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5 Solutions for Natural Flea Control

5 Solutions for Natural Flea Control

With a scratch, scratch here and a scratch, scratch there… Warm weather is returning and with it come the fleas. Those nasty little buggers could drive a dog to drink but pumping their blood full of prescription medication (aka harsh chemicals) or using harsh soaps and sprays hardly seems like a pet lover’s answer. Below are some all-natural solutions that will have your dog itch-free in no time.

1. Rosemary Flea Dip
Steep two cups of fresh rosemary in boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid, discard the leaves and add up to a gallon of warm water depending on the size of your dog. Wait until it cools but is still warm and pour over your dog until he’s soaked. Allow your dog to dry naturally. Works especially well on hot summer days.

2. Lavender Essential Oil
Wash your dog thoroughly and towel dry. Apply a few drops of lavender essential oil to the base of the tail and another at the neck.

3. Brewer’s Yeast
Add a small Brewer’s yeast tablets to your dog’s food. Much like prescription meds (but much healthier), this is excreted through Fido’s skin making him less attractive to fleas. Check with your veterinarian for the proper dosages depending on weight.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar
A spoonful of this stuff added to your dog’s water makes their skin more acidic and not-at-all tasty to fleas. If apple cider vinegar is not your dog’s cup of tea, you can dilute it 50/50 with water, pour into a spray bottle and use as a repellent.

5. Lemon Spray Repellent
Cut a lemon into quarters, cover with boiling water and let it steep overnight. In the morning, spray all over your dog, especially behind the ears and around the head generally (be careful of his eyes), around the base of the tail, and under your dog’s legs.

Related:
10 Ways to Protect Your Dog from Fleas
7 Tips for Chemical-Free Pest Control
All-Around Non-Toxic Flea Control

Read more: Pests, Pets, Remedies & Treatments, , ,

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Veronica Peterson

Veronica Peterson has a background in green design and creative writing. She loves discovering and sharing sustainable ways to enrich life. Veronica is a happy urbanite, who lives above a produce market in San Francisco with her dog Winnie.

200 comments

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11:51PM PDT on May 25, 2014

good article and good responses from other readers sharing their personal experiences. thanks!!

3:47PM PDT on May 17, 2014

Noted

4:15PM PDT on May 10, 2014

I use apple cider vinegar in my dog's food. I wrote a great article about natural pest repellents. I didn't know that lavendar essential oil worked! That's a new one for me. I LOVE lavender! I have an article with some other ideas. Please feel free to check it out: http://www.essentiallydogs.com/natural-flea-tick-repellent

12:02AM PDT on May 1, 2014

RE: undiluted oils. There's a guy on youtube who puts straight texas cedar oil on his retriever. I would never recommend straight oils for humans or furry kids, the regular plant may be fine but remember that oils tend to be hundreds of times stronger when concentrated. Many oils, such as eucalyptus even have warnings on the oil labels to always use with a carrier oil. I make a wonderful muscle balm that has eucalyptus and other stuff in it using beeswax and olive oil as carriers. So far from my research these anti insect oils are non toxic and to the best of my ability to find information not toxic to dogs, I've been using these on my dog for a bit with no noticeable side effects (behavior or rashes etc.). Lemongrass oil--this stuff is great alone but works better in a mix. Texas cedar oil--I really couldn't find anything definitive about toxicity other than the FDA rates it as safe to ingest in small quantities. Neem oil, apparently only insects are bothered by this. Any mint family oil, peppermint, catnip just to name two...catnip oil is expensive and if you've also got a cat I don't think I'd put catnip on the dog (LOL). It is possible to get powdered or concentrated apple cider vinegar, fleas hate the odor. Only problem with mixing something water based with oils is that it will separate...so just shake the container before application.

9:07AM PDT on Apr 30, 2014

Good ideas.

4:05PM PDT on Apr 12, 2014

Good article, but what about cats?

3:02PM PDT on Mar 23, 2014

Be careful of lavender and tea tree, if ingested it can be toxic. Mine immediately licks himself when I put the stuff on him so unless you're sure your critter isn't going to get it in their mouth I would avoid lavendar and tea tree, also be aware that tea tree is absorbed through the skin and I came across at least one report of tea tree oil causing an issue in a dog. Also avoid Clove oil, it supposedly can cause kidney issues. Eucalyptus is a great repellent but toxic even in tiny amounts there's a reason koala took generations to adapt to eat it, nothing else can eat it. There are lots of oils out there that are repellent or kill pests but spend a few hours researching to be sure they aren't toxic if you want to try it yourself, and remember too that even if a human can tolerate it your canine friend is smaller and may be more sensitive. Some concoctions safe on dogs are not also safe on cats who seem to be more sensitive for whatever reason probably because of their proclivity for cleaning themselves all the time.

2:35PM PDT on Mar 23, 2014

My flea battle has been epic, my yard has just always had them as long as I can remember (this is my childhood home). My terrier wasn't born in Florida and I truly think that makes a difference when the puppy doesn't get the immunity from mom during nursing. Provantix doesn't work, tried some of the other brands too nothing commercial works more than a day or two, tried brewers yeast, makes his coat shine but isn't helping with the fleas. Tried a couple of natural efforts with varying success, my big problem is that he HATES to be sprayed with anything. Whatever I use must be brushed on or rubbed on only, had the most success with apple cider vinegar but he objects to the smell of it (lol). Most successful to date is the following: in one ounce container, fill half way with jojoba oil, almost half way (leave room for the oils) with apple cider vinegar (filtered is fine), 1/4 tsp vegetable glycerin (helps everything mix together better) add 6 or more drops each, peppermint, lemongrass, neem, texas cedar (experiment with strength, for my 60 pound terrier I'm using ten drops each in 1 ounce carrier). I put this in a dropper bottle or tiny eyedrop squirt bottle. Squirt it on my hand and rub the underneath, squirt it on one of those rubber grooming mitts and rub the rest of the dog. You can also squirt a line along the back and use a flea comb to get it all down into the hair. I may see a few walking around now and then after he's outside but nothing like before and no mo

1:47AM PST on Feb 25, 2014

I Do the Lemon Spray ! It works GREAT! I have also tried the Orange,it works ,cut a orange in half,rub straight down the back of your dog,right before you let your dog into the house,the fleas will jump off ! Lavendar works also ,but I put a few drops of the oil on a paper towel or a soft rag,and start at the top of my dogs head,go straight down their back to the tail,also get the belly and legs ! No Fleas ! After wild rabbits moved into my yard last summer my dogs got Fleas ,direst time in 10 years ! So all of the Natural ones I tried Worked for me ! No Chemicals ,not trying to Kill my Old dogs ! A Nice warm bath once a month in the summer helps too ,then Refresh with Lavendar,also their bedding! :)

11:42AM PST on Feb 23, 2014

I've also heard of taking an Orange peel and rubbing it on the dog's "coat"; that it totally repels fleas/flies and possibly even ticks....(not sure about the latter). Good article; information is essential for a "chemical-free" solution for those pests that like to nibble on your 4-legged pets!!

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