Summertime is here and flea season is in full swing! If you’re fed up with giving your pet toxic flea medications that don’t work, you’re in the right place.
Here are five home remedies for natural flea repellents that will help you get rid of those nasty fleas and finally put your dog’s itching and scratching at ease.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best tools to have in your pantry. There seems to be 101 ways to use it, but did you know that apple cider vinegar can also be used for one of the most common (and annoying) household problems? Fleas!
Due to its intense acidity and pungent odor, ACV is a natural flea repellent and is effective in keeping fleas away.
To use it, we recommend making a diluted spray using a 50/50 ratio of ACV and water. Load this mixture into a spray bottle and get ready to attack those fleas. Spray it onto your pet’s coat, especially before going outside to repel those fleas for good.
2. Neem Oil
Neem oil is a non-toxic compound that is derived from the neem tree and has been used in India for centuries for its numerous benefits.
Today, many pet owners like to use it as a flea repellent. Fleas hate the smell of it, and just a little is enough to drive them away. What makes neem oil such an effective natural flea treatment for dogs is that it’s also an insecticide that can actually kill fleas.
To use neem oil for fleas, we recommend rubbing a few drops onto your dog’s head, behind their ears, and on their shoulders down to their tail. Neem oil is not an essential oil, so you don’t have to worry about toxicity and diluting it before applying. It’s also great for moisturizing dry skin and promoting a healthy coat.
3. Homemade Lemon Spray
Fleas hate the smell of limonene, the chemical compound that gives lemons their citrusy scent.
Making your own lemon flea repellent spray is easy. Simply slice one or two whole lemons and add to a small pot of boiling water. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steep overnight.
The next day, remove the spent lemon slices and pour the concentrated lemon water into a spray bottle. Spray this onto your pet’s fur, bedding, couch and any dark corners where fleas like to reside. You can also add a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar for added flea-repelling power.
4. Rosemary Flea Dip
Flea dips are a great way to get rid of fleas. However, many commercial flea dip shampoos and mixtures are filled with toxic chemicals which aren’t so great for your pet.
One way to make your own natural flea dip is to use rosemary. Rosemary is a natural flea repellent and is a great way to put your backyard rosemary bush to good use!
To make your own natural flea dip, simply boil two cups of fresh rosemary sprigs in two pints of water for 30 minutes. Use the cooled rosemary water as a flea dip and allow your dog to soak in it for approximately 20 minutes (or as long as they’re willing to stay still!).
If your pup does not like the idea of being submerged, you can also use the rosemary water as an after-wash by rinsing your dog with it after a shampooing.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another amazing ingredient to have in your pantry. Many of us know about the numerous benefits of coconut oil but did you know that coconut oil can also repel fleas?
Coconut oil contains a chemical compound called lauric acid, which fleas hate. One of the best things about using coconut oil for fleas is that it’s great for your dog’s skin and coat. Simply rub a tablespoon or so into your dog’s coat and skin. Not only will it drive away fleas, it will moisturize itchy skin caused by dryness and irritation from flea bites.
About the Author:
Sherry Chen is the co-founder of Natural Pet Living, an online resource dedicated to educating pet owners about holistic pet care solutions. She lives in San Diego, with her very spoiled 9-year old pug, Pearl.