This post will take a look at natural flea and tick repellent products that are for sale on the web. Products which have ingredients from plants that are naturally repelling to insects. We will do a comparison of three products and see how they stack up. Things are starting to warm up so this could be a timely post to get you protected without nasty chemicals.
Our Enemies – How and Where They Attack Us
There are many types of tick species. Of these a select few, bite and transmit disease. The Deer Tick is probably best known because of its connection to Lyme Disease. The CDC centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a nice map on their website that allows you to determine what ticks might live in your area.
Some ticks are also displayed with pictures and the disease that they transmit. Deer ticks are not on this page but very thorough info about them can be found on Tickborne Diseases of the United States page.
Most ticks go through four life stages, egg, 6 leg larvae, 8 leg nymph and adult. After hatching from eggs, they must eat blood at every stage to survive. Ticks can take up to three years to complete this life cycle.
Ticks identify their hosts by breath and body odor, sensing body heat, motion and vibrations. These insects cannot jump or fly so they wait on the tips of grass or bushes along well-used paths in a position known as “questing”. During questing, ticks hold on to the grass or bush with their bottom legs while holding two upper legs outstretched. When a host brushes by, they quickly climb aboard and search for a place to attach. Ticks can feed on mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Fleas get on to their hosts by similar fashion. They cannot fly but they can jump many times longer than their body length. They can jump from our pets to us. Pets walking through tall grass can have fleas get on to them as they brush through. The fleas can jump on to them as they pass by.
Fleas like to feed on the blood of mammals. The females require a blood meal to lay their eggs.
Our Weapons – What works naturally
- Cedarwood Oil – Cedar oil is non-toxic and natural. It cannot only be used for repelling ticks but it also kills them. On contact cedarwood oil can dissolve bugs in their early stages, suffocate them and dehydrate them. It interferes with their pheromones causing disorientation and repelling them.
- Eucalyptus Oil – Eucalyptus Oil has a strong camphor, citrus like smell. It is antiseptic against a variety of bacteria. It repels ticks by disrupting their ability to smell their victims. Eucalyptus Oil will kill fleas and ticks.
- Lemongrass Oil – Lemongrass is an effective tick repellent and killer that is safe to use in soaps, shampoos and lotions.
- Peppermint Oil – Peppermint Oil is another essential oil that works well as a pest repellent and killer with a nice aroma.
- Neem Oil – Neem oil is a natural tick repellent that is also useful to be used in removing ticks.
- Citronella – Citronella has been used for many years as an insect repellent. It is made from the distillation of an Asian grass plant.
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil – Some research suggests that a 30% preparation of OLE can be as effective as DEET in preventing tick and mosquito bites.
Let’s compare Three top selling natural ingredient based products
For the sake of time I decided to search out three of the natural ingredient top sellers and see how thy compare. I am choosing only products that are made with natural ingredients for this comparison. These products will be reviewed in alphabetical order.
Mineral Oil, Silica Hydrate
Strong cedar fragrance
Works great at repelling ticks and fleas.
A little more affordable at 39.99 USD / 32 fl. oz.
Good for use on pets over 20 lbs.
Also, works on Dust Mites
Heavy cedar smell
Smaller bottles just as pricey as the other manufacturers
Not recommended for cats
A product based principally on cedarwood oil. Cedarwood oil is time proven in repelling and killing insects. Cedarwood oil kills pests in many ways, so it works very well. Some say the fragrance is nice, others cannot stand it. This is not unusual in these type of products. Cedarcide kills a wide variety of insects. Most seem to agree as to its good effectiveness.
Nantucket Spider Extra Strength
organic, steam-distilled essential oils of
clove, geranium, peppermint, cedarwood, spearmint, rosemary and cinnamon
Distilled water, vegetable glycerin and natural vanillin
Strong Vanilla spice scent
Repels multiple insects
Gentle mist spray, Good for sensitive skin
100% satisfaction guaranteed
Not for use on pets
A bit pricey at 13.90 USD/ 8 fl. oz.
Fragrance has been described as strong
Some sprayer mechanical issues
This product uses a blend of cedarwood oil, geranium and other essential oils. The scent has been described as strong but pleasant. This manufacturer seems to have strove to keep this material as natural and environmentally friendly as possible with organic and non-GMO essential oils. Majority seems to agree it is effective for ticks.
Yaya Tick Ban
certified organic and non-gmo soybean oil, castor oil
Natural oils of cedarwood, peppermint, rosemary, geranium, lemongrass, and thyme.
Pine-like woodsy scent
Use on people and large pets
Relatively pleasant smell
Works on multiple pests
16 oz. sprays upside down
On the pricey side at 27.99 USD / 16 fl. oz.
Odor described as strong by some
some sprayer mechanical issues
This product uses a blend of cedarwood oil and essential oils and comes with a 100% money back guarantee. The fragrance is described as pleasant by quite a few reviewers and it also seems effective at keeping mosquitoes away. Some seem to take issue with the quality of the spray bottle itself. Many seem to agree it is effective for ticks.
Natural vs. Chemical
It seems as if most folks feel that the natural ingredient insect repellents do not quite stack up to their chemical based counterparts. The CDC recommends using products containing 0.5% permethrin on clothing and gear. They also recommend that you Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
Although products containing Lemon Eucalyptus Oil are touted by the CDC, I could not find many products that were not marketed for other than mosquito repellent. For that reason I did not include any products containing this ingredient.
If you have any experience with any of these products, you would like to share, or would like more information please do so by using the comment boxes below. As always, I would love to hear your opinions on these subjects.