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Does Lavender Oil Kill Fleas? Tips on Safety & Effectiveness

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

lavender oil in glass bottle

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Fleas are a problem year after year for pet owners. We’re always scrambling for new tips and tricks on how to keep these pesky parasites at bay. Many people try to use natural remedies instead of harsh chemicals due to their perceived safety and effectiveness. However natural does not always mean safer.

So in all of the home remedies, where does lavender oil fall? After all, many parasites dislike strong essential oils. Lavender oil does not kill fleas, it can only repel them. It is not recommended as an effective treatment for fleas.

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Always Ask Your Vet Before Use

You should always consult your veterinarian before putting any homemade flea treatment on your pets. Your vet will recommend tweaks or changes in your chosen recipe or advise you to choose another alternative.

Lavender Oil Does Not Kill Fleas

There is not much research on using lavender oil to repel fleas and much of the information on pet blogs is anecdotal.

If you are looking for a flea preventative for your cat, you likely want something that repels fleas and kills them. Unfortunately, lavender oil is not a successful essential oil for killing fleas. The lavender merely repels the fleas, as they do not like the substance.

It is important to note that only around 5% of a flea population and life-cycle occurs on your pet. So if you are seeing fleas on your dog and cat, they are also in their environment, i.e your home. Flea eggs and larvae find their way into your carpets, fabrics, and pet bedding. So you must have an alternative method to kill the fleas without solely relying on lavender to take care of the problem.

It is recommended to consult with your veterinary clinic for advice on safely and effectively getting rid of and preventing flea infestations.

cat and vet
Image By: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

Lavender Oil for Fleas

We want to be incredibly transparent right up front. Essential oils can harm pets, especially if they aren’t appropriately diluted. So anytime they’re using essential oils, you must go by the exact measurements listed on recipes and under the guidance of a holistic veterinarian.

If the formula is too concentrated, it can cause toxicity in your pet. Lavender is among the many essential oils that can be very dangerous to dogs and cats if they are not diluted correctly. According to the ASPCA, lavender is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.

So, despite the split opinion online, we want to point out that lavender essential oils are toxic to our beloved pets in full potency. So you should never apply lavender oil topically on your pets.

It can cause much more harm than good, and it’s not the most effective treatment for fleas. But if you want to use lavender essential oil for this purpose, we want to give you all the information we can.

The reality is there are safer and more effective flea prevention methods available.

Using Lavender Oil on Carpets and Fabrics

Spraying your carpets with lavender oil solution can be beneficial for repelling fleas on home surfaces. Even though it won’t be completely effective in getting rid of infestations, it can certainly keep the fleas at bay.

Spraying carpet cleaner on the carpet
Image Credit: Syda-Productions, Shutterstock

Will Essential Oils Eradicate a Flea Infestation?

If you already have a flea infestation in your home, essential oils will not eliminate the infestation.

In addition to using a holistic flea treatment for your fabrics, it also helps to vacuum, hot wash bedding, and clean cushions and materials in your home to remove larvae, eggs, and adult fleas.

Why Should You Look for Natural Flea Repellent Alternatives?

In most cases, commercial flea repellents are safe and effective for dogs and cats. However, they are considered pesticides which can put many people off. Using a natural approach is usually a personal choice, a chemical-free way to approach health care.

Lavender oil can only repel fleas; it cannot kill them.

Be Careful of the Essential Oils You Choose

Unfortunately, you have to be very clear as to what you’re buying when you get the essential oils to make the concoction. You will want organic therapeutic-grade essential oils that have not been diluted or filled with toxic chemicals or solvents.

You must also ensure that you are getting the appropriate essential oil for topical use versus inhalation. The essential oils for diffusers are quite different from those that are used topically.

woman holding essential oil
Image By: New Africa, Shutterstock

Lavender Oil Recipe for Flea Prevention

If you would still like to try lavender as a flea repellent in your home, here is a recipe by The Miracle of Essential Oils that helps you get rid of live fleas. Although they suggest it is for use on pets our vets feel that it is safer to use on home surfaces.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup witch hazel
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 15 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 8-ounce spray bottle

You can mix this concoction and spray it on your fabrics or carpets for optimum effects. Always remember to do a patch test first. Your pets should be kept away from the treated area until the product has dried.

Other Benefits of Lavender for Pets

Lavender oil is one of the most trusted remedies for anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness in both pets and people. It has outstanding aromatherapy qualities and is trusted by many naturalists for its medicinal benefits.

Lavender essential oils
Image Credit: leonori, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

The reality is that lavender oil is toxic to dogs and cats. While very diluted quantities can repel fleas it is not a recommended solution.

Try to steer clear of lavender oils containing extra chemicals or solvents. If your vet okays the remedy, you can find safe, effective essential oils. Always use exactly as directed by a professional. And remember—lavender essential oil alone does not kill fleas or ticks.

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Featured Image Credit: Plateresca, Shutterstock

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