Last Modified on Sep 06, 2013
Have you or your pet been bitten by a tick? Anyone walking through woods, fields, or even your own backyard can be bitten by a tick and later find the parasite embedded in your skin. Fortunately, a few natural home remedies can help you to remove the tick without causing a further infection or pain.
CAUTION: With any tick bite, you need to be cautious that the tick was not infected with Lyme Disease. Watch for the characteristic bullseye appearance of the wound site to develop. If it does, seek immediate treatment.
The basic tick removal option is to gently pull the body of the tick out with a pair of tweezers applied as near to the skin as possible. But you need to be careful not to leave the tick's head beneath the skin, as this will increase the risk of infection, and TICKS TRANSMIT A NUMBER OF DISEASES.
Natural Cures: Since the tick breathes out of its backside, coating it in oil may encourage it to back itself out of the skin on its own.
Apple Cider Vinegar
[YEA] 08/27/2013: Pris from Nevada: "Apple cider vinegar in water drunk several times a day will repel ticks, and other flying insects. A spray of white vinegar on the bare skin also helps along with the internal dose of ACV. It also works on cats... In their water, and on their coats.... Just a few drops in the water and/or some applied to the hands and rubbed on their sides which they will ingest when washing themselves. Also repels ear mites."
Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide
[YEA] 07/10/2008: Margaret from Tallahassee, Florida: "Severe Tick Bite which has lasted nearly 6 months. I have tried everything in the world and nothing worked. It itched, I would scratch it open, it was infected, just awful. It drove me nuts. I decided to try a half and half solution of ACV and Hydrogen Peroxide and dabbed this on the area several times a day with a cue tip. Within 4 days this tick bite has finally healed. Love this site and thought I would share this. Believe this would work for any skin infection."Replies
07/11/2008: Laura from Guilford, CT replies: "To Margaret from Tallahassee, FL: You mentioned that you had a tick bite that wouldn't heal for six months...you REALLY should get checked for Lyme Disease. It often tests negative, so if after testing negative you start getting arthritis symptoms, pain in joints, lethargy, mind fog, inability to move, get tested again. It is debilitating to the extent of paralysis and death."
Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric
[YEA] 06/10/2013: Mama To Many from Middle, Tennessee, Usa: "Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric for Tick Bites: My 5 year old son and I both react badly to tick bites. Last summer, my bites took 4-6 months to heal. It was frustrating and very itchy! The bites on my son swell up and they must think he is delicous as he gets so many bites. (He eats the same as his siblings but they don't get nearly so many bites and don't react so badly either! ) Anyway, I have been treating our bites this spring twice daily with different things with not much relief. Then I started to use raw organic Apple Cider Vinegar topically on the bites, twice a day or more often if the itch returned. Not only does it relieve the itch for hours, it also seems to speed healing. I had my son start on turmeric (about 1/2 t. Per day) and that really ramped up the healing for him. I am taking about 1 t. myself now, too. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, so I guess that is why it is helping. This is a cheap and easy solution to an irritating problem!"Replies
08/06/2013: Mikelx1973 from Biloxi replies: "I had the same problem with the tick bite that wouldn't heal. I saw a dermatologist and she recommended Cordran Tape, which is prescribed. It's like scotch tape with medicine. My bites healed within a week and have not returned. Hope this helps."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 06/01/2008: Sharon from South Hadley, MA: "I just got my June/July issue of Mother Earth News and in their reader-reported tips section, someone wrote in about an old-time remedy for ticks. Apparently if you drink a quart of buttermilk every day the ticks will leave you alone. The change in smell of perspiration repels them. Not sure how anyone would manage a quart of buttermilk a day, but perhaps a lesser amount would work. Maybe this is an effective remedy for the doggies in our lives too. Thought I would mention it for the folks in the Lyme disease areas."
[YEA] 07/22/2009: Teresa from New Madrid, MO: "Tick bite: I was having severe pains shoot through my chest area, thinking I might be coming down with pneumonia, and after two weeks found a small tick embedded in the skin. I removed it with tweezers, and started taking ____ Silver immediately; 3 teaspoons a day for 14 days. The pain began to go away within a couple days and that was about 2 1/2 months ago. No more pain."
[YEA] 09/05/2010: Robert Henry from Ten Mile, Tn Usa: "HI U GOOD FOLKS DOIN, , , , , , , , ,
Ticks are bad this summer at our farm even though I have Guineas , which are supposed to rid you of this parasite. We use DMSO for some of our ailments and I had a brain storm. This is one of the most powerful solvents known. When I find a tick, I no longer try to pull it out of my hide. I just cover it with DMSO and it is dead within a few minutes and you can just roll it off. I buy DMSO gel from the Doctor in Oregon who did all the initial research, but you can buy it at any Farm Co-op. If it works on million dollar horses, it will work on you. ATS."Replies
09/06/2010: Kim from Ontario, Ca replies: "So will DMSO kill lice? And can I put it on my head? Is it safe for the hair? I just cannot get rid of these bugs! I am so sick and tired and PARANOID! Please help!!!!"
02/26/2011: Colleen from East London, South Africa replies: "Greetings! Have dreadful problem with tiny ticks in the garden and they attack us humans. They are so small they cannot be seen with the naked eye unless they have fed on us, then they are a tiny blackish dot, and can only be seen with a magnifing glass! Think they are still at the larvae stage. Have taken note of your remedies - please explain what DMSO stands for. Not heard of it here in South Africa. Greatly appreciate a reply. Many thanks in advance."
