Living on a farm is a great adventure, but it does come with its downsides – one of which is an abundance of pesky creatures. We have no shortage of spiders, earwigs, flies, caterpillars, and of course, fleas and ticks. Summertime is especially bad for fleas around here, and since we have six indoor pets, they present quite the challenge! Since I am not one to want to spray my home and yard with dangerous chemicals, I needed to find a natural solution to try to keep these pests at bay. After several failed attempts, I found a great solution! You can make an all-natural flea/tick repellent with only two ingredients: water and lemon essential oil (note: lemon juice is NOT the same thing and will not have the same effect). The lemon oil is very unappealing to fleas and will repel them from the surface that has been treated.
In an old spray bottle, simply add about 15-20 drops of lemon essential oil and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Give it a good shake to mix it all up. Spray around your baseboards, around the base of your doors (especially those entering your home), on rugs/carpet, on the furniture – basically anywhere that fleas could burrow down and lay their eggs. I have used this all over my home and never had an issue with discoloration, but to be safe, you may want to spray an inconspicuous area of your carpet/furniture first.
You can also use this in place of a flea collar (which have so many harmful chemicals for your dogs and little ones in your home). Spray the inside of your dog’s collar, let it air dry for a few seconds, and place back on your pet.
Now, remember that this is a repellent, not a flea/tick killer. While it can kill adult fleas if they come into contact with it, if you already have a flea infestation, this is not going to rid you of the problem. It can definitely be used to help keep the situation from getting worse, but this is designed to keep you from getting fleas inside in the first place!
**NOTE:A few questions/comments have made me realize that I need to specify a few things:1- While one does need to be very careful of using essential oils on their pets, lemon essential oil IS safe for dogs when applied topically. 2- Do NOT apply this or any essential oils directly to your cats! It is diluted and safe for them to come into contact with when you spray it around your house, but do not put it directly on them. Every cat’s metabolic system is different and you can never be sure about safety of essential oils for them. 3- It has been brought to my attention recently that using citrus oils in plastic containers may cause petrochemicals to leech from the plastic. Since I am only using this to spray around my house, and I go through a bottle usually all at once, I am not terribly concerned about this. However, if you have a glass bottle to use – even better!