Natural Flea Prevention

Summer seems to be winding down around here but that doesn’t mean is the end of flea season. In fact most parts of the country never get a relief. Fleas love the warm wet weather, all they need is 60 degrees or warmer to thrive feed and breed. And if not treated, even when the weather is cold, they can still thrive indoors thanks to climate control since most homes are kept to at least 60 degrees during the winter.

Fleas are not only a pain to deal with but they can cause flea-bite dermatitis and anemia and they can carry disease and parasites. Unfortunately there are no safe pesticides to get rid of them, OTC flea treatment can be even more toxic than those prescribed. The Humane Society reported that over a period of five years a study was done, 1,600 pet deaths linked to flea treatment were reported, the information released states also that “some flea and tick products contain chemicals, specifically permethrins, that are ‘likely to be carcinogenic to humans.'” If you have small children in your home this can be of serious concern. Once my husband accidentally spilled a Frontline on out kitchen table and it completely stripped it to the bare wood!

Natural Flea Prevention

Fortunately there are many ways to fend off fleas naturally without the use of these highly toxic chemicals.

Vinegar Spray

Fleas hate the taste of vinegar. Mix and pour in a spray bottle, spray your dog and work it with your hands, let dry. You can use this just before your dog goes outside.

Lemon and Essential Oils spray

  • 6 lemons
  • 50 drops of the essential oil of your choice (see below)
  • 4 cups of water
Lemon, a natural flea repellent and another taste they don’t like. Cut lemons into slices and bring them boil in a pot with water, steep over night. Pour strained liquid into a spray bottle, add the essential oil. My favorite for this are lavender* and lemongrass (two I always keep around the home so no added cost) but you can also use cedar, peppermint or any citrus oils. You can spray the collar with this spray as well. Be careful to avoid face when spraying.

Rosemary Water

  • A bunch of fresh rosemary
  • 3 cups of water
Bring water to boil and add the rosemary sprigs. Remove from heat, let it steep until cool. Add to a gallon of water (a good use for an empty milk jug.) Pour over your dog and let him air dry.

Oil Mix

  • 50 drops of the essential oil of your choice (from list mentioned above)
  • 1 tsp of carrier oil like olive oil (find it here)
Mix together and rub around your dogs neck and base of the tail. Essential oils can be dangerous in large quantities the essential oil (make sure is 100% pure essential oil) must always be diluted and avoid places your dog can easily lick.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a wonderful thing I use it all the time in our food and it works great as a flea deterrent. Sprinkle it over your dogs food at every meal. Fleas can smell it and it’s not pleasant to them. I buy my nutritional yeast from the bulk bins at Earth Fare.

Update: This past summer I’ve been adding a sprinkle or this to my dogs foods and I didn’t see any fleas on the all summer!!

Diatomaceous Earth

This is the only I haven’t personally tried but while making my research for this post I came across it and I think it is worth mentioning it.
Diatomaceous earth (find it here) is basically ground-up algae. It has microscopic razor-like edges lacerates the fleas when ingested causing them to dehydrate and die. Be sure to use the food grade version–safe if consumed by pets and humans–the pool grade version is dangerous to humans and pets so you need to be cautious not inhale it when using it. This powder can be sprinkle over the yard once a month to prevent fleas from camping out on your yard. Diatomaceous earth can be found at your local farm supply store or online.

Diet and hygiene

It should go without saying that a healthy pet can fight off disease better than a dog with a weak immune system. Adding aids like nutritional yeast, flax seed oil, probiotics and digestive enzymes can boost their immune system resisting pests better on their own. A regular bath–please opt for a natural shampoo–can be the best prevention of them all.

Do you really want toxic chemicals where those little hands go?

Now take that pooch for a walk without worrying about those pesky little fleas trying to hitch a ride back!

*Do not use lavender oil on cats, it can be toxic for your feline friend.

This post was proudly shared at: Thirsty Thursday, Catch a Glimpse Thursday, Thriving on Thursdays, Transformation Thursday, Shine on Fridays, Show Off Friday, Inspiration Friday, Frugal Friday, Simply Natural Saturdays, Natural Living Link-Up, Best in Blog, Market Yourself Monday, Creative Monday Blog Hop, Mop it Up Mondays, Tout It Tuesday, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Flock Together Tuesday,

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Read full disclosure here.

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About Stephanie

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom to her curly-haired two year old son, a nursing student, dog lover, and yoga enthusiast. She loves to share her tips on making green and healthy living attainable to families getting
started in the wonderful world of eco-consciousness. She believes in
real food and living as natural as possible…and why not, leaving behind a
better planet for our children.


  1. I like the Diatomaceous earth concept – it’s better for me not to have to remember to spritz down Doo before he goes out!

  2. I am a veterinary technician and must agree that I also do not like flea and tick products for my own cats. But, I just wanted to warn about using some essential oils. Some can be very toxic to dogs (100% Tea Tree Oil comes to mind specifically!) Some dogs may also get some dermal irritation.

  3. Lots of great alternatives to the chemical flea drops. Thanks 🙂

  4. I am definitely going to try a few of these for my beautiful Luci dog. Thanks for putting together such a useful post.

  5. Thanks for sharing this info. I have been using frontline and I don’t even feel like it is working very well this year for my dogs. I have been wanting to do something natural for my dogs, I do not like putting that toxic stuff on my pets so your timing is perfect! Thank you!!


  6. Apple cider vinegar seems to be good for absolutely everything! Thanks for sharing on Show Off Friday.

  7. I’m also with using ACV for this, and a lot of other pests, like ants.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Please warn your readers to be careful with the diatomaceous earth as fleas are not the only critters it will kill. It does the same thing to bees and lady bugs! Thank you!

  9. We have used this all summer with great results! No fleas or ticks.

    I tried DE, but it seemed to dry out their coat. This garlic supplement has been wonderful and is so affordable. We have a 80 lb GSD and 120 lb great dane. We will only use ~2.5 jars for the whole flea and tick season (March-November).

    We are currently expecting our first child and I refused to put any harmful flea chemicals on them for their own health and ours.

  10. Great ideas! Would this work on Cats too?

    • Simoney, my sincere apologies for overlooking your comment. I don’t have cats myself so I don’t want to give you the wrong information. From what I found out in my research for this post, I only came across lavender essential oil as being toxic to cats. I don’t see why these recipes can’t be used on cats, but I would suggest researching the essential oils first.

  11. Hi,
    I work for a company that sales diatomaceous earth and I was wondering if you’d be willing to post a link to our products on your website. By doing so your readers would be able to easily see where they could purchase DE and gain more information about its uses.

    If I don’t hear back from you before, I’ll contact you again next week.


  12. wondering how much of oil mix to use and how often do you re-apply?
    thank you for these natural ideas.

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