There are various flea control products on the market, but most use synthetic insecticidal chemicals. If you want a natural flea control method, consider using essential oils. These all-natural oils can be used as flea killer and repellent.
There is a huge variety of essential oils, and some are more effective and others for controlling fleas. In this article, we will help you understand which oils are best for flea control.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are extracted through distillation from a variety of plants. They volatile aroma compounds, making them useful in a variety of applications including perfumes, food flavoring, incense, cleaning products, medicines, and insecticides.
Plants produce these oils for a number of different reasons, but one of them is to deter insects. Without the production of these oils as a defensive mechanism, herbivorous insects would devour these plants. We can harvest and concentrate these essential oils to use them for the same purpose of insect control.
Essential Oil as Flea Repellents & Insecticides
A variety of essential oils can be used as flea repellents. We find these oils pleasant smelling, but fleas can’t stand the scent. There are also a few oils with insecticidal properties, and are able to kill fleas on contact. The great thing about using essential oils for flea control is that they are safe for use around homes, pets, and children. In fact, most can even be applied topically to pets and clothing to repel fleas and sooth bites. However, it is important to keep in mind that undiluted essential oil can cause skin irritation.
Orange Oil & Orange Peel Extract
Orange oil is one of the few essential oils that will kill insects, including fleas, on contact. It is composed almost entirely out of the hydrocarbon limonene. Limonene is used as a botanical insecticide. Take a look at the active ingredients on natural flea sprays and shampoos, and you will often find substaces called D-limonene and Linalool. These are actually orange peel extracts. They work best to kill adult fleas and eggs.
Eucalyptus is an essential oil from trees of the same name. Eucalyptus oil can be used as both a biopesticide, and an insect repellent. Fleas do not like the scent of this essential oil, and will be repelled by it. This oil is very popular for making homemade flea repellent sprays for homes and pets. You can also put a few drops on your dog’s collar to deter fleas.
This oil comes from the flower spikes of lavender plants. Lavender is a popular essential oil used in a variety of pet flea control products. Sourced from the flower and plant of the Lavandula variety, this essential oil makes a good natural flea repellent. However, it is not known to kill fleas. Topically applied, it will help ease skin irritation and itchiness from flea bites. Plus, it will repel fleas, preventing future bites.
Citronella oil is derived from the leaves and stems of citronella grass (lemon grass). You have probably seen citronella oil used in a variety of a mosquito repellent products, such as candles. This essential oil is also effective in repelling fleas, as well as other insects. It makes a good, non-toxic, natural alternative to using DEET.
Cedar Wood Oil
The oil from the evergreen cedar tree is extracted from the needles, wood, and roots. This oil can be used as a natural insect repellent and insecticide. While speculative, it is believed that this essential oil kills fleas and other insects by impairing their nervous system through a pheromone interruption agent.
Peppermint is another all-natural essential oil that can repel fleas and ease skin irritation. The oil from peppermint has a menthol scent and is effective in repelling insects like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Peppermint oil also gives a cooling sensation when applied to skin, so it can help relieve itching from flea bites. The great thing about peppermint is people generally love the refreshing scent, while fleas hate it.