15 Plants That Repel Fleas and How to Use Them (Safe for Pets)

Here is an article to help you and your pet be free of all kinds of nasty insects like fleas, mosquitoes, ticks, and many more, and most importantly, it is supernatural and economical. Yes! It is possible, and the simplest solution is growing insect-repelling plants.

There are few plants present that are safe and sometimes even benefits for your pets and yourself. They are available in many varieties, in lots of shapes and sizes. Some plants can be potted; some can be planted in your yard.

As much as possible, try to plant them outdoors to get better results. It is a better option compared to disgusting and expensive flea and tick chewable pills and drops. If your pets are in the habit of sleeping outdoors, it is a good idea to plant a few around their kennel.

There are some from which you can extract certain oils and other chemicals and use them to make your all-natural bug spray. Most of them are widespread plants, so they will easily be available in your nearby nurseries.

Disclaimer: Checking with your vet for precisely what is good or bad for your pet is necessary. As the following article is according to legal considerations but like every human have a different requirement. Similarly, every pet has its requirements.

Here is the following list of plants that are naturally insect repellent. Most of them smell amazing to us, but the same smell is nasty for insects.

1.Catnip (Nepeta Cataria)

Catnip (Nepeta Cataria)

Catnip, just like other members of the Lamiaceae family have a distinct smell that fleas do not find appealing, helping us to keep them away. Catnip is also safe for pets, especially most cats like Catnip a little more! The distinct smell comes from the presence of nepetalactone oil in the plant, which according to the researchers is 10 times more effective at repelling fleas and mosquitoes compared to chemical repellents in the market.

Catnip is an evergreen plant that grows up to 3-4 ft tall. The smell is like regular mint, strong, and spreads in the area. This cat-loving, flea repelling plant is very easy to breed, from cuttings, air layering, seeds to root division. Most mint family trees do not favor sun, but Catnip needs full-time sun and can grow in most soils and climates.

2. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon Balm plant scent is loved by most people and hated by most insects because of its citrusy smell. This plant is a good repulsion for fleas and mosquitoes, making it a notable extract for a bug spray. Even the taste of this plant is hated by all fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, and hence if you and your pet smell like lemon balm then insects will not come near you.

It can be grown in your yard and let spread like mint, or it can also be potted as per your preference and need.

3. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Here is one more plant to help you repel fleas. There are other benefits of this plant like you can use it to make teas or incense. This plant can be contained in one position, unlike mint or lemon balm plants.

Sage is a perennial plant almost 2-4ft tall and loves to get sun but only in colder climates and needs protection from the hot sun. Also, the sage plant prefers loose and well-draining soil. Wet roots are not appreciated, so proper drainage is important for the plant to thrive. Sage makes a good companion in the yard as it helps to repel insects for itself as well as for other plants like onions, tomatoes, and cabbage amongst many other vegetables. Yet there are few plants like basil and cucumber that will not be able to sustain with a sage plant.

4. Mint (Mentha sp.)

Mint (Mentha sp.)

The best part about growing mint is there are so many different varieties like spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, orange mint, etc. from which you can select according to your personal choice as they all help to repel flies and other insects as well as are safe for your pets.

At the same time, they will also smell good even if they play in your yard for hours. There are many other benefits of mint for your health and hence can be used in cooking. Mint plants are kind of like weeds and hence can spread fast throughout your yard. So, if you are not in favor of that, we suggest growing it in pots to keep it contained. But if you would like to try it as ground cover, go with it. They grow effortlessly and make a good ground cover. Just most varieties do need shade, they mostly prefer nice, moist, shady areas.

5. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

There are many options available for the Basil plant to keep fleas out of your green spaces. With that, it also has other added benefits that can be taken advantage of if used in cooking. Basil is also favorite to bees and pollinators (sometimes hummingbirds are also seen) if you like to maintain the mini ecological system in your yard, while it is also safe for all kinds of pets. Basil has many other medicinal benefits, and it can be used in your daily tea.

6. Oregano (origanum vulgare)

Oregano (origanum vulgare)

Most plants that repel flies and insects are part of the mint family, the same goes for the Oregano plant. As a side pro, it is also a standard herb and can be taken advantage of for cooking or making tea. Moreover, if by chance your pets have the habit of nibbling on plants this plant will not cause any harm. Instead, it may help them indigestion.

7. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

There are plenty of good reasons to plant Rosemary, like culinary and to keep away fleas from your yard, while it is safe for pets as well. The great thing about rosemary is that if your furry family rubs around it, it will smell amazing!

