There are numerous tick repellent products on the market. There are pros and cons to each of them. Here is information on the main ingredients and some specific products that have been shown to be effective, however TACA highly recommends that you research and choose a product that you feel best matches your personal preferences and values.
containing repellents prevent both mosquito and tick bites. Health Canada recommends using a product containing no more than 10% DEET for children ≤12 years of age. However, products with a DEET concentration of ≤10% should not be used for exposures lasting longer than 1 h to 2 h because they may not be effective in preventing tick bites. For children >12 years of age and adults, a repellent containing up to 30% DEET can be used as recommended on the product label.
Although there is no evidence that DEET-free repellents are safer, many parents prefer them. Icaridin/picaridin has levels of efficacy similar to DEET in preventing mosquito and tick bites.
This is a synthetic repellent modeled after a compound that occurs naturally in the black pepper plant.
Icaridin is considered to be the repellent of first choice by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Advisory Committee on Tropical Medicine and Travel for travellers six months to 12 years of age. Products containing up to 20% icaridin (9) are considered to be safe and efficacious.
Permethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, is highly effective both as an insecticide and as a repellent. It is not licensed to be used as a topical repellent but can be sprayed on clothing (mesh jackets, hats, shoes) bed nets and camping gear to repel and kill ticks, mosquitoes and other insects. Permethrin may retain its effect for up to two weeks or six washings. (9) While permethrin is considered to be safe for most mammals, the cat appears to be susceptible to it for reasons not fully understood. (14)
Although outdoor clothing, pretreated with permethrin, is approved only for the military in Canada, it is available from major United States online retailers for use by Canadian consumers. (8) Wearing protective clothing treated with the insecticide permethrin in addition to using DEET or icaridin on exposed skin as a repellent may offer the most effective protection overall against mosquito and tick bites.
Preventing mosquito and tick bites: A Canadian update 2014
Essential oil from leaves and stems of the wild tomato plant, Lycopersicon hirsutum
Essential oil from garlic plants
Essential oils from rosemary, lemongrass, thyme, and geraniol plants
Essential oils from Alaska yellow cedar trees, some herbs, and citrus fruits
Fungus (Metarhizium brunneum/anisopliae)
Some Suggested DEET free products and where to find them
20% Icaridin/ Picaridin products available in Canada:
*Woods Premium @ Canadian Tire
*Kombat @ Home Depot, Allied Distributors
*PiActive @ Cabela's, drug stores and grocery stores, Home Hardware
*Jungle Juice @ Auto Value, Princess Auto, Home Hardware