Top Repellents for Ticks – Guide & Comparison
There are a lot of products to choose from when searching for the best tick repellent and that is because there are multiple choices when it comes to the active ingredients in them. To help you find the repellent for you, knowing that you might be short on time, our team has done the research and we found out that the Sawyer Products Permethrin is the repellent that you should look for. It stands out due to how odorless it is, while still being effective. Furthermore, it doesn’t leave any stains on your clothes, lasting for six weeks. Long-lasting protection is ensured if you apply it on your clothes and you can use it to cover two complete sets of clothes. Sometimes you won’t be able to find our first recommendation and if that is the case, search for the Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin repellent, which is next on our list.
Unlike other repellents containing permethrin, this one has no smell. After you apply it on your clothes it dries very fast, it doesn’t leave stains, and it washes off easily. You can use a single bottle to cover two complete sets of clothes and they will be protected against insects for up to six weeks. It is a safe product that can be used on dogs as well.
It’s dangerous for cats and should be kept as far away from them as possible.
Because it’s applied on clothes rather than skin, it protects you for a long time and it’s safe for you.
This solution will keep your skin protected against insects even if you cover yourself in sunscreen. Its active ingredient is safe for the skin and that is why it’s a recommended product by health organizations. Depending on your preferences, you can choose between a lotion, that lasts longer, or a spray, that is easy to apply.
You need to apply the repellent on every inch of your skin for it to work well.
Coming in two forms, this repellent is safe to use and health organizations recommend it.
It is one of the most efficient ways of keeping your yard protected against bugs because you simply attach it to your garden hose and spray. Being 100% biodegradable, this natural product is great for those looking to be eco-friendly. You don’t have to wait for it to dry and you can stay out in the yard as soon as you apply it.
Insects will come back after a few days and you will need to spray the yard again.
Protecting your yard against insects, this repellent is safe for everybody, including the environment.
11 Best Tick Repellents (Reviews) in 2020
A good tick repellent should be capable of offering you the most protection without irritating your skin. In picking our top choices, we took this into account and we looked at what professional organizations had to say about each of the popular products. We also read what consumers had to say about them. So here are some repellents that we like.
1. Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent
One of the most effective measures you can take against ticks is using a spray that pulverizes permethrin on your clothes. This lasts for a decent amount of time, six weeks, or six washes, more precisely. This is an alternative to pretreated clothing which protects against ticks for an indefinite amount of time.
What is great about this spray is that it provides versatility. You can use it to spray anything including your sneakers or boots that you use when going into the woods. Permethrin is also a substance that sticks well to gloves, pants, shorts or anything like that. So even if you’re just sitting in your garden, you can use it.
However, it’s not great to spray it on your skin. And that is not due to it being toxic, as it is not. But the formula that makes the permethrin breaks easily on one’s skin and will leave you unprotected.
It has the great advantage of being odorless, so you won’t have to constantly feel a bad smell.
The formula is great for keeping the yellow fever mosquito away, an insect that is known for transmitting the Zika virus.
It dries fast and it doesn’t leave any marks on your clothes, and it doesn’t force you to wash them to get rid of the stains.
The capacity of the bottle allows you to use it for 2 complete sets of clothes.
The spray is safe and can be applied to dogs too, protecting them for up to 35 days or 6 washes against ticks, fleas, and mosquitos.
The pump itself is difficult to use, meaning that it sometimes sprays less than you want and you end up spreading the repellant unevenly on your clothes.
The manufacturers should put more emphasis on the fact that the product will seriously harm cats.Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.99)
2. Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin
Because the active ingredient in this product is Picaridin, the repellent is safe to use on the skin by anybody. It can also be used on clothing and it is effective at keeping away a large array of bugs including mosquitoes, gnats, chiggers, ticks, biting flies, sand flies, and midges. The lotion protects you against mosquitos for 14 hours, while the spray does the job for 12 hours.
Protection against ticks lasts for 8 hours in both cases. The main ingredient used in this product is recommended by The World Health Organization and it’s the choice around the world for malaria prophylaxis. It is thus extremely safe. Furthermore, you can even use the lotion with sunscreen on; however, you need a special kind of sunscreen for that.
When you apply the lotion, it lets off a pleasant citrus odor, and that evaporates once it dries.
