Homemade Tick & Mosquito Spray

DIY Tick & Mosquito Spray at lifeyourway.net

The tick population has been out of control at our house this year. The season started early and with a vengeance, and by the time we headed to Florida for our vacation, we were ready for a break from them.

Unfortunately, two-and-a-half weeks without mowing meant that our yard was quite jungle-like when we returned, and that meant that the ticks were even worse than they had been when we left. To the point that we flushed more than 30 ticks in a single day. {shudder}

I had randomly come across a homemade tick spray post on Facebook while we were gone, and a little more Googling identified three essential oils that have bug repellent properties: lemongrass, eucalyptus and peppermint. (Cloves is also high on the list, but I didn’t have any of that on hand, so I decided to stick with what I had.)

I then filled a 2-ounce spray bottle (from the travel toiletries section at Walmart) with water and added 10 drops of each oil. I wasn’t sure how the combo would smell, but thankfully, it smells amazing.

We sprayed the girls down from head to toe and sent them out to play, and for the first time since we’d gotten back we didn’t spend the day pulling off ticks. I did still find two ticks in our 7-year-old’s hair at bedtime, but she has long, thick hair, and I’m really not sure it’s fair to count that as a failure! (We’ve started making sure it’s in a ponytail whenever she goes out, and that helps as well.)

The spray also helps keep the mosquitoes away, which is good since our jungle-like yard also seemed to breed a scary size mosquito while we were gone.

We have found that we need to reapply it every few hours for it to stay effective, and I end up using about 0.5 ounce per application (for all four girls), but that still breaks down to a cost of about $0.60/day (assuming a cost of $6-7/bottle of oil), which is well worth it to us!

DIY Tick & Mosquito Spray at lifeyourway.net


  • 2 ounces of water
  • 10 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 10 drops lemongrass oil
  • 10 drops peppermint oil


Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle.

Spray each person generously. Be sure to have kids close their eyes before spraying their head and face.

Do you have ticks or mosquitoes at your house?

  • Christine Geery

    Does this also work for noseeums(sp) and yellow jackets?

  • Bonnie Stone

    How often would it need re-applied?

    • Diana 98

      Every 2 hours

  • Anita Stunell

    You could try adding these oils to your shampoo & conditioner

  • donasu

    Will this work on your pets?

  • Dena

    Aren’t oils supposed to be in glass bottles? Does it matter?

    • Diana 98

      Using .5 ounces for 4 pint size people every 2 hours, and you will need another batch of spray after the 4th application of 4 kids. I don’t think it will have time to lose the essential oil punch.

    • http://lifeyourway.net/ Mandi @ Life Your Way

      Like Diana mentioned, ours never lasts very long anyway, but from what I’ve read PET plastic is okay; the problem with other plastics is that the EOs *might* eat away at them over time.

  • danuta

    Peppermint is not safe to use under the age of 6, due to the 1,8 cineole content. Rosemary either. Eucalyptus not under 10.