Fleas are a common pest that plagues both animals and humans. Pet care and garden stores offer numerous options for treating and preventing fleas. One particularly popular natural remedy is peppermint. While peppermint may not fully eliminate a flea infestation, it is useful in preventing and repelling fleas.
Plant peppermint around your yard. Fleas avoid plants with highly scented oils, such as peppermint. Use peppermint plants as a border or garden filler to help keep fleas at bay. While they may not prevent all fleas from entering your yard, the plants will at least deter most of them. Exercise caution when planting peppermint, as it has a tendency to spread and become invasive. Dig up new growth each spring to help keep the plants in check, or grow them in containers or raised beds.
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Use peppermint oil in a spray to prevent fleas. Mix a quarter-cup of peppermint oil with three cups rubbing alcohol, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray any affected areas, giving special attention to wall edges, pet bedding and carpets. If you are using this solution on fabric, test for staining on an inconspicuous spot.
Create peppermint oil sachets. Soak cotton balls or pads in peppermint oil, and allow the excess to drip off. Drop the sachet into your vacuum, and vacuum the affected areas. The scent of the peppermint oil will not only deter adult fleas, but the sachet in the vacuum bag kills any eggs or baby fleas. Be sure to discard your vacuum bag into your outdoor trash can after each vacuuming session. Sachets also benefit homeowners when placed in closets, room corners or inside of pet bedding.
Create a homemade flea collar for your pet. Using a length of natural fiber rope, allow the rope to soak in peppermint oil for approximately 10 minutes. Remove the rope from the oil, and allow it to dry thoroughly. Tie the rope around your pet's neck, leaving one finger's width of space. When using a homemade flea collar, exercise caution. Ingestion of essential oils can be toxic to pets. Make sure the collar fits well, and check it often.