I have made bug sprays with essential oils in years past that seemed to work well for us, but I felt the need to kick it up a notch. I wanted to be sure I was using something that not only kept us free of mosquitos and other pesky flying things, but that could particularly defend us against ticks. I went to a few of my trusted resources and found the following:
- The EPA listed lemon eucalyptus, citronella, and catnip as known tick repellents.
- The CDC listed garlic, rosemary, lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, thyme, and geranium essential oils as natural tick repellents that are considered safe, though effectiveness was not validated.
- A study on PubMed noted geranium essential had potential for commercial development as a tick repellent.
- Another study on PubMed notes that the chemical constituents citronellol, geraniol and eugenol showed tick repellent results comparable to DEET.
The insect repellent essential oil blend I had already purchased for use this year (as I wanted something more kid friendly) was Shield Me by Plant Therapy. This product contains citronella, pink grapefruit, geranium bourbon, Rosalina, and patchouli. Two of which (citronella and geranium) I found in my research to be potentially effective against ticks, score! The rest of the ingredient, plus a few others, will help to deter mosquitos, flies, and other nasties while we are at it.
Not only am I changing the essential oils I am using this year, but I have also decided to go with a different application method. Instead of the spray which can be a bit messy and I have always feared would get into someone’s eyes. I am making it into a lotion bar in a handy stick form for easy application that will hopefully absorb well and last longer since it will be oil based instead of water based.
And here we go!
Buzz Off! Lotion Bars
2 oz. sunflower oil
2 oz. shea butter
2 oz. beeswax
70 drops Plant Therapy’s Shield Me
30 drops lavender essential oil
Gently melt sunflower oil, shea butter, and beeswax until combined. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add essential oils and stir. Pour into tubes or molds and allow to cool completely.
TO USE: Rub onto arms, legs, or wherever you would like to deter outdoor pests.