Friday, May 1, 2015
Natural Insect Repellent Oil for People ~ Pet Flea Protection?
Now I'm taking the herbs to a different level. There are so many uses for herbs (and oils) it's so much fun to research and try them.
To make the insect oil, I used a 1/4 cup to measure my "parts." You can see in this quart jar, how much it fills the jar. We've have good luck with homemade basil mosquito spray, but so far nothing has worked for flies or gnats (or fleas on our dogs and cats).
In my tall stack of recipes, I found a recipe for a natural insect oil that is safe on humans and some animals. We make an oil for repelling ticks for the dogs, but only ticks (and it does work).
So, in curiosity, I gathered the ingredients and made the oil. I used a good quality, organic, olive oil.
1 part bay leaves
4 parts pennyroyal
2 parts rosemary
1 part eucalyptus leaves
Enough olive oil or other high-quality oil to completely submerge herbs. Top off with another inch or two of oil.
I placed waxed paper between the lid and jar. I have never made an infused oil, so I wanted to make sure the oil had no reaction to the lid (I gave the jar a good shake every now and then).
To Make: Wilt fresh leaves, or used dried herbs. Cover with enough oil to completely submerse herb, plus one or two inches more.
Allow jar to sit for at least six weeks in a warm area (but not direct sunlight). I started mine on March 26th.
Strain. Add a drop or two of essential oil of pennyroyal and/or eucalyptus essential oil. The recipe did not recommend shelf life for this oil. Any ideas how long it would last?
I'm told this is safe for pets as well as humans, but I just read that pennyroyal is not safe for cats. And cats do lick themselves often. They say to use Neem for cats (or other recommendations).
I think I will mix up some neem spray for our cats. I found recipes for mixing the neem oil to make a shampoo for cats, but Jasper hates water. He'd have to be sedated to give him a bath, so spray it is.
As for the dogs, I have already placed a mixture of pennyroyal and eucalyptus (these recommendations are found at Rapid Home Remedies) on their collars. I think I have lavender oil too, but I read pennyroyal works well. The only problem, is that all of us do not like the smell of pennyroyal. In a week or so, I'll see if the dogs are flea free, and maybe try lavender (smells much better).
Update: Placing the above mixture on the dog collars was not effective.
Have any of you tried these, or other natural remedies, on their dogs or cats for fleas? After losing Sadie and Mattie to cancer, and Jesse having tumors removed, and some returning, I'm not a fan of chemical-laden flea meds. They used to dry Sadie's skin so badly too.
In the meantime, I'll be using the insect repellent oil and see how it works. I'll be giving you an update, after we experiment with mosquitoes, gnats, flies and other pesky bugs.