I just bought some Red Thyme Essential Oil. During the herbal workshop I attended at Sacred Plant Traditions, some of the wonderful properties of Thyme were mentioned.
Typically, you don't want to put Essential Oils directly on your skin because of their potency (dilute, dilute, dilute). But...one rare exception is when you have a tick embedded in your skin. Put one-two drops on that little bugger and watch it pop its head out!
Red Thyme Essential Oil is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, an insecticide and a parasiticide (among other things). Looks like you got your bases covered!
I diluted the oil with some water and sprayed it on my counter-tops as a disinfectant. Its smell is pretty darn strong, so make sure you like the smell of thyme before using it!
Also, if you are pregnant, DO NOT use...it's an emmenagogue.
For a way to cut down on the number of ticks in your back-yard, check out this post.