Ticks and Fleas
Ticks and fleas are menaces that almost all of us with dogs have had to deal with. They are blood sucking parasites that are attracted to the warmth and carbon dioxide emitted by their hosts bodies. Once they lodge onto your dog’s body they can start biting and sucking blood, creating discomfort, itchiness, sore skin, tiredness and lethargy, and even anemia.
Ticks are said to be slightly more dangerous than fleas as they can cause allergic reactions and serious tick-borne diseases, including cross-species diseases that can affect humans such as Lyme Disease.
Fortunately, the treatment that works on fleas, also works on ticks.
The conventional treatment for fleas include using shampoo and other products that contain insecticides that are neurotoxic to the fleas, killing them by destroying their nervous system. Yikes! Imagine what this can do to your dogs in the long term! It’s better to avoid all the chemical-laden synthetic treatments and resort to natural treatments such as eucalyptus oil and lavender oil, which we shall explore below.
Lavender Oil – A Natural Remedy for Ticks and Fleas
Lavender oil, scientifically known as Lavandula abrialis, is an essential oil extracted by steam distillation of the leaves and flower buds of the lavender plant, grown in Central European countries. It has sweet, floral, fresh and powdery scent, with mild hints of a herby note.
Lavender oil has, since olden times, been revered as a calming relaxing oil that has been used to relieve skin conditions such as acne, itchiness and redness, to soothe painful aching muscles because of its anti-inflammatory characteristics and to alleviate insomnia and anxiety of the mind.
Lavender is also a potent insect and pest repellent and can safely be used on dogs.
Where to Get Lavender Oil
When buying lavender oil, ensure to look for 100% pure high quality oil without any additives. A good lavender oil is this organic 100% pure essential oil from Plant Therapy
DIY Natural Lavender Spray for Dogs
What you need
- 1/4 cup of witch hazel (where to get it)
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (where to get it)
- 1 cup of distilled water (where to get it)
- 15 drops of lavender essential oil (where to get it)
- 8 oz amber glass spray bottle (where to get it)
- Get a 8 oz spray bottle and fill it with 1/4 cup of witch hazel and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
- Next add the distilled water.
- Finally, drop in the lavender essential oil.
- Now screw on the spray bottle’s lid tightly and shake the contents vigorously to get them thoroughly mixed.
- Your DIY anti-flea spray is now ready for use!
How to Use the Spray
✓ Carefully spray your pets on their legs and bodies, taking care to avoid all areas above the neck, to make sure you don’t get any of the spray on to their eyes, nose or mouth.
✓ In order to reach the neck areas, get a wash cloth and spritz the spray onto the cloth. Now rub the cloth all over the folds of the neck.
✓ You can also spray bedding, carpentry and furniture with this spray to repel the fleas.
Other Natural Remedies to Use in Conjunction with Lavender Oil
» Grow lavender plants outdoors: Pets like dogs spend a lot of their time outdoors, where they can keep picking up fleas and bringing them into the house creating a never ending cycle of flea infestation. The best solution to this is to grow lavender plants in your yard. Eucalyptus trees are also a great natural pest-repellant that you can consider growing in your lawn. These plants will help ward off fleas outdoors, reducing the chances of your pet picking up fleas.
» Salt bath: Give your pets a relaxing salt bath by filling up your bathtub with cold water and mixing in half a cup of sea salt. Stir the salt in until dissolved and bring your dog into the tub. Allow you dog to soak in the tub for at least 10 – 15 mins. Salt water will dehydrate the fleas and kill them off. Note: Follow the salt soak by rinsing off your dog with clean unsalted water to avoid salt buildup.
» Lavender fur brush: After giving your dog a salt bath, get them completely dry and then comb their coat with a brush sprinkled with a few drops of lavender oil. This will really help comb out the dead/weakened fleas and leave your dog with a shiny, clean, parasite-free coat!
How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Fleas and Ticks?
Fleas and ticks are pesky little critters that can be surprisingly hard to get rid of. Using natural remedies definitely works, if you use all of them together and if you are determined and persistent.
With a proper plan of attack, fleas and ticks can be exterminated from your house and pets in 2 weeks. Once you get rid of the fleas, make sure you follow a prevention protocol to prevent them from re-establishing themselves.
Cleanliness is very important so make sure you keep the floors and furniture vacuumed to get rid of dust and an unsanitary environment, which provides fleas with many hideouts.
- Remember, essential oils are extremely potent concentrates of plant material and should not be consumed internally.
- Whenever using essential oils near your pets or children make sure they do not get it any wear near their mouths or paw/palms which they can easily lick.
- Always dilute your essential oils appropriately.
- Above all, only use 100% pure organic therapeutic grade essential oils from trustworthy sources.