Ear Mites
Natural Remedies

Ear Mite Remedies

| Modified on Apr 12, 2024

Ear Mites can be a horribly irritating and painful problem for our pets to be affected by and can lead to a serious infection; so the sooner they are dealt with, the better.  An ear mite is a tiny little creature that lives in the surface of your pet's ear.  The condition is highly transmittable and can be passed from pet to pet either via direct contact or by way of humans who carry the mite from an infected pet to those uninfected ones.

If your pet is suffering from ear mites they will likely be constantly shaking their heads and scratching at their ears to rid themselves of the nasty pests and endless irritation.  Telltale signs of the problem can be seen if you actually look into the ear itself.  The ear may appear red and inflamed from all the scratching and although you will not see the mite culprit, there will be indications that it exists.  You may notice a build up of wax within the ear as well as numerous black specks (likely spots of dried blood).  In those cases where the ear mites have not been treated immediately or effectively, the mites will actually move down into the ear canal and cause an infection of the middle ear.  This means that the animal may appear to be off balance and might be unable to hold its head up straight.

The first step in helping your pet is to clean out the ear and try to relieve some of the discomfort.  Use an eyedropper or syringe (without the needle) to insert some Vegetable or Olive Oil into the ear canal.  While keeping your pet's head still (as they will want to immediately shake the substance out) massage the ear thoroughly to loosen any deeply impacted mite dirt (you may be able to gently squeeze some of it up and out of the ear).  Use cotton balls to clean the ears and only attempt to use q-tips very carefully being sure not to allow them to enter portions of the deeper ear canal.  In order to relieve irritation caused by the mites, use a natural treatment of Psorinum or Sulphur.

In order to actually kill the mites there are a couple of natural remedies that you can make at home.  The first one is a mixture of 9 drops of Yellow Dock Root Extract and 1 tablespoon of water.  Use an eyedropper to insert the treatment into the pet's ear, being sure to massage it well prior to the animal having the opportunity to shake it out.  Administer the treatment once every three days for a period of six weeks.

The second treatment mixes 1/2 an ounce of Almond Oil with 400 IU's of Vitamin E.  Warm up the mixture to body temperature and apply 1/2 an eyedropper into each affected ear.  Massage the mixture around in the ear and remove the excess with cotton balls.  Administer the treatment for a period of six days, leave it for three days and then repeat.

Continue reading to learn which remedies worked best for our reader to help pets with ear mites.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Rick (Minneapolis, Minnesota) on 10/25/2007

Many comments in the cat ear mite treatment area say to use q-tips to clean out the crud from your cat's ears. Please do not as this pushes debris further into the ear canal and makes the condition worse. To clean, gently spray the ear with warm soapy water followed by pure water. Repeat until clean which usually take three rounds.

Posted by Charlotte (Stockbridge, GA) on 05/18/2007

I really appreciate all the information I've found here. Just a bit of advice for those of us helping our pets to get rid of earmites. It's important for anyone dealing with ear mites in their pets to know that the initial cleaning out (either with medicine or with natural remedys) only kills the living mites. The eggs will remain in the animal's ears. The life cycle of a mite is about 3 weeks. Unless you are using a medicine that kills the larve and eggs, it is best to continue treatment for an entire month to insure all mites are eliminated. Even if the animal stops showing symptoms, make sure to continue treatment for the entire month. Hope this helps.

Replied by Christina
(Des Moines, NM)

Thanks for the tip. I've been treating my kitten with olive oil & tea tree oil (one tablespoon w/ 3 or 4 drops tea tree), cleaning every 2 - 3 days. I have been wondering how long the mite life-cycle is... knowing I need to get the new hatch before we get JR cured. I'm two weeks into treatments and will keep up the schedule for another two.

Thanks again! Christina

(Ontario, Canada)

I've always heard / read that tea tree oil is toxic to cats...can even be deadly. Some essential oils are fine for pets but others aren't.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Stan (Pikeville, Ky) on 09/24/2007

Using alum to treat earmites in dogs, Cheap to use and kills mites, eggs, and larvae by drying process. mix alum in water, apply to ear with dropper.

Apple Cider Vinegar

7 User Reviews
5 star (5) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Natural (New York) on 05/02/2018


A stray cat decided it wanted a home. It seemed perfectly healthy and energetic and was very sweet.

