Ticks are predators that often go unseen, yet, as horse owners, we know they are a real threat for our equine friends. Because insects do not like the smell, Essential Oils are very helpful at repelling ticks.
Tick repellent for horses can be made easily with a combination of essential oils and distilled water. At a minimum, you will have to spritz your horse daily to repel ticks; however, how much and how often you apply the oils will depend on where you live and the quality of the oil.
Therapeutic grade oils can be applied neat or undiluted most of the time because of their extreme purity. Pure grade or aromatherapy grade oils will require dilution; and it is best to follow the instructions on the bottle prior to use. Keep in mind that the recommended dilutions are for humans; so additional oil may be necessary for horses.
What EOs Do I Use as Tick Repellent?
I recommend a blend of oils that repel insects, boost the immune system, and contain anti-infectious and anti-viral properties as well. This blend can protect your horse if the bite comes from a Lyme tick. Several great oils to use in your blend:
- Geranium Essential Oil ( Pelargonium graveolens ) – Geranium has natural insect repellent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is great for skin conditions, and eases horse fear.
- Palo Santo Essential Oil ( Bursera graveolens ) – Palo Santo has anti-infectious, anti-viral, immune-stimulant and insect repelling properties. Very effective at removing ticks.
- Rosewood Essential Oil ( Aniba rosaeodora ) – Rosewood has antifungal, anti-infectious, and anti-parasitic properties. It is also good for skin conditions, especially those fungal in nature.
- Thyme Essential Oil ( Thymus vulgaris CT thymol ) - Thyme has antifungal, anti-infectious, and anti-viral properties. It is one of the best oils for preventing infection and boosting the immune system, and is used in the Raindrop Technique.
- Myrrh Essential Oil ( Commiphora myrrh ) – Myrrh has anti-infectious, antiseptic and anti-parasitic properties. An essential ingredient in repelling ticks.
- Peppermint ( Mentha piperita ) and juniper ( Juniperus osteosperma/Juniperus scopulorum ) essential oils also have been documented to deter ticks.
How Do I Use EOs for Tick Removal?
To remove a tick, place a drop of oil directly on the tick and wait for the tick to let go. Do not pull the tick off as you do not want it to penetrate any further into the skin. And we want to prevent the tick from transmitting disease, especially if it is a Lyme Tick bite. Palo Santo is the best oil to use for this application. However, peppermint, cinnamon bark ( Cinnamomum verum ), thyme or oregano ( Origanum compactum ) also will work.
What Oils Do I Apply After the Bite?
Regardless if the bite is from a tick carrying Equine Lyme Disease or not, immediately apply anti-infectious, anti-viral and immune stimulating oils such as thyme, oregano, clove or Tea Tree ( Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil). Thieves blend is also recommended (contains clove, lemon, rosemary, cinnamon bark and Eucalyptus radiata ). If you know a practitioner who does Raindrop Technique for Equines, this is also an excellent option.
Will EOs Help My Horse Who Has Equine Lyme Disease?
Absolutely, as mentioned earlier, essential oils are highly antiviral, anti-infectious and boost the immune system naturally. I also would consider doing a series of Raindrop Technique Sessions, as this technique contains highly anti-infectious oils that detox the body at a cellular level, boost the immune system and open up the healing systems of the body.
Nan E. Martin LSH/CRP offers intuitive consulting and therapeutic application of essential oils. Sign up for her free E-Zine at www.experience-essential-oils.com . Contact Nan by phone at (561) 315-6334 or by email via the form on the website. Also visit her on Facebook.
Looking for a Tick Spritz Recipe?
Nan Martin’s website ( www.experience-essential-oils.com ) contains more information on essential oils for horses, a recipe for a Tick Spritz and the Equine Raindrop Technique. Handy reference guide when using essential oils for horses or ourselves.