Saturday, July 28, 2012

Homemade All-Natural Flea and Tick Repellent

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!


33 comments:

  1. Leah,
    I love your practical posts! Amazingly effective blogging you're doing!
    Thank you.

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  2. Have you found that this is a repellant for other insects as well? We don't have fleas here, but during the summer we do seem to have unwelcome insect visitors! This would be awesome solution!

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    1. Audrey - I haven't actually noticed, but then again, I've only been paying attention to the flea/tick problem that we have. I suppose it's possible!! Let me know if you discover an extra pest that it keeps away!!

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  3. This is great! I'm going to share this tip with my mom who has flea issues with her pets once in a while. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Cool! I love that essential oils can pretty do everything with the correct combination! Who needs store bought products with chemicals and preservatives when you can probably make it :)

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  5. Do you think it would work to just use a citrus oil or does it need to be the lemon??

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    1. Kassie - it needs to be lemon. There is a chemical compound in lemon oils called limonene that is the natural flea/tick repellent!

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  6. I'll have to pass this along to my MIL. She is spending a small fortune on flea and tick repellent.

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    1. Kristina - I know what you mean! Before we discovered this trick, we were spending WAY too much money on Frontline for 6 pets every month!! Tell your MIL that she can also put 1-2 drops of straight lemon EO between the shoulder blades once a month, just like the Frontline drops!

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  7. I will have to try this for our kitties. Thanks!

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    1. Note: please make sure not to spray this directly on your cats. It's diluted enough and safe for them to encounter in the house, but you want to steer clear of putting any essential oils directly on your cats.

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  8. This is wonderful Leah! I was searching for natural repellent solutions with oils and low and behold I found your site! I do know about lemon being a deterrent and also being safe for kitties, but what about cedarwood and/or lavender? Do you know if it's safe when diluted? I know some oils can cause liver damage if too concentrated.

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  9. Someone has stolen your pic and put a different remedy with it on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152846248395019&set=a.174021835018.252294.757875018&type=1

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  10. I was told ground cinnamon infront of the ears kills ear mites so I got to thinking fleas are about the same size so I sprinkled some all over my dog who like to roll in the grass an collect fleas! about a hour later I checked an I found veary few 3 hours later we went in took a bath an only 9 in the water!!!

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    1. Wow, what a great find! Thanks for sharing!!

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  11. I'm all for cheap and natural, but not where my dogs' health is concerned.

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    1. If your dogs health is truly your priority I would strongly suggest you use natural products for you pups whether cheap or expensive. The flea products that you purchase at your vet has terrible side effects. I urge you to read about that before you decide not to use a natural product. I used beneficial nematodes, natural remedy, in my yard in Florida in May and have not had a flea issue since, it has not only saved me a ton of money but my dogs have not had any poison slathered down their back in 7 wonderful months.

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  12. I used lemon juice mixed 50/50 with water to repel fleas from biting our legs. We had a minor infestation and since there was no carpet to contend with, it was gone quickly. The lemon essential oil may work better. For carpeted areas, I used Borax from the laundry aisle. It was AMAZING how fast and effective it was. I keep it down under furniture to ensure that the possibility of infestation is taken care of.

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    1. Can I ask how you used the Borax? We've got fleas in our house and there's lots of carpet. Thanks!

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  13. Please be careful with the kitties! they don't do the essential oils as well as dogs,especially the citrus ones.

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    1. You're very right, Yvonne. I should've added this to my post. This should NOT be sprayed directly on your cats! It's diluted enough and safe for cats to encounter in the home, but not on them specifically.

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  14. DON'T use essential oils on your dog... it is toxic to them!

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    1. While one does have to be careful using certain EOs, lemon oil is indeed safe for dogs if applied topically.

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  15. Hi!

    Can I ask you how many ml does the bottle have, please? Is it 500 ml? Thank you so much :) I loved this idea, the anti-flea colars are so toxic that a lot of dogs become allergic to them. Thank you once again, love your blog.

    Jo, Paris (France)

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    1. Hi Jo, Yes, that's a standard 500mL bottle. :)

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  16. How much water? It doesn't say what size the spray bottle is...

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  17. How does this work with ticks? We don't have a flea problem, but our dog keeps coming in with ticks. Would love to have a natural solution!

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  18. How often should it be reapplied to the collar?

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  19. Can I use EO of LemonGrass? It smells VERY lemony.

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