Essential Oils For Fleas

  • Written By Dan Edwards on January 16, 2019
    Last Updated: December 17, 2020

Having pets is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences, as they really do become a part of the family. Therefore, naturally, it is important to look after our furry family members in the best way possible, especially from pests that may make them uncomfortable like fleas! Fleas are not only a nuisance, but can also be dangerous if not dealt with properly.

Fleas are an external parasite that feed on the blood of their host by consuming their blood. When they reach adulthood their main goal is to reproduce and if provided with the ideal living environment, an adult flea can live for up to one and a half years! Adult fleas feed on warm blood from humans, dogs and cats, as well as a variety of other mammals and birds. They can also survive for several months without eating.

Fleas can not only harm your pets, but can also hurt humans with their ability to spread bacterial diseases. For this reason, defending your home and animals against them is fundamental. I’m going to share with you some ways that you can easily safeguard your home and family, without the use of chemicals. Essential oils can serve as a wonderful chemical-free alternative when it comes to defense against fleas.

Do Essential Oils Work Against Fleas?

When it comes to combating these pesky creatures, there are many chemical pesticides available on the market. However, these can be dangerous to use on your pets. The use of essential oils can be an excellent natural flea remedy for those who want to avoid chemical treatments. On the contrary, there may be some cases where chemical pesticides are your best option, for example, if your pet has an allergy to flea bites.

Essential oils have been used for centuries by many different cultures for their multiple therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Do they work to combat fleas effectively though? In short- yes they can, however, it must be noted that not all essential oils do so. There is just a small collection of suitable oils that can help to remedy flea problems.

Essential oils can be used in a number of ways, within a homemade flea spray. Oils can be diffused in your house giving off a pleasant scent for us, but one that will work to repel fleas. Or they can be applied directly to the skin of your pet. When applied directly to the skin, essential oils can not only drive away fleas, but help to soothe any irritation that may have already been caused by a flea bite.

Are Essential Oils Safe for Pets?

While using essential oils is an excellent natural and chemical-free alternative, they should still be used with caution. If you do choose to use essential oils as a defense against fleas, you may want to consider that they are usually highly concentrated and if they are not used correctly, can cause some discomfort and irritation.

For example, tea tree oil can be a good ingredient for use against fleas, but because it’s difficult to get the right dilution, it’s usually regarded as a high-risk essential oil to be used on pets.

Cats and dogs with irritated skin from a flea bite, will likely lick the affected area to soothe the discomfort. If a highly concentrated amount of essential oil has been applied to their skin prior to this, your pets could be ingesting the concentrated oil. This can be highly toxic and result in gastrointestinal distress. Some advice on avoiding this kind of problem would be: to use a head cone after applying the oil, to use milder concentrations of the oil, or to only apply for a short amount of time and wash off.

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If you have any worries or concerns related to using essential oils on your pet, make sure you speak to your veterinarian first.

Cedar Oil for Fleas

Cedar Oil is arguably one of the most effective essential oils to combat fleas as it not only repels fleas, but also kills them. However, as this oil is so effective, it must only be used in diluted forms. This is because it can cause further irritation if too high a concentration is used.

Cedar oil can also be used in a number of ways to combat fleas. Here are two of the most effective ways that I prefer:

  • Apply a few drops to a diffuser. By diffusing the oil, anti-parasitic molecules will be released into the air, ultimately killing any fleas around the home.
  • For a topical treatment, mix a couple of drops into coconut oil and massage into your pet’s skin. As this oil is quite strong, it is best to bathe your pet shortly after application, to avoid your pet ingesting any oil.

Lemongrass for Fleas

Lemongrass oil works not only to fend off fleas, but a multitude of other insects too. However, unlike Cedar oil, it cannot kill fleas. Though, when diffused, the smell is unpleasant enough to do a great job at repelling fleas and other pesky insects you do not want lurking around your house.

Here are some effective ways to use Lemongrass oil in and around your house:

  • Diffusing a few drops of Lemongrass oil proves very effective at deterring fleas and other pests.
  • Lemongrass oil can be applied topically to the skin when mixed with another carrier oil, like coconut oil. When used on the skin like this, lemongrass oil works to soothe any irritation that may have been caused by bites, as well as deterring any to land on you!

