Fleas are tiny, wingless parasites that live and feed on blood from humans, dogs, cats, and other animals. These pesky insects can cause danger to everyone in your household, and it’s alarming that they are growing tolerant of insecticides.
One great way to repel fleas is through the use of essential oils in your house. There are so many kinds of oils out there and so many ways you can utilize them. We’re here to help you find the best essential oils to get rid of fleas in the house and to learn the best ways to use them.
Fleas Are Everywhere
Fleas, unlike ticks, can infest the whole house and not just your pets. They enjoy living indoors or outdoors. That is why getting rid of them means not only treating your pet but also your whole house.
Fleas like to thrive in areas where the temperature is between 70 and 85 degrees. During this season, they are everywhere even in your home, whether or not you have a dog.
Approximately 57% of the fleas in your house are in the larval stage, spinning a cocoon to live in and grow after a week. The adult may remain in their cocoon up to five months until they sense carbon dioxide from an animal they will feed on.
Many diseases can result from fleas because of their ability to transmit bacteria. They can put your four-legged friend and two-legged members of the family at risk of the following:
- flea dermatitis
- flea-associated allergies
The most effective flea treatment is an approach to management and prevention, encompassing good sanitation all over your dog’s environment and not just their body. This includes changing your dog’s bed regularly, vacuuming daily, and trimming backyard shrubs.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are extracted from plants in the form of liquid with other volatile properties. They are volatile because the molecules in them quickly turn from liquid to gas or aroma when diluted.
Essential oils are natural and safe for pets, people, and the environment and a number of them can repel insects because of the scents that they emit which parasites don’t enjoy.
Many people decide to use essential oils to help get rid of fleas because they are more gentle and cause no irritation. However, essential oils are only beneficial when it comes to keeping the pests away, but they do not kill fleas.
Although many people claim that essential oils can help in repelling insects, there is only one study that shows its efficacy against fleas, and it is not a clinical trial.
Still, many essential oils have antiseptic properties that can help heal bites and sores caused by scratching. The effectiveness also varies in terms of the quality of the product and its concentration.
Essential Oils That Repel Fleas
Here are some essential oils that can repel fleas without causing danger to your furry friend!
Pennyroyal essential oil is a member of the mint family that is one of the most popular remedies for fleas. This is recommended as aromatherapy but never as topical medication on your dog’s skin as it can have toxic effects.
Basil, as an essential oil and as a plant, is very helpful in keeping insects like mosquitoes and fleas away. This means you can also plant some in your backyard to get rid of outdoor pests.
Choose one that has no additives and is stored in a bottle with dropper for convenient use.
While most essential oils can only repel fleas, cedarwood does a great job in killing them. Just use this essential oil as a diffuser in your home or as a spray and the fleas in your household will surely suffocate.
However, cedarwood oils should not be put directly on your pet’s skin either.
Lemon and Lemongrass
Lemon and lemongrass are popular flea repellents because their scent is pleasant to humans but utterly offensive for these parasites. Make a spray with either essential oil and use it around the house to make it smell like it’s freshly cleaned.
This one may not be safe for cats, but dog owners like you shouldn’t be worried because it is non-toxic for them. Rosemary essential oils are also helpful in repelling fleas with their antiseptic properties.
You can use this essential oil directly on your dog’s skin when it is mixed with a little apple cider vinegar and water for their final rinse during a bath.
Lavender is one of the sweetest smelling essential oils and is calming and soothing. This can be diluted and rubbed directly on your dog’s skin to repel leas and relieve irritations caused by the bites.
How to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used in many different ways as flea repellents. However, not all products can be applied to your dog’s skin nor can they be effective as sprays, so the best way to find out how to use each essential oil is to learn more about them.
Some essential oils can be diluted and applied directly on your dog’s skin such as lavender and lemon. Meanwhile, some can’t be directly applied but instead sprinkled on their beds and other areas of the house. These include cedarwood, rosemary, and pennyroyal.
Watch this video to learn how to dilute essential oils!
Lavender and cedarwood can also be mixed in a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar and water to be applied on furniture.
You can also experiment mixing some appropriate oils with a base oil like coconut oil so you can easily apply them on your dog.
All of the mentioned essential oils can be used with a diffuser as aromatherapy to disperse the scent throughout your home.
Side Effects of Essential Oils
Dogs can be sensitive to some essential oils. They are absorbed by the body through the skin, GI tract, and mucous membranes. So undiluted oils might be too strong for their body to handle.
Direct contact can cause mild to severe skin irritation, including scratching, itching, burning, and sloughing. They can also experience coughing and wheezing which may result in allergy or asthma.
Essential oils ingested through grooming or in food intake can result in diarrhea and vomiting.
If you see any signs like this make sure you take your pup to the vet to get checked out.
Essential oils, despite the limited studies conducted about them, are believed to be great solutions for flea infestations on your dog and in the house. But using them may not be not enough to get rid of the pesky fleas.
Remember to keep your home and furry friend always sanitized. Wash anything where your pet has been sleeping, and vacuum more often.
As always, it is best to consult your veterinarian about the use of essential oils at home before trying them out with your dog.