What Essential Oils Kill Fleas?

What Essential Oils Kill Fleas?

Fleas prove that even the tiniest of creatures can still be wildly annoying. Our kids are tiny creatures, but they have wonderful moments. Meanwhile, fleas are all bad, like that old classmate who wouldn’t stop giving you a hard time. Maybe it is not totally correct to compare a bully to a literal blood-sucking insect, but we digress. 

Thankfully, there are a plethora of ways to get rid of fleas for good. Whether they affect you, your pets, or your family, rest assured that there are measures you can take. Upon first glance, you might notice that many of these options appear to be heavy on chemicals. 

When searching for an option safe for pets and kids, an abundance of harsh chemicals is the last thing you want. In actuality, the solution to this and many other problems can be found in nature. By getting more in touch with our roots (perhaps literally), we can find solutions to issues that don’t just lead to more problems.

At The Natural Patch Co., we are huge proponents of the benefits of essential oils. There is a reason that they have been around and used since as early as 4500 BC, after all. Some of the lesser-known advantages of essential oils often fly under the radar, but we’re here to highlight one of our favorites. 

Essential oils have the ability to get rid of pesky fleas for good, but you might need a bit more information before you can get started.

Are Essential Oils an Effective Way To Get Rid of Fleas?

Humans have utilized the powers of essential oils for generations, and we continue to find more uses for them seemingly daily. From relaxation to aromatherapy to helping alleviate some kinds of physical discomfort, essential oils have so much to offer us.

Since these helpful oils can do so much, it should be no surprise that they can also work wonders on fleas. That is to say: oils can kill fleas without a hitch. Rather than opting for a chemical solution that could be harmful to both kids and pets, many essential oils will do the job just as well without the added risks.

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Upon using these essential oils to get rid of fleas, you will also have the benefit of a lovely smelling home. Question: What’s the only thing better than a house that smells like lavender? Answer: A house that smells like lavender that also doesn’t have any fleas.

Many different essential oils can rid your home of fleas, so read through the list and determine what sounds best for you and your family. Whether you want to kill existing fleas or repel future ones, one or more of these options should do the trick:

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is the first entry on our list of flea-deterrent essential oils for a few reasons. First of all, it kills the annoying insects rather than just repels them. Using oils as a repellent is a great strategy and one that we recommend, but it is important to kill the existing fleas as well as prevent new ones from popping up.

Second, peppermint oil has many benefits besides eradicating fleas (if that weren’t enough). Peppermint oil can help with feelings of nausea and other stomach maladies, and the menthol inside of it goes a long way in clearing your sinuses. These benefits made peppermint oil a no-brainer to add to our AllergyPatch Allergy Relief Stickers.

Lastly, peppermint oil can also help alleviate itchiness. If you are dealing with fleas in your home, you know firsthand just how crucial this benefit is. Dilute the peppermint oil with water, lotion, or another option of your choosing. After that, you can sparingly apply the mixture to any itchy spots or bug bites you find.

Lavender Oil

Lavender might just be the single most popular essential oil available today, and it isn’t hard to see why. This oil is regularly used in spas and other luxurious settings to create an aura of tranquility.

People also use this essential oil to help them sleep and alleviate anxiety symptoms. Let’s not forget the simple fact that it also just smells really, really good.

With kids and pets running around, we know never to underestimate the value of a nice-smelling home. When it comes to lavender essential oil, we can make our homes smell like a high-class spa while also keeping a wide variety of bugs at bay. Now that’s our definition of a win-win.

Lavender repels fleas rather than killing them, so feel free to spray a diluted mixture around various surfaces of your home. You should target doorways, windows, and other places where bugs could be coming in from the outside.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an incredibly effective and all-natural way of targeting fleas and other common household pests. Note that this oil is potent, so it is best to thoroughly understand how to use it before getting started. Tea tree oil must be significantly diluted before being sprayed around the home or applied to the skin.

