Say Goodbye To Fleas With The Help Of One Sweet-Smelling Herb

Fleas are a major issue for any household. Flea bites can transfer dangerous bacteria to both pets and humans alike, making them a health risk you don't want to take lightly. According to the CDC, you can contract everything from the plague to tapeworms from these pests, so it's imperative you take preventative measures to keep fleas off your lawn and out of your home. 

Rather than using toxic pesticides to do so, you can instead use a sweet-smelling herb to keep them off your property. Specifically, you can plant lavender or use lavender essential oil to repel them. While there isn't conclusive scientific evidence that this works, some pest control companies recommend all-natural remedies as a first line of defense against these insects. While it shouldn't be your only method to keep these bugs at bay — especially if you live in an area prone to infestations — it's a good helper in the cause.

To utilize it, you can plant lavender in your backyard to deter the bugs from hiding in your grass or lurking near your outdoor seating areas. You can also add potted plants near points of entry, such as your back door, to deter them from entering the house. Or, if you would like to protect your pets from potential flea transfers, you can use lavender essential oil as a protective spray to shield them from bites. Here is how.

How to use lavender to repel fleas

First things first: Lavender isn't used to kill fleas; it only works to repel them. Because of this, it's more of a preventative measure. Lavender will help you keep them from entering your yard or home, ideally negating the need to find ways to remove them. To protect your yard, plant lavender in areas your pets like to frequent. This can either be near a spot where they like to go to the bathroom, or simply lining the entire length of your fence. You can also plant lavender near sitting areas where you and your family like to congregate, like in a pot next to an outdoor dining table.

If you want to deter fleas from your pets, mix 5 drops of lavender essential oil with a couple of teaspoons of water and apply some to their collar. You can also add a few drops to a bandana you can tie around their necks. Reapply the solution every few days to ensure the scent stays potent. While there is no scientific proof that this works, the idea is that since fleas have a keen sense of smell, the lavender scent will be too intense for them to handle, deterring them from the area.

Caveats to keep in mind

This hack is only as good as it is potent. Since the smell is what repels ticks, you need to constantly have the scent wafting for it to work. This shouldn't be an issue if you choose to plant the herb in your garden or in pots, but it could be an issue if you decide to go the lavender essential oil route. If you spray down an outdoor area and it rains, you will need to reapply it with a fresh batch of lavender essential oil. Similarly, if you add essential oil to your pet's bandana or collar, you'll have to reapply it once the scent fades. 

It is also not advised to put the essential oil directly on your pets fur or skin. Since they are not as well-regulated as commercial flea treatments, they do have the potential to cause harm. According to petMD, it's very difficult to study the toxicological effects of these oils since there is so much ingredient and dose variation from brand to brand. Because of this, it's recommended to avoid adding anything directly to their skin, as it can lead to adverse health effects.