Natural Tick Repellent for Horses

If your horse is out on pasture, or ridden through long grass and bushes, chances are they’ll be exposed to ticks. More than just a nuisance, ticks can spread disease, cause skin irritations, and in rare cases sometimes even paralysis.

While store-bought insecticides have their place in highly infested areas during spring and summer, for daily use I prefer a simpler (and less expensive) approach.

Geranium Oil is my favorite solution for natural tick repellent for horses.

Natural Tick Spray for Horses

What is Geranium Oil?

Geranium Oil (also known as Rose Geranium Oil) is extracted through steam distillation of stems and leaves of the geranium plant. It’s nontoxic, nonirritating and usually non-sensitizing.

The therapeutic properties include being an antidepressant, antiseptic, and it also happens to be an excellent insect repellent. A 2013 study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that rose geranium oil repels ticks with up to 90 percent effectiveness.

As an added bonus, it’s soothing on bug bites, and can help speed the healing process. With a fragrance that’s both fruity and earthy, it’s a great alternative to DEET based deterrents.

Important: There are two types of Geranium Oil, and for the maximum benefits you should choose a high quality essential oil with the botanical name “Pelargonium capitatum x radens”. I recommend this brand that’s available on Amazon (for under $10!).

How to Use Geranium Oil

I rarely use essential oils undiluted on skin (for horses or humans) but I do like to apply it directly to everything else!

You can add a few drops on your horse’s fly sheet, fly mask, turnout boots, halter, fly bonnet or any other tack to give them added protection.

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For best results you should reapply daily, or when the scent dissipates.

For all-over coverage I make this easy homemade tick spray using Geranium Oil.

It’s a great way to apply it to your horse’s legs, ears, throatlatch, chest, mane and tail (all the areas that ticks love to bite!).

Tick Repellent for Horses

Tick Repellent for Horses


    Mix ingredients in the order listed into a spray bottle and mix.
    Shake well before each use.

    I recommend a blue or amber glass bottle and storing away
    from sunlight to help extend the shelf life.


Spray liberally on your horse’s legs and reapply when the smell
dissipates. It also works for dogs and people too!

Checking your Horse for Ticks

Despite your best efforts to deter ticks, you still may find them on your horse. It’s important to do a daily check by running your hand along tick-prone areas to check for any bumps.

If you find one, don’t panic! I always keep a tick key on hand, which makes removal very easy and safe, but tweezers can work as well.

It is recommended that you place the tick in rubbing alcohol to kill it, and mark the date on a calendar to keep your vet informed if any health problems show up.

Bonus Tip: Geranium Oil is thought to be helpful for balancing moods, emotions, and promoting calmness in horses, so it’s perfect to use before you head out on the trail!

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Geranium Oil for Horses - Natural Tick Prevention | DIY Horse Care | Savvy Horsewoman


  1. Terri Sidell
    May 31, 2020 / 6:44 pm

    Thanks for the info on the Rose Geranium Oil!! I ordered a bottle.

  2. DeAnna Laramie
    April 15, 2021 / 11:24 am

    how much is 60 drops??? like half the bottle?

    • Benny
      October 10, 2022 / 10:04 am

      Use a eye dropper you. An buy them at any Walmart. Can’t find it ask the Pharmacist they can assist you. A lot of your essential oil come with a dropper in the box ……..

  3. Shari
    July 11, 2022 / 5:20 pm

    A 5ml bottle contains 80 – 100 drops depending on source.
    I would never buy any essential oil from Amazon. They are filled with synthetics! I have been using oils for 10+ years & know who is selling pure & who isn’t.
    For authentic oils try Original Swiss Aromatics in California or Nature’s Gift in Tennessee.
    And that is incorrect about the Latin name she posted. Pelargonium x asperum is the best.
    Dr. Robert Pappas at Essential Oil University, did loads of GC/MS testing on several brands from Amazon & the results were not good. You can google search him & his findings.

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