The Best Tick Repellent for Humans

A tick list of information on DEET, natural bug spray, ticks, and avoiding bites for the best outdoor experiences. Find out more and shop our range of top tick repellents, anti-bug clothing, and accessories.

The Best Tick Repellent for Humans: Beating Backyard and Backcountry Bites

Ticks are blood-sucking bugs, which feed on the blood of animals and humans. Ticks are most prevalent during summer, spring, and autumn months (although don't discount their lurking presence all year round). However, rising global temperatures mean ticks are active for longer, which is something to consider - especially if you love spending time outdoors or are a pet owner. The number of people sickened by tick and mosquito bites has also tripled since 2004. While tick protection on walking safaris and hiking trails is good practice, tick protection at home is an often overlooked but equally important consideration. It has been reported that 75% of Lyme Disease cases arise from bites people experienced in their own back yards. This makes picking the best tick repellents for humans essential for everyday disease prevention. In this guide, we give some top tips on tick repellent for humans, give you a step-by-step anti-bug checklist to avoid getting bitten by ticks. Tick-borne diseases are far less talked about than malaria and other insect-borne diseases. Explore our tick guide to find out more about Lyme Disease, tick bite symptoms, and other tick-borne diseases. If you have questions, you are not alone. Get answers to frequently asked questions and learn more about the key features to look for in the best tick repellent. Finally, shop our range of carefully selected, expedition tested tick repellent products in our shopping guide.

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The Tick List: A Checklist on How to Prevent Tick Bites

  • Stock up on DEET Tick Repellent: DEET tick repellent is the one of the top recommended tick repellents. This is a vital first line of defence in preventing tick bites. DEET was introduced as an insect repellent in the 1940s. Today, after billions of applications and stamps of approval from all major health and disease organisations around the world, there's no question that this is one of the best tick sprays for every day use. By investing in DEET for ticks, you are also protecting yourself against a range of other biting insects. The ideal DEET tick repellent has a DEET percentage of 50% or lower - and contains slow-release actives for long-lasting, effective protection. Find out all about DEET in our comprehensive DEET guide.
  • Choose Australian-Made Brands: 70 of the world's 800 species of ticks are found in Australia - and the country is no stranger to serious tick-borne diseases. Australia's climate and landscapes make it an exciting hub for outdoor lovers - and a breeding ground for bugs. Australian ingenuity has resulted in carefully developed, leading insect repellents that have been tested in sometimes extreme conditions to ensure their efficacy in every outdoor setting. At The Safari Store, we stock one of the leading premium Australian insect repellent brands called Bushman Ultra, which is our go-to DEET tick repellent.
  • Get the Best Natural Tick Sprays: Tick protection starts with an effective insect repellent. If you prefer using natural bug spray, citriodiol is our choice, offering the same level of protection as synthetic and chemical insect repellents. Citriodiol is found in many trusted insect repellents worldwide and the 40% citriodiol formula in Mosi-guard Extra Spray is gentle and easy-wearing for adventures or everyday use.
  • Apply and Re-Apply Regularly: For the best protection, apply thoroughly and be sure to re-apply regularly every few hours to bolster protection over the course of the day.
  • Cover up in anti-insect clothing: Long sleeves and trousers are the order of the day if you're dressing to avoid tick bites. Picking clothing with an anti-insect treatment is the best way to bolster your efforts and reduce your risk of getting bitten. Our BUGTech™ anti-bug clothing combines built-in insect defence with moisture wicking capabilities, sun protection, and a range of features for anyone spending time outdoors. Roll-up sleeve tabs and convertible trouser designs also give you flexibility for active or warm-weather pursuits. It's also a good idea to wear slightly lighter colours to spot ticks before they bite (should they end up on your clothing). Shop men's, women's, and children's BUGTech™ anti-insect clothing.
  • Ankles: The Achille's Heel: Ticks thrive in grassy and woodland areas. Whether you are walking through bush or along footpaths, ankles always have a special vulnerability when it comes to insect and tick bites. While many recommend tucking trouser legs into socks on hikes or tick-prone areas, we have a solution that's effective - and more stylish. Wearing ankle gaiters protects that often exposed, easy-for-ticks-to-access gap between trouser leg and sock. Our canvas and leather gaiters - or suede leather gaiters - are the easy-on ankle protection accessory for walks, river fishing trips, outdoor workers, or for time in the garden. Pair ankle gaiters with a pair of closed-toed shoes like the Buffalo Boot in a Chelsea boot design.
  • Check Your Pets: Not only are we vulnerable to bites and diseases from ticks - our pets are too. They also pick up ticks with ease during walks and outdoor adventures. In keeping your pets tick-free, you are protecting them and yourself from tick-borne diseases.
  • Do a Body Check: Check yourself and your children for ticks. Start by checking your clothing and then do a full body check - especially in the tick-friendly nooks and crannies like behind the ears, under the arms, and in the belly button.

