Commercial and pharmaceutical flea treatments are made with toxic ingredients that are poisonous to fleas. Many pet owners view these poisons as dangerous to their pets, and wish to use alternative herbal remedies to fight flea infestations. Herbs that get rid of fleas can be used as a pet dip, combed on or worked into the fur. Aromatic dried herbs are also suitable for getting rid of fleas. Any treatment should be kept away from the pet’s eyes and face.
Mix 5 to 10 drops of peppermint oil with 1 gallon warm water and use it when you comb your pet. Dip a fine toothed flea comb into the bucket before each stroke you comb, adding the herbal water to the pet’s fur as you work. The pungent aroma of the peppermint is offensive to fleas. The comb dip treatment should be effective for about one week. Repeat the treatment once a week until the fleas are gone.
Make your own rosemary tea dip to get rid of fleas on your pet. Use 1 tsp. dried rosemary, or about 3 tsp. fresh rosemary, and steep it in 2 1/2 cups boiling water for 10 minutes. Allow the liquid to cool. Strain the liquid. Comb or rub the rosemary liquid into your pet’s fur. Repeat when the scent is no longer noticeable on your pet.
Pennyroyal oil should never be used on a pregnant cat. It is effective in stopping the life cycle of fleas. Mix 5 to 10 drops in 1 gallon warm water and comb it through your pet’s fur. Mix peppermint, rosemary and pennyroyal oils together for a stronger treatment.
Dried Herb Blend
Mix together dried herbs, including peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, marjoram, sage, clove buds and bay leaf. Crush them together with a mortar and pestle, or use a food processor to chop them together. Tie the crushed herbs into a muslin bag and place the aromatic bag near your pet’s bed. If you use cedar bedding in your pet’s pillow, mix the dried herbs in with the bedding. Refresh the bedding weekly.
Lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and citronella essential oils may be blended or used individually to repel fleas. Place a few drops between your pet’s shoulder blades or on the back of the neck, and rub it into the fur. Place the oil where the pet cannot reach it.
Essential oils can also be dabbed directly onto the pet's collar.