06/30/2011: Tracy from San Augustine, Texas, Usa replies: "DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide) is sold as a solvent. It was originally discovered as an extract of the wood pulp industry. It does come with some safety warnings. It may cause skin irritation. Avoid contact with eyes & flush with water immediately if there is contact with any sensitive areas. These days, you can usually find it at farm feed stores as a topical solution for horses & other animals in cases of sore muscles & joints. It is often mixed with aloe vera gel or liquid, which has been found to alleviate & minimize any burning or itching sensations on the skin.
I purchase the pure 99.9% DMSO (70% DMSO/30% Distilled Water) for use. It absorbs into the skin & below the epidermis which makes it useful for transdermal use as a carrier for other substances. For instance, white willow bark extract, a natural analgesic can be combined with DMSO & rubbed into sore & arthrithic joints to help alleviate pain. DMSO is claimed to do this on its own due to its sulfur properties. MSM, a currently popular supplement used alone & in conjunction with other joint supplements, is a chemical cousin of DMSO. DMSO can stain or mar clothing, being a solvent. But you could use it alone or combined with certain herbal extracts as a spray deterent to insects by spraying it on pants' legs or shirt sleeves. Make sure to keep DMSO in a cool, dark place & be careful about contaminating it with other substances. I use a sterilized glass dropper to extract what I need from the glass bottle it comes in. Keep pure DMSO in a dark glass bottle (no plastic)."
08/19/2012: Lewis from South Eastern, Oklahoma, USA replies: "for lice: our successful experience at ridding our adopted 2 yr old with extremely thick hair; infested, & seriously infested, with lice. when we got him, the chemicals had already been used on him twice w/ no success & we didn't want him to be exposed to them again.
once a day, completely smothered hair and scalp with strong and slippery conditioner (we used the common horse conditioner), let set 5-10 minutes, then combed extensivley with fine comb & wiped comb in paper towel (& burned:) repeated for a few days until no knits (eggs) or bugs were seen.
this works by 2 different ways that we know of: 1)suffocates the insect & 2)inhibits the knit & insect from being able to attach/hold on to hair or scalp."
12/29/2012: David from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Tracy writing above about DMSO is right. I use it as a solvent/carrier usually with colloidal silver. I use the CS 5 to 1... CS to DMSO. Just a little DMSO will carry the silver topically into the skin to kill virus/fungal and bacterial infections. Eg. Bells Palsey. Using a white paper towel soaked with the CS/DMSO apply to cheek and press for fifteen minutes. Do this three or four times in a week.
On the tick issue, the DMSO could be added with anything (Epsom salts; Borax, Hydrogen Peroxide, Cedarcide) to carry into the scalp and kill eggs. By the way, you can find cedarcide on the internet. It's made from the cedar tree and is instant death for flea infestation for instance."
[YEA] 06/17/2012: Robin from North Fl, Fl: "for Tick bites here in north FL we put a paste of epsom salts mixed w/ water on the bite. It helps w/ the itching and reduces the redness. Apply as frequently as you like. it drys the skin but will bleach clothing."
[YEA] 04/19/2013: Mama To Many from Middle, Tennessee, Usa: "My four year old reacts badly to insect bites and we are surrounded by tick infested woods! He had a very bad reaction to a tick bite on the inside of his upper thigh. Under the bite there was a hard knot that was jelly bean size. The lymph nodes nearby were swollen and redness extended in a circle around the bit and down his leg for six inches. I alternated organic peppermint essential oil and organic lavender essential oil neat (not diluted) every couple of hours the first day. It was hugely improved by the next day. I continued several times a day for another day. Now it is about gone and the gland swelling is reducing and I am treating it morning and night. I am giving him garlic throughout the day for a natural antibiotic just in case and will continue that for two weeks and maybe all through tick season.
Cedar essential oil and geranium essential oil, mixed with other oil is a good tick repellent. Last summer I put 2 cups of water and 20 drops of geranium in a spray bottle. We would spray children before they went outside. (It won't last all day, unfortunately. ) It really helped. My son sprayed his body and upper legs but not his shoes and socks. He stepped into a deer tick nest and had 100 ticks crawling all over his legs, but none went up past the sock line.
Thyme essential oil will kill a tick that is on you. One drop. (Lavender is safer, but slower for small children since thyme is very strong.)
Last summer my teenage son had a whole bunch (maybe 30?) of tick bites on a leg (he didn't spray! ) They became pimple like with white heads and the leg was red. I used charcoal poultices and chamomile poultices on the leg and it helped very quickly. I would mix either with warm water and wrap in a paper towel or cloth and attach to the leg with plastic wrap and then masking tape. I would use charcoal on the leg overnight. This worked very well to heal the leg."
[YEA] 04/21/2013: Stephanie from Nimbin, Nsw: "In Australia, there is scabies cream Lyclear sold at chemists made out of pyrethrum daisy. Tiny amount just to cover the tick kills small ticks almost instantly. No need to pull them out, they go soft and you can gently scrape them out. I would not recomend it for big ticks as it takes few minutes and in meantime they may inject more poison. For those I find that using my fingers to grab them and pull them out is easier and better than tweezers because if I do not get them out on a first go they get irritated and inject more poison. There is also less possibility that the head snaps off and stays in. Also I can reach areas e.g., back where I cannot see and I could not use tweezers (useful if you happen to be on your own). When I work in infested areas, afterwards I can also check these areas with my hands. I also find that essential oils do not kill big ticks quick enough. Pyrethrum is toxic in bigger amounts, if you get tick bites very frequently you would need to check about toxicity."