A common problem for pet owners and especially dog owners is fleas.
No one likes to see flea bite marks on their dogs or any sign of a flea infestation in their home.
So what can you do to manage the situation?
Sure you can go the traditional route of using commercial products like flea collars, flea medication, flea combs, flea shampoos, and oral supplements.
The drawback to most commercial options, though, is that they often contain toxic chemicals that aren’t just harmful to dogs but to all family members.
Commercial products also often test on animals, and when used for a long time can lead to fleas developing immunity.
At a minimum, these options can become costly on a monthly basis.
If your dog doesn’t exhibit a flea allergy or if the infestation isn’t too far gone you might want to consider other natural remedies such as essential oils for flea prevention.
Best Essential Oils as Flea Remedy
Why people are turning to essential oils for flea control
Essential oils (EOs) are highly concentrated plant extracts that come from tree bark, resin, roots, stem, leaves, nuts, seeds, flowers, and even fruit.
They’re full of active compounds that are known to interact with the body in beneficial ways like boosting immunity, calming anxiety, improving sleep, treating infections, reducing allergy symptoms, and managing headaches.
Their therapeutic and medicinal application is referred to as aromatherapy.
But the active compounds in EOs aren’t just effective at improving health and well-being, they’re also known to be helpful in killing and repelling bugs like fleas, mosquitos, and ticks.
When used correctly and safely, there are certain EOs that can help kill fleas while turning your home into a flea-free zone.
But it’s important to note that before you apply any essential oil on your dog you should first consult with your vet.
Dogs are incredibly sensitive to EOs and using the wrong ones or incorrect applications can have dangerously toxic effects on their health.
The best essential oils to kill fleas
Cedarwood oil (aka cedar oil) kills fleas and can also be used as a preventative measure for future infestations.
It’s included in the DIY flea treatments below so you’ll get detailed instructions on how to best apply it.
Always remember that EOs are potent and a little goes a long way.
Be sure to dilute EOs with a carrier oil like coconut oil before any sort of topical application.
You can also add them to your diffuser to treat your home too.
The best essential oils to repel fleas
The following EOs are excellent (and doggy-safe) choices for natural flea repellent:
- Lemongrass oil
MC Top Pick
- Rose Geranium oil
MC Top Pick
- Rosemary oil
MC Top Pick
- Lavender oil
MC Top Pick
The most common toxic essential oils for your dog
- Tea tree oil (melaleuca)
- Wintergreen oil
- Oregano oil
- Thyme oil
- Basil oil
- Pennyroyal oil
- Sweet birch oil
- Ylang-ylang oil
- Pine oils
- Peppermint oil
- Yarrow oil
- Citrus oils (lemon, orange, grapefruit, bergamot)
- Citronella oil
- Clove oil
- Cinnamon oil
How to choose the right high-quality EO for fleas
Unfortunately, many essential oils in the market are diluted or adulterated.
This greatly reduces its efficacy and power.
It also means you may be exposing yourself to harmful or toxic chemicals and solvents.
It’s important to choose only high-quality oils from brands you trust.
Especially if you’re inhaling it via diffusion or applying it to you or your pups’ skin.
Make sure you’re choosing the right EOs by following these 7 tips:
1 – Look for certified organic therapeutic grade essential oils.
2 – Check that testing has been done.
3 – Research the company.
4 – Check the label.
5 – Check the price.
6 – Check the Latin name.
7 – Check in with yourself (and with your furry friend.)
3 DIY Flea Control Recipes
Dog Flea Shampoo
A quick and easy route is to use your existing dog shampoo and add 2 drops of cedarwood essential oil and 1 drop of lemongrass essential oil and mix it together then apply directly.
Make sure to really massage and apply it thoroughly throughout your dog’s skin.
Dog Flea Spray
Fill a spray bottle with water and add 2 drops of rosemary essential oil, 2 drops of lavender essential oil, and 2 drops of lemongrass essential oil.
Spray as needed on your dog’s coat.
Be careful not to apply it to their eyes, ears, or face.
Home Flea Powder
Mix ½ cup of Diatomaceous earth (powder consisting of fossilized algae sediments) with ¼ cup of baking soda, 3 drops of lemongrass, 3 drops of rosemary, and 3 drops of lavender essential oil.
Use the mixture as a vacuum powder for floor and carpet and fabric surfaces.
Vacuuming regularly can help to keep fleas away from your home.