If you've found yourself puzzling over small red marks on your feet or lower legs or, worse, seeing minuscule insects hopping from your carpet to your calves and vice versa, you may be dealing with a flea infestation. These stubborn parasites can hitch a ride inside your home from your dog or cat (or even you) and use this interior access to lay eggs and spread their itchiness throughout your household.
While fleas can be among the more stubborn of animal-borne parasites, there's no need to despair-in many cases, you'll be able to eradicate these pests with just some essential oils. Read on to learn more about how essential oils can be used to eradicate fleas from within your home and prevent your indoor-outdoor pets from bringing any of these unwanted visitors inside.
How Can You Combat a Flea Infestation With Essential Oils?
In addition to their aromatherapy and health uses, essential oils can help eradicate fleas and interrupt their life cycle.
Oils like lemongrass, cedarwood, and citronella are ideal when it comes to killing fleas. Lemongrass has natural insecticidal properties and is used to kill mosquitoes, biting flies, and other pests in addition to fleas. Cedarwood and citronella are also common in the bug-killing context; in addition to keeping mosquitoes at bay, these oils can stop fleas in their tracks. Those who prefer a more floral scent may want to investigate lavender oil, which can discourage fleas from settling in a certain area.
In order to use these essential oils to eradicate fleas within your home, you'll want to make a mixture of one or more of these oils combined with a carrier oil like grapeseed or coconut. Alternatively, you can mix these oils with water-but be sure to use a glass pitcher rather than a plastic one, as these oils are strong and can often eat away at plastic containers.
After you've mixed the oils together, you'll want to put this mixture in a spray bottle and apply it to the areas where your pet spends the most time-whether a certain part of the living room floor, a dedicated pet bed, or even your own bed.
If you're able to wash your pet's bed or other upholstered fabrics, you'll want to do this before applying the essential oils to kill as many fleas and eggs as possible before treatment has begun. The remaining eggs are likely to be impacted by the oils, which can cause the eggs to fail to hatch or lead the new flea to die quickly after hatching and before further eggs can be laid.
You may also want to use an oil diffuser to spread the scent of these insecticidal oils throughout your household, encouraging insects to settle elsewhere.
What Can You Do to Prevent Your Pet From Picking Up Fleas?
Treating your home for fleas won't do much if you've failed to treat your pet, and even those who don't have much exposure to the outdoors may be at some risk. As a result, it's crucial to extend your essential oil treatment to your pet in a safe way and after consultation with your veterinarian, sometimes in combination with other popular flea treatments.
When placing essential oils on your pet, you'll first want to perform a small patch test to ensure your pet isn't allergic either to the oils or to a component in your carrier oils. Waiting a day or two and observing any skin reactions on the test patch site should allow you to rest assured that these oils won't cause you or your furry family members any problems.
Because canine and feline senses of smell are significantly more advanced than those of humans, it's important not to go overboard when applying these essential oils, as application with a heavy hand can be overwhelming.
If you'd like to learn more about how essential oils can help you, contact a knowledgeable essential oils distributor, such asTruGardens. Essential oils can help a variety of issues, and you may be surprised by how effective they can be.