Flea, Tick & Mosquito Prevention


Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is my preference to prevent worms.

Also a thin mist of a mix of 9 part water to 1 part skin so soft oil original scent from Avon is what I use to repeal insects (including Mosquitos, flea and ticks)

I mix water with one pump of conditioner and drops of lavender oil to make my spray.


-1 freshly sliced up lemon
-1 pot of fresh water
-a comb, sponge, or brush


Boil a pot of water and add the slices of a freshly cut lemon to it. Turn off the heat after the lemons has been added and cover the pot, letting the mixture steep overnight. The next day dip a comb or your pets brush in the liquid (make sure it’s sufficiently cool) and run it through their hair. A sponge works as well, especially if you have a very short haired breed. A quick version is to bring water to a vigorous boil and then pour over a freshly sliced lemon. Then just dip the comb, let it cool, and use as above.


There are many natural options to repel ticks. Here are a few to try:

  • Brewers yeast Brewer’s yeast works by making the dog’s blood too acidic for bugs’ taste.
  • Apple cider vinegar– Add no more than 2 tbsp. into a large bowl of water. Or make a spray of 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water and spray onto your dog’s coat. Make sure you don’t spray in his/her eyes.
  • Citrus rub– Cut a lemon into quarters. Put it into a jar and cover with boiling water. Let it steep overnight and put the solution into a spray bottle. Spray on your pet and rub in.
  • Garlic-I’ve ready conflicting studies on the safety of garlic for dogs and cats. It seems clear that when large quantities of garlic are consumed by dogs it could lead to anemia and/or death.  I’m going to stay away from garlic for the time being.
  • There are also many all natural products on the market. When purchasing be careful to read through the ingredient list.  Many of the “natural” products I came across did contain toxic chemicals. One product that looks promising is Ticked Off! ,which contains southern red cedar oil -another chemical-free, safe way to control fleas, ticks and other bugs.




  • Remember to use heartworm preventive. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, which are present nearly year-round in our area and throughout the country.
  • While there have been very few cases of West Nile Virus reported in canines, it's still wise to observe the following precautions suggested by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). These tips can help safeguard human family members too.
  • Keep pets indoors at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Eliminate areas of standing water that can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and remember to recheck after each rainfall.
  • Change any outdoor water bowls a couple times a day to prevent mosquitoes from using them to lay their eggs.
  • The APCC does not recommend the use of mosquito control products that contain DEET. Dogs and cats are extremely sensitive to DEET and may develop neurological problems if a product formulated with DEET is applied to them.
  • Some topical flea and tick control products for dogs such as Frontline and K9 Advantix contain mosquito repellent.
  • Avoid using pest control products with concentrated essential oils such as tea tree, pennyroyal and d-limonine. These concentrates have caused weakness, paralysis, liver problems and seizures in pets, plus their effectiveness is not proven.

Fleas and Ticks:

Fleas and ticks cause a variety of problems in pets. Fleas feed on animal blood and can trigger problems including skin irritation, allergic reactions, anemia and in rare cases, death. They can also carry tapeworms, which can infest your pet. If you see small rice-like particles around the dog's anus or in his feces, he probably has tapeworms.

Ticks carry diseases such as Lyme, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, so you don't want them feeding on your pet either.

Finding and Removing Fleas and Ticks:

* Chemical- and drug-free ways to keep your pet from getting "bugged" include inspecting your pet each day, and better yet, after each outing outdoors.

* Use a flea comb to search for and remove fleas. Use tweezers or a tick scoop to remove any other bugs and burrs.

* You can dab some petroleum jelly on the comb to help make the fleas stick to its tines.

* Gather a cotton ball, alcohol and cup filled halfway with warm soapy water. Soak the cotton ball in alcohol before combing.

* Remember to check between your dog's toes, behind and in the ears, in the armpits, around the tail and head.

* Comb your pet over white paper. If fleas are present, you will see tiny black specks fall on the paper.

* To check your dog for fleas when bathing, place a large white towel beneath your dog. Fleas typically fall off when you rinse the dog, so you're likely to spot them on the towel.

When finding fleas....

* Dab fleas with the cotton ball soaked in alcohol. This slows down fleas, enabling you to catch them. Then plunge the fleas to the bottom of the cup of water. Next, dump the water into the toilet and flush, or rinse down a sink, to prevent the flea from escaping.

* Smother fleas by dropping them in a cup of water to which a teaspoon of cooking oil has been added.

When finding a tick....