It is generally best to keep tea tree oil away from pets, as it can become very dangerous if ingested. Some flea treatments on the market for pets do contain tea tree oil, but it is generally a very small or trace amount of the substance. When used mindfully, tea tree oil is a wonderful ally in the fight against fleas.

Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is well known for its antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s also staunchly anti-flea. This oil repels fleas with ease (we do love a good rhyme). What is a peppy and zippy scent to us is actually wildly unpleasant to fleas, making this a favorite.

You can create a diluted mixture of lemongrass essential oil and water and then spray it around areas that your pet tends to frequent. Do not oversaturate these spots — a little can go a long way.

Basil Oil

We all appreciate basil for its ability to quickly spruce up any number of classic dinners. Any Italian fare instantly becomes fancier and more flavorful when some basil is added to the mix. Unlike people, fleas clearly do not appreciate the finer things in life, so they hate this delightful herb.

Basil oil can be used as a flea repellent all over the home, or it can be carefully applied directly to your pets or kids, albeit with some slight caveats. The basil oil should be diluted with water prior to use and then can be spritzed or applied wherever you see fit. 

Make sure that you only apply the mixture to places that your dog or cat is unable to lick. Also, remember that basil oil should not be applied to cats’ skin, as it is not as safe for them.

Citronella Oil

Citronella is widely known and used for its ability to repel mosquitoes naturally. That is why it is so regularly put in candles and or used in its natural form.

We are such big fans of this ingredient that we included it in our BuzzPatch Mosquito Repellent Patches. However, this oil’s bug-fighting powers also extend to other blood-sucking pests beyond just mosquitoes. 

It is worth noting that, while citronella can have a whole host of benefits for humans, it is best to keep it away from our furry friends. In fact, the plants that citronella oil is derived from can be toxic to common pets like dogs. If you are looking for an essential oil alternative that will work for you and your pets, we would recommend another choice on our list.

Cedarwood Oil

Last but certainly not least, cedarwood oil packs a real punch in terms of killing fleas. This woody, tranquil scent is rejuvenating to people, but it is exactly the opposite in these insects. Significantly dilute your cedarwood oil with water to make a spray that can be applied to pets and around the house.

Not only will this lovely-smelling oil kill fleas, but it will also go a long way in repelling future ones from darkening your doorstep. The flea-destroying powers of cedarwood are so well documented that this ingredient is regularly used in many anti-bug products. That being said, you can create a more natural version of these mixtures right in your own home.

This oil is also effective against other common household pests like fleas, mosquitoes, ants, gnats, and more. When spring and summer come around, having some cedarwood oil readily at your disposal is always a good call. We never know when bugs might move in, and it’s best to be prepared however we can be.

Get Rid of Fleas for Good

​​​​When you start to notice annoying bug bites, it’s natural to want the problem to go away as fast as possible. After treating the initial itch, it’s time to buckle down and get rid of the insects once and for all. With the help of essential oils, you can do so naturally. 


An Overview of the Biological Effects of Some Mediterranean Essential Oils on Human Health | PMC

Aromatherapy & Essential Oils for Relaxation and Stress Relief | WebMD

The Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil | Very Well Mind


What smell do fleas hate the most?

Peppermint and cedarwood are two of the most effective natural smells that fleas really hate. Both of these oils are also capable of killing fleas on the spot. 

What essential oils are in homemade flea spray?

You can use an array of different essential oils in your own DIY flea spray. Some of the best ones to pick are peppermint, lavender, and cedarwood.

What kills fleas the fastest?

Chemical flea killers can kill fleas quickly, but safe and natural alternatives like concentrated peppermint oil can be just as effective. Keep in mind that high concentrations of peppermint oil might not be safe for humans and pets.

What smells attract fleas?

Fleas are drawn to the scent of carbon dioxide, particularly in combination with heat and humidity (such as from breathing). It's naturally odorless to humans, but highly alluring to fleas.

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