Essential Oils For Fleas
Having pets is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences as they really do become a part of the family. So 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, and can also survive for several months without eating.
Fleas can not only harm your pets but can also harm humans with their ability to also spread bacterial diseases. So defending your home and animals against fleas is essential and I’m going to share some ways you can easily do this without the use of chemicals. Essential oils can serve as a wonderful chemical free alternative when it comes to defence against fleas.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated versions of natural plant oils and have many beneficial purposes and uses. The oil is typically obtained from the plants through a distillation process by steam or water. Through this distillation process, many different parts of the plants will be used in order to extract the maximum amount of beneficial properties or characteristics from the plant.
The end result includes not only the scent of that particular plant but also any healing or medicinal properties that plant may carry as well. Some of which can be effective, if used correctly, when it comes to combating fleas!
However, the quality of the oil directly impacts the quality of your result. Make sure you do a good amount of research on the oils that you buy. Not all essential oils are safe or good quality. If you buy a bad essential oil, chances are you will have a bad reaction or bad results. Look for oils that use the plant’s scientific name, are “therapeutic grade” or “clinical grade” and are organic.
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. Although, 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 many therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Do they work to combat fleas effectively though? Essential oils can work in a number of ways to help combat fleas. However, it must be noted that not all essential oils work to combat fleas, there is a small collection of suitable oils that can help to remedy flea problems.
These 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 repel 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 defence 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 which can be 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, use milder concentrations of the oil, or apply for a short amount of time and wash off.
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 as 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 and 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 and kill any fleas around the house.
- 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 repel fleas but a multitude of other insects too. However, unlike Cedar oil, it cannot kill fleas but 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 applied to the skin like this it 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 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 it having 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 and multiplication 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 repel them 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 like coconut oil and then very gradually increase the amount to suit your pet.
Another great way to try using essential oils to combat fleas 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 related directly to your pet.
Diffusing oils is not only effective but provides a pleasing smell. They can also be blended or mixed when diffusing for double the power and impact, 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 to create a more effective 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 to deter fleas 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 they are there. 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 can be dangerous if not used correctly. However, used in the correct way they can be extremely effective at killing and deterring fleas in your house and on your pets.
They can be used in a diverse number of ways as well, making them accessible to a variety of homes and animals and are a much safer alternative to using chemical pesticides. However, when it comes to applying them directly to a pet’s skin this is where there is potential for complications to arise so always consult with your vet before using them. They will be able to provide advice tailored to the kind 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 to repel and kill fleas available on the internet, you will definitely be able to find a way to use essential oils that is suitable for your home and family. I would definitely recommend it as a home, family, and pet-friendly solution.
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