Although ticks tend to appear most often during the summer, they are a threat in many communities all year long. They live outdoors and can be found in the trees, grass, shrubs, and even living in leaf piles.

If you live in a suburban or rural area, there is a good chance that animals foraging through your property may leave ticks behind during their travels. 

Ticks are attracted to people and pets. They might be small, but they can move quickly between animals and people.

Most ticks may be harmless, but some do have the ability to pass serious diseases onto humans after a bite. Some people develop allergic reactions to tick bites as well.

That is why having the best natural tick repellents available is essential. You will give yourself, your family, and your pets a better advantage against this tiny insect.

How to Repel Ticks Naturally

The first step to keep ticks away is to plant herbs and plants in your garden and flower beds that serve as natural repellents. Many of the same plants will repel spiders and mosquitoes as well as ticks.

Here is a short list of insect repelling plants:

  • Lavender.
  • Rosemary.
  • Rose Geranium.
  • Sweetgrass.
  • Citronella.

If you do not have a yard, you may consider putting any or all of these plants in pots on a patio or balcony. When out in the “wild” you can use a mixture of essential oils from these plants applied to your clothing and or skin to create a barrier between you and any insect that may consider you a snack.  When placed on the skin according to manufacturer’s directions, ticks will keep their distance. Sweetgrass and rose geranium are the most effective essential oils for this purpose.

Another option to consider is to bring in tick predators that will eat the insects for you before they get the chance to bite. Chickens love to eat ticks, as do certain guinea fowl and ducks.

For those who live with opossums, it should be noted that a single possum can kill over 5,000 ticks in a single season.

People who eat garlic are also at a lower risk of receiving a tick bite when compared to the general population. Taking a daily garlic capsule may reduce your chances of a tick bite by more than 20%.

How to Avoid Tick Bites Outside

The best defense against ticks will always be to avoid them. Even if you are outside, you can reduce your exposure risks by taking some common-sense precautions.

#1. Wear pantyhose underneath your pants to prevent your legs from being bitten.

#2. Avoid walking in areas of high grass whenever possible.

#3. Keep a hat on your head if you are walking through a forested area. If you have long hair, keep it in a tight ponytail, bun, or braid.

#4. Keep your skin covered at all times. Tuck your pants into your socks. Elastic bands on your sleeves are also helpful.

#5. When walking on a trail, stick to the center of the path whenever possible.

#6. Do not sit down on a log. A 5-minute exposure in a tick-infested area increases the risk of a bite by 30%. 

Even if you combine these avoidance techniques with effective natural tick repellents, it is important to inspect your body and clothing when you get back inside. Always check your hair, the back of your knees, your ears, under the arms, and your belly button to ensure you are tick free.