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What Essential Oils Do Ants and Ticks Hate?

Whether you are camping, hiking, or just trying to protect your home, there are a number of essential oils that ants, ticks, and other undesirable critters hate.

Of course, there are plenty of traditional bug repellent products that can work as well. But there are serious reasons why they should be avoided. OFF! and other popular bug sprays comprise many ingredients that should be questioned. And not just because they might cause a little skin irritation.

Chemicals like DEET – a common ingredient in chemical insect repellents – can potentially cause serious damage to the brain, according to some studies.

A good reason to at least investigate some natural alternatives – like essential oils.

Essential Oils For Ants, Ticks, and Other Critters

So, among your potentially vast collection of essential oils, which ones do ants and ticks hate the most?

Before providing our favorite ant and tick spray recipes, here are the top 5 essential oils for protecting your home and body from critters:

1. Peppermint Oil

Not only is peppermint a great bug repellent, it has a great smell to boot! To get rid of ants, add a few drops to a cotton ball and wipe down the affected areas and entry points.

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2. Clove Oil

Clove can both disrupt scent trails and eliminate ants on contact. A component of clove, eugenol is a fast-acting insecticide that can kill everything from ants to flies, to spiders and ticks.

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3. Citrus Oil

Citrus oil like lemon, grapefruit, and orange contain something called d-limonene, which is toxic to ants and ticks. These citrus oils can mask scent trails.

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4. Tea Tree Oil

This is a great all-purpose oil to stock in your collection. It can be used as a disinfectant, making it a great ingredient in household cleaners. Additionally, it is a bug killer.

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5. Citronella Oil

For decades, citronella oil has been used as both an insect and animal repellent. It is particularly effective at scaring away ticks.

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Oils For Ants & TicksAnti-Ant Spray Recipe

To use the following recipe, simply add all the ingredients to a small spray bottle and then apply to the baseboards, entry points, and anywhere you can find that the ants may be coming from. Repeat the application every couple days until the ants are gone.

  • A small spray bottle
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 15 drops of peppermint oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree oil
  • 10 drops of your chosen citrus oil (lemon, orange, or grapefruit)

Anti-Tick Spray Recipe

Similar to the anti-ant recipe, you’ll simply combine the ingredients into a small spray bottle. To apply, spray on your skin and/or clothes before going outside.

  • A small spray bottle
  • 2 oz. of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 oz. of water
  • 15 drops of peppermint oil
  • 15 drops of citronella oil

Note: After reading about the following natural solutions for other critters, be sure to check out our essential oil diffuser jewelry below 🙂

Natural Alternatives For Bugs

In addition to essential oils, there are some other natural alternatives for warding off bugs. Here are a few:

  • Soy-based: Soy-based products like Bite Blocker is a good natural detractor to insects. In fact, according to a study conducted in 2002, Bite Blocker revealed better outcomes than some lower-concentrated DEET solutions.
  • 2-undercanone: This is a common ingredient included in more natural insect repellents and is recommended for 4-hour from mosquitos (note: it’s not necessarily effective for ants and ticks).
  • IR3535: No, it’s not an IRS code. IR3535 is a naturally-occurring chemical that is often found in many repellents. It can offer up to 2 hours of protection from mosquitos.

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