Get the (10 Most Powerful and Safe)…Essential Oils for Fleas and Ticks


Essential oils are wonderful for humans and it’s a well known fact that aromatherapy essential oils make a great holistic and complete wellness treatment for our furry pets. It's also logical to use essential oils for fleas and ticks on cats and dogs.

Ticks and fleas are a problem all year round for pet’s and their owners. These prolific parasites wreak havoc, frequently causing several health issues in our beloved pets. 

In this article I am going to talk about which essential oils are good for fleas and ticks on domestic pets and also detail some easy DIY essential oil pet parasite recipes to prevent and eliminate fleas and ticks.

Why Use Essential Oils for Flea and Tick Control on Pets?

Pet friends too young for fleas and ticks yet

When it comes to raising pets, flea and tick infestations are one of the major issues faced by pet owners. Unfortunately, veterinarians will usually prescribe harsh chemicals to kill these parasitic organisms.

However, it is well known that most chemical sprays, powders, shampoos and spot-treatments are frequently very toxic to pets...and humans too. 

Pyrethroid based products are typically used for flea and tick control in dogs and cats but some of these contain organophosphates which are carcinogenic and can cause hormonal and developmental issues in humans...especially children and elderly people with lower immunity.

And this is the main reason why more pet parents are opting to use essential oils for fleas and ticks on cats and dogs. Not only are these oils extremely effective in repelling parasites; they are also wonderful for the emotional and overall well being of your pet.

Cat scratching  fleas and ticks

How To Harness the Power of Essential Oils for Cat and Dog Fleas and Ticks?

What makes essential oils so effective in repelling fleas and ticks on cats and dogs is their aromatic effect. Pests are repelled by the scent of the oils. It is no wonder that many commercial tick and flea products also contain natural essential oils. The only downside to using homemade essential oil flea and tick spray recipes is the oils wash away and the odors quickly dissipate. So you need to reapply them frequently. 

Secondly, it is important to know that essential oils will not kill the fleas and ticks on your cats/dogs; they will only repel them.  So, where as you need to apply chemical treatments once a month; you likely need to apply essential oils for tick and flea control several times a week. However, this is still a small price to pay since your precious pets will be free from skin irritation, breathing problems and lack of appetite which chemicals tend to cause.

Also, at the end of the day, there is no reason to spend so much money on expensive chemicals for managing fleas and ticks on your dogs and cats. Essential oil to fight dog or cat  itching is much cheaper in the longer run and they also smell fantastic. Moreover your priceless pets will not break out in a rash. So start using homemade flea control to keep your home and your pets free from ticks and fleas.

Scratching dog with fleas and ticks

The Best 10 Essential Oils for Use in DIY Flea and Tick Sprays

There are nearly 50 different essential oils that you can use in your homemade flea and tick spray.

Here are the 10 important ones:

1. Cedarwood Essential Oil for Ticks, Fleas...and Mosquitos Too!

cedar wood essential oil

Cedarwood essential oil has a long standing history of use as a natural insecticide. In early times, people used it to repel moths from clothes.

Apart from repelling ticks and fleas from dogs and cats, Cedarwood essential oil is also a wonderful remedy for repelling mosquitoes, chiggers, and other pesky insects.

Additionally, this oil can prevent and treat hair loss in pets. It also balances skin and hair and treats dryness and other skin issues.

You can even use it for relieving pain in rheumatic or arthritic pets.

Is cedarwood essential oil safe for cats? Yes, when properly diluted with a carrier oil it is perfectly safe. (Although, avoid using the oil from White Cedar for repelling fleas and ticks).

2. Peppermint Oil...Yes, It’s Safe for Pets

peppermint essential oil

There is a bit of controversy surrounding peppermint oil for treating pet parasites. Here are some common questions posed by pet owners regarding the use of peppermint oil for fleas and ticks:

  • Can you put peppermint oil on cats?
  • Is peppermint oil toxic to pets?
  • Can we also use peppermint oil for fleas on humans?

The fact is you can safely use peppermint oil to treat fleas and ticks on cats, dogs as well as on humans. However, do not allow your pet to lick the oil as it can, in large doses, be harmful to small animals.

Also, very high concentrations of peppermint oil could cause lethargy and breathing problems in cats. SO always dilute the essential oil before using it topically. It is best to add a few drops of peppermint oil to the pet’s shampoo while bathing. You can also make a homemade tick/flea collar with the oil to repel these bugs.

3. Calming Lemongrass Oil

lemon grass essential oil

Lemongrass oil is one of the best natural ways to get rid of fleas on cats and dogs. It has natural anti-fungal, insect repellent and astringent properties.

Lemongrass also has a light sedating effect on the central nervous system.

Apart from ticks and fleas, you can use it to repel mosquitoes and other insects.

4. Patchouli Oil...Also a Skin Tonic

patchouli essential oil

Patchouli oil is also one of the best ingredients to use in homemade flea sprays. It has antifungal, antiseptic and insect repellent properties.

Patchouli oil also acts as a skin tonic for your pet’s coat; it tones and strengthens the skin cell tissue and prevents infections, blisters, and other common skin problems.

5. Rose Geranium Oil...Smells Heavenly

Rose Geranium Essential Oil

There is a reason why rose geranium oil tick spray recipe is so popular! Rose geranium is a balancing oil that makes an excellent insect repellent.

Its powerful insecticidal properties are known for preventing and eliminating fleas and ticks. Rose Geranium is a wonderful addition to your pets’ bath time. Here is a simple and divine smelling rose geranium oil blend tick spray recipe:

  • 4-5 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil

  • 1 drop each Peppermint and Lemongrass essential oils

  • 4 ounces of distilled water

Place all ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray on your pet as well as your own clothes and skin before a walk in the woods.

