I’m not sure about you, but if the chemicals aren’t enough to turn you off of commercial flea remedies, the smell certainly leaves one wanting a better alternative. A great alternative involves using essential oils that repel bugs. Because I prefer not to put essential oils directly on animals, essential oil flea collars are the perfect solution for us. They cost very little to make and they are pretty too!
What kind of collar can you use?
Your essential oil flea collar can be a regular collar you already have, or you can make your own. There are some great DIY dog collar tutorials available online, or you can make a simple bandana with scrap fabric and pinking sheers. I like to use bandanas so our pup can match with the seasons and they can be washed with the regular household laundry as needed. Here are some collar patterns I’ve used and had success with in case you want to get a bit fancier:
No matter which style collar you choose to use, cotton is the best material to select. It holds the essential oils better than synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. Just keep in mind if you are using yarn, cotton yarn lacks the stretch of acrylic, so adjust the length of the finished product accordingly.
The Flea-Repelling Essential Oils
There are many oils that repel insects, but when it comes to fleas, there are two that have worked the best for me. You could certainly add more types of oil, but these two blend well for a pleasant and effective scent.
Rose Geranium Essential Oil
Rose geranium not only smells heavenly, but it throws off the super senses of many of the bugs that bite. Fleas are no exception. A few drops of rose geranium makes you or your furry friend unrecognizable as a food source. Smelling great is just a nice bonus.
You can purchase Rose Geranium Oil here.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is an all-purpose oil that is frequently used on our homestead and it fits the bill when it comes to our flea collars as well. Research done by the University of Ohio showed that lavender essential oil not only repels fleas, but it interrupts their hatching cycle. Further research has indicated that lavender repels as effectively as DEET when used at a 10-20% dilution.
You can purchase Lavender Essential Oil here, and I recommend buying in bulk because you’ll find hundreds of uses for it.
How to Make Your Essential Oil Flea Collar
Are you ready to see how easy this is? In one hand, hold your collar. In the other, apply 3-5 drops of each oil. That’s it! You can put all the drops in one spot or space them out around the collar. I prefer the latter. Refresh the collar whenever the smell begins to dissipate. I usually switch out my dog’s essential oil flea collar weekly during the summer because she gets grubby playing outside with the kids. I rotate between two, so on Sundays I take the old bandana off, toss it in the wash and put the second one (fresh with oils) on her.
Does it work on ticks as well?
Yes, it does! Both of the essential oils in this collar work wonders with ticks as well. Regardless of the flea and tick remedy you choose, furry friends should always be checked regularly for ticks. This is especially true if you’ve been journeying into the woods.
So instead of grabbing a chemical-laden collar to keep fleas and ticks at bay, try a pleasant smelling essential oil flea collar and cuddle your pup close.