Essential oils not only smell nice, but they have a variety of purposes in the world of home remedies as well. Essential oils, which are distilled liquids extracted from plants, are highly concentrated fragrances that are often used in moderation for a number of purposes. Depending on the oil used and the application, essential oils can be effective at repelling fleas from the human body.


Essential oils come in a variety of scents. Common scents used to repel fleas include citrus oils such as lemongrass or orange; spicier scents, such as cinnamon, clove; and flower based oils like geranium and lavender. Herbal oils like bay, eucalyptus and rue are also used. Cedar oil and tea tree oil also repel fleas. These scents are commonly used to repel fleas in animals as well as humans.


Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin without first diluting them. You may choose to dilute them with water or a carrier oil, such as jojoba or almond oil. Put into an amber or cobalt tinted glass spray bottle, the essential oils can be applied in much the same way as a perfume or cologne might. If a lighter colored bottle is used, the oils may decay or lose effectiveness due to interactions with sunlight.

Most oils can be applied directly to the skin, and your health care professional will advise you on which of these are potentially applied in this manner and which are not. Because each individual has a different body chemistry, an oil that is safe to apply to one person may not be applied to another. Often, but not always, the suppliers of essential oils include directions and precautions on their labels.

For those essential oils that cannot be applied directly to the skin, a piece of fabric or cloth jewelry can be imbued with the oils and worn for periods of time, akin to the human version of a flea collar. This is an ideal way to test different essential oils for an allergic reaction, as the piece of jewelery or cloth can be removed at any point and the area washed thoroughly.


Essential oils may or may not be effective in repelling fleas depending upon environmental factors. Becoming wet, excessive sweating or physical activity, and overall metabolism may reduce the efficacy of essential oils, allowing them to be washed away or absorbed into the body at a quicker rate than normal.

Time Frame

Depending upon the oil used and the method of application, you may need to re-apply it more than once a day. For example, If you misted your clothing or hair with a diluted solution of the essential oil, you will have to re-apply the solution more often. A piece of cloth or jewelry soaked in the oil will not need to be re-treated for a longer period of time.

Safety Considerations

If you exhibit signs of an allergic reaction, discontinue use and consult your health care professional. A severe adverse reaction should be treated as a medical emergency, and appropriate care should be sought immediately. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include, but are not limited to, the inability to breathe, extreme itchiness, loss of focus or consciousness and unresponsive behaviors.