There are a lot of options out there for flea and tick prevention. We covered quite a few of them in our article Best Flea and Tick Prevention for Puppies. If you haven’t had the chance to take a look, I suggest you head over there now. Maybe you are looking for something a little more natural. You aren’t interested in putting chemicals like Fipronil and Permethrin on your furry friend. Maybe you should try Peppermint oil for fleas and ticks.
There are, however, a few things you should consider before using peppermint oil for fleas and ticks. Natural isn’t always better. Wait. What? If it’s natural, it has to be better than putting chemicals on or into our bodies and the bodies of our pets, right?
Peppermint is natural. It occurs in nature. So does poison ivy, poison sumac, and rattlesnake venom. You wouldn’t want to rub poison ivy essential oil all over your body just because it’s natural, would you?
The word “Natural” isn’t regulated by the food and drug administration the way “Organic” and FDA approved are. Products can be put on shelves with the word natural in 2-inch block letters and it may have never been tested at all. Scary, right?
Are there any Products Already Mixed that contain Peppermint Oil for Flea Control?
- VET'S BEST FLEA AND TICK HOME SPRAY kills fleas, flea eggs, and ticks by contact, without harsh chemicals, but rather with certified natural essential oils and plant-based ingredients, such as peppermint oil and eugenol (from clove plants);Not harmful to plants
- SAFE TO USE around your dog and the whole family when used as directed. You may even apply it directly on dogs and puppies 12 weeks or older. Our formula also repels mosquitos!
- WILL NOT STAIN - Spray indoors and out, in the yard and living room. Use on dog bedding, kennels & crates, pillows, blankets, upholstery, carpets, etc. Gentle on surfaces but proven effective against pests.
- MADE IN THE USA - The bottle is designed with an induction seal cap and detached sprayer to prevent leaks in transit.
- For flea and tick protection on cats, try our new Vet's Best line for cats.
Vets Best Home Spray contains peppermint oil and clove oil. One of the ingredients listed is Sodium Laurel Sulfate. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate has a bad rap as a skin irritant. And it can be if used in large quantities. It is only less than 3% of the total solution in Vet’s Best Home Spray and is mainly included to keep the essential oils from separating out of the water.
Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?
Peppermint oil is toxic to dogs according to the ASPCA. So the definitive answer is No. Peppermint oil is not safe for dogs…right now.
There has not really been an extensive amount of testing done when it comes to dogs and their reactions to essential oils.
When used in small doses, Peppermint oil seems to be relatively safe. If you are looking to use a peppermint-based product to alleviate fleas and ticks, It is best to check with your veterinarian first. He or she will have access to all of the latest journal findings of peppermint oil for fleas and ticks and how to best use it on your dog.
If you insist on using a peppermint-based flea and tick repellent, consider using a pre-formulated product that can back their claims with testing. Doing this is better than potentially harming your bet through an improper dilution done with the best of intentions at home.
Is Peppermint Oil Safe to Use Around Cats?
The ASPCA says that peppermint oil is toxic to dogs. What about cats? Well, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Does not include peppermint on their list of toxins or toxic chemicals for felines.
What the ASPCA does say about peppermint oil is that it can cause liver damage in cats as well as gastrointestinal problems and the central nervous system. They further state that inhaling the scent of the oil could cause aspiration pneumonia.
Safe or unsafe, the website PetMD lists peppermint as a feline-friendly plant for home gardens.
To be on the safe side with your cat, it is probably best to check with your veterinarian before use.
What Happens if my Dog or Cat Ingests Peppermint Oil?
Try to do everything in your power to keep your pet from ingesting peppermint oil. As we discussed, peppermint oil can be toxic and cause serious health issues for dogs and cats. Small amounts of peppermint oil should not harm your dog or cat. If you suspect that they have ingested peppermint oil, it’s a good idea to watch them closely and consult a veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center if any concerns arise.
Does Peppermint Oil Work Against Fleas and Ticks?
The fact that new chemicals have come along that have replaced peppermint as a deterrent to fleas and ticks suggest that it might not be as effective as some people still believe.
Here’s one thing that we do know about peppermint when it comes to fleas and ticks. Peppermint does not kill fleas or ticks. Nope. Not even close.
To be honest, there haven’t really even been any definitive studies on whether or not peppermint repels fleas and ticks. I mean, there must be some reason that humans have used it for that purpose for so many years, but there is just no clear documentation.
Part of the issue is the products that are being tested contain other chemicals as well. How much or the repel is caused by peppermint and how much is being caused by the other chemicals. Remember, “Natural” is not regulated. That means results can be a bit sketchy at times.
How should I use Peppermint Oil for fleas and ticks to get the best results?
Let’s say you decide to use peppermint oil for fleas and ticks in your home and on your pet. What are some ways to use peppermint oil for fleas and ticks to get the best results?
- Mix a solution in your spray bottle and spray it directly on your dog. You should consult a veterinarian for the correct ratio of peppermint oil to use. Spray on your pet where they cannot lick themselves to repel fleas.
- Keep your house vacuumed. Vacuuming your house regularly is a great way to reduce fleas and ticks in your home. Soak a cotton ball in peppermint oil and pop it in your vacuum canister before vacuuming. This will fill the house with the aroma of peppermint.
- Plant peppermint in the backyard. Keeping fleas and ticks from invading your yard is a great first step at keeping them off of your pets and out of your house.
- MAke a flea collar for your pet out of an absorbent rope. Soak the rope in peppermint oil and attach it to his or her neck. Make sure the “collar” is able to break away easily. You don’t want any incidents where a pet gets caught and can’t get free.
- Educate yourself on the use of peppermint oil for fleas and ticks. Arming yourself with knowledge is the best way to keep your pet safe and get the desired outcome of your assault on these little parasites.
When it comes right down to it, there is no clear answer to whether peppermint oil for fleas and ticks works. We know that it doesn’t kill the fleas and we know that it is on the ASPCA’s list of toxic chemicals for dogs. If it were my pooch who was suffering from fleas and ticks, I would take a look at some other products out there. Natural or not. There is no need to waste time with a home remedy that is going to be hit or miss. Need to know what other products are out there for flea and tick prevention, Take a look at some of the best flea and tick prevention on the market in this article.