Control of Fleas in Pets using Essential Oils By Tonia Werchon BVSc. Dip. Herb Med

“Grow Fennel near the Kennel” is a wise old adage. A pillow made of dried herbs such as feverfew, lavender, rosemary, pyrethrum, rue, southern wood, tansy, pennyroyal wormwood, quassia chips, neem leaves, parsley seed heads and bay leaves, is comfortable and can be refreshed with a few drops of lavender, lavender spike, or eucalyptus or tea tree oil.

Ideally it should be changed every three months. Bedding can also be washed in eucalyptus or lavender oil (15 drops in the last rinse) and allowed to dry in the sun.


 Remember to take care with toxicity and note the low mass to large body surface area in the cat. To 300ml of any gentle shampoo or castille soap add:

FOR DOGS: Up to 30 drops of mixed essential oils: Lavender 10 drops + Eucalyptus 5 drops + Rosemary 5 drops + Cajeput 5 drops + Pennyroyal 5 drops.

FOR CATS: Up to 20 drops of mixed essential oils: Lavender 15 drops + Orange 5 drops (NB: Not Pennyroyal, NOT Citronella! Toxic to cats!) Rinses to discourage fleas and improve coat:

Light coats: Chamomile tea and juice of 1 lemon

Dark coats: Rosemary, walnut or bay leaves boiled in water, let cool add 1 tablespoon cider vinegar.

Groom over newspaper and burn to dispose.

Home-made flea collars: These are not effective as fleas will move towards the tail area.

Flea Repellent: Mix: 10 ml grapeseed or almond oil, 10 drops lavender, 5 drops cedar wood or geranium. Use 1-2 drops only, massaging into coat twice a week.

Vinegar and Essential Oil Mixes:

CATS: Recipe 1 – 1 tsp cider vinegar ~ 2 drops lavender ~ 2 drops cedar wood Recipe 2 – 1 tsp cider vinegar ~ 2 drops lemongrass ~ 2 drops eucalyptus Recipe 3 – 1 tsp cider vinegar ~ 3 drops spearmint.

DOGS: – 1 tsp cider vinegar ~ 2 drops eucalyptus/or lavender ~ 2 drops tea tree ~ 2 drops patchouli/ or lemongrass.

Carpets: Vacuum with a powerful vacuum cleaner once a week. Mist the carpet before vacuuming with 50 drops of lavender, eucalyptus, or eucalyptus citriodora in 300 ml water. Shake bottle well to disperse oils. Polished wood floors: Mop over with damp mop dipped into an emulsion of 60 ml lemon juice 60 ml olive oil 30 drops lavender oil. Note: this will sedate occupants as well as fleas!

For a comprehensive consultation visit Dr Elaine Cebuliak and team at Animal Wellness:

Dr Elaine Cebuliak

Dr Elaine is a highly experienced holistic vet and pioneer of Animal Wellness in Brisbane. She also assists with many charitable projects in Australia and in Bali.

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