And if you are an environmentalist and love to have a good ecological balance in your yard, you will love this plant as it attracts bees and butterflies but keeps biting insects away. It grows all year round, loving the spot in the sun, and needs well-draining and loose soil. Rosemary grows well with sage plants, making a great combination of flea repelling spells around your yard.

8. Lavender (Lavendula sp.)

Lavender (Lavendula sp.)

The gardener in you will love the Lavender plant, as it is easy to grow. If you like to have a touch with nature, then you are going to like it even more as it attracts butterflies and bees. But it keeps you safe from fleas, moths, and mosquitoes. The only thing you need to do is remember to trim them at regular intervals and let them bloom all year. From adults to children, as well as furry, it is loved by all the family members.

There are over 20 species of the Lavendula genus and hence there are several varieties to choose from, among different shapes and sizes. It blooms all year and gives aromatic and elegant flowers. Breeding through seeds is a little difficult as well as slow, so the method you can try is tip cutting or air-layer them. Lavender requires position in sun with well-draining soil. It nurtures well in both garden and pots, so you can have them according to your needs.

9. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus)

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)

Lemongrass has a very refreshing and calming smell and makes a good culinary partner in the kitchen. As good as it smells for us, the exact opposite effect is on fleas and mosquitoes. And therefore, acts as a very good natural bug-repellent spray that can be made by the extraction process.

Lemongrass sits well in pots and does not need much to grow, they grow super-fast in warmer climates. Citronella oil (one of the main ingredients in insect sprays and mosquito repellants) can be applied on humans and their furry pets to repel mosquitoes and have the same effect on fleas too, because of their citrusy scent.

10. Fleawort (Plantago sp.)

Fleawort (Plantago sp.)

Even if Fleawort is a weed, it is a helpful weed to keep unwanted insects away. The structure of the plant is as the name suggests, like a few different weed-like herbs also commonly known as the plantain weed. They grow mostly as near to the ground as possible and look like bunches of lettuce and can also be used in salads or even in teas. It will give a pretty touch to your ward once the small flowers grow on the tops.

11. Marigold (tagetes sp.)

Marigold (tagetes sp.)

This is a beautiful flowering plant with multiple uses and should be planted in every garden. Your yard can be protected from insects that ruin plants if you breed Marigold plants. It is a common practice to breed marigolds around crops by gardeners to keep them safe. They prevent your yard through fragrance, keeping pets safe and sound. It also has an aesthetic advantage.

, Unlike lavender flowers, you do not need to prune to keep the plant thriving. The dying seeds from the plant can be used to breed many more marigolds in your beautiful garden.

12. Eucalyptus


Most people remember the Eucalyptus plant because of its fragrance. The main advantage of the plant is that insects hate the smell of this perfumed buddy of us, but your pets are safe around them. The leaves can be used to make strong herbal tea or can be used to hang around the house, to get the nice natural aromatic scent. But take note that the content of oil in the plant helps to spread fire so, the position of the plant should be thought accordingly.

13. Chrysanthemum


Chrysanthemum flowers are traditionally used to keep fleas away. They can be potted as well as grown in the ground according to your needs and requirement. The plant in the ground will grow as a flowery bush. It can also be used in tea. Pets are safe around them only if they do not consume them. They can be toxic to animals if eaten in large quantities. So, understand the risk and then make the decision.

14. Rue (Ruta Graveolens)

Rue (Ruta graveolens)

Rue is another plant to avoid fleas and mosquitoes and has been used from ancient times before sprays and repellents were invented. The plant needs sun and attracts bees and other pollinators. It is not harmful to animals, but they generally do not like the smell. So, you can plant them in the yard if you would like to avoid outdoor animals as well in your yard.

Rue plants grow up to 2 ft and are covered with oil glands. Rue plants can be effortlessly propagated from seeds, cuttings, or root division, whichever option you find the easiest. They mostly grow fast without too much attention.

15. Nasturtiums


Nasturtiums are considered best planting buddies, as they are easy to breed, and spread along with various varieties of plants growing close to each other, r helping and benefitting the surrounding plants. Nasturtiums discharge an air-borne chemical that helps to repel many insects like whiteflies, squash bugs, aphids, and many more. It is an ideal plant to grow near vegetables to keep them safe. 

By now we have become aware that the essential part of all these plants is their oils and importantly their fragrances. The release of these aromas keeps the fleas, mosquitos, and ticks away, and keeps your pet safe. They are easily available and can be strategically placed in your outdoor or indoor spaces according to your requirements. We hope this article helped with what were you looking for. Thank you!

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