There are hundreds of homemade flea repellent remedies out there on the Internet. Isn’t it nice to have products that you know are economical, as compared to the commercially available sprays and powders that are often toxic? However, you must be careful and ensure that the homemade flea repellent being used is also safe and effective. When it comes to repelling fleas off pets, you might assume that all the natural and herbal ingredients are bound to be safe. However, many essential oils and herbal products are actually toxic to animals and sometimes even fatal. Always check with your vet if you have doubts about a specific product or ingredient.
Are homemade flea repellents effective?
Before I address the questions as to ‘how to make your own homemade flea repellent’, you must consider the efficacy of these products. The answer, simply put, is that their effectiveness depends on the individual using it as well as the purpose they are meant to serve. Each pet is different, as is its owner and the property it lives in – so what works for one might not work for another. That being said, there are many natural ingredients you can use to make a homemade flea repellent spray. Some of the common essential oils used include:
- Eucalyptus oil
- Peppermint oil
- Tea tree oil
- Rosewood oil
- Citrus or
- Lemongrass essential oils
These oils can be mixed with some water and filled in a spray bottle. Their smells repel fleas and you can easily spray them all over the pets as well as over the household furniture, on the pet bedding and other places inhabited by pets.
If you want to try out any of the oils above, just search for them on Amazon like I did here.
Homemade flea spray recipes
Here are some natural flea spray recipes you can use to repel fleas in your home and on your pets. If you have already been bitten and are currently suffering from flea bites on your arms or legs, apply some tea tree oil or hydrocortisone cream to soothe the itch.
Flea spray with Dawn dish soap
- 1 part Dawn dishwashing liquid
- 2 parts water
Spray the mixture all over your yard and home to repel all stages of fleas. For pets, add 1 part apple cider or white vinegar to the above ingredients. Spray the mixture on your pets. Wash off after 30 minutes with a vet approved pet shampoo and warm water. Always use organic, raw apple cider vinegar with mother enzyme for making homemade flea sprays.
Flea spray with vinegar and baking soda
- 8 oz. organic, raw apple cider vinegar with mother enzyme
- 4 oz warm water
- ½ tsp each salt and baking soda
Mix the dry ingredients first. Now mix the vinegar and soda – it will fuzz. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Shake well. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and use it all over your pets. Avoid the eye area.
Flea spray with essential oils
- 1 oz or 30 ml of vodka, lavender essential oil, rosemary essential oil
- 4 oz distilled water
Shake well and store in a dark colored bottle. Mist it all over your pets daily. You can also spray the mixture on your hands first and then gently rub it into your pet’s fur. As a bonus, it will make your pet smell amazing.
Homemade flea trap
Apart from the aforementioned flea repellent sprays, you can also use homemade flea traps to eliminate fleas. Here is a simple technique: Take a bowl of hot water and add adequate amounts of liquid hand-soap in it. Place the bowl at the foot of the bed where you sleep with a small lamp near it. The fleas get attracted to the warmth of the light and fall and drown in the trap.
Besides using home remedies it is essential that you regularly vacuum the house, taking special care to reach under the beds, sofas and behind furniture pieces. Also clean/launder the mattresses, bed sheets and bed box springs to remove flea eggs. Dust and dry clean the curtains and upholstery. Use diatomaceous earth powder and Borax powder on carpets, rugs and flooring before vacuuming. If needed, clean the areas under the floor boards. It is best to keep kids and pets away when using these cleaning techniques because borax can be irritating to the skin and eyes.
Ask your vet for advice
Make sure you talk to your vet regarding which flea repellent home remedies are safe for the pet. At times, you must consider the size/weight of your pet and use the products accordingly. For example, some pet owners have seen excellent results by adding a bit of garlic to their pets’ food. However, others are of the opinion that garlic and onions are toxic to pets. In any case, it is always best to consult a vet prior to using any home remedies, just to be on the safe side.
Brewer’s yeast and apple cider vinegar
These are two other natural ingredients that have shown good results in repelling fleas. Both can be added in small quantities to the pet’s drinking water to boost their immunity naturally. Some dog/cat owners also like to use apple cider vinegar in diluted form as a final rinse for their pets after bathing. Not only does this remedy give a natural healthy shine to its coat, it also helps repel fleas. Apart from this, you can also go in for herbal shampoos like eucalyptus, lavender, germanium and tea tree shampoos for bathing pets. These are ideal for repelling both fleas and ticks. You could also make your own homemade flea repellent collars by dipping regular flea collars in essentials oils like geranium, cedar or lavender.
Some more natural flea repellents remedies
The following flea repellent home remedy can be used on dogs but should not be used on cats or kittens:
- Take 15 to 20 lemons, cut them in halves and add them to a gallon of boiling water. Steep this for 4-5 hours. Strain the mixture. Fill it up in a spray bottle. Use this solution to spray your dog from time to time for ongoing flea control. Rinse your dog afterwards to wash away excess lemon spray. Limonene (which is only found in the rind of citrus fruits) can cause liver damage in animals – but better safe than sorry.
- Alternatively, take a cup of distilled white vinegar and add it to a gallon of water. Fill this mixture in spray bottle. Spray your dogs with this remedy to repel fleas.
- Make a dry shampoo of sodium bicarbonate and lavender oil and massage it into your pet’s coat. This will make them smell great and it also repels fleas.
Additionally, you can place some fennel near your dog’s sleeping areas or some dried chamomile herbs near your cat’s basket to repel fleas from these spaces.
Making your own homemade flea repellent can be fun and if it works for you, you are bound to save plenty of money, not to forget, reduce use of toxic and harmful chemicals. That being said; even some of the most natural products can be very harmful to cats, dogs, fish and birds. An example is pennyroyal oil. It is known to give rise to severe respiratory symptoms in cats and kittens have died from this. Also, the home remedies described above are generally safe but you should still consult your vet prior to their use. Always ensure that the homemade flea repellent sprays do not get into your pet’s eyes or mouth and avoid using these essential oils near wounds or broken skin.
If you want more like this, here are 20 plants that naturally repel fleas.
Remember: fleas have multiple ways of getting into your home. So apart from the flea repellent sprays and traps, you might also want to consider cleaning the kennels, yard, porch and decks as well as all other areas where your pets spend time. In case of very large infestations, it is best to call in local pest control professionals for assistance and guidance.
Got fleas? Find out which products work in 2019, with my updated flea control product comparison chart.