You can use sunscreen and this lotion on top of it too, so you’ll be protected against the sun and insects too.
Effective against many insects, it’s great against the yellow fever mosquito, which is capable of transmitting the Zika virus.
Many reports and organizations recommend this repellant due to it being safe for the skin and highly effective.
Picaridin evaporates slowly, even more so than DEET, and thus lasts longer and in this case, is also better at keeping pests away than DEET.
You have the choice between lotion, which lasts longer, and spray, which can be used on the skin or clothes too.
It doesn’t offer an “area of protection”, meaning that you will have to apply the lotion on every part of your skin, with great care.
The lotion is very thick and you will thus need to use a lot of it to cover your whole body.Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.31)
3. Wondercide Natural Ready to Use Yard Flea Tick and Mosquito Spray
If you want to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from pests like ticks or fleas, you shouldn’t stop at treating your home, but rather go beyond that and protect your yard too. This ready-to-use tick repellent for yard will help you repel bugs of all kinds while keeping a safe environment for you and your pets.
Although this all natural tick repellent is advertised as good against fleas and ticks, it’s also a great choice to combat bigger bugs such as roaches or ants, flies, and chiggers. Furthermore, the spray doesn’t cause harm to beneficial insects like bees or butterflies. You won’t have to wait for the spray to dry or anything, and it’s safe to play in the area as soon as it has been used.
You can attach the container directly to a garden hose and you won’t need to dilute or mix it. Using no artificial fragrances, colors or chemicals, the product is 100% naturally derived.
Because you can just attach it to a garden hose and start using it, this repellant is easy and fast to use.
If you are looking for an eco-friendly spray, this is the one for you, as it’s entirely made of natural ingredients and it’s 100% biodegradable.
The spray is effective no matter the life cycle of the insects, and it exterminates them whether they are adults, eggs or pupae.
Containing 32 ounces of substance, the spray is able to cover up to 5000 square feet, meaning that you will have enough to cover your whole yard.
You don’t need to wait for it to dry and you can sit or play in your yard moments after you used the spray.
Although capable of covering a large yard, the repellent won’t last for too long and you will have to use it again after some days.Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.99)
4. Ben’s Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent Pump Spray
Having a formula that contains 0.5% Permethrin, this repellent is effective against ticks, mosquitoes, and other such bugs. You can use it to spray your clothes or gear. Unlike other similar repellents, this one kills insects on contact. You don’t have to wait for it to work.
The concentrated formula lasts a good while and can keep you protected for six weeks when applied on your clothes. It bonds well to fabric fibers and that’s why it wears off only after several wash cycles.
This spray bottle has an ergonomic grip and it is thus easy to apply, using one hand only. The bottle also conveniently comes with a small instructions manual stuck to it. With the 24-ounce bottle, you will have enough to spray 4 complete sets of outfits. You can take the spray with you everywhere, be it when you’re hiking, hunting or fishing or when you leave the country.
The fact that this repellent lasts for up to six weeks is certainly a good thing, as you won’t need to constantly spray your gear again and again.
Unlike other products, this one kills insects on contact, allowing you to get rid of them immediately, without running the risk of them escaping.
The bottle containing the spray itself is ergonomically designed and it’s easy to use to spray the repellent on your clothes and gear.
The clothes and gear will dry rather fast and they won’t have any bad smell caused by the repellent.
Containing enough substance to spray four sets of outfits, a single bottle will keep you safe for a long time.
Does great against ticks and mosquitos but other insects such as chiggers don’t seem to be affected by it.
Permethrin is highly toxic to cats and you must make sure you don’t spray anything that these pets can come in contact with.Buy from Amazon.com for ($18.76)
5. Tick Ban Yaya Organics All Natural Extra Strength Tick Repellent
Lead by women who are health-conscious, Yaya Organics is a company that is committed to only offering safe products for the people and the environment. In order to achieve that, it uses natural ingredients exclusively. Some other products claim to be 100% natural but still have some synthetic ingredients. However, that’s not the case with this repellent.
This is an essential oil tick repellent and it uses natural blends to keep the bugs away. It feels like a homemade tick repellent and it isn’t toxic. You can use it on kids or pets as well. The spray is also not greasy and it’ free of DEET and other harsh chemicals. You can use it on your skin or on your clothes; it leaves no stain, wherever you apply it. It also has no bad odor, but rather a smell of herbs.
