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Homemade flea repellent spray?

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by Jack-Russell-Lover, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hi, I was just wondering if anyone has tried using homemade sprays as flea repellent?
    I thought it would be good for example if you found a flea on your dog over the weekend or something until you can get to the vet/online for flea treatments or maybe for people like me who like a more natural way around it.
    So has anyone tried this? How effective was it? What are the recipes?
     
  2. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes - and we've been flea and tick free all summer. Once a week I put a drop or two of neem oil and organic rose geranium essential oil on his harness on the side away from his skin. If we were going anywhere likely to be a problem I'd back this up with a light spray of apple cider vinegar with the same oils ( you need to shake well each time before use to emulsify).

    He's also been having the Billy no Mates herbal mix in his food.
     
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  3. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Wow that's great! Sounds like they work so well, thanks for the info :)
     
  4. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Interesting, @Caro Perry. Not knowing about these things, is that a recommended treatment or something you discovered works?
     
  5. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    I use herbal remedies a lot on myself and I've also started to try and reduce the amount of commercial products I use around the house in favour of low tech methods.

    After Harri's disastrous reactions to the modern oral pesticides I started doing some serious research into repellents. Initially it was to give his liver and kidneys a chance to recover before trying him with a flea collar or a spot on but the more I read the less happy I became with using any of the systemic pesticides. Whilst they will kill the ticks, the ticks have to bite the dog first and that initial bite can transfer infection. It makes more sense to me to try and prevent the ticks attaching in the first place.

    Many of the dog sites had reports of people using Billy no Mates with great success so that seemed an obvious place to start. Harri doesn't mind the herbs on his food and I've been gradually reducing the dose and as we're out of the main flea season I'm reducing it further. I'll increase it again next spring.

    We are quite ticky around here and neem comes up frequently as a safe and effective repellent as does geranium. Although generally regarded as "safe" for use on dogs I don't let the undiluted oils touch his skin or coat. He's only at risk of ticks when out on walks so treating his harness seemed the best idea.

    I've been using the recipes here Just One Drop Can Kill Your Pet – Please Avoid This Deadly Mistake
     
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  6. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Catnip spray in a pump bottle. :)

    In medical research, catnip spray proved to be just as effective as DEET in repelling mosquitoes & biting flies (horse flies & deer flies, not midges, sadly).
    It is safe, nontoxic, & inexpensive.

    Catnip spray is sold as an enrichment item for cats, be sure to get the BOTANICAL EXTRACT not a synthetic version. // Once opened, store the capped bottle in the refrigerator, it will maintain its scent & effectiveness for 4 to 6-mos, depending on the temp (38 to 42 F).

    - terry

    .
     
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  7. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Thanks both - something to look into.
     
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  8. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    That's really interesting, thank you for the information :)
    Definitely something to think about, even for just a winter solution while parasites aren't as rife, I think that would save me money!
    I do have tea tree oil, would that work at all?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  9. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    You have to be so very careful using essential oils on dogs (and even more so on cats). Tea tree is actually very toxic and it isn't one I'd use on my animals. It's also not a repellent so I doubt it would work. Geranium, catnip, vanilla, neem and citronella are the usual ones recommended. I wouldn't use any of them direct on skin or fur. Even diluted I'd be worried about them being licked off and ingested which is why I treat the harness rather than the dog. The spray I use is very very diluted and I don't use it often on him - I do use it a lot on me!

    Catnip knocks Harri out completely and citronella is used in those anti bark collars as dogs hate the smell so I don't use those two myself.
     
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  10. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Okay thanks for that, it would actually be very useful to use on myself because being a dog groomer, we do get dogs come in with fleas and I'd rather not take them home!...plus I LOVE the smell of citronella! :D
     
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  11. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Just to clarify, when I say “catnip pump spray” I am talking about a water-based botanical extract, not the essential oil, which is extremely concentrated. “Catnip essence” by contrast is very low concentration, I can use it directly on my skin & on my clothing, backpack, etc, when out hiking.

