If you have fleas, then you have a real concern for wanting to get rid of fleas naturally. You can grow several varieties of plants that will help deter fleas from your yard and home. Texas A&M University also recommends giving your dog or cat a good bath and using a flea comb to get the fleas out of fur. Before choosing any plant, do your research to find out any possible allergic or toxic reactions that may occur to yourself or your pet.
Pennyroyal is known for repelling fleas. According to Colorado State University, however, it also can cause an allergic or even toxic reaction in pets when rubbed into the skin. People have died from consuming tea that contains pennyroyal leaves. So, if you decide to plant pennyroyal plants, extreme caution needs to be taken.
Lavender is an aromatic plant that deters fleas. The oils from the plant, when rubbed into the skin, also keep fleas away. When planted outside, they deter common garden pests, such as white flies and moths. If you harvest the lavender leaves and petals and dry them, you can add them to your pet’s bed to protect it while it sleeps.
Chrysanthemums are planted for the beauty they add to a garden, but they also have a purpose for pet owners in that they kill fleas. They have a chemical compound that disables the fleas' nervous system and eventually kills them. The insecticide Pyrethrins is made from this chemical and can be bought from garden stores.
Wormwood is an herb that grows as a shrub and, when planted near a dog’s outdoor kennel, will help keep fleas away, as well as gnats and other pests. When you crush the leaves, add it to apple cider vinegar, and apply it to the animal’s fur, it will help deter the fleas on contact.
Other plants that act as flea deterrents are garlic, rosemary, marigolds, anything from the mint family, fennel and sage. Catnip also repels fleas and has the added benefit of keeping your cat happy.
- EMedicinal: Wormwood
- Brigham Young University–Idaho: Companion Planting Guide
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Insect bites and stings
- Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: Fleas
- Colorado State University: Natural Approaches for Flea Control
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Reduced Chemical Management of Fleas