Peppermint Oils for Fleas

Peppermint Oil is known for its great anti-inflammatory benefits and can help to soothe bitten and irritated skin. This oil can also help to stimulate blood flow to the bitten area, which will, in turn, help the bites to heal quickly. While Peppermint oil does not work effectively to repel and kill fleas, it is a great option to work alongside oils that do, particularly for pets that are suffering from inflamed skin due to flea bites.

The best way to use this oil is to mix with a carrier oil and spray or rub onto the skin. However, as this is a potent oil, it can be too strong for use on smaller dogs and cats. A great alternative with the same effect for smaller dogs and cats, is Lavender oil used in the same way.

Lemon Oil for Fleas

Lemon Oil is another great repellent against fleas, as it has such a strong scent and potent active ingredients. Lemon oil is packed with lots of other benefits, including stress relieving and antiseptic properties, which make it ideal for use in the home. While Lemon oil does not work to kill fleas, it is highly effective at deterring them and preventing any infestation or active breeding from taking place in your house.

As this oil is so potent, it is not advisable to use it topically. The most effective way to use Lemon oil as a repellent in your house, is to apply a few drops to your furniture and your pet’s bed.  

Lavender Oil for Fleas

Like Peppermint oil, Lavender oil is excellent at soothing irritated and inflamed skin caused by flea bites. Lavender is well known for its calming and soothing power and can be used safely on pets of all sizes, as well as humans. While it will not kill fleas, the smell can work to ward them off, whilst soothing any existing bites.

There are two great ways to use Lavender oil in your home to combat fleas:

  • Diffuse a few drops of Lavender oil and it will release a smell that fleas and other insects are repelled by.
  • Apply Lavender oil topically to the skin, mixed with a carrier oil or add a few drops to the bath when bathing your pet to soothe irritation and bites.

How to Use Essential Oils Against Fleas Effectively

There are a variety of ways to easily use essential oils to help combat fleas safely. However, due to their high concentration, they must be applied sparingly and with caution when using directly on the skin. As long as small amounts are applied and you keep a close eye on your pet, they can be safely used to soothe the skin and deter fleas from landing on them.

While they are a natural alternative to pesticides, that does not mean they are not dangerous. I would advise starting with just one drop in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil and then very gradually increase the amount to suit your pet.

Another great way to try using essential oils to prevent fleas annoying your furry friend, is to make your own flea collar. Spray or soak your pet’s collar in a mix of water, infused with a few drops of peppermint oil and lemongrass oil. Allow the collar to dry completely, to avoid any irritation from direct oil to skin contact before letting your pet wear it.

Diffusing essential oils is another effective way to kill and deter fleas, without any risk as your pet will not come into direct contact with the oils. If you have any major concerns about using essential oils on your pets, speak to your veterinarian for advice.

Diffusing oils is not only an efficient method, but it also provides a pleasant smell. Oils can be blended or mixed when diffusing, for double the power and impact, so why not try diffusing Lemongrass oil at the same time as Cedar oil, for the ultimate flea repelling scent?

These oils can also be used in combination with each other in yet another different way, to create a more successful result. For example, a simple flea spray can be made by combining Lavender and Cedar oils with water and apple cider vinegar. This can be applied on furniture or onto your pet’s coat to help kill and deter fleas. Essential oils can also be used as a flea repellent for humans, if you’re currently being bothered by them in your home.


Fleas are a pesky problem that need to be dealt with as soon as you are aware that they are present. A great way to combat fleas and keep them at bay once you have killed them, is by using essential oils! Essential oils are natural and chemical free, but need to be used with caution as they can be dangerous if not used correctly. However, they can be extremely effective at killing and deterring fleas in your house and on your pets, when applied in the right manner.

They can also be used in a number of ways, making them accessible to a variety of homes and animals, and are a much safer alternative to chemical pesticides. Nevertheless, when it comes to applying them directly to a pet’s skin, this is where there is potential for complications to arise. Therefore, always consult with your vet before using them. The professionals will be able to provide advice tailored to the breed and size of your pet, as well as being more prepared as to how to treat your pet, if something were to go wrong while using them.

With a multitude of ideas and recipes involving essential oils available on the internet, you will undoubtedly be able to find a solution to fend-off and kill fleas. I would definitely recommend them as a suitable and safe remedy.