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There’s been a lot of research done on plants that naturally repel fleas and ticks. Garden plants can be a great way to keep flea and tick invasions to a minimum, but you have to be cautious that what you plant is not something that will cause harm to pets or wildlife.

One note - many of these plants can be very invasive (particularly those in the mint family). Please do your homework and use containers when appropriate. We would hate for anyone's garden to get overrun!

Beware of common toxic plants

Many of the common herbs used to repel fleas are also toxic to pets, including the popular “Flea Bane” (Pennyroyal). Other plants that have been used successfully to repel fleas are citronella, geranium, Eucalyptus, fleawort, wormwood, tansy and Sweet Bay. However, all of them are toxic to animals and should be avoided in the yard and garden. The good news is that there are many other options available for natural flea and tick control that are also safe for pets should they get into it. Here they are, in no particular order.

The Mint Family

There are, however, families of plants that are both safe and effective in all-natural pest control. You must remain vigilant as to which species of family you are planting.

For example, Pennyroyal and Lavender are both members of the mint family. Pennyroyal can be highly toxic to pets (and people) while Lavender is a natural calming aid that is safe for use with dogs and cats. Do your research. We’ve listed a few of the more common plants and herbs that are great to use in yards with pets, but as in anything else, moderation is of key importance. A little is okay. A lot is going to cause problems.

The mint family, which catnip belongs to, is a favorite for flea banishing. Not only are mint plants effective in controlling fleas, they are safe for pets and wildlife, they smell great indoors and out, and you can make some amazing ice tea with the leaves.  Before planting, remember that mint is invasive and can easily take over your carefully managed garden. Try some in-ground container gardening or place in another area altogether to keep other plants safe.

Mentha arvensis (7938057570)

Catnip

Why not plant something your cat will love? As a member of the mint family, catnip is a feline favorite, but also offers some protection from fleas. As a bonus, you can harvest and dry the cuttings for some DIY pet toys.

Catnip , Nepeta cataria

Sge

Depending on your area, sage may grow wild. It does in our backyard. Sage is a natural flea repellent and it not only looks and smells great (especially after a summer rain), it is safe for your pets. But, I doubt your pets will be interested in eating it.

Purple sage Salvia dorii

Lemon Grass

This natural lemon-scented plant is a natural flea repellent and is safe for pets. It’s also a great herb to cook with and is often used as an essential ingredient in Thai cooking.

Lemon-Grass-in-Kannur

 

 

 

Lavender

Believe it or not, lavender is a member of the mint family as well. This plant is safe for pets and has the added benefit of being a natural moth and mosquito repellent. It smells wonderful and is a perfect addition to a patio.

Lavande 05

Rosemary

This plant is noteworthy not only as a natural repellent but as a source of amino acids. It grows naturally throughout the Mediterranean region, but can do well with in other climates with a little care. The light-blue flowers can be a beautiful addition to any patio.

No matter which plants you choose, remember that moderation is key. Toxicity is largely independent and while most dogs or cats will not have a reaction to these plants, there are exceptions to every rule. Keep a close eye on your pets for any reactions to skin, digestion, or other type of reaction and know what types of plants they have access too so you can let the veterinarian know if you suspect a problem.

Rosmarinus officinalis133095382

 

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stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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