Also dip a handkerchief or collar in this mixture and leave it overnight. Tie this natural flea collar around your pet’s neck for repelling ticks and fleas. Reapply the solution to the collar weekly.

6. Thyme Oil...Also an Antibiotic Remedy

thyme essential oil

In addition to being a wonderful insect repellent, thyme oil is also anti microbial. It has the ability to destroy staphylococcus bacteria despite being diluted several times over. 

Thyme oil is also a powerful immune stimulant.

7. Citronella Oil...Not Just for Potpourri

Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella oil is best known for its insect repellent properties and is available commercially in the form of room sprays, candles, potpourri and lotions.

Aside from repelling ticks and fleas, it is an excellent mosquito repellent. Spray some on a tissue and take it on your camping trips to deter bugs.  

It also has antiseptic and skin toning properties.

8. Eucalyptus Oil...A Powerful Insect Repellent 

eucalyptus essential oil

Spritz a bit of Eucalyptus oil around your dog’s ears to change its scent and deter fleas and ticks.

Eucalyptus oil is a powerful insect repellent and also repels silverfish and cockroaches.

Mix water and a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle and spray it all around the house 3 times a week to repel fleas. Also use the spray on pet’s bedding.

9. Lavender Oil...Use the Whole Plant

lavender essential oil

There are numerous uses as an insect repellent for the entire Lavender plant. Dried flowers of lavender can be placed in pet bedding and pillows to repel parasites.

Also apply the oil diluted to massage the pet’s fur. This will make your pet smell great and also repel fleas, ticks and mites. Add a few drops to shampoo while bathing.

This oil can also alleviate pain in older animals with joint issues and they also aid in sleep.

10. Sage Oil...Also Used by the Romans

sage essential oil

Sage oil is derived from the flowering tops of the sage tree and is an excellent mosquito repellent. People use it to inoculate fabric clothes hangers and pet shampoos to deter fleas and ticks.

The dried leaves and flowers of sage can be filled inside sachets to repel bugs...a recipe used by Romans to keep their homes bug free.

Other effective essential oils to ward off fleas and ticks include:

  • Bay leaf
  • Geranium
  • Manuka
  • Neem
  • Spearmint
  • Clary Sage
  • Cypress
  • Vetiver
  • Niaouli
  • Tea Tree Oil
Apply essential oils to sprays for cats and dogs

How To Safely Apply Essential Oils for Ticks and Fleas on Cats and Dogs

Here are some important safety points to remember when using essential oils for fleas and ticks on cats and dogs:

  • Never use the oils on or near pets’ eyes, mouth or genital area.

  • It is best to dilute the essential oils before use. You can mix it up with a bit of coconut oil before application.

  • You can also dilute the oils with a bit of water and spray all over the pets’ coat.

  • Another great way of using the essential oils for fleas and ticks on pets is to mix it with shampoo. A few drops are all you need. Also add a bit to the pet’s final rinsing water.

  • Some oils can be applied to the pet’s paws on the lower side.

  • Dogs and cats are highly allergic to certain oils. Never use the following oils around pets: Camphor, Maleleuca, Citrus oil, Yarrow, Anise, Birch, Hyssop, Juniper, White Thyme and Wintergreen. Cats and kittens are also allergic to Pennyroyal oil.

  • If your dog or cat shows signs of breathlessness, sneezing, restlessness, discomfort or pain following the use of essential oils for fleas and ticks, see a vet immediately.

  • Never administer essential oils orally/internally without consulting an aromatherapist first.

Now let’s discover some easy homemade flea and tick repellent recipes using essential oils.

Mister Flea doesn't like essential oils

Easy DIY Essential Oil Recipes for Fleas and Ticks

  • 3 drops each Lemongrass, Lemon, Lavender and Eucalyptus oils
  • 4 oz. distilled water
  • Dark spray bottle

Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle and shake well. Allow the oils to synergize and mix well. Spray all over the pet. Also spray on pet bedding.

Tick Repellent Medicine

  • 3 drops Bay Leaf oil
  • 5 drops Geranium oil
  • 7 drops Lavender oil
  • 3 tsp Sweet Almond oil

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Apply to pet’s neck, near the tail, chest, back and legs.

Tick Flea Collar

This easy tick and flea collar not only repels these parasites but also makes your pet smell fantastic!

  • 2 drops each Citronella, Lavender, Peppermint essential oils
  • 1/3 cup purified water

In a glass bowl, mix all the oils with the water. Do not use a plastic bowl as essential oils can degrade it.

Soak the pet’s collar in the blend. Leave the collar in the blend overnight. 

Allow the collar to dry completely before using it on your pet. You need to reapply the blend on the collar every week to ensure protection.

Anti Tick Flea Shampoo

  • 1-2 drops each of Lemongrass and Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Vet approved shampoo

Add the oil to the shampoo and use on the pet as directed. Rinse off with warm water.

Bathe your pet every 2 weeks to prevent ticks and fleas. In case of serious infestation, bathe the pet 2 times a week.

Wash pets’ bedding in hot water and add a few drops of the oil to the final rinsing water.

Last Word

Fleas and ticks pose a huge problem to your pet as well as your entire household. Thankfully, essential oils are very effective at discouraging these bothersome pests.

In this article I discussed several homemade essential oil flea and tick spray, collar and shampoo recipes. Try them to get the natural benefits of fleas and ticks repellent and keep your pets and you healthy and happy!

About the author

Jill Holiday

Jill Holiday is publisher of Pure Wild OIls, an e-magazine devoted to articles about the benefits of essential oils and related product reviews.

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