Flea and tick repellent recipe

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, April 1, 2024

Happy spring, everyone!

It’s that time of year when fleas and ticks begin to bother us.

Last year, even though it is uncommon in our area, Galena acquired lyme disease from a tick hiding itself in her armpit.

We rushed her to the vet as soon as we saw she had a fever.

The vet placed her on strong antibiotics, which eliminated the bacteria.

Unfortunately, the bacteria already caused her left elbow to calcify and so she still limps a bit due to the effects of the nasty lyme disease she endured.

She doesn’t let that stop her and is doing well today despite the slight limp she acquired.


In honor of flea and tick season, here is a natural bug repellent recipe you can create at home to keep away all the nasty disease carrying bugs that might be hatching at this very moment.

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Natural flea and tick repellent

using pet safe essential oils


  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 5 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin (optional, helps the oils to disperse evenly)


  1. In a clean spray bottle, combine the distilled water and apple cider vinegar (if using). The apple cider vinegar can help to repel fleas and ticks and also serves as a natural skin conditioner for dogs.
  2. Add the essential oils to the bottle. Lavender, cedarwood, peppermint, lemongrass, and geranium are all known for their insect-repelling properties and are safe for use on dogs when properly diluted.
  3. If using vegetable glycerin, add it to the bottle. Vegetable glycerin helps to disperse the essential oils evenly in the water and can also act as a moisturizer for your dog's skin.
  4. Close the spray bottle and shake well to combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
  5. Before each use, shake the bottle well to ensure the oils are evenly distributed.
  6. To apply, lightly mist your dog's coat, avoiding the eyes, nose, and mouth. Pay particular attention to areas where fleas and ticks are more likely to hide, such as behind the ears, along the spine, and under the legs.
  7. Reapply the spray as needed, especially after your dog has been outdoors or exposed to areas where fleas and ticks may be present.

Remember to test a small area of your dog's skin for any adverse reactions before applying the spray more widely. If your dog shows any signs of sensitivity or irritation, discontinue use immediately.


Lemongrass oil has a naturally yellow tint and may temporarily discolor light fur and fabrics. It will wash out of fur. If you have a pet with a light coat or you plan to spray light-colored household surfaces, simply eliminate lemongrass from the recipe above and use the other repellent scents.

Peppermint oil has been shown in some studies to reduce natural milk production. If you or your pet are pregnant or nursing do not use peppermint oil in the recipe, simply use the other repellent scents.

You can substitute rosemary essential oil for geranium essential oil.

You can substitute 100% aloe vera gel instead of vegetable glycerin. Sesame oil is sometimes used in flea/tick repellents, but it has a more unpleasant odor and can leave a dog’s coat oily.

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If you try the recipe above, let me know how it goes.

We have placed more videos on our YouTube channel of the cute Luck of the Irish puppies.

They are growing so big already.

Their second temperament test will happen in the next few days.

*rubbing hands together

Then, I can hold them and squeeze them and love on them all I want!

I can’t wait!

Their paws are so tempting to touch when they lay on their backs practically willing me to hold them. SMH

If you are on our waiting list, reply to this email to let me know if you are want to go active for this litter.

If you aren’t yet on our waiting list, you can apply at the link below:


Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.