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    Quick View: How To Prevent Tick Bites

    Choose Natural Tick Repellent For Humans from The Safari Store

    Buy The Best Natural Tick Repellent

    Buy Top Australian Tick Spray Brands from The Safari Store

    Buy leading DEET tick repellent

    Invest in BUGTech anti-insect clothing for tick protection

    Invest in anti-bug long-sleeved shirts & trousers

    Avoid tick bites with ankle gaiters

    Use ankle gaiters to protect ankles

    Tick-Borne Diseases: An Overview

    The information provided on this page is not a replacement for medical advice. If you are concerned about tick diseases - or if you think you have contracted a tick-borne disease, consult with your doctor. Contact your medical practitioner for more information on tick-borne diseases, prevention, symptoms, and treatments.


    Lyme Disease is Caused By: Lyme is caused by the bite of an infected black-legged tick. It is a bacterial infection that usually causes an oval rash around the bite site as a first symptom. The Lyme tick needs to be attached for around 24 hours in order for the disease to be transmitted. The HSE reports that there are 900 reported cases of Lyme Disease in the UK each year - although it is likely that there are many more cases that go undetected. These infections happen both locally and abroad.

    Where does Lyme Disease Occur? Lyme Disease is present in more than 80 countries around the world.

    Lyme Disease Symptoms: As mentioned above, an early symptom in some people is a rash around the bite, which is not necessarily burning or itchy. It can appear anywhere between one week and three months from the time of the bite and can last for several weeks. Other common symptoms include flu-like symptoms such as body ache, fever, and headaches. If untreated, more severe symptoms may arise including problems with the heart and nerves.

    Prevention of Lyme Disease: As with all vector-borne diseases, the best way to prevent Lyme Disease is to avoid getting bitten in the first place. Exercise vigilance both at home and on outdoor and travel adventures. Follow the steps above: cover up with anti-insect clothing and ankle gaiters and always wear reliable insect repellent. Talk to your doctor about Lyme Disease prevention and, if you are experiencing symptoms, seek urgent medical advice as quick intervention makes a big difference when it comes to Lyme.


    Around the world, ticks carry infections responsible for a range of other diseases including Babesiosis, Borreliosis, and Rickettsiosis to name but a handful. The trouble with many tick-borne diseases is that the bites themselves go undetected. While tick bites are often harmless, the seriousness of some of these diseases makes it important to look out for tick bites and react to symptoms.

    Tick bite symptoms: Some tick bites may produce no symptoms at all. However, some commonly occurring effects of a bite include pain, swelling, or burning at the bite site, rash, and blisters. If you experience aches in muscles and joints, fever, headaches, nausea, extensive rash, or swollen lymph nodes, this could be a sign of something more serious. If you are worried that you may have contracted a tick-borne disease or if you are experiencing any symptoms, please consult your medical practitioner.

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    Common Tick Questions Answered

    We answer some tick FAQs to give you a better understanding of these biting bugs

    How to avoid ticks

    It is a common misconception that ticks only occur in overgrown, wild, and exotic places. From out in your garden and dog-walking in public parks to time out on the trail or as you travel, there is a risk of ticks. Avoid ticks by applying reliable tick repellent; covering up with anti-insect clothing, ankle gaiters, socks, and shoes; and sticking to clear pathways. Conduct regular checks on yourself and your pets for ticks and bites.

