If you love your furry family members, you want to keep them free of fleas. However, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. Pest control products abound in the market, but the chemicals pose health risks for both the pets and the human family members. It also poses harm to the environment as well; that’s why more people are seeking out more natural ways to eliminate fleas.
Essential oils are here to the rescue. More people have been discovering the many applications of essential oils beyond covering scents in the home. Some are found to repel fleas, while some can even kill the annoying little critters.
Benefits of Using Essential Oils to Repel Fleas
First of all, essential oils are healthier for everyone. When compared to toxic chemicals found in flea drops or bombs, essential oils will have no adverse effect on the skin or lungs. Some pets may develop adverse reactions to oral flea medications, given that they take it at all.
Though essential oils can be pricey, it can be more affordable in the long run. Many essential oils repel fleas, thus removing the need for treatment. Also, fleas won’t build up an immunity to it like they can with poisons.
Topical flea treatments and substances on flea collars can spread around the house, where pets and kids can unknowingly ingest it. Kids spend a lot of time bringing their hands to their mouths, and you aren’t always there to monitor where their hands have been.
Essential oils also help with scratching and inflammation that goes along with the fleas. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties that can help heal the dog flea bites, as well as sores and skin irritation caused by scratching.
And while you use it with your pets, you also get the benefits of the oils, especially its relaxing, cleansing, and stress-relieving benefits.
Best Essential Oils for Flea Control
Essential oils are a great way to help repel fleas, and repeated exposure to it is a lot more pleasant and healthier than repeated exposure to dangerous chemicals. But keep in mind that these oils are potent – you must take caution before using it, and never use it in full strength, especially when applying topically to your pet.
Pennyroyal oil is one of the oldest known anti-flea remedies. It’s an effective repellant against ticks and fleas, but it must only be used around the home and in your pet’s environment. The volatile compound contained in the leaves and flowers of the pennyroyal plant is responsible for its toxic effects. It must not be used directly on human or pet skin as it can have toxic effects. For animals, the direct application of this oil can cause vomiting, depression, seizures, hepatic necrosis, diarrhea, epistaxis, and even death.
Cedarwood essential oil works great in repelling fleas, and it also actually kills the pests. It must be diluted with a carrier oil before application on your pet’s skin. It can also be used with diffusers in your home, and as an essential spray for the fleas in your yard.
Peppermint makes a great-smelling oil that’s effective for repelling fleas. It’s best to use mixed up in a spray by combining it with apple cider vinegar and water. You can also use it in a very diluted mixture and applied directly to your pet. However, use it on large breed dogs only for topical application. Mixing it with some coconut oil can help soothe irritation.
Lemongrass oil is a well-known flea repellent because of its pleasant smell, which fortunately is unpleasant for fleas. Mix this oil with water on a spray bottle and use it around the house to smell like you just cleaned, instead of making it evident that you are warding off a flea infestation. Please don’t use it directly on cats, but you can use it in their beds and towers.
Another useful essential oil that acts as a repellant for fleas is rosemary. It’s soothing, and it’s great to mix with a little apple cider vinegar and water as a final rinse to end your dog bath. However, use it only for dogs, as this oil can be toxic for cats.
Rose geranium essential oil is mild enough to be applied topically to dogs’ fur to repel fleas and ticks. Use 2-3 drops of oil directly on the back of your dog at least once a week. But start with one drop for your first try.
Lavender essential oil has a calming scent, and you may be pleased to know that it also acts as a flea repellant. It’s very gentle, so it can be diluted and rubbed directly to your dog’s skin to help repel fleas, and soothe itchy flea bites as well. Planting the actual lavender plant outside the house can help keep fleas out from your yard.
Fleas despise the scent of eucalyptus, making it an effective deterrent to use around the house. This essential oil can be added to water in a spray bottom to be used over floors, beddings, or couches to keep them away. A small amount diluted with water can also be misted on your pet dog, but take caution.
Add clove essential oil to your oil arsenal against fleas. It’s a great oil to add to your dog’s collar or your laundry as you wash your dog’s bedding to kill and repel fleas. But never use it with cats, as it can be irritating for them.
Basil essential oil contains compounds that help repel pests such as fleas and mosquitoes. You can dilute it and spray it to your dog’s beddings. Even the basil plant itself works great for repelling fleas.
This essential oil works as a pesticide, fungicide, and bactericide. It can be diluted and sprayed on a dog’s skin to act as a repellant, but don’t apply it topically. The thyme plant is a smart choice to add to your herb garden to help repel fleas in the yard.
Ways to Use Essential Oils as Flea Repellent
- Mix the essential oils with water or apple cider vinegar (ACV) and shake well. Use the mixture to spray pet bedding and household surfaces.
- Add a couple of drops to the final rinse as you wash your pet’s bedding.
- Dip your dog’s grooming brush in water with a few drops of oils added.
- Dilute topically-safe oils in ACV and use it as a final rinse after bath.
Precautions When Using Essential Oils against Fleas
- For topical use, essential oils must always be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or grapeseed oil. Never put undiluted essential oils on dogs, and do not put any essential oil topically on cats.
- Essential oils may be completely natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to use under all circumstances. Know the sensitivities of your pets or family members before using one for your home.
- Use extreme caution when using essential oils around cats. They can be sensitive to oils in their own body and in their environment, too.
- Always start small and check for any reactions before rinsing your dog and spraying your home with the mixture you created.
- Allow your pet to smell the oil before use. If it causes an adverse reaction, try another option.
- Don’t rely on essential oils only to get rid of fleas. It’s not a magic potion. Be sure to take all the necessary practices for keeping fleas away, such as keeping your home clean, vacuuming often, and frequent washing of your pet’s bedding.