Garlic as a Flea Repellent?

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QuestionsCategory: Flea Control ProductsGarlic as a Flea Repellent?
Lee asked 1 year 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.

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 1 year 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:

Warm regards,