How to Kill Ticks with Cedar Oil (2023)

We have SERIOUS insect problems where I live. Here’s my location on a map of the US showing Lyme disease cases:

How to Kill Ticks with Cedar Oil (1)

My hometown has one of the highest rates of Lyme-carrying ticks in the state. To make matters worse, I live directly adjacent to wetlands. Our town’s newspaper is called The Mosquito:

How to Kill Ticks with Cedar Oil (2)

All this is to show you my street cred when it comes to doing mortal battle with disease-carrying insects…

What I’ve learned is that one of the best weapons in my arsenal is…cedar oil.

What Is Cedar Oil?

Cedar oilis an essential oil derived from conifer trees (trees that bear cones and needle-like leaves) of the pine or cypress families.

It has many applications including medical and industrialuses, but is also commonly used in perfumes, aromatherapy and in pest control. Turpentine is derived from the resins of live conifer trees.

It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and is considered safe enough by the FDA (Food & Drug Admin) to be used as a food preservative. The ancient Egyptians even used it in their embalming practices because it kept away insects.

What Do Cedar Oils Do?

Cedar oil controls different insectsin different ways.It isknown to be toxic to fleas, ticks and mosquitoesspecifically, which are the common pests we’d love to get rid of. However, many a pesky insect beyond ticks are turned away by the natural effluvium of cedar. Another perk is that it’s completely non-toxic to humans and pets and for me, has a woodsy aroma that I’ve come to consider a sign of summer.

How Do I Use Cedar Oil as a Natural Tick Repellent?

There are a number of ways to deploycedar oil sprayto protect your yard from insects. We live in an area that is completely infested with ticks and mosquitoes and I’ve tried many methods to reduce them. I’ve settled on a set of strategies that includeselements of landscape design,tick tubesand spraying.

Until we added this oil to our arsenal, everything else seemed only modestly effective. This is just my personal assessment, but I think it was the single largest factor in our ability to control the ticks. Before we started using it there were many tick bites, now it’s extremely rare that anyone gets bitten in our yard.

We use it in mainly two ways: as a lawn/yard treatment and sprayed directly on our clothing and/or bodies.

How to Kill Ticks in Your Yard

There are a few common ways to use cedar for killing and repelling ticks and other insects. You can buycedar mulchor pellets that you spread on your yard, which is a fairly durable solution that doesn’t need to be repeated that often. That solution works for various bugs but it is NOT intended to repel or kill ticks specifically, and it says so on the bag.

The main method we use is spraying. Every two to three weeks, we spray the entire yard where the kids play and the surrounding areas and structures, from the ground up to about 5 feet high on any structures.

How to Kill Ticks with Cedar Oil (3)

Cedarcide makes a hose-end sprayer bottle called Yard Safethat requires no adjustments at all to get the right concentration. Just attach to the hose and start spraying. This product is a natural tick repellent for yard use specifically.

Here’s a view of the front, you can see that it has a wide spray pattern and a shut off valve to make it easy to use on the hose.

I use this one when doing extra treatments for ticks only (as opposed to mosquitoes and other bugs, though it repels/kills them too).

However, it’s been a while since I bought YardSafe because it’s only slightly less convenient and cheaper to buytheir PCO Choice product.

How to Kill Ticks with Cedar Oil (4)

If you’re using it for fleas and ticks it’s still a bit cheaper, and if you move up to the next size it becomes substantially cheaper again on a square foot coverage basis.

A quart of PCO Choicecomes with a hose-end sprayer with marks on the bottle to make it easy to mix.

I spray a broader area when treating for other insects like mosquitoes and I addgarlic oilfor that because it’s a relatively inexpensive addition and mosquitoes hate it. The hose end sprayerhas a good capacity and you can use it for any spraying needs, so it beats buying a similar sprayer for $10-$20.

I typically do the entire yard spraying withgarlic oilmixed in as well for extra mosquito repellent. I combine with the Dr. Ben’s and do it all at once using thehose-end sprayeryou see below. Works great.

Tick Repellent Clothing​

It is possible to buy clothing that is pre-treated withpermethrin. Permethrin has a low mammalian toxicity but it is a synthetic toxin nonetheless, and thewarnings on the bottlelook very different than what you see below.

How to Kill Ticks with Cedar Oil (6)

Instead of buying dedicated, toxic clothes, we prefer to just spray our clothes with Cedarcide Tickshield Tactical.

Below is the full product description from the back of the bottle. There’s not much in it actually. In terms of active ingredients, it’s justcedarwood oil. And inactive ingredients? Just hydrated silica. That’s it.

How to Kill Ticks with Cedar Oil (7)

Dr. Ben’s sellspersonal size spray bottlesbut we usually buy thequart-sized containersabove, which are great for spraying down clothing.

We also pour it into smaller spray bottles like the homemade version below, which are perfect for cars, purses, etc. We keep a number of them throughout the house.

Before going out into the yard we spray down all our clothing and, to a lesser extent, our skin with the Evictor.

Do this outside because while it doesn’t smell bad, you don’t necessarily want your house to smell that woodsy. We’ll repeat that process every few hours if we’re out for a long time.

Where Can I Buy Cedar Oil?

If you want to know where to purchase cedar oil and/or want to see the complete line of products, head over to theCedarcide store.

They have a wide array of products, from products for humans like we’re discussing here to products for cats, dogs, livestock and even household products like detergents and cleaners. You can also dip your toe in the water with a tiny personal bottle or go whole hog and buy gallon jugs to dowse your whole property.

How Does Cedar Oil Work?

A common question from readers is “how does cedar oil kill ticks, fleas, bed bugs and other insects?” It kills insects in 6 different ways:

  1. ​Dehydrates
  2. Encapsulation and/or emulsification of body fats
  3. Pheromonal interference
  4. Neutralization of bodily fluids
  5. Inhibitsbreathing
  6. Dissolves insect larvae

Reader Questions

  • Q: What insects does cedar oil kill?

A: The list of insect itdoesn’tkill is probably shorter than the list itdoeskill. Here’s the list of pests that I know it kills, either from personal experience or manufacturer claims:

  • Ticks
  • Fleas
  • Mosquitoes
  • Chiggers
  • Moths
  • Spiders
  • Scorpions
  • Stink Bugs
  • Powder Post Beetles
  • Roaches
  • Carpet Beetles
  • Box Elder Bugs
  • I've also personally noticed that using cedar oil repels most flying insects. Certain large pests like horse flies seem to be less repelled by it than smaller flies, but it's a potent repellent of most insects.
  • Q: Is cedar oil a pesticide (kills on contact) or a repellent?

A: Both. In its liquid form is a contact killer of most insects. Once it has dried, it becomes a potent natural repellent.

  • Q: Are cedar oil and cedarwood oil the same?

A: Yes.Cedarwood oilis typically used to describe the essential oil for use in aromatherapy and home remedies used on humans whereascedar oiltypically describes the oil used as a pesticide. But they are the same oil, derived from the same trees.

  • Q: Does cedar oil kill beneficial insects like bees?

A: No. The ability to kill many pests without harming bees an other beneficial insects isTHEkey property of it, and the one that makes it superior to chemical pesticides in my opinion.

  • Q: What does cedar oil smell like?

A: As you’d imagine, it smells like cedar. Ever smell a cedar box or a closet made of cedar? It’s like that only more potent.

  • Q: What species of cedar is used to make cedar oil?

A: Cedarcide uses Texas cedar (Juniperus ashei).

How to Kill Ticks with Cedar Oil (8)

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated: 02/23/2023

Views: 5476

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.