Compared to other products it has an array of more active ingredients and that is why it’s powerful.
It’s an all-natural product, and if you really like protecting both yourself and nature, it should be the choice for you.
Given that all the active ingredients it has are natural, it’s one of the safest options and you can use it on everyone in your family, including the pets.
It has a nice herbal smell and it contains no chemicals, so it’s not greasy and it’s pleasant for the skin.
The 16-oz economy-sized bottle also has a sprayer that is easy to use, and that’s great for frequent applications.
You can apply it directly on the skin, or on your clothes and it will last just as long, leaving no stains.
The repellent is only made to work against ticks, so if you have issues with mosquitoes or other insects, it won’t work too well. Pharmaceutical or premium products made for pets will work better on them than this product.Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.99)
6. Repel 100 Insect Repellent Pump Spray
When you’re hiking or undergoing outdoor activities, you know that you need a strong repellant that can be reliable in any situation. Fortunately, this product does that, as it’s designed to offer the protection you need for as long as possible. It is a repellant that should keep the ticks and other insects away for 10 hours after you used it.
The 4-oz pump spray is small enough to be carried along with your other equipment. The formula used in making this repellent contains 98.11% DEET, and it has been created to keep away even the most insistent insects.
It works on ticks, but it’s highly effective on mosquitos capable of transmitting the Zika Virus, gnats, chiggers, fleas or biting flies. Recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the repellent is a good choice in heavily infested areas. Furthermore, it’s an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered product.
It is one of the most effective repellents when it comes to keeping mosquitoes away, especially when there are lots of them.
This repellent is great at keeping all kinds of insects away, from mosquitoes to ticks, gnats, chiggers, and fleas.
The compact bottle that comes with a pump spray is ideal for outdoor travel and can be stored with your other equipment.
This is one of the repellents that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be used in highly infested situations.
The formula contains DEET and it’s strong and you don’t need to cover every inch of your skin for it to work.
The bottle isn’t securely closed and it sometimes leaks, particularly if you put it in your luggage upside-down.
The DEET makes it smell bad and the odor resembles the scent of paint thinner, which you won’t really like your skin to smell like.Buy from Amazon.com for ($51.97)
7. Ben’s 30% Deet Insect Repellent Spray
This can be considered a very potent, yet not harsh repellent. The formula is water-based and it only contains 30% DEET but it’s highly effective. It comes with the advantage that it’s easy to apply due to the pump spray format. A bottle is also not that big and it weighs 3.4 ounces, meaning you can take it with you everywhere, including on planes.
You can use it to keep away ticks and it does great against mosquitoes too. Because it’s water-based, it isn’t oily and it feels good on the skin. It is also safe and can be used on the skin of your children.
To cover your skin better, you can spray it on your palm and then spread it on the surface you want to protect. You can even spray your clothes or equipment with it, as it won’t damage them or leave spots and it doesn’t have a bad smell.
It comes in a pack of 3 compact bottles, making it a very efficient purchase and letting you carry it with you anywhere.
This repellent is very effective against ticks and mosquitoes and it will make you feel protected against threats such as the Zika Virus.
If you are looking for a repellent that has no odor and doesn’t feel oily, this is a great choice.
Because it has a pump, it is very easy to apply.
Being based on a water formula, it’s safe to use on the skin and you can use it on your whole family.
It’s really hard to remove it from your skin, and if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like to be covered in substances all day long, it will become annoying.
The repellent doesn’t work great against all the insects and you will still find ants or gnats biting you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($20.07)
8. Coghlan’s Bug Jacket
This is not an insect repellent per se, but rather an alternative to keeping the insects away. This jacket, that also comes with extensions to cover the head and the legs, is made of polyester mesh that has 1150 holes per square inch. This means you can see through it, but no insect can get past it.
Don’t worry, you will still have access to your face, as it comes with a zipper neck. It can be worn by anyone and the sizes only depend on the wearer’s weight. To help you make sure that the risk of an insect getting in is minimized, there are cinch cuffs at the end of the sleeves. It also has a cinched waist, so no bugs can get through there either.
This jacket should make you feel comfortable around flying insects and it does well with keeping ticks away. You can also spray it with a repellent to feel even safer.