Recently noticed he would walk with his ears back. Didn't think too much of it at first thought it was strange. A few days later he started walking with his head tilted.

I googled and it came up with ear mites. I checked the ears and it looked like the pictures. I used Olive oil for a week one ear that wasn't that bad looks pretty clean now but the bad one, the one he was tilting his head on still looks like a lot of gunk inside. The cat didn't mind the olive oil. Was really good about letting me put in with a dropper, esp. Considering its a stray. No scratching or trying to bite. Just shook his ears and wanted to get away after his treatment.

I tried the diluted 50/50 apple cidar vinigar and water and it hurt him really bad. He meowed a bunch of times then got really crazy and got away still didn't scratch or bite..poor thing. I felt horrible.

I figured the week of olive oil would've healed up any open sores.

He doesn't come when I call.and just wants to hide all.day. totally different personality.

I'm not sure if I should give the olive oil more time on the bad ear or try something else. I don't want to hurt him again.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Natural,

Consider the Arcane remedy for ear infections for the affected ear:


You might also bring this kitty in to the vet or see if a local rescue can help.

Replied by julie f.

I"m so sorry that happened. I was thinking at this point since he may not let you treat his ears you could try Revolution... it's not natural, I know but it is effective on ear mites. you might be able to sneak onto his back at least once...it last for 30 days. But you'll need a prescription for it. Is it possible to get him into a carrier to go to the vet? or if you know a vet real well maybe the would just give you a script for it. To win him back try some extra tasty food like rotisserie chicken or small amount of tuna ...or some cat nip and bring a new super comfy bed. Don't lose hope... he will eventually come around but working on his ears may be a deal breaker for him.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Gloria (Waterloo, Ny) on 02/15/2012

I have cats and when I see them itching their ear, I give them a squirt of full strength apple cider vinegar in the ear and it does the job. They don't like it, but it works.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Catlover (Granite Falls, Wa) on 10/30/2010

ACV is Apple Cider Vinegar. I recently took advice from this site and wanted to let everyone know the outcome.... We adopted a six-week old kitten who brought ear mites and fleas and in turn infected our 7 year-old male cat. I tried a few of the natural remedy recipes on this site and got very little results. I then went to a local vet who told me the cats ears were inflamed. I had to buy a steroid to use for 3 days, then used a one-dose medication he sold me. Hooray, ear mites are gone and my cats are happy!

Replied by Jenn

It sounds like you did not dilute the ACV. This is key to that treatment. That is why you caused your cat's ears to inflame.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Gdsmkg (Las Vegas, Nv, USA) on 12/24/2009

After adopting a very sick cat from SPCA, he had ear mites, mange, ring worm. I first tried the borax mixture that I found on here, saw a little improvement but not much. Tried olive oil in the ears, was very soothing but didn't seem to do much.

Then I tried one capful of natural apple cider vinegar to a cup of water.

I took a cotton ball, dipped it in the mixture, rang it out good. Then cleaned his ears with a slightly moist cotton ball. Within a couple of days I saw a big difference in his ear grime.

So then I thought I would try it for the mange and ring worm, I took the mixture, and soaked his ear good. I also wet the areas where there was the most flakiness and crusty flakes. Again within a week, big improvement! I highly recommend anyone to try this, but for him I couldn't use full strength. Just the smell made him puke on the spot.

One capful is all you need to one cup tepid water, it worked so well. I imagine you could also use it in a spray bottle and spray around the house, wherever he hangs out. They also liked me, so I used full strength on myself for ring worm and mange mites.

Replied by Sam
(San Jose, Ca)

Thank you very much for posting. I just tried the diluted ACV mixture and was skeptical my dog would tolerate it. He did and seemed much calmer after. I think I've also determined from his soothed reaction, the right ear is worse or perhaps the only ear impacted. I have started itching too. I tried it and can attest to it soothing me. Thanks again! How long / frequent, did you use ACV mixture?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by ME (Oneida, NY) on 06/24/2009

A vinegar treatment brought quick relief.

I returned late in the evening from a two-day trip and noticed my clearly aggravated cat constantly twitching his ears. After researching ear mites and finding this forum through Google I tried a vinegar treatment using a garlic flavored red wine vinegar I had on hand. He clearly showed relief after two treatments eight hours apart and has shown no further symptoms since his third treatment.

