Tick Repellant You Can Trust

Tick repellants—oils or sprays you can safely apply to skin, clothing, or outdoor spaces—can help to prevent tick bites and protect your family from the disease-causing pathogens ticks carry. Here are some of the most popular tick repellents, in order of the level of protection they can provide from highest to lowest:

  • Permethrin is an anti-parasite treatment for clothing, bags, tents, and other fabric-based outdoor gear, and it is the most effective tick repellent on the market today. Clothing treated with permethrin can protect you through several wash and dry cycles before needing further treatment, making it a very convenient way to repel ticks. Clothing that is pre-treated with permethrin is available online and in outdoor stores.
  • DEET is a popular mosquito repellant that also works to ward off ticks. and, Like permethrin, DEET is an effective clothing treatment. However it is not quite as effective as permethrin, but in a pinch it will do the trick to keep ticks at bay.
  • IC3 is an all-natural insecticide that combines rosemary, geraniol, and peppermint essential oils to naturally repel insects and arachnids, including ticks. While it has not been proven to be as powerful as permethrin or DEET, it has a particular advantage: because it is naturally derived, IC3 can be used indoors as well as outdoors. If you and your family wish to avoid chemical repellents, IC3 is a chemical-free option you should consider.
  • Rose Geranium essential oil is another all-natural repellant option. It can be applied to your tick “hot spots” and around openings in clothing—such as ankles and wrists—that give ticks a way in. There are many spray recipes online that use rose geranium oil, so you can even make your own!

Whichever option you choose, be sure to thoroughly apply repellents before each trip outdoors!

For an added layer of protection, purchase tick wraps or permethrin-treated clothing.