It’s lightweight and easy to put on and off, and also the fact that it comes with a zipped hood makes it more comfortable.
You can still feel the air breeze through it and the holes in it are small enough to let the air flow while still protecting against insects.
The jacket can be folded and compacted so that it fits in one of your pockets, allowing you to take it with you where you want.
Coming with cinch sleeves and waist, it won’t allow insects to get under it.
You have the possibility to choose from a variety of sizes and there is a special size for children too.
When the material of the jacket is pressed against your skin, pesky mosquitoes will still manage to poke you through the small holes.
You need to wear a hat of some sort to keep the material out of your face and eyes.Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.47)
9. Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent
This repellent is made to help you no matter how extreme the conditions or the activities you find yourself in are. If you are looking for a DEET-free spray that is based on natural ingredients, this is the one. It will be a good choice for many activities, helping you keep the insects away when you’re in your backyard or when you go hiking.
The repellent will last for many hours and it consists of a formula based on oil from lemon eucalyptus. This is a plant-based ingredient that’s recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because it’s safe and offers good protection. It’s great because it won’t make you feel greasy or sticky.
That is why it’s so nice to have it when you’re going on trips. This is a great alternative for those that want something that doesn’t rely on DEET to keep insects away.
The product is a natural flea and tick repellent and serves as a good choice for those that don’t want to get their skin covered in artificial chemicals.
It gives out a pleasant smell and it will make you feel invigorated and fresh.
Because it is made from natural ingredients, it is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as it offers great protection too.
It’s a highly versatile repellent that can help you against many insects and it excels at keeping the mosquitoes away.
The repellent comes as a spray and, it’s thus, easy to apply and store.
The smell, although pleasing at first, can be too much for certain individuals, especially those who are sensitive to powerful odors.
You have to make sure that you apply it to every inch of your skin and not only spray it on and leave it to dry.Buy from Amazon.com for ($33.48)
10. Ben’s 100% DEET Mosquito Tick and Insect Repellent
Made to be primarily a repellent that keeps away ticks, this one should serve you well for that purpose. However, it’s also good at repelling other insects as well. The fact that it consists of 100% DEET means that it is highly effective and it does great against mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas or flies.
By using this repellent you will be protected against many virus-carrying insects that can transmit the West Nile virus, malaria or the Zika virus. Coming in a pump spray bottle and a compact shape, it allows you to keep it with you at all times and apply it whenever you feel it’s necessary.
It should keep you safe for 10 hours after you have used it. It is safe to be applied on the skin, although you should keep it away from your eyes. You can also apply it on children, but keep in mind that you have to spray your hand first and then apply it on them.
You can apply it on the skin and clothes too, as it’s effective on both of them and also safe for everybody, including the children.
DEET is known as possibly the best ingredient to keep ticks and mosquitoes away and taking into account the high concentration of this ingredient, the repellent should do great against ticks.
You can get it in a pump spray bottle and that means that it’s both compact, easy to store and also easy to use in any place.
Offering you 10 hours of protection, it should cover your skin for enough time while you are out in nature.
It feels very greasy and that is probably due to the DEET concentration in it.
Because it’s oily and it doesn’t dry too fast, many people will have an uncomfortable sensation while wearing it and it may also leave stains on clothes.Buy from Amazon.com for ($8.99)
11. Coleman 100% DEET
Consisting of a formula that contains 100% DEET, this repellent from Coleman can keep every insect away, including ticks, mosquitoes, gnats, flies of all kinds, and fleas.
This will help you with staying safe from dangerous diseases and viruses like the Zika, the West Nile Virus and the Dengue Fever. Ticks are known for carrying the Lyme disease, so it will help you against that too.
You can use this product on your clothes and directly on the skin too, but for maximum protection, you should do both of that. The repellent will work against insects for up to ten hours, in the most extreme conditions. If you are a hunter or a person that’s passionate about sports, you will be pleased to find out that it doesn’t smell.
The substance is so strong that it can get the paint away from certain materials, so be sure to check the precautionary statements on the back.
It is a very effective repellent that contains a formula capable of keeping away almost all bugs, especially ticks and mosquitoes.
Using the Coleman repellent will mean that you will be well protected against all kinds of diseases.
