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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to figure out what would be the best mixture and best way to apply essential oils. Right now I'm trying to repel mosquitoes, and I'm also worrying about fleas and ticks because my puppy was given Heartguard Plus as his heartworm prevention. In the past I've used the liquid product with the flea and tick control, so I'm not sure what I'm up against this season.

The essential oils I have are:
Tea Tree oil
Eucalyptus oil
Lemongrass oil
Neem oil (solid at room temperature)

I bought the last two after reading through previous posts - the store was sold out of citronella, and the more flowery scents seem to give me a bad headache. I also have olive oil to use as a carrier, or I can cut some fresh aloe and use the jell from it.

I'm wondering what would be the best mixture of the above ingredients?

Also, I'm not sure if I should make a water-based spray to apply because our other dog is frequently being mouthed by my puppy. So basically this spray will be ingested. Or is it safe in small amounts?

Could you please advise me in how I should mix and apply these? Thank you very much for any help you can offer, since these oils are pretty expensive and I don't want to end up tossing any failed experiments of mine.
 

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Honestly, if your concern is fleas, Advantage is your best bet. Essential oils don't work as well, you have to re-apply them constantly, and they're not meant to be ingested. Because Advantage travels along the oil layer in the skin, it doesn't cover the entire hair shaft and so if the dogs mouth each other while playing, they won't ingest anything more than a negligable amount. If you use an essential oil spray, you have to really soak them in it down to the skin and it does cover the hair. If you use olive oil as a carrier, it will make the coat oily and dirt will stick to it.

If you have both ticks and fleas, Frontline is your best bet. Advantage won't kill ticks.

About the only thing I use essential oils for is fly/mosquito repellent. Even then, you have to re-apply it 2-3 times a day. Neem and citronella is best for that, along with eucalyptus, clove, cedar, lavender, and citrus oils. I don't know how tea tree and lemongrass would work, but I'm sure they wouldn't hurt. I use a water/alcohol based carrier (about 70% water/30% alcohol). The alcohol evaporates quickly and will stun any bugs hit by it.
 

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You need a carrier for the oils, I use almond oil and distilled water or ACV to bulk up the oils.
I use a few drops of the essential oils, 2 tsp almond oil and 8 oz of the bulk to put in a spray bottle. The oils do gunk up the sprayer, small batches are better, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all your suggestions - so far I'm waging a war with the mosquitoes, and losing. They're just terrible right now! Maybe I'm just getting old and crabby, but I can't remember being this bothered by them at this time of year before.

Thank you again Freestep: ugh, what a mess the olive oil would make, duh why didn't I think of that...slap my head, lol....I've got a mud hole going for my puppy too, it would almost have been funny to see me try to clean him up.

Someone had mentioned soaking a bandana with the solution. I guess his legs don't get much protection this way though.

I hate mosquitoes!
 

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If you soak a bandana or collar in the oils, you will have to do it at the very least twice a week and you cant put them back on the dog until they're completely dry. I use a dog shampoo that is really nice and I just add some extra drops of the oils to it.

http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com/shop/index.php?page=shop-flypage-6429



I used essential oils in an equal parts mixture in almond oil as the carrier and it helped repel the mosquitos but didnt completely discourage them. There were a few stubborn ones. Also, look into planting lavendar around your yard as well as getting some real cedar chips as they both act as natural repellents. KMart also sells the cedar balls you can put in your closet or dresser drawers. They're also effective in dog houses if you can put them in a place they work but dont get eaten.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the heads-up on drying the bandana first, I didn't know that.

And I'm re-thinking my plantings too. What was going to be cleomes and cosmos is now going to be lavendar, marigold and peppermint. A big hedge of it, lol.
 

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Tea tree oil is toxic if ingested. I would not use it for something like this.

Also, to the person who suggested Advantage: you are applying a pesticide to your dog. You are fooling yourself if you think coming into contact with that stuff couldn't cause another dog harm.

Plus, this is the Holistic section of the forum. :p

Isn't cedar oil supposed to repel insects? I know it repels fleas.
 

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Catnip spray is working for us against Mosquitos and gnats.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) has been proven 10 times stronger than DEET according to the American Chemical Society! :shocked: Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET AND you can plant something similar around your yard called Catmint (Nepeta mussinii)! It is a beautiful purple flowered perennial and comes back year after year, and doubles in size each year! And you can also plant the Catnip but it tends to be more of a bi-annual and doesn't flower as nicely. Another good Essential Oil you can rotate with or mix with the Catnip is Rose Geranium.
If you go to the following page and cursor about 8 posts down, I gave a list of EO's used for insect repellant and how to mix it. Hope it helps! :)
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/183494-6-month-old-combining-fea-tick-medications-safe.html
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for the heads-up on the catnip/catmint! Wow, it does seem to be the miracle plant I've been looking for. And who knew, I already have 2 growing that I harvest for my cat...not sure of which type it is though. I will definitely get the oil for my puppy's bandana. I wonder what the cat will think? She's usually the one being shadowed by the puppy - it will be interesting to see how she reacts when the puppy smells like her all-time favorite treat, lol.

KZoppa, your suggestion of using cedar chips was brilliant!! I did a voracious weeding through my beds and put down 2 yards of the stuff and what a huge difference! I usually go with the shredded, but the chips are worth their weight in gold. That, and mowing the lawn down to a crewcut length has gotten rid of most of them. Or it was just a seasonal swarm? BTW, Mother Nature didn't like me criticizing her mosquitoes, so she sent in her carnivorous flies to teach me a lesson! I was actually enjoying weeding the raspberry patch, with dozens of bumblebees on the blooms. Cute little bugs that left me alone!
 

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I've used lavender, rosemary, tea tree and peppermint (maybe 10 drops each) mixed with a few teaspoons of almond oil and just put a few drops in my hands and rubbed them over my dogs' fur before they go out in the morning. They smell good and it works all day against fleas and mosquitoes. When the ticks get bad, I add cedarwood.
Something else I recently learned is that ants eat flea eggs. We have a lot of anthills in our "natural" area around the edges of the property. Chow down, ants!
 

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The essential oil combo I prefer is

Citronella
Rosemary
Cedar
Clove

Neem is excellent by itself

NaturVet also has a great horse spray consisting of essential oils already prepared & ready to go.
 

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You can also add raw garlic to the dog's diet. I put a clove a day in her food (I make her food) and I used a similar combo as other people. Ky never had a flea / tick or mosquito near her all summer.
 

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Just wanted to add, be very careful with using essential oils (also fragrance oils) if you have a cat who may come in contact with them at all-- if your cat is in close contact with your dog, or shares the same sleeping spot for example. Many essential oils are toxic to cats if ingested, inhaled or otherwise contacted. Cats self groom a lot so skin/surface contact can easily result in ingestion.
 
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