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There are tons of different essential oils out there that all have hundreds of uses. Did you know there are even oils great for keeping pesky pests out of your house, garden, and most importantly, away from your family and your pets?
However, it’s very important to know which ones are safe for various uses. Read on to learn which essential oils help eliminate pests, specifically when it comes to keeping them away from your pups.
Which essential oils eradicate pests?
Home pest control services are very effective at eliminating pests like ants, spiders, earwigs, fleas, cockroaches, wasps, etc., but what they can’t do is keep them out of your home. Every time your let your dog out of the house, there’s a chance that they might come back with an unwelcome hitchhiker to infest your home.
One way to keep pests off your dog is with essential oils. Even though there are hundreds of essential oils that can be used effectively to ward off all sorts of pests from gnats to roaches, there are only a small number of essential oils that can accomplish this without harming your furry pup.
Which pest-killing essential oils are dangerous to my dog?
Since essential oils are very strong, especially in their undiluted pure form, certain ones have been found to be harmful to dogs. While humans have around 5 million olfactory smell receptors, dogs have over 220 million smell receptors! This is one reason why some essential oils can cause allergies, skin irritations, and more for canines. The oils to keep away from your puppy include:
- Most citrus oils
- Tea Tree
- Ylang ylang
- Sweet Birch
Keep in mind that the above list differs for other types of household pets and animals.
Which essential oils are safe for my dog and get rid of pests?
So, now we know which oils to avoid when having the best of intentions in keeping your pup pest free. Now let’s break down which essential oils are beneficial for your best friend while also being a natural foe to pests:
Cedarwood: Cedarwood oil is by far one of your best options for all-around pest control and safety for your dog. Cedarwood eliminates ants, aphids, beetles, caterpillars, chiggers, cutworms, fleas, flies, gnats, mosquitoes, head lice, plant lice, moths, roaches, slugs, snails, spiders, ticks, and weevils. In other words, it pretty much helps you keep virtually every pest under the sun away from your four-legged friend.
Lavender: Soothing Lavender will not only calm your pup, but work to keep away fleas, chiggers, flies, mosquitos, head lice, moths, spiders, and ticks.
Peppermint: Another essential oil similar to Cedarwood, in that it is said to be safe for dogs when used correctly and is able to kill a wide range of pests. Ants, aphids, beetles, caterpillars, fleas, flies, gnats, mosquitoes, head lice, plant lice, moths, and spiders will all be wary of peppermint oil.
Myrrh: Great for dogs, myrrh will help combat those dreaded ticks that tend to be attracted to dogs’ fur.
Sweet Orange: Although citrus oils are said to be unsafe for dogs as they are photosensitive and can cause skin irritation, sweet orange is an exception if diluted and used when your dog is not in direct sun exposure. Ants, aphids, beetles, flies, caterpillars, chiggers, cutworms, fleas, gnats, mosquitoes, head lice, plant lice, moths, roaches, slugs, snails, spiders, ticks, and weevils won’t bother your dog with the help of sweet orange oil.
Clary Sage: Clary Sage fights chiggers, cutworms, flies, mosquitoes, and ticks.
How to safely use essential oils on your dog
There are three steps you should take every time you use these essential oils on or around your dog:
- To test how your dog is going to react to a particular essential oil, first put 1-2 drops in an oil diffuser and let it run, filling the room with the aroma in 15-minute intervals. Always leave a door open so that your dog can get out if the smell is too much for them. Watch your pet closely to see how they react. Do this with every new oil you introduce.
- Never topically apply an undiluted, straight-from-the-bottle essential oil on your pet. Always dilute them beforehand with a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, etc.
- Store your oils on a shelf or locked cabinet where your pet cannot get into them.
There are several methods you can implement when using essential oils with your dog topically, or otherwise:
- You can mix a carrier oil with your safe-for-dogs essential oil of choice, and rub it on your pup.
- You can put a few drops of hydrosol to their water bowls. Hydrosol is the aromatic water left over from steam distilling (diffusing) essential oils. This keeps away particular pests, depending on which oil hydrosol you use.
- You can make an insect-repellent lotion for your dog by mixing a few drops of essential oil with unscented aloe vera gel, and then thinning the aloe vera gel to a lotion consistency with some filtered water.
- Spray some hydrosol spray, made with 50/50 distilled water and hydrosol blend.
- In a bug-infested area, try spraying a handkerchief with water diluted bug repellent lotion from above and tie it around your dog’s neck. Remove the kerchief when you get back home.
Although you can now feel confident in using essential oils to rid your fur baby of many varieties of pests, be aware that every dog is different.
It’s a good idea to consult your dog’s veterinarian or holistic vet about their medical history to find out the best way to incorporate essential oils into their life. Also, remember to always buy 100% pure essential oils. Look into the company to make sure they have strict purity standards.