Does Lavender Oil Repel Fleas?

By Karen Frisch

Lavender oil repels fleas as well as ticks, mosquitoes and other insects naturally and effectively. You’ll recognize fleas in the house as tiny black bugs that jump from your pet’s fur onto floors and furniture. Lavender essential oil repels fleas, but doesn’t kill them. Lavender oil is most effective when used as a preventive treatment indoors and outdoors. Used regularly around the house, it can control the presence of stubborn fleas.

Skin Irritation

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Fleas are perhaps the most common reason for skin irritation and itching in dogs. Lavender oil has physical and emotional benefits that include soothing irritated skin and frayed nerves. Lavender essential oil doesn’t kill fleas, but is comforting to a dog’s skin. A few drops added to his shampoo bottle will ease his itching and restlessness considerably. You can also add a few drops of lavender oil to a spray bottle of water. When you brush your dog, the lavender oil spray will dampen his coat and moisturize his dry skin. Lavender oil is for external use only; never administer it orally. Since fleas can set off allergies, using a flea comb and checking regularly helps prevent fleas.

Indoor Prevention

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Since prevention is the best medicine, especially with pesky fleas, treating the house before flea season begins is helpful. Putting a few drops of lavender oil into a rug shampoo or a quick vacuuming will help keep fleas away from carpets and areas where your dog lies. A light spray on pet bedding and furniture will also work. Adding a few drops of lavender oil to a dish of water placed under a night-light near your dog’s sleeping area will cause fleas to jump in and drown. People living in warm regions should watch for fleas year-round.

Outdoor Prevention

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Besides lavender essential oil, the lavender plant itself will help your dog outdoors. Since many dogs spend a large amount of their time outdoors, it makes sense to plant lavender, a natural flea repellent, to keep fleas away from the yard. Mowing the lawn frequently to keep grass short also discourages fleas. Remove cut grass and other brush from the dog’s area.

Lavender Products

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Made from bits of flowers and leaves, lavender essential oil is safe to apply directly to the skin without being diluted. You can buy it at natural product or health food stores. You’ll find lavender oil in various commercial products, from dog shampoo to rug cleaner. Products containing lavender essential oils are a safe alternative to commercial products, which can include harsh chemicals.

Precautions

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Take precautions when using lavender oil on dogs. Since lavender essential oil is used medicinally, you should consult your veterinarian if your dog is pregnant or on medication or if the dog has other compromising health issues. Always keep lavender oil away from the eyes.