What are the best tick repellents?


Recommended by Dr Horowitz

SPF 30 with Gentle Breeze fragrance.Bugs go away! Bug Guard Plus is effective against mosquitoes, deer ticks, black flies, gnats, no-seeums and biting midges. Nongreasy, moisturizing protection with aloe and vitamin E. Waterproof, SPF 30 formula DOES NOT need to be washed off after use. Dermatologist tested. Hypo-allergenic. DEET-free; PABA-free. Suitable for the entire family.

Most Recommended Sprays for Adults by Consumer Reports

1. Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Fisherman’s Formula 4 oz spray SP544

Product Description: Keep your family safe from outdoor pests with the OFF! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent. This dry insect repellent repels mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, chiggers and gnats. This mosquito repellent, 4 oz, repels mosquitoes that may carry dangerous the West Nile Virus. OFF! Deep Woods Repellent goes on dry and is never greasy or oily.

From consumer Reports: Mild corn-chip aroma mixed with citrus. Slightly oily. Pump spray. Active ingredient is: picaridin 20%. Tests from Consumer Reports found more than 8 hours of protection against Aedes and Culex mosquitoes and deer tick nymphs.

2. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent, 4-Ounce Pump Spray

Product Description: Contains Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus – the only plant based ingredient recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Repels mosquitoes for up to 6-hour. Protects against West Nile Virus. DEET free.

From Consumer Reports: Recommended. Pump spray. Mostly eucalyptus with a hint of lemon. Slightly oily. Active ingredients are: oil of lemon eucalyptus 30% [Approximately 65% p-menthane-3,8-diol]. Our tests found 7 hours of protection against Aedes mosquitoes and deer tick nymphs, and more than 8 hours of protection against Culex mosquitoes.

3. REPEL 15-Percent Deet Scented Family Formula Aerosol Spray, 6.5-Ounce, 1-Pack

Product Description: Repel Scented Family Formula Aerosol Spray contains just 15% DEET in a non-greasy formula that repels mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, biting flies, chiggers & fleas.

From Consumer Reports: CR Best Buy. Aerosol spray. Mostly chemical aroma with some lemon notes. Leaves a thin, dry coating. Active ingredient is: deet 15%. Our tests found 5 hours of protection against Aedes mosquitoes, 8 hours against Culex mosquitoes, and more than 8 hours against deer tick nymphs.

4. Natrapel 8 hour 6oz. Continuous Spray

Product Description: A DEET-free insect repellent. Natrapel 8-hour provides 8+ hours of protection from biting insects and ticks. This effective protection is due to its CDC-recommended 20% Picaridin formula. Picaridin is the only formula that consistently shows equal or better performance than DEET in independent, clinical tests. Even better, Natrapel 8-hour is completely safe on gear and will not melt jackets, fishing line, and other synthetic materials. The 6 oz. continuous spray bottle provides effortless, even application.

From Consumer Reports: Recommended. Aerosol spray. Floral perfumey aroma. Oily. Active ingredient is: picaridin 20%. Our tests found 8 hours of protection against Aedes and Culex mosquitoes and 6 hours against deer tick nymphs.

5. Off! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent VIII

Product Info: About this item Keep your family safe from outdoor pests with the OFF! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent. This dry insect repellent repels mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, chiggers and gnats.. This mosquito repellent, 4 oz, repels mosquitoes that may carry dangerous the West Nile Virus. OFF! Deep Woods Repellent goes on dry and is never greasy or oily.

From Consumer Reports: Recommended. Aerosol spray. A mild aroma that is mostly floral with some fruity notes. Leaves a thin, dry coating. Active ingredient is: deet 25%. Our tests found more than 8 hours of protection against Aedes and Culex mosquitoes and about 5 hours against deer tick nymphs.

For Children Please Read These Articles

Natural Bug Spray for Children

Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Spray SPF 50, 6oz Spray Bottle +
tNatural Insect Repellent 6oz Spray Bottle Combo Pack

Read Parent Reviews Here

  • UVA + UVB protection & water resistant (80 minutes)
  • Non-allergenic formula that is naturally gentle on skin and tear free
  • Pediatrician & Dermatologist tested
  • Broad spectrum SPF 50 protection
  • No: PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles
  • Never tested on animals

All Natural Insect Repellent, Long Lasting Deet Free Bug Spray That’s Safe for Kids. 

