Homemade Flea Repellent
By Jessica Wilson
Every summer I succumb to the wailing meows of our calico cat and let her roll around outside in the garden, and every summer the calico witch-baby becomes lousy with fleas. Making your own flea repellent will not kill those pesky fleas, but it does a dandy job of keeping her less full of them after we bathe her and apply that awful toxic vet-obtained goo. Rather than reapplying that stuff when the first batch loses potency, we mist the witch-baby with this homemade lavender and lemon infusion so she can be flea-free until the next summer. This works on both cats and dogs, though some cats are not fans of lavender. Before you make it, waggle a small sprig of the purple buds near your kitty and watch for her reaction. If she runs away, omit the lavender and just use the lemons or substitute rosemary. Lavender oil can be too strong so I use fresh lavender from the garden.
Small squirt bottle 3–5 ounces works fine.
2 cups water
2 Tbsp alcohol-free witch hazel
1 large lemon sliced
Handful of fresh lavender sprigs or 1Tbsp dried lavender
Step 1: Gather your ingredients and add everything except the witch hazel to your saucepan.
Step 2: Simmer on a stove top for 30 minutes. Remove to cool. The water will have turned a light lavender, and it should give off a citrusy sweet aroma.
Step 3: Once cooled, strain the infusion through a small-holed colander or mesh sieve. Discard the lemon and lavender.
Step 4: Add the witch hazel to the mixture and fill the bottle. Add a sprig or 2 of lavender to make it pretty, and admire. We use a small squirt bottle because the cat is not a fan of the thing. We store whatever is left over in the fridge and use about one small bottle a week.
Step 5: To apply the infusion to your pet, gently mist along his/her back and massage into the fur. Sometimes you will see fleas jump ship — make sure you squash ‘em! While the noise and pressure of the initial squirting makes my cat jump, she doesn’t tear off to hide after the whole process is done, so I like to think she appreciates it. Also, the infusion is spiffy enough to use on yourself on a hot day, not for fleas of course but just as a relaxing pick-me-up!
About the Author:
Jessica Wilson is most happily known as ‘jek in the box’ and spends most of her time crafting it up and taking pictures. She can often be found standing on benches over on Flickr and creating all sorts of kiddie crafts on her blog scrumdilly-do! She lives a life of scrumdillydilly and loves to share.