Non-Toxic Flea Repellents for Dogs and Yards

Ideas for helping to safely keep man's best friends and their yards pest free.

Essential Oil Spray

A few drops of each: lemon, peppermint, and clove essential oils. Mix together in a spray bottle along with 1 C of water. Apply as a mist. (You can also dilute with aloe vera gel instead.)

Citrus and More Mist

Another idea for a mist is to boil the rinds of citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruit, and oranges. Add whole cloves and simmer. Strain and then add a few drops of peppermint oil.

Along with other suggestions, they also have some ideas for herbal wipes and topical ointments that you can mix up.

Essential Oil Collar

According to, you can apply one to two drops of essential oils such as citronella (best for fleas…but don't use on cats), rosemary, or rose geranium (best for ticks) to a dog's nylon collar once a week to repel fleas and ticks. May also work on black flies. (Alternatively, you should be able to safely use a few drops of the oil in a spray bottle of water and apply to coat. Careful not to apply to face or sensitive areas.) Also, can give dogs up to 2 cloves of garlic a day, by hiding them in food, to repel fleas and ticks. (Garlic is not safe for cats.)

Lemon Skin Tonic

Bring one pint of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add one lemon, thinly sliced. All to sit overnight or through the day. Remove lemon pieces and pulp by straining. Put in spray bottle and apply liberally to dog's coat. The author states, "Lemons are very good for the skin and contain limonene which is an effective insect repellent. The limonene actually dissolves fleas' waxy coating causing dehydration and death of the flea."

A Dusting of Brewer's Yeast

According to Natural Flea Control by Christine Makowski, D.V.M.–"Brewer's yeast can also be dusted on externally as a flea powder. (If your pet licks some off, there's no harm done.)"

Diatomaceous earth for house and yard suggests using Diatomaceous earth (Flea Away) and sprinkling it under furniture and other nooks and crannies around your house to control fleas. Diatomaceous earth, which can be found at many garden centers, kills fleas and flea eggs by dehydrating them. Supposedly, it can also be safely applied to your dog. They also suggest using Flea Away outside in dry areas, such as walks, decks, patios, and lawns. (Look for Diatomaceous earth in your local nursery (less than 3% crystalline silica content)…do not buy the pool grade it supposedly has too high of a crystalline silica content which is dangerous to humans and pets.)

Additional recommended reading:
The Good Earth Home and Garden Book
Old Ways Rediscovered
Agrochemicals from Natural Products (Books in Soils, Plants, and the Environment)

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