Warm weather brings with it a word that pet owners dread: Fleas. Many pet owners are leery of using strong chemicals on their pets and in their homes to repel or kill those little buggers. Commercial flea repellants can also add up to a lot of money, but luckily there are homemade flea repellants that actually work for those flea-weary pet owners.
One of the cheapest and easiest homemade flea repellant that works quite well is simple apple cider vinegar. Equal parts vinegar and water mixed together and poured into a spray bottle makes a simple and effective solution for those nasty little critters. Fleas hate the smell of vinegar and will avoid it. Apple cider vinegar can also be mixed into your pet’s water for help in controlling the fleas.
Vinegar is a low-cost, fragrance-free (the vinegar smell dissipates quickly), and environmentally-friendly option for pet owners. It can be used on both dogs and cats, but be warned: Your feline friends really seem to hate the smell of vinegar.
Be sure not to use spray bottles that have contained other cleaners. You don’t want to mix unknown chemicals with the vinegar and you definitely don’t want to take the chance that residue in the bottle might harm your pet. You will probably need to reapply the vinegar spray every few days.
Brewer’s yeast is another great natural flea repellant. It can be found at health food stores and in the vitamin and supplement department at many grocery stores and pharmacies. Brewer’s yeast also provides B complex vitamins to pets. To use the brewer’s yeast, add it to your pet’s food at the ratio of one teaspoon per 30 pounds of body weight.
This flea repellant is not only easy to make at home, it also smells great. Cut six lemons in half then boil all of them in one quart of water. Steep this for a few hours and then strain the lemon solution into a spray bottle (once again, don’t reuse spray bottles that have held chemical cleaners).
Use this lemon flea repellant by spritzing it on your pet’s fur (make sure you don’t spray it in the eyes). You can also spray your furniture, bedding and carpet in your home for a fresh-smelling flea repellant.
Sprinkle salt on your carpets for another effective flea repellant. When winter starts to lose its grip and spring is starting to heat up, treat your carpets with the salt. Let the salt stand for about 10 minutes then vacuum. This treatment can help you get a head start on flea control.
Other herbs, scents and essential oils
There are a number of herbs, natural scents and essential oils available that will repel fleas. They could be used separately or combined as ammunition in your fight against fleas. If you combine any of these, check with a certified herbalist first to make sure they are compatible when mixed. They are: Pennyroyal, thyme, wormwood, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, citronella, cedar, eucalyptus, rosewood, myrrh, neem, Tea Tree oil and geranium.
Choose a method to rid your pets and your home of fleas, or try out more than one. Either way, using homemade repellents and remedies is an environmentally-friendly and budget-minded approach to waging war against those pests.