* When finding a tick, carefully remove the whole tick from the pet's body. A tick scoop, available at many pet supply stores, is best for removing ticks. See www.tickedoff.com for tick scoop details. How to remove a tick using tweezers: Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible by gripping its head. Steadily pull upward until the tick releases his grip. Do not twist or jerk the tick or you might break off the head or mouth parts, and you do not want to leave the tick head embedded in your pet's skin. Also, do not squeeze to the point of crushing the tick, or disease-spreading secretions may be released. If you do not have tweezers or a tick scoop, you can use your fingers, a loop of thread around the jaws, or a needle between the jaws to pull it out.

If the head is left in the skin, use a sterile needle to remove the head similar to how you would remove a splinter. Wash the tick bite and your hands with soap and water, and apply antibiotic ointment to the bite.

Note: Studies show that using petroleum jelly, alcohol and hot match heads do not work to loosen ticks from skin, although a few people still use the petroleum jelly and rubbing alcohol approaches, but the hot match technique has caused skin injuries.

* Another way to remove a tick: Apply liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for 15 seconds. We're told the tick will release and come out when you lift the cotton ball.

* Ticks do not drown in water, so dispose of them by wrapping in a tissue and flushing down the toilet, or drowning in rubbing alcohol. Do not crush the tick; that can spread disease. Some vets may want to see the tick if disease transmission is suspected.

* Swab the pet's bitten area with antiseptic.


Natural Prevention and Treatment:

Above all, keep your pets healthy. Fleas and other parasites have less effect on healthy animals...and they tend to live on pets who are unhealthy and/or have weak immune systems. And, as with healthy humans, healthy animals recover from illness faster and in the case of contracting parasites, are not likely to get sick. It's a matter of immunity.

Also be aware that stressful conditions weaken immunity in humans and animals. A harmonious home is a healthier one.

Chemical-free, drug-free ways to keep your pet from getting "bugged" include inspecting your pet each day, and better yet, after each outing outdoors. Also see above for combing and bug removal tips.

A growing number of pet owners use natural ingredient-based flea repellents, immunity-boosting dietary measures and other techniques, instead of chemicals and commercial medications. Following are some natural/holistic approaches that many people find effective.

Dietary additions for boosting immunity and repelling bugs:

** A half teaspoon of nutritional brewer's yeast daily can provide the B complex vitamins a dog needs. Dr. Michael Fox has recommended brewer's yeast or nutritional yeast (but not baker's yeast), giving 1 teaspoon per 30 pounds of body weight mixed with the animal's food.

** B complex vitamins - 50 mg once a day for cats and smaller dogs, and twice daily for larger dogs.

** Use Omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplements.

** Add a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to the dog's water bowl.

** Add .a teaspoon each of safflower oil and powdered kelp or seaweed to the food bowl.

** Fresh garlic in small quantities can help repel fleas by making the animal taste unpleasant to fleas. Grate a small amount of fresh, raw garlic into your pet's food at mealtime, about one-half to 3 chambers of the clove (chamber, not a whole clove) depending on the animal's size. One vet recommends one crushed clove of garlic (not a whole bulb; a clove is just one chamber) per every 30 pounds. Some holistic health practitioners recommend heating the garlic for easier digestion, and to not to give them garlic every day.

Natural ingredient-based sprays, lotions, shampoos:

* Several useful, relatively gentle flea shampoos to help rid fleas. Avoid shampoos with insecticides, since the chemicals can be harsh. If your dog has fleas, use a gentle shampoo containing pyrethrin, pyrethrum or citrus oil. See the Robin's Dog Tip about Bathing for bathing and grooming details.

* When bathing your pet, you can use apple cider vinegar to rinse his or her fur. Fleas don't like the smell or taste.

* Lavender, peppermint and geranium essential oils repel mosquitoes. Lavender, lemongrass and geranium repel ticks. And lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and citronella repel fleas. Dab oils between the dog's shoulder blades. As you can see, lavender (which also repels flies) is particularly versatile. Other effective natural repellents include lemon, cedar, eucalyptus, myrrh, neem and rosewood

* Put a drop of lemon oil or rosemary oil on the dog's collar.

* A safe, easy homemade flea repellent: cut 6 lemons in half, boil in a quart of water, steep a few hours, then strain the solution into a spray bottle. Spritz your pet's fur, taking care not to spray near the eyes.
Don't spray anything in a dog's face; apply spray to the hand and then rub it on the fur.

* Another gentle homemade flea spray: dilute a flower-scented shampoo, such as the type available from ihelppets.com, in water and spray liberally, or rub into the coat and let air-dry.

* One inexpensive over-the-counter choice for dogs and cats is Gentle Touch drops. Gentle Touch is a spot on that is all natural and free of chemicals and petroleum solvents.

* Bothered by flies? Pyrethrin-based sprays and ointments are relatively safe and effective.

