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How to Remove Fleas & Ticks from your Furry Friends with the Help of Essential Oils

Mia K. Frezzo, DVM

Animal Hospital of Hasbrouck Heights, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey


I’m not talking about ants or creepy crawlers—it’s worse. I’m worried about fleas and ticks. Nothing quite compares to the panic you feel if you find one hiding in your pet’s fur. Just the thought of fleas makes most people itchy.

Now that you’re completely repulsed, what can you do? How can you protect your pets and yourself? While many retailers offer flea and tick shampoos, these products are harsh on your pet’s skin and can cause irritation.

Several doTERRA essential oils are safe and effective for repelling pests—before and after you’ve discovered a flea or tick. Lemongrass, Geranium, Cedarwood, Citronella, and TerraShield® Repellent Blend* are all excellent products that’ll help keep creepy crawlers away. Dilute 10–15 drops in two ounces of water or a carrier oil in a glass spray bottle and spritz on regularly, soaking your pet’s nylon collar in essential oils or investing in a passive diffusing pendant.

Remember to protect yourself as you venture outside. Your own backyard can be just as risky as a nature hike. Your pet goes where you go, so spray yourself and your pet to stay safe outdoors. You can also diffuse essential oils for protection from pesky gnats, mosquitoes, and other pests during picnics or patio dining.

Fleas thrive in carpets, rugs, and upholstery. Ditch chemical flea solutions and spray TerraShield or a combination of the essential oils mentioned before on fabric and carpets daily for three to four weeks. Vacuum thoroughly and wash your bedding and your pets in hot water with a few drops of Citronella or Cedarwood.

Removing a tick from your pet’s skin takes patience. Too much pressure can crush it, releasing the germs it’s carrying and putting your pet in danger. Encourage the tick to back out of the skin by applying a few drops of Citronella or Cedarwood around its head, carefully lift the tick off with tweezers or gloves, and dispose of it. If the tick doesn’t back out, use a pair of tweezers to slowly and carefully retract the tick. The tick may take some skin with it, leaving a wound behind, which is okay if you successfully remove the entire tick. If you can’t remove the entire tick, visit your local vet to have it professionally taken out. Picking at the area could induce more inflammation and force the remaining part of the tick deeper.

Protect the whole family with doTERRA essential oils so you can enjoy the great outdoors, your yard, or a simple patio cookout safely. 

*Our veterinary advisory board has determined the essential oil ratios in TerraShield Repellent Blend to be generally safe for pets when used aromatically or topically.

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