Tea tree oil is an essential oil used in aromatherapy and alternative medicine, and it is very popular for driving away fleas and various other insects and pests. Due to its invasive and very strong aroma, it is said to help get rid of fleas quite easily, creating an uninhabitable environment. Since the oil can be dangerous to use around some small animals, particularly cats, it is best to use tea tree oil for fleas and other pests with caution. Most holistic or natural veterinarians advise using a very low concentration around animals, applying limited amounts to well-protected areas.
Using tea tree oil to treat pests is quite common in natural and holistic circles, as it helps a pet owner reduce the chemicals his animals are exposed to. Since the oil contains a strong aroma, it is said that the odor can help drive away fleas from the fur of an animal, as well as reduce the number of fleas in the surrounding area. Most tea tree oil made to treat fleas might contain other natural oils like cinnamon or nutmeg, contributing to a more offensive aroma. Many natural pet products that contain this oil often have a spray nozzle attached, designed for spraying the oil mixture around the house and on the fur.
Using a small amount of oil and rubbing it into the fur of an animal is often done to get rid of fleas from the animal itself, rather than from the surrounding area. It is still a good idea to spray the tea tree oil around the home or at the source of the incoming problem. It's also possible to rub a small amount of tea tree oil on a collar, creating a flea collar, rather than rubbing it on the pet's fur. It isn't a good idea to spray any oil around pet food or anything that can be consumed by both animals and humans.
Experts often suggest that using tea tree oil for fleas isn't a good idea, as the oil in moderate to high levels can be very dangerous to cats and other small animals. Using a tea tree oil that has been diluted to a 1% concentration or lower is best for preventing pet nausea or serious illness. When spraying the oil on dogs or large animals, use it sparingly to avoid raising the level of exposure. Finding an alternative for flea prevention in cats and other animals may be preferred, and speaking to a qualified veterinarian might help determine a nontoxic, healthier way to treat fleas in these animals.