Garlic as a Flea Repellent?

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QuestionsCategory: Flea Control ProductsGarlic as a Flea Repellent?
Lee asked 11 months ago

Hi there.
I was wondering if you could offer any scientific backing as to whether feeding a dog garlic can repel fleas?
It seems that when my dog has fleas, as a consequence my partner will get bitten quite a lot (she doesn’t eat garlic) whereas I have never had a single bite (I eat garlic almost daily).
Based on this, we have tried feeding our small Westie garlic (half a clove a day) and he appears to show a noticeable reduction in signs of flea irritation (nibbling, scratching, biting) when he has been eating it for a few days in a row.
Could it be that there is some concentration of some compound in his system that fleas just don’t like the smell or taste of?
Kind regards and love the website.
Lee.

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 11 months ago

Hi Lee,

No, I’ve never read any scientific literature that supports garlic being a flea repellent. Here’s an excerpt from Egg Production, Larval Development, and Adult Longevity of Cat Fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) Exposed to Ultrasound:

Methods that have proven ineffective for the control of fleas include
garlic (Bowen 1978), brewer’s yeast (Baker & Farver 1983), B-complex vitamins (Halliwell 1982), wormwood (Ihrke 1982), pennyroyal, eucalyptus, rosemary, and citronella (Olkowski et al. 1983).

Garlic having repellent properties is a myth, and a dangerous one. Garlic (and other Allium species like onions) is actually toxic to dogs. You can read more about it here:

https://phz8.petinsurance.com/healthzone/pet-health/pet-toxins/garlic-toxicity-and-pets

Warm regards,
Adam

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