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Essential Oils for Fleas on Humans

Hand pouring a bottle of essential oil into a wooden bowl

Fleas may tease your pet a lot but can bother you too. Fleabites can be itching and cause red spots and bumps on the skin. Essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, rosewood, cedar, citrus, or lemongrass are useful flea repellants that can save you and your pet from fleas. Keep reading to know how you can use essential oils for managing fleas on humans.

What Can I Put on My Skin to Keep Fleas Off of Me?

Fleas usually bite on the bare areas of the body. They do not bite through clothing. So, the best way to save oneself from fleabites is to wear full-sleeved, long pants, and socks to cover the body properly. If you are outdoors or trying to clean (or disinfest) your home, it is advisable to put on some bug spray with DEET (chemical name, N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) on your skin. This will prevent fleabites to quite an extent.

You can also consider using natural oil like Pennyroyal, Eucalyptus, Thyme, or Myrtle on your skin. You can dab these oils on your skin or spray water mix on your clothes. According to a study, thyme oil and myrtle oil proved to be even better repellants of fleas than the DEET spray.

Does Tea Tree Oil Repel Fleas on Humans?

Bottle of tea tree oil next to a piece of the plant

Tea tree oil is an excellent flea repellant for humans. It not only kills them on contact, but the pungent scent is highly unpleasant to fleas. Meaning that fleas won’t even come near to you while you have applied it on your skin or clothes. But what if they encounter you physically? Tree tea oil will slacken their nervous system and will chock their trachea which runs along the sides of their body and are critical to their survival. Hence, the fleas will die swiftly after coming in contact with this oil.

How Do You Get Rid of Fleas on Humans Naturally?

Close up of a tiny flea on the tip of a human finger

You can not get rid of fleas unless you make your environment flea free. To help you with that several natural remedies are mentioned below. You can choose what suits you best.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth on a red spoon resting on a distressed piece of wood

It is a silica-based talc-like substance. You can easily find food-grade Diatomaceous Earth in the market. Sprinkle it around your home, especially on beddings, carpets, and couches. After applying, let it settle for a day and then vacuum the areas thoroughly.

Diatomaceous Earth is an effective and safe option to use both for you and your pet. However, it can irritate your eyes, throat, and nostrils because of the powdery texture. So, don’t forget to use a dust mask and goggles while sprinkling it.

Boric Acid

pile of Boric Acid on a cobalt blue background

Boric acid is a common ingredient in detergents. You can easily buy it separately as well from pharmacies. Like Diatomaceous you need to sprinkle it throughout your home and then vacuum after some time. It is nontoxic for you and your pet. However, it is not a good option if you have babies. Plus, it may damage your carpet or upholstery over time.


petri dish full of sulfur powder

Sulfur is also one good flea repellent. It can affect their energy production, harshly. Once fleas encounter sulfur, they start getting internally weak and eventually die due to fatigue. Sprinkle powdered sulfur on your grass, shrubs, and other outdoor places where your pet hangs out. There is one problem with using sulfur; it is poisonous to pets. So, make sure your pup isn’t playing outside while it is sprinkled. Also, this chemical is only safe for outdoor use.


Variety of citrus including cut limes, grapefruit, oranges, and blood oranges.

Essence extracted from peels of the citrus fruit including linalool or D-limonene can work well as flea repellants. It not only scrams the fleas but also destroys their eggs. A question may brew up in your mind about using the citrus fruits directly. That’s because the essence obtained from fruits is not strong enough to kill the fleas. Citrus essence can have side effects on cats so, make sure the company you choose affirms the safety of your kitty. 

Light Traps

clear, glass lightbulb on a grey background.

This is an intelligent technique and has no side effects whatsoever. This method lures the fleas to come out of their hideouts. Experts suggest that when a trap with yellow-green light is on for 10 minutes and then flashes off for 5 seconds, fleas get bluffed as if it were their host. In this way, you can trap them and squish them.

Elbow Grease

Woman in an apron and gloves, hand on her hips with her back to the camera getting ready to clean house.

Undoubtedly, the best way to make your home flea free is to do the housework. Cleaning your home regularly can remove all the fleas and their eggs. This breaks the new flea cycle so no new eggs get laid and lead to future flea families. Spend more time vacuuming your carpet and bedding as they are the main breeding grounds for fleas.

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