* You can find many natural products for flea and tick control on the internet, including:

* Animal Essentials, Green Hope Essences and Vetriscience are among many companies that make products designed to boost the immune system and help heal the skin.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – The smell of vinegar alone, is enough to repel a mosquito, but apple cider vinegar is more than just a repellent. It is a natural conditioner to the skin and hair. It is also great for adding shine and luster to the coat. A really great way to utilize ACV to repel bugs, is to steep apple cider vinegar in rosemary, lavender, neem leaf, and/or other bug repelling herbs for two weeks, shaking the jar daily. Strain herbs from the ACV and spray onto your dog. Allow to dry and do not rinse! Works great on people too and is safe on and around children as well.
  • Essential Oils – There are many essential oils that help repel all sorts of bugs and are safe to use in dog sprays! You can substitute these essential oils into your dog’s homemade Flea & Tick spray, based off of what you have on hand. PLEASE REMEMBER – dogs should be thought of like babies when it comes to essential oils and the amount to use. Not only do they have sensitive noses but they also have smaller organs than we do. Some of the essential oils you can safely use on dogs for flea and tick prevention are: lavender, lemon, citronella, sage/clary sage, bergamot, cedarwood, lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, geranium, sweet orange, and rosemary.
  • Herbs – There are quite a few options that you can utilize herbally for your pets. You can make a great flea dip with a strongly steeped herbal bath tea! Simply pick your bug repelling herbs, steep them until the water is cool and either pour or spray all over your dog, saturating his coat. Let air dry without rinsing! You can also steep some olive/coconut oil  in these herbs just like you would for healing salves and dab this herbal oil behind the ears and on other pressure points. Some of these herbs that you can use to repel bugs from your pup – peppermint, eucalyptus leaf, clove (it is safe to use clove like this but NOT SAFE to use clove essential oil), citrus (lemons/oranges), neem leaf, rosemary, garlic (this is safe for external application when steep in oil, but not safe to give to dogs internally), sage, lavender, and lemongrass.
  • Regular Baths with real soap – One of the most important steps in flea control and prevention in your own home is to regularly bathe your dogs and to use real soap when you do it, rather than synthetic detergents. Real soap, like castile soap, is made with oils and fats and when it gets on a bug (this is true in your garden and on people too!) it disrupts the insect’s cell membranes, causing then to die from dehydration. Don’t forget to dilute if using castile soap, it’s highly concentrated and shouldn’t be used straight up.
  • Regular Vacuuming – Regular vacuuming helps to pick up fleas and eggs from your carpets, floors, and furniture. It is important to flea control to empty the vacuum cleaner immediately after vacuuming, and remove it from your home to prevent re-infestation. For an extra flea killing oomph (that also helps to repel them too) add a few drops of bug repelling essential oils to 2 cups baking soda and sprinkle all over your carpet before vacuuming. Let sit 15-30 minutes before vacuuming. Not only does it leave a lovely scent to your home, but it also helps to kill and repel those pesky fleas! This is also great to do all over pet bedding and furniture that your dog frequently lies on.
  • Maintaining Your Yard – Flea problems outdoors can be managed by maintaining your lawn and shrubbery and keeping it short wherever your pet frequents. You can also make soap sprays
  • Wash Bedding Weekly – Though you can wash some bedding in the washing machine, others are more difficult to do so frequently. I am lazy and have big dog bedding so I like to sprinkle the bedding with baking soda and essential oils at the same time that I am sprinkling my carpet, let sit 15-30 minutes, then vacuum up.
  • Make your own flea collar – You can easily make your own flea collar if you get a plain cotton pet collar and add a few drops of bug repelling oil to the collar (10-15 drops any combination of bug repelling essential oils to 1 Tbsp. carrier oil. Do not apply essential oils to the collar neat as they could accidentally transfer to your dogs skin and cause irritation without a carrier oil).

Essential oils that you should AVOID using on your dogs

It is important to note that there are essential oils that are toxic to dogs. Some information that floats around the internet makes it sound like the culprit is simply the quality of essential oils that you use, but the fact of the matter is, though quality essential oils is something we should think about for ALL applications human or not, the reason is because specific chemical compounds are toxic to dogs, no matter the quality of the essential oils.  According to the book  Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals, some of these essential oils to avoid using on your dogs are:





Bitter Almond












Clove Leaf and Bud


Crested Lavender













DIY Natural Flea & Tick Spray For DOGS ONLY



  1. Combine all ingredients in an 8 oz. spray bottle and store in a cool dark place.
  2. TO USE: Safe for dogs 12 weeks and older. Shake well before each use. Lightly spray dogs entire coat until damp, but not dripping. Brush through. Repeat if necessary. Do not spray on the face.



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