I used a paper towel folded in half twice, then rolled corner to corner to form a loose roll with pointed ends. I dipped an end into the vinegar, blotted it lightly on the side of the container until it stopped dripping, then inserted it into an ear holding it in place for about 2 minutes while soothing him. I used the other end of the roll for the other ear, then folded the two used ends together and dunked the center of the roll into the vinegar and without blotting it lightly dabbed outside of his ears and on the top of his head while avoiding his eyes.

It has now been four days exactly since I first came home and found his discomfort, he has received a total of five treatments and I intend to follow through with two additional treatments per week for the next month after taking note of the comments concerning unhatched eggs. The damp paper towel prevented any risk of damage and blotting it lightly before inserting it into his ear limited the chance of dripping liquid in his ear causing him to seriously fight me.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Tracey (Chicago, USA) on 01/24/2008

I use ACV for ear mites on my cat and itchy skin. They bite their skin-- I suspect allergies. They don't have fleas, but even if they did, I'd still use Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, because it's undiluted and has all the vitamins and minerals and potassium intact. The cats have stopped biting and scratching. I put it on a cotton swab for the ears, a cotton pad (round ones for removing makeup)for the fur, and I also put a tiny amount in their wet food. They do not like the smell, but the cats took to the ACV better than the ear mite medicine I had applied to the ear.I think the ACV soothes the cats' ears.

Avoid Water When Cleaning Ears

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Iris (Dearborn, Michigan) on 02/12/2009

For those who use water to clean ear mites on cats/dogs...please be careful. Water will worsen the problem-- it will add bacteria to the canal. The main problems with ear mites are "us" humans (me included). Ear mites are hard to get rid off, but, if you follow the Vet's instruction, these little creatures will go away. We are very impatient and will try anything to get rid of the pesky ear mites. Animals cannot talk, therefore they cannot tell whether it hurts or not. We just keep adding stuff to their canal until we see a "clean ear". Would you like to be treated that way? If not, then, please stop.

Also, you can always tell if a Vet is a good one or not. Just ask: "How many animals do you have?". They usually have few dogs and cats in the house. They will tell you stories of previous animals, and they will also treat your animals with respect. If you do not see these qualities, then, you need to find a new Vet.

Happy days with your pets!

Boric Acid

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Dale (California) on 06/27/2017

Many, many years ago, I found someone at a cat show who was selling a special powder for treating ear mites in cats. It was in a sort of small squeeze bottle that had a narrow funnel with a small hole at the tip that you would attach in place of the cap. The powder was blown (sort of puffed) into the cat's ear, so that it probably spread around well, contacting the mites.

Of course, my cats hated having anything blown into their ears, however gently, but it worked beautifully in a short time and was minimally messy. The powder contained 3 ingredients, and I only remember that boric acid was one of them. I wish I remembered the other 2, but in any case, the person that was selling the powder mix didn't say what proportions they were in. I have been searching online in hopes that someone will have posted about something like it.

Boric Acid
Posted by April (In) on 01/04/2017

Boric acid, it's not dangerous I used it for eye wash whenever you get a fungal infection in your eye the reason it works for cockroaches is it dehydrates it's outside skeleton then anything else it will kill it. Just because it has acid in its name it is not dangerous. For instance it could also be used on baby blankets, babies pajamas as it makes it fire retardant. In a new Foster I'm using boric acid and peroxide carefully with an eyedropper to get rid of the infection and then I'm going to be using it oil to break down the wax sand to smother the mites.

It's the peroxide that can blind a cat if too much gets into this it's just like the peroxide washes for contacts if you don't give it to 12 hours to break down it burns your eyes like crazy.

Boric Acid
Posted by Kara (Harrisonburg, VA) on 01/06/2009

My Cat has suffered with ear mites forever and I have tried everything my local vet has recommended and nothing has worked. So..I recently started using a wash of boric acid & warm water swabed out with cotton ball then a few drops in each ear of sweet oil! Seems to be working so far. However, I discovered through reading everyone eles's posts that I probably should continue treatment for approximately 1 month in order to kill the mites.

I grew up with a lot of ear infections and my grandmother always treated me with a lil boric acid and in no time, I was better. My bestfriend grew up on sweet oil for ear infections; so I figured it couldn't hurt to try it.

I use about a tablespoon of warm water to an 1/4 tsp boric acid; soak a cotton ball and swab out the ear. Then I use an eye dropper and apply 4 or 5 drops of sweet oil to each ear. I usually do this every other day. The washing usually only has to be done once per treatment. Use judgement based on look of ears.