If you are the type of person that likes to get into the most extreme environments, spraying your skin and your clothes will keep you protected for up to 10 hours.
Although so strong, the repellent doesn’t have a strong smell and that is pleasing news when wearing it for so much time.
You don’t want to spray it on you and then touch your phone case or anything made of plastic, rubber or similar materials as it will eat through them.
It’s always difficult to use it and keep your hands and your bag clean as it’s oily and you will have a hard time putting it back in your bag without causing some mess.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.49)
Yearly Guide & Report
Some people don’t have the time to read all the tick repellent reviews and see how each product is rated. Others want to find out how to repel ticks without becoming irritated. The good news is that there are tick repellents capable of offering great protection while still letting you enjoy your day. These are some of the factors that you should pay attention to when buying a tick repellent.
What makes a repellent good or not is the active ingredient that it uses, the quality of that ingredient, and its concentration in the final product. There is a balance to be struck between the effectiveness of a repellent and how safe it is to be used on your skin. It’s important to be able to use a repellent on anybody, no matter the age or health condition.
One of the most used ingredients in tick and insect repellents is DEET. Initially developed to keep the army men protected against the insects of jungles and marshes, DEET has become an efficient way of fighting against insects. However, you don’t really need 100% concentration in your product, as only 15 to 30 percent DEET can work well and still feel safe.
If you use high-concentration repellents that rely on DEET too much, you might get rashes and even disorientation if you use the product a lot. It is also advisable that you don’t use it on babies younger than two months. However, a concentration that is too low means that the product is not effective, and cheap tick repellents that have under 15% concentration should be avoided.
Picaridin is another active component that can be used in repellents and it’s newer than DEET. It has been developed as an alternative for those that think DEET is too strong or that are allergic to it. Although it’s a synthetic mix, the chemical structure is based on a natural compound found in the black pepper plant.
Again, concentration matters when using this ingredient and a repellent that has 20% picaridin is possibly the most effective. The form it comes in is also important. Lotions may be more practical in some cases, but they aren’t as effective as sprays. Despite the fact that picaridin is considered safer, it can still cause harm to your eyes or to sensitive skin.
It’s hard to test every repellent and see which one feels better on your skin. Furthermore, each of them has a different consistency and a different way of being applied. You would ideally want something that’s easy to get out of the bag, easy to apply and which doesn’t leave you all oiled up.
Most times a repellent that comes in the form of a spray is the easiest to apply. But certain bottles have a difficult-to-push stick, or they are too heavy. Even worse, some bottles are drippy and make a mess out of your storage bag.
But what is also important is how the repellent feels on you. Some people complain that DEET is too strong for them and while being covered in the substance they feel irritated and have a burning sensation.
If you don’t like that feeling of being covered in an uncomfortable chemical, you can try picaridin or repellents based on natural ingredients such as oil of lemon eucalyptus. Some repellents, however, are too thick, especially the lotion ones and will cause you to apply too much on certain skin spots.
This will cause you to use more repellent than needed, consuming it faster and also increasing the risk of you suffering from adverse effects. You will need to take the repellent off your skin at the end of the day and for that, you want a product that can be easily cleaned. If you’re looking for the best tick repellent for kids, make sure it’s easy to apply and easy to clean off too.
Things to avoid
You should pay attention to the type of repellent that is advertised as a natural tick repellent for humans. Although some manufacturers may say their repellents contain oils that keep ticks away, they aren’t actually effective. They might claim that they can keep away the insects and viruses, but only the ones made using oil of lemon eucalyptus have an effect.
The others, including those that have high concentrations of lemongrass, rosemary, citronella or cedar don’t work. Also, check for the concentration of the active ingredient in the product. Some repellents claim that they are very effective but they only contain 5 or 10 percent active ingredient, which can’t do the job.
Tick repellents that act as a combination of more products, such as a repellent and a sunscreen, don’t work that well. It’s better if you buy two separate products and use them accordingly. In this case, you should make sure that the repellent can be used in combination with the sunscreen.
The smell is something to consider too, especially if you have a sensitive nose or if you know you will be staying outside all day, working hard on something. Some oils that repel ticks can smell bad as soon as you get them out of the box. A natural tick repellent has a nice odor that is persistent and it’s good for those that like to smell fresh.