It’s never fun when your pet gets fleas. Common symptoms include scratching, itching, and biting at his or her skin. Your pet’s skin may also turn pink or red from incessant itching, and their fur may begin to fall out. As a note of precaution, you should always confirm your pet has fleas before trying any natural treatments, as other health problems may cause similar symptoms. But, if you are looking for the best essential oils for fleas, then you’ve come to the right place! Using essential oils for fleas on dogs is somewhat of a new trend, and it is important if you choose to do so you are aware of how to use them in a way that keeps your pet safe. In this article, we are going to explore where these little pesky creatures come from, and what the 8 best essential oils for fleas are!
Fleas: Where Do They Come from?
Fleas are small parasitic creatures that prey on animals, particularly dogs and cats. That being said, fleas can also bite humans, leaving behind an itchy discomfort. Once a house is infested with fleas, it can be extremely hard to get rid of them, so prevention is the best method. A few of the places you may find fleas are:
- Outside: Fleas love to live in moist, humid, and shady areas. You’ll often find them in tall grass and woodpiles. It is also important to know that fleas can survive up to three months without a host!
- Other Animals: Your pet can also get fleas from other animals, including deer, rabbits, and other household pets.
- Human Transportation: Humans can also be unknowing carriers of fleas. They can easily stick to pants, socks, and shoes without your notice. These parasites are very well-adapted at finding ways to attach to potential hosts to find their next blood meal.
- Kennel or Groomers
Protecting Your Pet
The following are some precautionary measures that will help prevent unwanted guests from coming and living on your pet’s body:
- Treat for fleas year-round: Many veterinarians usually suggest yearly preventive strategies for pet protection. There are various products you can use —consult your vet to choose the best one suitable for your pet.
- Do not use old preventive products: Old products can lose effectiveness, and new brands on the market are often better in terms of both potency and efficiency.
- Cleanliness: Make sure your yard and your pet’s beds and toys are cleaned regularly. In addition to making your house look better, it will help to keep it a flea-free zone.
- Use suitable products: Some flea control products for dogs contain ingredients that are not suitable for cats and vice versa. Choose your product carefully by reading the labels.
- Using essential oils to kill fleas: If you want to use a more natural method of flea prevention, you can try using essential oils to kill fleas. Note that it is important to first dilute oils before applying them on your pet, and to never place anywhere your pet can lick at them. We will discuss this in more detail further on, so keep reading!
The Best Essential Oils for Fleas: How do they Work?
There are various ways to help prevent flea infestations, some of which are mentioned above. It is common practice to take your pet to the vet and leave it with an expensive bag full of treatments and products, which aim to keep your pet stay flea-free. However, many people prefer a more natural route, which means we get many requests looking for essential oils that repel fleas! The following are a few of the benefits of using the best essential oils for fleas vs. other treatments:
- Essential oils can not only help to repel fleas but can also help your dog get relief from itching and scratching that occurs due to flea bites.
- Essential oils can reduce infection and hasten the process of healing wounds your pet may have as a result of flea bites and itching/scratching. These natural antiseptics will keep your pet free from fleas and relieve the pain they get from flea bites.
- Aromatherapy may also offer the same relaxing effect to pets as it does for humans. Studies indicate that the scent of certain oils may help calm and soothe pets that suffer from stress and anxiety.
What Essential Oils Kill Fleas?
You now have a general idea of where fleas come from, and a few of the ways you can prevent them. Now, we are going to take a closer look at what essential oils are available, and how to choose the one that suits your needs. Our list of the best essential oils for fleas includes two different categories of oils: essential oils that repel fleas, and essential oils to kill fleas as well as repelling them!
The best essential oils for fleas are:
- Basil Essential Oil
- Cedarwood Essential Oil
- Clove Essential Oil
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Lemongrass Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Rosemary Essential Oil
- Rose Geranium Essential Oil
Essential Oils That Repel Fleas
Below is the list of the best essential oils for fleas that you can use as a flea repellent.
1. Basil Essential Oil
Basil is reputed to be one of the best essential oils for fleas. Basil oil is extracted from the leaves and buds of the basil plant, making it the perfect addition to your garden in the summer! When it comes to using basil oil for fleas, it offers up some incredible benefits, as it doubles as a natural insect repellent. Take a spray bottle, add a few drops of basil oil into half a glass of water, and spray around the house. You can also apply the diluted mixture directly onto your dog, avoiding areas where they will be able to lick it off. Note that basil is not safe for cats, as it is high in phenols.
