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Home > General > Does Cedarwood Oil Kill Fleas? Vet-Verified Info & Safety Tips

Does Cedarwood Oil Kill Fleas? Vet-Verified Info & Safety Tips

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

Veterinarian, BVSc MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you are a pet owner, you probably understand the troubles of unwanted pests in your home. Blood-sucking parasites like fleas are a common side effect of owning cats and dogs, and if you find yourself battling these irritating pests, you will be looking for an effective solution.

There are a myriad of flea and tick preventive treatments available for our pets, but some people would prefer to use more natural remedies to deal with these parasites. Cedarwood oil has been found to work well at repelling fleas and ticks, but it is not effective at killing them.

Although many essential oils are not safe to use around our pets, cedarwood oil is one of the few that is not known to be toxic to pets. However, always talk to your veterinarian before using any essential oil on or around your animals. You should also talk to them about other safe and effective flea and tick remedies to help decide which is the best option for your pooch or kitty.


Is Cedarwood Oil an Effective Way to Get Rid of Fleas?

Cedarwood oil is a natural component extracted from the Eastern Red Cedar or Juniperus virginiana. It is a main ingredient of some pest-repellent products, such as pet collars, pet tags, or liquid sprayed on animal bedding. It is also used to repel moths from clothing.

It may be a safe way of getting rid of fleas from your home and is even found incorporated in products used on pets. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of essential oils in killing fleas hasn’t been backed up by any scientific research. Additionally, as essential oils aren’t regulated, there can be great variability between the efficacy and safety of different products.

Remember to use caution when using essential oils for pest control, as many are toxic for our pets, and should never be applied directly to their skin.

bottle of essential oil with cedar wood chips
Image Credit: Madeleine Steinbach, Shutterstock

Benefits of Cedarwood Oil as Flea Repellent

Essential oils can be part of a natural, long-term solution for repelling fleas away from your home and pets when used correctly and safely, but many of them are toxic for our pets. Using cedarwood oil has the benefit of being  an effective flea repellent, without exposing ourselves, or our pets, to toxic ingredients. Cedarwood oil also has the benefit of being non-toxic to plants or beneficial insects like bees, as well as leaving a pleasant scent.

Disadvantages of Using Cedarwood Oil Against Fleas

The main problem with using cedarwood oil to get rid of fleas is that it only works reliably as a repellent, and even this will depend on the concentration and formulation of the product you use. There is no evidence that cedarwood oil kills fleas, unless applied directly to the fleas themselves, which is neither safe or practical.

The other problem is that there is no regulation of essential oils, and therefore, no guarantee that the product you use will be safe. Additionally, many cats do not like the smell of cedarwood, so you may end up repelling more than just their fleas.

bottle of essential oil with pieces of cedar wood on a table
Image Credit: Madeleine Steinbach, Shutterstock

How to Use Cedarwood Oil to Get Rid of Fleas

There are several methods and recipes to create an effective pest-repellent solution. You can create or buy a solution to spray around the inside and outside of your house. Adding a small amount of concentrated oil to your floor cleaner is a great way to spread it safely around the home. Never use concentrated oil, and never apply it directly to your pet’s skin. Speak to your veterinarian first about the specific solution you plan on using to be sure it’s safe.


Final Thoughts

Fleas can be major pests because they can quickly multiply, causing an infestation in your home and on your pets. For this reason, people search for the most effective yet natural and safe way to get rid of fleas. Cedarwood oil may be a great option to add some flea-repelling power to your cleaning routine, but it is unlikely to eradicate your flea problem. However, used in conjunction with a veterinary approved flea treatment, it can help keep the fleas from coming back. Just be sure to check in with your vet first before applying or using cedarwood or any other essential oil around your pets.

Featured Image Credit: Madeleine Steinbach, Shutterstock

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