Oil of Rosemary As a Tick Repellent

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Rosemary oil can repel insects, including ticks.
Rosemary oil can repel insects, including ticks. (Image: rosemary flowers image by Karin Lau from Fotolia.com)

Used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to flavor food and as a medicinal herb, rosemary has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Crushing rosemary's small leaves releases the oil inside the plant, which smells strongly herbal. You can use oil of rosemary in your home as a tick repellent.

Oil of Rosemary

You can purchase oil of rosemary from health food stores and those specializing in aromatherapy. There is no standard for rosemary oil, so the concentration can vary every time you purchase it. If you would like to create oil of rosemary on your own, chop a bunch of fresh rosemary leaves. Pour a cup on nearly boiling water over the leaves, then let the mixture sit for several hours. Strain the liquid into a container for a dilute mixture of rosemary oil and water.

Pets

Oil of rosemary works as a tick repellent for pets. Undiluted oil can cause contact dermatitis, so do not apply it directly to a pet's skin. Spray your pet's bedding with the dilute mixture of oil and water to protect it where it sleeps. Create an herbal tick repellent collar by purchasing a fabric collar. Place a few drops of rosemary oil on the collar every week or so. The scent will repel ticks and refreshing it will keep it working well.

Home

Oil of rosemary can help keep ticks away from your home. When cleaning, add a few drops of the oil to the water use for mopping to deter ticks from crossing your floors. Create the dilute mixture of rosemary oil and water, then spray it in doorways and across windowsills to stop ticks from entering your home. Spray the mixture on your patio or outdoor furniture. You can place a few drops of undiluted oil on cloth-covered outside furniture to keep ticks away when you are outside.

Considerations

Oil of rosemary does not just repel ticks; it also deters flies, aphids and mites. While oil of rosemary is a tick repellent, it is not the most effective one available. Rose geranium and palmarosa essential oils repel ticks better. You can combine them with oil of rosemary to provide better protection for your pets and your home.

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References

  • "Home Enlightenment"; Annie B. Bond; 2005
  • "The Encyclopedia of Herbs"; Arthur O. Tucker, Thomas DeBaggio; 2003
  • "What Can I Do with My Herbs?"; Judy Barrett; 2009
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