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Well, the season is upon us and many people will be asking about natural flea and tick repellents on Facebook. I do three things that protect my dogs from fleas and ticks:

  • I feed a diet of raw dog food; bugs are more attracted to pets fed a diet high in starch.
  • I spritz the dogs once a week with Wondercide from May through September/October. I even use it on myself too. #VeterinarianApproved

We've never had a problem with fleas, but that doesn't mean that this will change. We're in the process of building a new patio and I get to pick the flowers that go around the border and I've decided to go with functional instead of just pretty colors.

Gardening Plan

The following plants repel bugs. Last year, I had several of them in pots around our deck. This year, the plan is to plant more around the patio and I'd like to plant larger bushes around the house and dog yard.

  • Rosemary – repels fleas and ticks
  • Peppermint – repels fleas, mosquitoes, spiders (which I actually like), and ants
  • Catnip – repels fleas and mosquitoes
  • Marigold – repels mosquitoes and aphids, they also discourage the deer from eating my vegetables
  • Basil – repels fleas, mosquitoes, and houseflies
  • Lavender – repels mosquitoes, fleas, flies, and moths
  • Citronella – repels mosquitoes

Initially, all of my plants will go into containers and when our patio is ready, we'll be transplanting the plants into the ground.

Types of Plants to Purchase

Rosemary

Rosemary – this plant smells so good and it's really hearty. If you protect it in the winter, it'll come back the following spring. I didn't do a good job of protecting mine, so I lost a couple of them.

Peppermint

Peppermint – when I buy peppermint, I also purchase lemon balm and chocolate mint too. Peppermint grows like a weed and will take over if you're not careful, so I plant it in its own area with trainers to keep it under control, pruning it regularly.

Catnip

Catnip – this is a super easy plant to grow and it'll grow really big. One or two small plants will quickly grow into a bush when planted in a large container. This one won't spread like the mint, but it will create some coverage so I like the idea of planting it as a barrier to keep the dogs out of the koi pond.

Marigold Flowers

Marigold – this are those orange and yellow flowers that always outside the gardening area of stores. There are other colors, but orange and yellow seem to be most common and those are what I'll get, using them as bursts of color around the patio.

Basil Leaves

Basil – this is another plant that smells wonderful and it comes in various colors, so I'll pick up both the traditional green basil as well as dark basil (if I can find) to add some interest to the garden.

Lavender Flowers

Lavender– when shopping for lavender, I focus on the English lavender and French lavender plants because they grow into beautiful bushy creations, but all lavender is lovely and smells great.

I'm not finished, but it's almost there.

Finding the Best Deals

As a dog mom who is raising four raw fed dogs and one raw fed cat, I've become very good at keeping my budget reasonable. Of course, you can look for sales when you're ready to buy your plants, but I can do you one (or three) better…

  • If you have friends with any of these plants and they can be divided successfully, ask if you can have some. You can beat FREE!
  • Look at the clearance area. Today, I purchased tons of plants for $1 each and there was nothing wrong with them – they just needed some fertilizer and water.
  • Shop garage sales and Facebook Market Place for people who are selling extra plants.

How I Use the Plants in My Flower Garden

I could try and create oils, but I have no clue how to begin doing that, so I stick with enjoying the pretty blooms. As the season progresses, I clip and dry the catnip, rosemary, and lavender.

My cat loves the catnip and so do my dogs. I used to think catnip mad cats go crazy, but I was wrong, it soothes and relaxes Cosmo and it has the same impact on my dogs. So I take old socks and turn them into catnip toys for the dogs.

I dry the rosemary for jerky treats that I make each summer with my food dehydrator. I also set dried rosemary in bowls around the house for that wonderful smell. Why the summer? Because I get inspired during the summer. I add peppermint to my tea. And I dry the lavender for my use (stuff it into an old pillowcase and put beneath my pillow).

For folks who claim that rosemary causes seizures, please read this great article by Dogs Naturally Magazine. When it comes to anything that has been labeled toxic, it depends on the amount. Sprinkling a little on my dogs jerky isn't going to lead to seizures.

Stick Around and Read More…

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