Hello Everyone! Got cats and/or dogs? Got fleas? (Sure you do - it's summer!) Don't want to use chemicals on your pets or in your home? I don't blame you. Today, Bandit (my #1 feline buddy pictured below) and I are going to talk about making and using herbal pet bedding sachets that can help keep fleas out of your pet's sleeping areas. Aromatic herbal sachets are just one of many chemical-free items that should be in your arsenal in the battle against an invasion of fleas/ticks . . . in addition to natural flea/tick powders, herbal shampoos, carpet powders, etc.
(Bandit talking) . . . "Hi there humans, my name is Bandit, and this morning I was sleeping peacefully on my favorite fluffy towel when mom decided to put a fresh-made herbal flea-repellent sachet in my bed, and, of course, made me pose for her photo (see me below - still snoozing)! But, I didn't mind. My bed smells mildly of sage, rosemary, thyme, and catnip (my favorite) and there's nary a flea in sight - yay for me! You see that book resting on my side? My smart, herbalist mom wrote that! It's her best-selling book, Naturally Bug-Free: 75 Nontoxic Recipes for Repelling Mosquitoes, Ticks, Fleas, Ants, Moths & Other Pesky Insects" (Storey Publishing, c2016). In it she's got loads of herbal recipes to keep mosquitoes & ticks off her fellow humans and irritating fleas & ticks off us cats (and dogs) - safely and effectively. It's an educational read and a bargain at only $10.95!"
Okay . . . Bandit's said her piece, now back to me talking . . .
Herbal Pet-Bedding Sachets
Whether your furry friend sleeps in a blanket-filled crate or box; in a carpet-covered cat condo; or on a fleece-covered beanbag or soft pillow, tucking small bags or sachets of herbal blends in and around bedding materials is an effective way to safely deter irritating pests (fleas/mites/ticks) while keeping your pet and its sleeping area smelling fresh. Pets often have several sleeping or napping areas, so place 2 or more sachets in every location.
NOTE: Immediately after making the sachets, the essential oil fragrance (if you opt to add it) will be at its most potent, but it will mellow dramatically within 24 hours as it is absorbed by the herbs, so don't worry about overwhelming your adult dog with a lingering aroma. Dogs under 1 year old, under 20 pounds, and cats, in particular, are quite sensitive to both the pungency and naturally occurring chemicals in essential oils, so when making sachets for young or small dogs and ALL cats, OMIT the essential oils altogether. Just make the sachets using pure dried herbs.
General Instructions for recipe below: To make the sachets, you'll need 6, 4" x 6" drawstring muslin bags or large "seal and brew" tea bags, a large bowl, and a mixing spoon.
Combine the herbs in the bowl, then add the essential oil (for adult dogs only - over 20 lbs), and stir again. Spoon approximately 1 cup of the mix into each bag. Label and date the bags using a permanent market. Store leftover mixture at room temperature in an airtight container away from heat and light, and use within 1 year.
To use the sachets, place two or more bags in your pet's bedding area (the larger the pet, the more bags). Squeeze the bags every couple of days or so to release more scent. Recharge bags by adding one drop of essential oil once per week, if desired. Replace the herbs every 2 months or so, or make new bags (they do get soiled over time).
Below is one of my favorite pet-bedding recipes, "Catnip Fair". You can find it on page 133 of my book. Bandit likes this recipe, too😻
- 2 cups dried catnip leaves & flowers (or just leaves)
- 2 cups dried sage leaves
- 1 cup dried rosemary leaves
- 1 cup dried thyme leaves
- 15 drops rosemary essential oil (OMIT for cats, dogs under 1 year old and all dogs under 20 lbs)
Bonus Use: This blend can also be used to repel pests in kitchen and bathroom cabinets, clothing drawers, armoires, and closets. Feel free to double the essential oil amount so that the sachets have extra potency!
My two favorite companies from which to purchase organic dried herbs are: Mountain Rose Herbs www.mountainroseherbs.com and Jean's Greens www.jeansgreens.com Both excellent companies with a rapid turnover of stock!
NOTE: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and all information and recipe were excerpted and adapted from her book, "Naturally Bug-Free" (Storey Publishing, 2016). The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. Ms. Tourles disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.