Read Parent Reviews Here

  • ALL NATURAL- Pleasantly scented with only the best 100% Natural Ingredients. Includes 5 High Grade Essential Oils and Non GMO Soybean Oil.
  • DEET FREE- A safe alternative for your family and pets. Stay away from DEET! It’s proven to be just about as dangerous to the body as the diseases it’s working to prevent.
  • HIGHLY EFFECTIVE- Long lasting outdoor protection from mosquitoes, fleas, no-see-ums, ticks, gnats, and other flying-biting insects.
  • CONCENTRATED FORMULA- More potent than the other leading insect repellents. Made with 35% Active Ingredients so you can be confident you’re getting the greatest value for your money.

All Terrain Kids Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent Spray

Read Parent’s Reviews Here

  • Natural, DEET-Free insect repellent
  • Clinically proven 100% effective for two hours, 95.8% effective for three
  • Allergy tested, proven non-irritating, for sensitive skin
  • Sweat and water resistant; won’t damage clothing or equipment

Sweetly Citron Natural Bug Repellent DEET-Free 8oz Spray Repel Mosquitoes & Insects – Kids Safe

  • Repels mosquitoes for up to 2-4 hours
  • Pleasant Aroma of Lavender, Lemon, Citronella and Vanilla Extract
  • Protects against West Nile Virus by repelling Mosquitoes, Flies, Ticks and Fleas
  • High Effective & DEET free – Non-harmful to clothing and gear
  • 8 oz Pump Spray Bottle (twice size of other brands)

Burt’S Bees All-Natural Herbal Insect Repellent

Read Parent’s Reviews Here

Our all-natural insect repellent is made with lemongrass, citronella and soybean oils, the safest, most effective ingredients nature has to offer. Safe for children and pets too. pH Balanced No Phthalates No Parabens Biodegradable Formula.

Ticks N All Purpose Insect Repellent, 4 Ounce

Ingredients:Organic Active Ingredients: Organic castor oil 4%; organic soybean oil 3%, organic lemongrass oil 2.3%, organic citronella oil 2%, organic sesame oil 2%, organic peppermint oil 1.7%, organic cedar oil 1.5%, organic rosemary oil 1.5%, organic cinnamon oil 1%, organic thyme oil .8%, organic clove oil .6%, organic geranium oil .07%
Other ingredients: organic coconut oil, organic guar gum, organic citrus extract, purified water…..79.53% s


If you have a favorite brand you use, please leave a comment down below!

Good Information Sources

For Humans

For Pets

Natural Tick Repellent Recipes with Essential Oils

natural tick recipe
BeFunky_tick repellent.jpgtick-repellent


Deet is the most commonly used insect repellent. It protects against mosquitoes and ticks. Deet was selected by the USDA and the US Military as the safest and most economical. It is not to be used on children under two years old.

Please Read:


Permethrin is an insecticide that kills ticks or other insects that come in contact with it. It is not applied directly to the skin. It is applied to clothing or gear. pray applications of permethrin remain effective up several weeks and through several washing.
Please Read:

Essential Oils

Many natural oils can help prevent or repel ticks. Tea Tree Oil, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender, Cedar Oil, Rose Geranium Oil, Rosemary,  and Cajeput are some that work good. The EPA considers these oils safe to use in low dosage but overall their effectiveness is limited to less than 30 minutes so they are not as strong as Deet or Permithrin.

Also See:

Tick Safety and Prevention

Tick Remover Kits

How to Remove a Tick

Understanding Lyme Tests

Lyme Symptoms

Whatis lyme logo

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3 thoughts on “What are the best tick repellents?”

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    1. Dear Bonnie,

      You left a comment on my website saying, “Interesting that I didn’t add the tick spray that Dr Horowitz recommends. Well first of all, the list I have on the website was the repellents tested by Consumer Reports. They weren’t from my personal picks or opinions. http://www.consumerreports.org/products/insect-repellent/recommendations/

      The word “interesting” made it seem like you may have though I intentionally left it off for some reason.. I didn’t. I have all the respect for Dr Horowitz as any Lyme patient would. If you have the name of the spray he recommends, I will be happy to add it. I just searched his website and for “what spray Dr Horowitz recommends” but I couldn’t find it.

      I did have a minor surgery yesterday and anesthesia has messed me up quite a bit so thats about all the energy I have for today so I am just writing you to ask if you know what kind he recommends and if there is a link to his recommendation I can post?

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