As the weather gets warmer, we start to see more fleas and ticks on our furry friends. These parasites can cause a lot of problems for your pet, including skin irritation, infections, and even disease. Not only do these parasites bother our pets, but they can also quickly lay eggs in our furniture, carpet, and anywhere else they can access.
Because they multiply so quickly, one of the biggest concerns for the typical pet owner and breeder caring for animals is getting rid of these pests before they fully infest our pets and homes. While there are many commercial products available to help control fleas and ticks, there are also some natural remedies that can be just as effective.
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Fleas and Ticks
1. Lemon Juice And Water
One of the best natural remedies for getting rid of fleas and ticks is to use a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water. This mixture can be sprayed directly on your pet or applied to their fur with a cotton ball. The acidic nature of the lemon juice will help to kill any fleas or ticks on your pet, while also repelling any new ones from coming near.
2. Diluted Essential Oil Sprays
There are also several herbal remedies that can help keep fleas and ticks at bay. Some of the most effective include rosemary, lavender, cedarwood, and eucalyptus oil. You can add a few drops of these essential oils to your pet’s shampoo, or make a spot-on treatment by mixing them with some carrier oil like jojoba or coconut.
However, we must stress that you should be careful with essential oils. Some oils, such as tea tree oil, can be very toxic to your pet unless diluted appropriately. In small concentrations (.1% to 1%), these types of oils can be safe for cats and dogs. Do not apply a homemade essential oil solution to your pet until you have confirmed its safety and consulted with your vet. Always be sure to avoid their eyes, nose and mouth when spraying.
3. Homemade Essential Oil Flea/Tick Collar
Another option is to make a flea/tick collar using essential oils. Simply soak a bandana or piece of cloth in a mixture of equal parts water and witch hazel, then add 10-15 drops of your chosen essential oil(s). Once again, ensure that the oil you are using is safe for pets.
Tie the bandana around your pet’s neck, making sure it’s not too tight. As they move around, the oils will be released into the air and help repel any fleas or ticks that come near.
4. Vodka Collar
Did you know that vodka is an effective way of treating fleas and ticks? Just get a simple dog collar (we like hemp collars because they’re eco-friendly) then soak it in a teaspoon of unflavoured vodka for at least a couple of hours. Take it out of the vodka and let it dry.
This option is great for those with dogs who dislike the scent of essential oils, as vodka leaves no smell once dried. However, if you and your dog don’t mind some scent, you may add a few drops of your essential oil of choice to make it a scented collar.
5. Vinegar Spray
If you are looking for a more potent solution, you can try mixing together equal parts vinegar and water. This mixture can also be sprayed directly onto your pet or applied to their fur with a cotton ball. The vinegar’s acidity will kill any fleas or ticks on contact, while also repelling any new ones from coming near.
6. Diatomaceous Earth
If your pet does happen to get infested with fleas or ticks, there are a few natural treatments you can try to get rid of them. Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder that can be used to kill both fleas and ticks on contact. It works by puncturing their exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate and die. You can apply this powder directly to your pet’s coat, or sprinkle it around areas where they spend time (like their bedding or in your yard).
What if Natural Remedies Don’t Work
While natural remedies can help prevent and sometimes treat flea and tick infestations, if you’re dealing with a severe infestation, you may need to give your pet a bath using an insecticidal soap. These soaps contain ingredients like pyrethrin or permethrin which can kill fleas and ticks on contact. Be sure to follow the directions carefully when using these products, as they can be toxic if used incorrectly. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before using any type of insecticide on your pet.
One of the best ways to prevent fleas and ticks is to keep your pet well-groomed. Regular brushing will help remove any loose hair or dirt that these parasites can use as a hiding place. Be sure to check your pet for fleas and ticks after each grooming session, and remove any that you find right away.