How to Keep Ticks Away

If you want to stay far away from those pesky ticks that inhabit your property, you’re definitely not alone. Ticks are small insects that survive by attaching to animals and consuming their blood. Luckily, there are many actions you can take to keep ticks away from you and your yard. Keep ticks off of your body by wearing full-coverage clothing and spraying your body with a repellent before heading outside. Keep ticks away from your property by landscaping well and by growing tick-repelling plants.


EditKeeping Ticks off of Your Body

  1. Wear full-coverage clothing. When you plan on walking through the woods or spending time in the yard, wear long pants, long socks, long sleeves, and boots. This creates a barrier between ticks and your skin, which reduces the likelihood of them attaching to your skin.[1]
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    • You can still do this in the summertime when it’s warm outside; just wear breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen mixes.
  2. Buy a repellant spray. Purchase a repellent spray such as Sawyer Brand’s Fisherman’s Formula or OFF! Deep Woods. Spray the product all over your body just before going outside in order to effectively repel ticks.[2]
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  3. Make an essential oil repellant spray. Pour 1 cup (236.5 mL) of vinegar into a spray bottle. Add in 10-15 drops of a tick-repelling essential oil, such as cedar, geranium, or lavender, and shake the bottle. Spray the mixture all over your exposed skin and clothing before spending time outside.[3]
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    • As an alternative, put a few drops of a tick-repelling essential oil, such as eucalyptus, onto a lint roller and take it outside with you. Every hour or so, roll the lint roller along the outside of your clothing to capture and immobilize any ticks that are crawling on you.[4]
  4. Check your body and clothing after spending time outside. After you’ve been outside, thoroughly check your body for ticks. If you find any on your clothing, wash your clothes in hot water and dry them on high heat to kill any ticks. Pay especially close attention to your underarms, ears, hair, belly button, and the back of your knees, as ticks often latch onto these parts of the body.[5]
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  5. Bathe immediately after spending time outside. Always bathe within 2 hours of coming inside to wash off any ticks that aren’t attached to you. This will also reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease.[6]
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EditKeeping Ticks off of Your Property

  1. Mow your lawn regularly. Ticks gravitate towards shady spots and areas with tall grass. Cut your grass at least every 2 or 3 weeks during the summertime so that ticks aren’t drawn to your lawn.[7]
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  2. Keep your firewood neatly stacked and in the sunlight. Ticks can often be found in sloppy woodpiles that are shaded. To prevent ticks from coming onto your property and getting into your firewood, stack and organize the wood nicely and neatly. Also make sure the wood is located in the sunniest area possible, as ticks prefer damp, dark areas over dry, bright areas.[8]
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  3. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your lawn. Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that contains fossilized remains of diatoms, which are tiny, aquatic organisms.[9] Diatomaceous earth will dry out ticks and other bugs.[10] Sprinkle some in your yard to kill off the ticks near your home.
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    • Diatomaceous earth must be reapplied after it rains to remain effective.
    • Do not sprinkle diatomaceous earth on a windy day, as this can kill bees and other pollinators in your area.
  4. Plant tick-repelling plants. If you have a garden or a small planter area, try planting a few different types of plants, such as garlic or mint, that tend to repel ticks. Some other plants that may help keep them away include:[11]
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    • Rosemary
    • Sage
    • Fleabane
    • Lemongrass
    • Lavender
  5. Plant deer-repelling plants. Often, ticks get into people’s yards while attached to deer. Plant types of plants that deer don’t like to keep both ticks and deer away. Consider planting:[12]
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    • Thyme
    • Ferns
    • Catmint
    • Aster[13]
  6. Create a gravel or wood chip barrier. Ticks often avoid crossing surfaces made up of wood chips or gravel. To keep them away, create a barrier made of one of these between your lawn and any bordering wooded areas near your property or home.[14]
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  7. Spray your plants with organic pesticides. Make a natural pesticide spray at home and spray it all over the plants in your yard that don’t naturally repel ticks.
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    • Mince 4 cloves of garlic and combine them with a tablespoon of mineral oil (14.8 mL).
    • Strain out the garlic and combine the remaining liquid with 1 teaspoon (4.9 mL) of dish soap and 2 cups (273 mL) of water.
    • When you’re ready to spray your plants, fill a spray bottle with 2 cups (273 mL) of water and 2 tablespoons (29.6 mL) of the mixture.[15]
  8. Hire a pest control company. If you live somewhere where ticks are really prevalent and/or you just want someone else to handle the issue, call a pest control company. They can spray your yard, around the outside of your home, and even the trees on your property in order to help keep the tick population in check.[16]
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  9. Raise some poultry. Free-ranging guineas, chickens, and ducks will eat any and all ticks in their living space. If you can raise some of these animals in your yard, they’ll be able to help keep the tick population down around your home.[17]
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  • To keep your pets from bringing ticks into your living space, put a tick collar on them, wash them with a tick shampoo, or give them a tick medication on a regular basis.

EditSources and Citations

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