Replied by Mparsons
(Port Richey, Fl)

I read one of the comments of using boric acid as part of a formula. This is frightening. Do you realize that boric acid can kill cock roaches and other pests that regular pest control won't? Please research what boric acid does to the NERVE system of the cock roach to rid it for good.

Also, another comment was that using mineral oil for a couple of days rids your problem. Not so. Ear mites RAPIDLY reproduce and this takes much longer and regular cleaning to even get ear mites under control. However, after using for 3 weeks, I still bring crust up and mites from my kittens ears, as well as the brown wax, telling me they are still there. Once, my kitten is 12 weeks old, I will be using medication and still checking with mineral oil for traces of ear mites.

Replied by Roseanne
(Bellingham, Wa)

In regards to your concern on Boric Acid. Haha, It has been used by hundreds of thousands of people as an eye wash, and as a suppository to treat yeast infections... Now if those areas are safe for boric acid I guarantee its safe for the ear! Perhaps you need to do a little more homework. As for it treating ear mites, I dunno? Couldn't hurt!

Replied by Arro
(Joy, Grace)

Mparsons said "I read one of the comments of using boric acid as part of a formula. This is frightening... "
Mparsons I don't know what exactly is frightening you? Are you frightened about the way Boric Acid kills cockroaches??? Why exactly? Mamalian biology is quite different from insect biology. But anyway... Boric acid is so very slightly toxic to mammals that it can indeed be used topically.

This from wikipedia: "Based on mammalian median lethal dose (LD50) rating of 2, 660 mg/kg body mass, boric acid is poisonous if taken internally or inhaled in large quantities. However, it is generally considered to be not much more toxic than table salt. "

With long term exposure or regular consumption it might lead to problems. But it has amazing properties as an antiseptic and insecticide that is really, all things considered very safe to apply to mammalian skins. So you can rest your fears, dear, except, of course for those poor, poor cockroaches and all their suffering!


Don't forget it's a detergent first and foremost. I also use when forging steel to forge weld metal together at over 2000°

Replied by Kmk
(New Orleans, La)

The recipe is for BORAX not BORIC ACID

Replied by Chris
(Birmingham, Alabama)

No, boric acid is correct, not borax. You can get pharmacy grade boric acid. It soothes and prevents itching also. I use Pro-Pet Antiseptic Medicated Spray I got at WalMart for tick removal on myself and pets because it kills them and prevents itching when you remove them. Boric acid is an ingredient in the original "Blue Power" ear infection treatment, but a vet has to check the eardrum before using Blue Power.

Boric Acid, Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Raquel (South Carolina) on 09/06/2018

I have cured my Siamese cat and 2 cats I fostered of ear mites using a mixture of a boric acid solution and ACV which I placed in a dropper bottle. I believe the amount of boric acid I used was 1/4 tsp. in 1/4 C. filtered water. I usually put the water in a heat resistant glass measuring cup and bring it to a boil in the microwave then add the boric acid and stir or put back in the microwave for several more seconds until dissolved. I then allow it to cool (or if in a hurry place the cup in the freezer for 5-7 min.) and add about 1 tbsp. of ACV.

I first clean the cat's ears with a cotton ball with coconut oil (makes it easier to remove the dirt) and then moisten a couple of cotton balls with the solution I prepared and press it on each of the cat's ears so some of it goes in the ear. The cat will shake but this mixture works fast, relief of the itching is almost immediate. It must be applied at least 2x/day, usually only 3 days are necessary but I believe the first time I did it for a whole week. Anyway, when the ears remain clear and the cat's not scratching anymore you'll know he's cured.

NOTE: Borax can be used in place of boric acid, I think it's more stable, boric acid tends to lose potency after a couple of days.

Campho Phenique

3 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Kim (Frisco, TX) on 03/16/2007

Campho Phenique is toxic to cats, though I have used it successfully with rabbits. Cats do not have the necessary enzyme to break down any type of Phenol, so it builds up in the liver. Phenols, also contained in many household cleaning products, are also toxic to dogs. We used room temperature Colloidal Silver (I think 5ppm) to eliminate ear mites in our cats (half the dropper, every 24 hrs for 7 days). It didn't kill the eggs though, and the mites appear to have hatched, so must be dealt with again. Perhaps we should have continued treatment for the gestation period of the mite eggs?