Without a qualm, you can relate to the horrors of being attacked by fleas. Flea bites aren’t pretty. To add insult to injury, you might helplessly watch your pets suffer in silence.
Fleas make your animals irritable and miserable. Their bites pack quite the punch. To supplement, they can transmit diseases to pets and humans. Vector-borne diseases include plague, tungiasis, typhus, and others.
Instead of turning to insect sprays and common flea treatments, allow these plant-based extracts to fight your flea battles for you.
Your Pets And Essential Oils – What You Should Know
The human system is better able to tolerate essential oils. Cats and dogs? Not so much. Even when used according to labeling, some essential oils may still have adverse effects on your animals, especially cats.
While they do repel fleas, the following oils aren’t recommended for use on pets.
- Tea tree and pennyroyal essential oils have proven lethal to dogs.
In the headlines to follow, I share the best flea repellent essential oils and how to use them. If you opt to forego using oils on your pets, you can still use them in and around the home.
Essential Oils For Repelling Fleas
1. Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
Clove essential oil is acquired from the dried flower buds through steam distillation. The principal element of clove oil, eugenol, may be used as a powerful mechanism against fleas.
Once a female flea latches on to your dog, it can lay up to 50 eggs within 24 hours. You definitely don’t want your dog caught in the middle of a flea colony.
The eugenol component of the oil is a fast-acting insecticide with the capacity to kill fleas on contact. Clove oil also produces larvicidal activities. It kills immature fleas and prevent them from maturing into blood-sucking parasites.
You can apply clove essential oil undiluted to your canine’s sleeping quarters, provided that the animal isn’t present. Add a few drops of clove to a washable cloth and wipe the area. Ensure to have the dog’s bedding removed before wiping. Do remove the essential oils after letting it sit for about 30 minutes.
If there’s a known infested area at home, apply clove oil directly to the area/insects.
Note: Do not apply clove to your dog, it may be toxic. If you diffuse the oil around your animals, ensure to leave the doors open for them to exit.
2. Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)
Citronella essential oil is the lemony-scented liquid extracted from the grass of the plant. It’s celebrated as a powerful repellent against insects, including fleas, as it boasts insecticidal action.
As fleas are more inclined to attack from the feet and climb upward when you invade their territory. To make a foot lotion, add 2 – 3 drops of the oil in an unperfumed lotion base and shake well.
3. Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
Fleas tend to stick around once they latch on to your dog. They’ll lay eggs in your dog’s coat, which later roll off and disperse within your home. You’ll have a nasty infestation on hand in no time.
Spike lavender essential oil is a great addition to your flea busting toolkit at home. The linalool constituent of the oil makes it an effective flea control agent. Not only will it repel fleas, but it may deal a deadly blow to larvae and mature ones.
This is a dog friendly oil with soothing properties, which should provide some relief to your canine from those nasty bites.
Allow spike lavender to permeate your canine’s coat by adding 2 drops of oil to your dog’s shampoo. As a result of the nature of fleas, it’s best to use the shampoo on several occasions. This will also likely have a residual effect. Do not allow the shampoo to get into your dog’s eyes.
Additionally, to a small spray bottle, add water and about 3 – 4 drops of spike lavender essential oils for your room/dog spray. Spray the solution directly on your dog and in various areas of the home.
4. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
This yellow to amber-hued liquid is well reputed as an insect repellent. As a matter of a fact, it can be found in most natural insect repellents on the market.
Lemongrass is best used at home in flea-prone or infested areas. To a bottle of witch hazel, add 2 – 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil. Pour the contents of the witch hazel bottle into a spray bottle to use as a repellent spray.
Maximum dilution is 0.7% if you choose to use the oil topically on your canine. Do not spray the contents close to your canine’s face.
5. Buchu (Agothosma betulina)
Buchu essential oil is one of South Africa’s notable oils because of the value it brings to medicine. The “golden oil”, extracted through steam distillation, was traditionally used to avert insects.
The sharp, potent aroma of buchu is unbearable to these tiny insects. It instantly sends them into hiding.
The cleansing and cleaning action of the oil makes it effective when treating flea bites. The oil has a double effect. You’ll repel fleas while the area disinfects should you ever get bitten. It even has the potential to heal your skin.
Use buchu essential oil to mimic an ointment when camping. It’ll make your skin unattractive to fleas. To an ointment base, add about 2–3 drops of the oil and combine well.
6. Myrtle (Myrtus communis)
The linalool constituent of myrtle essential oil has been used by professionals as an insecticide against fleas. To supplement, the oil possesses parasitic activities.
As your canine travels about at home, they may take fleas into your bed. It is true, if you lie down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas; no pun intended. Use myrtle oil to steer fleas out of your bedroom, and enjoy those beauty naps you’ve craved for.
Myrtle essential oil is most appropriate when used in a diffuser or vaporizer. With your bedroom door closed, position your diffuser in a spot of choice and add about 4–5 drops of the essential oil. Allow the scent to perpetuate your room.
7. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
A study of essential oils with insecticidal activities reveal that thyme oil has “high repellent activities” against the human flea, Pulex irritans. The effectiveness of the oil may be owing to its strong thymol and α–pinene compounds.
Combine 2 drops of thyme essential oil with 2 tsp. of neem oil. Mix well together and massage onto your legs before going outdoors in flea-prone areas.
8. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Likely, especially if you live in flea-prone areas, your dog will have picked up a few along the way. Once your canine friend streams indoors, so do fleas.
Basil essential oil can be used to keep them at bay. The spicy, balsamic aromatic oil provides you with the ammunition you need to avert fleas.
Make a spray and disperse on your porch. In a small 2 oz spray bottle (or any of choice), add 3 – 4 drops of basil oil. Fill the bottle with a blend of half water and half witch hazel.
9. Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
The sweet-balsamic fragrance makes it a perfect weapon when repelling fleas. Cedarwood essential oil was formerly used alongside citronella as a commercial insecticide.
Instead of watching your dog suffer from a terrible blow, use cedarwood oil to alleviate their pain. You can also use it to ward off fleas, as they’ll likely try to feast on your blood when you get in contact with your canine.
To brush your pet: Combine 4 – 5 drops of cedarwood and pine essential oil, blended with a tablespoon of milk to a basin ( or bowl) with warm water. Soak a bristle hair brush in the solution and use to brush your dog or cat.
The bristle brush will help to remove any fleas and larvae attached to your pet. This process isn’t sustainable as a single use. The solution must be administered over a period of time.
Essential Oil Recipes For Fleas
Flea Repellent Spray Blend
This flea repellent spray blend is perfect for personal, patio, and lawn use. Fleas will travel with your pets and roll off.
They could leave fleas all over your lawn and in some of the most unexpected areas. This flea repellent spray blend is perfect for these situations.
- 1-ounce vodka or pure grain alcohol
- 5 drops of lemon eucalyptus
- 6 drops of lemongrass
- 7 drops of citronella
- 1 spray bottle
In a container or bowl, combine all essential oils from the ingredient list together. Add your vodka, or alcohol to the blend and mix well. Transfer the contents of the container to your spray bottle.
Dilute the mixture by adding water and thoroughly shake prior to using. This flea spray can be applied to the legs, but you’d significantly need to lower your essential oil dosage, or dilute well with a carrier oil like neem.
Spray the blend in dense thick shrubs or specific areas on your lawn where fleas are likely to congregate. Your patio and surrounding areas are great flea magnets so ensure to use it there to ward them off.
Note: When using this flea repellent spray, do not apply to your dog. Do not allow your pet to lick areas where this blend has been sprayed.
Carpet Powder Flea Buster Recipe
Fleas love your carpet. They are perfectly concealed locations from which these minuscule, blood-loving insects can plot their next meal. They’ll carefully launch a sting operation from your carpets to infiltrate your home.
Your carpets are also famous breeding sites for fleas. To get rid of them, this carpet powder flea buster recipe should deal quite a blow.
- 10 drops of spike lavender
- 5 drops of lemon eucalyptus
- 6 drops of juniper
- 1 cup of baking soda.
In a container, combine all the essential oils. While pouring the essential oil mixture into the baking soda, mix with a spoon to pull apart lumps.
Once the ingredients have fully come together, scatter the blend on your carpet. Allow the solution to sit for about 10 – 15 minutes and then vacuum thoroughly.
Your pets should not be around when applying the carpet powder flea buster blend. Do not allow your pet to ingest the substance.
Soothing Flea Repellent Topical Blend
You’ll need a topical blend that’ll protect your canine from being laced with fleas. The antiseptic and rejuvenating properties of spike lavender essential oil will soothe affected areas.
On the other hand, components of cedarwood and citronella essential oils will kill and repel fleas.
- 6 drops spike lavender
- 2 drops cedarwood
- 2 drops citronella
- Carrier oil – light coconut or jojoba oil
To a euro-dropper bottle, add the oils. Allow your essential oil blend to synergize for at least 8 hours before applying.
To 2 tsp. of light coconut oil, add 2 drops of the essential oil blend. Rub in your palms and gently massage the blend into your dog’s coating. You can apply the blend with your carrier oil to the dog’s neck, chest, tail, and legs. For better protection, use this blend on your dog’s collar.
If your canine develops sensitivity to the blend, stop using.
- Fleas prefer the blood of animals, but that doesn’t mean they won’t latch on to you. They are exceptional jumpers. Stray animals can spread fleas to your property. Fleas can spread diseases to humans and animals.
- Some constituents of essential oils are used as defense and offense mechanisms against fleas.
- While essential oils can be used on animals, they have a greater chance of developing complications than humans. Always dilute oils well before applying dermally to pets.
- Essential oils that are toxic to dogs can still be used around the home due to their insecticidal activities. This article explains how.