Fighting Fleas Naturally

fight fleas naturallyBefore we know it, it will be time for t-shirts, shorts, sandals…

And fleas.

If you own pets, you know what a nightmare it can be to keep your pets (and your home) flea free when the temperatures outside start to climb.

Even if you don’t have pets but you or your children spend a lot of time outdoors in the spring and summer, you can find yourself fighting these nasty little pests.  They can hitch a ride on your shoes, your socks, pant legs, whatever, and you carry them home. Before you know it, your home is infested.

At the height of your frustration, you may find yourself thinking the battle is hopeless, especially if you don’t want to expose your pets and your family to harsh chemicals.

The good news is that there are natural ways to fight these little blood sucking pests without poisoning yourself.

Healthy Pets Are A Good Place To Start

If your pets have a really bad problem with fleas chances are they’re health isn’t as good as it could be.

Fleas are parasites and parasites attack weak, unhealthy or very young pets.

A good way to give yourself a leg up in the battle against flea infestation is to make sure your pet’s immune system is functioning the way it should.  Take a look at what they’re eating.  If you’re not feeding a good, healthy diet appropriate for the type of pet you have, step one in your battle against fleas is to change your pet’s food to a healthier choice.

Adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your pet’s water will help strengthen their immune system, too.

Good Grooming is Essential

Comb your dog or cat every day with a good flea comb.  Start at the head and work your way back, paying particular attention to the base of the tail.

If you bathe them regularly as well, you won’t need to use chemical flea shampoos.  A bath in warm water with a gentle soap that doesn’t irritate their skin will be just as effective in getting rid of any fleas they’re carrying.

Keeping your pet’s environment clean is just as important as keeping your pet clean.  Make sure you wash their bedding regularly in hot water and dry it in the dryer.  Vacuum weekly and change the vacuum bag every time you vacuum.  Dispose of the vacuum bag each time and don’t leave the old bag in the house.

Keep your floors clean and uncluttered and you will leave fewer places for fleas to hide and lay their eggs.

Brewer’s Yeast

Another way to make your pets less attractive to fleas is by mixing nutritional or brewer’s yeast into their food.  It alters the taste of the animal’s blood and fleas don’t like it.

Use about a teaspoon of unprocessed brewer’s yeast (nutritional yeast) every day for cats and small dogs.  For larger dogs, use a tablespoon every day for every 50 pounds of body weight.

If you use brewer’s or nutritional yeast, pay close attention to your pet’s skin.  Some animals are sensitive to yeast and can develop a skin allergy from it.  If you notice changes in your pet’s skin, stop using the yeast immediately.

Essential Oils as Flea Repellants (Dogs Only)

Several essential oils are natural insect repellants.  Natural and milder than harsh chemicals, they can help not only repel insects but improve coat quality and boost the immune system.  Make sure you’re only using therapeutic grade essential oils to ensure that the oils are pure and safe.

The more common oils for repelling insects, including fleas, are:

  • Lavender
  • Citronella
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedar
  • Lemongrass

Flea, tick and mosquito spray for dogs:

In a 32 ounce spray bottle filled with distilled water, add 10 drops of one of the oils listed above.  Shake the bottle well and mist your dog every day.  You can also spray this mixture on their bedding, around doorways and along baseboards to repel fleas.

This makes a good bug spray for people, too.

Natural Flea Spray for Cats

Cats can be extremely sensitive to essential oils so you’re better off not risking it.  Here’s a good mixture to use for your cats:

  1. Slice a lemon very thinly, add it to a pint of water and heat it to boiling.
  2. Let it sit overnight and in the morning, spray the areas where you suspect fleas are hiding and rub it on your cat’s fur.
  3. Don’t soak the fur but just get it good and damp.
  4. You can do this once a month.  Keep an eye on your cats to make sure they’re not having any ill effects from it (like stomach issues).

Herbal Flea Dip

For dogs or cats, you can make your own herbal flea dip using rosemary leaves.

Take two cups of fresh rosemary leaves and add them to two pints of distilled water.  Boil for thirty minutes.  Strain the liquid, throw the leaves away and mix the liquid into a gallon of warm water.  Pour it over your pet until the fur is saturated.

You should let your pet air dry after you pour the herbal flea dip over them so make sure it’s warm enough outside before you use this method.

If you keep your pet clean, keep their environment clean and use pet appropriate natural flea repellants, you, your family and your pet can enjoy a flea free spring and summer.  And you can do it without harsh chemicals or poisons.

Know any natural flea and/or tick treatments? I’d love to hear about them.

Need to buy essential oils to mix up a flea repellant for your dog? Click on the Revive Your Life button to go my Young Living Essential Oils site and place your order.

And please, if you have questions, drop me an email at

Mountain Rose Herbs
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2 Responses to Fighting Fleas Naturally

  1. amanda says:

    instead of boiling lemons to treat my cats for fleas can I add a few drops of lemon oil in a spray bottle of water for the same effect?

    • Susie Bryan says:

      Hi Amanda! Yes, you absolutely can. I have done that on more than one occasion. Just make sure you dilute the lemon oil well.

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