Peppermint oil, in most cases, helps to repel fleas rather than kill them. A variety of flea-repelling products contain peppermint oil, such as dog shampoo or pet collars. These products will keep fleas at bay and reduce the chance that you and your pets will get bitten. Fleas feed on the blood of animals, and occasionally bite people if a suitable host is not available. Fleas can carry tapeworms and infect their host. They can also cause your pet to suffer from allergic reactions, skin irritation or anemia.
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It is important to always follow manufacturer’s directions on any commercial product that you choose to use around your family, pet or home. Many ingredients that are safe for use on one animal may not be safe for another pet. For example, many products are approved for use on dogs but will harm a cat.
Bathwater and Peppermint Oil
Shampoos containing peppermint oil smell pleasant and will repel fleas between baths. However, it is more likely that the water in the bath is killing fleas than the peppermint oil. While bathing your pet it is important to wash completely around the neck first so the fleas can’t crawl onto the head and escape. Shampooing your pet will only get rid of adult fleas, so be sure to follow up with another bathing session in accordance to the manufacture’s directions.
Collars and Peppermint Oil
Many commercial pet collars contain peppermint oil to repel fleas. Another option is to mix some peppermint oil into a carrier oil and put a couple of drops of it on a cotton ball. The cotton ball can then be placed between your dog’s neck and collar to help repel fleas. Do not use the peppermint oil at full strength as it can irritate your dog’s skin. Alternatively, you can put a couple drops of peppermint oil on some cotton balls and place them around the house to deter fleas. Keep the cotton balls out of reach of pets and children.
If your pet is suffering from a flea infestation and has irritated skin, you can use a flea dip instead of a shampoo. Mix 2 packed cups of fresh peppermint into 1 quart of boiling water. Let it steep for 30 minutes, strain it, then add 4 quarts of warm water. Saturate your pet’s coat and skin with the mixture, starting around the neck, and leave it on to air dry. The water will kill the fleas and the peppermint will soothe itchy skin and repel fleas. This can be done every three to four days until the itching and fleas are gone.