The summer often brings out these pesky creatures that survive by sucking the blood of humans and animals. The bite of one of these bloodsuckers, the tick, can carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, West Nile virus and tick paralysis. Chemical-based tick repellents like DEET are effective in repelling ticks, but they themselves carry health risks for humans and pets. If you are looking for a natural way to repel ticks, consider planting or using tick-repelling plants.

Lavender

Light-scented oil extracted from lavender has the potential of repelling ticks. Mixing the oil with other essential oils like thyme, base or St. John's wort and applying it to a pet's coat will provide it with protection from ticks. Moreover, lavender will kill bacteria and thyme oil will improve the pet's immunity. To create a repellent for human skin, mix 15 to 20 drops of lavender oil with 2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil. Pour the solution in a small bottle, and shake the bottle before each application. Alternatively, make a lavender spray by adding lavender oil to distilled water and storing it in a spray bottle. Apply the spray to humans, pets, the lawn or any surface where ticks are found.

Rosemary

Plant rosemary in the lawn or in a container to keep ticks away. Pluck the small, light-blue flowers and grayish leaves of the plant and allow them to dry. Grind the dry flowers and leaves in a blender and make a powder to rub on a pet's fur. For further protection, sprinkle rosemary powder around the house or in the yard, giving attention to areas where ticks are seen the most. Apply a few drops of rosemary oil to a pet's collar every week. To make a spray, chop some leaves and flowers and add them to boiling water. Let the mixture sit for some time before straining the liquid into a spray bottle so it can be sprayed on pet and human skin and also around the house and lawn. In addition to ticks, rosemary also deters flies, aphids and mites.

Sage

The therapeutic-grade oil from the sage plant is also successful in repelling ticks. Take five drops each of sage oil, lavender oil, thyme oil and lemongrass oil and mix them in 8 oz. distilled water. Add vegetable glycerin to the solution so that the oils dissolve and do not float on the top. Spray this solution on the pet's fur and around the house, lawn and yard to repel ticks.

Pennyroyal

This is a perennial herb that gives bloom to lavender-colored fragrant flowers. The pennyroyal is the smallest and most aromatic member of the mint family. Pluck some leaves and dry them. Once dried, grind them in a blender and apply the powder to your pet and around the house. Planting this herb in the garden also deters ticks from your yard. Keeping a fresh vase of pennyroyal flowers in the room can also repel ticks.

Mexican Marigolds

Mexican marigold plants have bright and pungent yellow flowers that have sharp leaves. Harvest leaves of the plant and burn them to repel ticks. You can also obtain essential oil from this plant and apply it on the pet's skin to get rid of ticks.