    Is DEET effective against ticks?

    DEET is known to repel ticks and insect repellents containing DEET are one of the most consistently reliable ways to protect yourself from bites. DEET insect repellents also work against a range of other insects so, if you're heading into the great outdoors, it serves as a tick and mosquito spray that protects against other bugs too. Look for leading Australian insect repellent brands with slow-release actives and top wearer characteristics for the best performance.

    What percent of DEET is effective against ticks?

    The World Health Organisation recommends a DEET percentage of 50% or lower. DEET tick repellents of 50% or lower are safe and effective against ticks. The higher the DEET concentration in insect repellent, the longer it lasts on the skin (rather than extra protection). The effectiveness of DEET does not increase beyond 20%.

    What is the best tick repellent?

    Our leading insect repellent brands have been tested around Southern Africa and at home to ensure they perform. For a DEET-based tick repellent, we recommend Bushman Insect Repellent. This top-selling Australian brand has a range of features for wearer comfort and long-lasting performance at home, outdoors, and for travel. If you prefer natural bug sprays, we recommend an insect repellent with a citriodiol formula like Mosi-guard Extra, which provides up to ten hours' protection.

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    Key Features to Look for in the Best Tick Repellent for Humans

    Insect Repellents With Effective Active Ingredients: Our go-to active ingredients for tick protection on safari and every day is DEET or citriodiol. In our experience on safari and every day, the most effective tick repellents contain these actives. Look for formulations with a DEET percentage of 50% or lower to get the best balance of safety and effectiveness. For a natural tick repellent, citriodiol provides an equal level of protection to DEET and synthetic bug sprays.

    Pleasant or Neutral Smell: The smell of your insect repellent shouldn't be human repellent too. Some insect repellents have a very strong and inescapable smell that impairs wearability and can even impact your enjoyment of nature. Our insect repellent selection is pleasant or neutral smelling so you can apply and re-apply without a worry.

    Slow-release actives: DEET is one component of the best tick repellent for humans. It's the overall formula that affects overall performance of your repellent. The Time Release Technology found in Bushman Ultra Insect Repellent, for example, makes this DEET tick repellent long-lasting and high-performance. If you're looking for the best natural tick repellent, citriodiol in Mosi-guard Extra has been shown to provide up to ten hours of protection - although we would encourage regular re-application to achieve the best possible protection.

    Wearer comfort: Wearing insect repellent is an investment in comfort, so it shouldn't be inconvenient to apply or uncomfortable on the skin. Insect repellent from The Safari Store has been selected for their effectiveness and their top wearer characteristics. Look for a neutral or pleasant odour, light feeling on the skin, and easy spray-on application. Also look for sweat, rub, and water resistant properties to support long-lasting protection.

    Expedition-tested brands you can trust: Bushman Ultra Insect Repellent sells between 1 and 1.5 million bottles every year in Australia alone. Trusted at home by the Aussies, it has also been tested by our team at The Safari Store across a range of expedition and everyday conditions. Mosi-guard Extra has also accompanied our team on green season South African safaris, Mozambique beach holidays in thick dune forests, and across many Southern African trips and is included in our range for reliable protection. From balmy African rainy seasons and months-long camping trips and time on trails (and off) to gardening and local walking circuits, our insect protection plan always starts with the best insect repellents

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    Tick Repellent Shopping Guide:

    Shop our range of anti-insect bestsellers for an easy anti-bug checklist for insect protection wherever you go. Take your pick of anti-tick repellent, clothing, and accessories to prevent bites and protect yourself and your family from disease.

    DEET Tick Repellent

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    Women's Anti-Bug Clothing

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    Men's Anti-Bug Clothing

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    Children's Anti-Bug Clothing

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    Ankle Boots and Ankle Gaiters

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