Does Citronella Repel Ticks?
We all love spending time outdoors with our family and pets, but we do not like the possibility of becoming prey to a tick. Most people know that ticks are carriers of some serious diseases, including Lyme disease.
That is why it is important to keep them away from ourselves and our pets. Fortunately, citronella and other natural herbs offer repellent solutions that do not involve harmful chemicals.
How to Use Citronella to Repel Ticks
Many sprays on the market contain citronella in various quantities. It is important to read the label and understand how much citronella is in your purchase product. Some people also do not realize that the ‘citronella’ geranium is not the same plant from which the essential oils are made.
Both plants contain some citronella oil, but citronella grass contains more and produces the essential oils. One way to use citronella oil to repel ticks around your home is to soak cotton balls in the essential oil and place them throughout the yard in the area where people and pets will be. You can also spray diluted citronella oil on your socks and clothing before you go hiking to keep them away.
What Smells Do Ticks Hate?
Citronella does a good job of repelling ticks, but there are several other natural tick repellents that work. You can use them either alone or with citronella oil and other essential oils. Here are some of the ones that work to repel ticks.
- Garlic oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Cedar oil
- Peppermint oil
- Thyme oil
Does Citronella Repel Ticks on Dogs and Cats?
You can use tick spray containing citronella on most dogs, but some are sensitive. Signs of sensitivity can include a rash, itching, and other signs of distress. If you see these signs immediately after spraying your dog with essential oils or citronella spray, then you should wash the product off and discontinue use. If you have any concerns, your veterinarian is always your best source of information.
Citronella spray can be used safely on most dogs, but you should never use it on cats. Citronella contains phenols and ketones that can cause cats’ liver failure and neurological problems. They cannot process it in their liver, and it causes liver damage. Other essential oils that are toxic to cats include:
- Bay Leaf
- Cedar leaf
Citronella does a good job of repelling ticks, gnats, ants, wasps, bees, roaches, fleas, moths, flies, and other biting insects on dogs and humans. You should always use it with caution and watch for any signs of discomfort after applying it to your dog. Like many essential oils, it dissipates and loses potency after a few hours. This means that it needs to be reapplied about every two hours.
Citronella Tick Repellent Spray Recipe
It is not recommended that you use straight citronella essential oil on your dog or yourself. You should always use it in a diluted form.
You can easily make your own citronella spray at home, and then you know exactly how much citronella oil is in it. First, you need to get an 8-ounce spray bottle. Place 15 drops of the citronella oil in the bottle, and fill the rest with water. Shake it vigorously, and you can use it on your clothing and your dogs.
Finding the Right Citronella Spray
It is easy to make your own citronella spray using only citronella essential oil and water. You can also find many products in stores and online that claim to contain citronella oil and repel fleas and ticks, but do they work? The answer depends on several factors.
The first factor is how much citronella oil they contain. You will need to read the label to determine the percentage of citronella oil in the product. Those that do not contain sufficient amounts will not do a good job of repelling ticks.
Many citronella oils contain stabilizers that prevent the essential oil from quickly dissipating. This can make them last longer on your pet and increase the amount of time before you need to reapply it. If you buy a high-quality product that contains a sufficient amount of citronella oil to repel ticks, then there is a good chance they will work.
One thing to consider is that many of these products do not contain a single essential oil and are a mixture of essential oils and synthetic ingredients. It is always a good idea to read the label and know what is in the product before putting it on your pet or yourself. You should never use citronella oil-containing products on your pet that are not specifically designed for that use.
Citronella oil repels ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and many other types of flying insects. It is easy to make your own essential oil spray, or you can find a reliable product online. The good news is that you and your pet can enjoy an afternoon in the outdoors without the worry of attracting ticks and other insects.