People throughout the world use lavender oil to help with skin problems such as acne, wrinkles, and pimples. This oil also helps in reducing stress and anxiety, working as a soothing and calming agent for humans and animals alike. To use lavender oil for fleas, dilute with a carrier oil and apply it to the back of your pet’s neck or the base of their tail.
Lemongrass essential oil is a long grass that is actually a cousin of citronella. This grass originates in southeastern regions of Asia, such as China and India. Today, many people use this oil in aromatherapy to address mental and physical health conditions, including enhancing the quality of sleep.
Lemongrass essential oil is a strong flea and insect repellent and is commonly used to combat mosquitos. Remember to always dilute the oil first, and then apply to an out-of-reach area.
Peppermint mainly grows in Europe and North America. Many foods and beverage companies use this oil as a flavoring, and anecdotal evidence indicates that peppermint essential oil can help with indigestion and nausea.
Peppermint is one of the best essential oils for fleas in terms of repelling them. To use peppermint oil for fleas, dilute the oil with a suitable carrier oil, and then gently dab onto your pet’s fur at the back of their neck or base of their tail.
Rosemary essential oil is the extract of an herb that originates in the Mediterranean region. Many people use this oil to address problems like hair loss, weak immune systems, and faulty memory. Many meditators prefer this oil for mental and physical clarity and calmness. Rosemary oil is one of the best essential oils for fleas on dogs. It smells great, and you can use it either topically, following the same method or above, or add a few drops to your dog’s shampoo or conditioner. Just be careful to ensure you rinse it out well, and that your dog doesn’t try to drink the bathwater!
In spite of its misleading name, this oil actually comes from geranium. Many food, beverage, and cosmetic companies use this oil as flavoring and fragrance. Rose geranium essential oil is last but not least on our list of the best essential oils for fleas that work strictly as repellents. Using geranium oil as a flea deterrent will give your dog the added benefit of smelling like a rose! As always, dilute first and avoid placing it in any areas where your pet could ingest it.
Best Essential Oils for Fleas: Oils That Can Both Kill And Repel
Cedarwood essential oil comes from the leaves, needles, and bark of the cedar plant. People with hair loss problems, acne, insomnia, and anxiety often turn to cedar oil to help address these issues. The most important thing to know when using cedarwood oil for fleas is that there are different types of cedarwood. The one that is commonly believed to be safe for dogs is the Atlas variety. For more information, check out our blog on using cedarwood oil for dogs! Atlas cedarwood oil is considered to be the best essential oil for fleas. You can add a few drops of cedar oil into your pet’s shampoo or conditioner, or dilute it and apply it directly. You can also use diluted cedar oil in a spray bottle to mist around potential areas of risk. Many products on the market contain cedarwood, as it is proven to be very effective.
Clove essential oil comes from the dried buds of the plant. Many people use this oil to treat colds, asthma, muscle pain, and digestive upset.
Clove oil is also known for being an effective antibacterial agent. This means it does not only kill and repel fleas but can also kill other harmful bacteria on or around your beloved pet. Please note clove oil is only suitable for dogs, not cats. As a warming oil, it is best to avoid topical use. Instead, add a few drops of diluted oil onto your pet’s collar.
Precautions: Using the Best Essential Oils for Fleas
You now know a few of the best essential oils for fleas. However, using essential oils around pets can be harmful if you don’t do so safely. We recommend checking in with a veterinarian before use, as many oils are toxic to pets, particularly to cats.
Risks related to topical application:
If you don’t properly dilute essential oils before topical application, they can cause burning, irritation, and hair loss. You should only use 3-4 drops of oil in combination with an ounce of carrier oil. Consult with a vet first to ensure the oil you wish to use is safe, and then make sure you apply it in an area your pet can’t reach.
Dangers related to digestion:
Essential oils are never safe to ingest. This is because of how potent they are. Digestion of any essential oil can create severe stomach problems, or even be fatally toxic. Always make sure you keep oils out of reach from your pet, and never take any advice that tells you it is okay to add them to your pet’s food or water.
There are a number of ways your pet can come in contact with fleas, making prevention the best way to avoid a flea infestation. It is important to give them regular checkups and grooming, keep their space clean and only use appropriate, in-date preventative products. If you decide using one of the oils on our list of the best essential oils for fleas is a better option, then be sure to follow all necessary precautions.
Let us know what you think about our list of best essential oils for fleas in the comment section, or write to us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!