredients in the best natural tick repellents, partly because ticks hate the smell so much.

Strong citrus smells in eucalyptus make ticks extremely uncomfortable, which is why natural tick repellents are commonly orange or lemon-scented. You’ll find that many tick repellents for dogs, such as sprays and shampoos, are often scented with these sorts of oils.

Eucalyptus plants can also be grown around the house or garden, which will play a big part in reducing the tick population around your yard. 

If you’re looking to protect yourself with a eucalyptus-based repellent, give Murphy’s Naturals a try. Their Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Spray keeps deer ticks away for 4 hours, and brown dog ticks away for 8. 

Murphy's Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray
$21.99 $19.98 ($2.50 / Fl Oz)

Protects against mosquitoes for up to 6 hours, ticks for up to 4 hours and lone star and brown dog ticks for up to 8 hours. All without any nasty chemicals like DEET.

Made from 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus, 70% distilled water and ethanol made from corn. Enjoy the natural power from the only plant-based repellent recommended by the CDC

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03/07/2024 09:27 am GMT

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon oil contains eugenol, which is a chemical that is able to kill ticks on contact. Because of its effectiveness, cinnamon oil can even be seen used as a lawn treatment to keep ticks away.

Surprisingly, there aren’t many products that use the stuff in a tick-repellent formula, but if you want to give cinnamon oil a try I’d recommend diluting it with some water and spraying it around your home or garden to see if it produces results.

5. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum plants contain a high volume of a chemical called pyrethrum, which is a naturally occurring pesticide for ticks.

Pyrethrum will cause a tick’s nervous system to break down upon entering its body, and for this reason, it’s a smell that ticks will notice instantly.

This makes the chrysanthemum another flower that’s easy to plant around the home and garden to scare ticks away.