    On dogs, I do put it directly on the dog, but only on places s/he is unlikely to lick, such as shoulders, spine, rump, top of head, & EARS - mosquitoes & biting flies adore ears as targets. Most of the dogs I handle have fairly thick coats, I rarely have a thin-coated sighthound on my leash, so the spray is not reaching skin, & I am not wetting the coat - just lightly spraying as I move my hand with the bottle, to lay a mist of scent down.

    I also spray the dog’s collar or harness, backpack or coat, & on those I use much more spray compared to the light large-area spritz over the dog’s back, head, & ears.
    Does that make sense? :)

    Essential oils should never be used undiluted, they are too potent, & are usually blended with a carrier oil that has minimal scent, such as virgin coconut oil (food grade), canola AKA rapeseed, or corn oil.
    As I try to use only organic oils in contact with skin, I use organic coconut oil, which is solid at room temp, & must be warmed to mix an essential oil in.

    Info on how much to dilute a particular essential oil is online - I too would never use tea-tree oil, it’s too powerful & is readily toxic. // Rosemary, oregano, & lavender oils are all much, much safer, all 3 repel most insects, yet they are pleasant smells for humans & canines. :)

    If U have a cat as well as a dog, using catnip spray is much more complicated- over 80% of cats react to catnip, once past puberty. Even the most-tolerant dog could get irritated by a feline housemate who kept rearing up to rub frantically against their collar, purring loudly & talking up a storm!, or trying to hook the dog’s collar to scratch at it even while it was on the dog. :eek:

    If Ur cat is among the 15% minority who are seemingly nose-blind to catnip, or at least immune to its behavioral effects, then it’s a non-issue, but for most cat owners, catnip on the dog could only be used away from the house AND the cat.
    Spraying the dog with warm water, such as in the bathtub, will easily rinse off the water-based catnip spray, once U get home - but if U also spray the dog’s collar, U will need to swap collars (or take off the harness, etc) before the resident cat tries to shred them in ecstasy. :D

    Cheers,
    - terry

    .
     
  12. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    We use neem oil and and will look into catnip essence. There is a native British plant called fleabane which I keep meaning to search out - in the hope it does exactly what it says on the tin!
     
  13. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    It doesn't! It was used dried as bedding for animals to keep fleas away but there is no evidence that it works. Same with pennyroyal ( poisonous too)
     
  14. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Just joking really! And I'd always research anything for toxicity before it got near one of our dogs.

    I think fleabane was also used in mattresses... and when you look at how quickly the Black Death spread it can't have been doing much good for people either :eek:.
     
  15. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Pennyroyal, like black cohosh, is an abortifacent, which is fine if U want to end a pregnancy, but disastrous if U want to maintain it. :(

    Herbs are tricky, & U must use care in their application- cats often are made sick by things that do not bother humans & dogs, for instance.
    Even culinary spices can be dangerous - eat enuf ground nutmeg for a cheap high, & U might be involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, with severe psychosis.

    ,
    Many intoxicants are like that - the dose that makes for a euphoric ‘drunk’ is often perilously close to the dose that can hospitalize or kill, as in morning glory seeds, another “cheap high” that can be lethal, or drinking shots of water to get “drunk”.
    Water intoxication is actually caused by whacking out the electrolyte balance in the body, a very dangerous thing to play with, indeed, as it is basic to body function & homeostasis.

    Wildcrafting & foraging are things I enjoy very much, but I am very cautious in what I pick - especially to eat.
    Fungi are particularly important to know well, & don’t allow the fact that other animals have eaten a particular species to sway U; despite their small body mass, both grey squirrels & box tortoises can eat mushroom species with aplomb, that would kill an adult human weighing 100 to 200# easily. :eek:
    Spore prints are the safest & surest way to I-D a mushroom with certitude. :)

    - terry

    .
     
  16. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes I know that essential oils must be diluted, I would never use it neat!
    I just thought tea tree was okay because I've seen dog products with tea tree....? :confused:
     
  17. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    It's in some products as it can be used but at a very very high dilution. There is a widely varying opinion on how much is safe - some recommendations are as low as 1 drop in 100 drops of carrier oil maximum for use on dogs.
     
  18. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oh okay, I see, thanks :)
     

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