14 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Fleas

14 Home remedies to get rid of fleas

Are you looking for flea remedies or flea control? If you are like half of the homeowners in America, you have a cat or a dog or maybe both! These lovable pets are great vehicles for fleas when your pets are entering your home. In this blog, we will be going over a few natural flea repellents, ways to kill flea eggs, and more! What if there are fleas in your home and you have no pets? This is when you need to consider a rodent problem and set out mouse traps baited with peanut butter or glue traps. There are a slew of flea and tick products that contain chemicals that can be applied to your pet monthly. The vet can also administer a chewy pill to be consumed by your dog or cat.  For those of you that prefer a more natural approach, this blog is for you.

1. Flea trap

The easiest and simplest way to catch fleas is by placing a trap within your home. While washing your pet will get the fleas off of his body, a trap will get the fleas completely out of your house.

You’ll need:

  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Bowls or dinner plates
  • Night lights

How to do it:

Place either a dinner plate or a bowl in each room of your house. The most ideal position is the middle of the room if at all possible. Fill the bowls with warm water and add the dishwashing liquid to the mixture. Don’t skimp on the liquid. Place a candle in the middle of the bowl/plate.

Place the night lights in the bowl/dinner plate on something so that it is not sitting in the liquid (e.g., a small piece of wood). Turn them on and go to bed. Fleas are attracted to light, and as they jump towards it, they will get stuck in the liquid soap. In the morning, dispose of the traps.

2. Flea spray

A herbal spray is a nice home remedy for eliminating fleas, repelling fleas, and deterring fleas and you do not need many ingredients. And the best part is, herbal sprays are safe for your pets, unlike chemicals. The ingredients include:

  • 4 liters of vinegar
  • 2 liters of water
  • 500ml lemon juice
  • 250ml witch hazel
  • Fresh vacuum bag
  • Garden sprayer that can hold at least 6 liters

How to do it:

Collect all your carpets, rugs, and beddings that cannot be vacuumed and wash them in the washing machine using the hottest setting. Vacuum your house thoroughly and properly, vacuuming corners, crevices and upholstery. Once you have finished vacuuming, mix the vinegar, lemon juice, witch hazel and water. Spray your furniture, carpets, window sills, floors, pet bedding and every corner of the house. You can spray for 2 to 5 days, depending on flea infestation.

3. Pet Spray

The previous spray is designed for the furniture, carpets and other parts of your house. But you also need a spray for your pet. For this spray, you’ll need:

  • 7 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Water

How to do it:

You can use just the apple cider vinegar, or you can dilute it with water. Put the ingredients in a spray bottle, and then apply on your pet’s coat. Let it stay there for five minutes, and then wash with mild shampoo.

4. Homemade flea shampoo

Washing your pet is one of the many ways to get rid of fleas. For this simple remedy, you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon of castile soap
  • 10 drops of essential oils
  • 12 ounces of water
  • Squirt bottle

How to do it:

Mix all the ingredients in the bottle, shake it and you are ready to go. Make sure to leave the lather on when you are shampooing your pet (be sure to avoid the eyes).

5. Rosemary flea spray

There are several alternatives to flea spray, and lemons and vinegar are just one option. For this flea spray, you’ll need:

  • Rosemary leaves
  • 6 slices of lemon
  • 1 liter boiling water
  • Essential oil, geranium preferred
  • Spray bottle

How to do it:

Start by placing the lemon slices into a large bowl. Chop the rosemary leaves and add them to the mixture. Now, boil the water, and then pour it into the bowl with lemons and rosemary. Add a few drops of geranium oil. Let it sit overnight, and in the morning, strain the water and fill the sprayer with the solution. Your spray is ready to use on your furniture, pet’s bedding, upholstery and everywhere else.

6. Salt remedy

Salt is one of the most common ingredients in the kitchen. But did you know it can help you get rid of fleas? The ingredients for this inexpensive home remedy include:

  • Large spice bottle that has a shaker top
  • Table salt or sea salt (the amount depends on the area you want to cover)

How to do it:

First off, you need to prepare the salt. If it is finely ground, great. If not, you need to grind it until you get salt powder. Now, fill the spice bottle with salt. Make sure to leave room on the top in order to shake the salt. After your salt remedy is ready, sprinkle over the carpets. Let it stay between 12 and 48 hours, and then vacuum the carpets.

7. Flea comb

If you want to get rid of fleas, you need a special comb for your beloved pet. For this flea comb, the ingredients are:

  • Three lemons
  • Pot
  • Two cups of water
  • Spray bottle
  • Non-used comb

How to do it:

Boil the water and let it steep for about three hours. Now, strain the lemons, and place the liquid you get into the spray bottle. The next time you comb your pet, spray them with the solution, and then comb them.

8. Boric acid remedy

Another simple and easy-to-make remedy for eliminating fleas, boric acid works in a similar way to salt. Boric acid is actually a dehydrating agent and desiccant for the fleas. Boric acid can help you get rid not only fleas, but of their larvae and eggs as well. Ingredients:

  • Boric acid
  • Shaker

How to do it:

You can prepare your own shaker if you can’t find one in the store. If you get a ready-to-use shaker, simply fill two-thirds of it with boric acid. Vacuum your carpets and every other part require flea elimination. Once you are done vacuuming, sprinkle boric acid in thin layers. Let it stay for one or two days, and then vacuum the carpets again. After one month, you can wash the carpets.

9. Pennyroyal herb

First of all, let’s note that pennyroyal herb is dangerous for both human and animal health. If you want to use this remedy to get rid of fleas, please do so with extreme caution.

How to do it:

Start by growing a pennyroyal plant in your yard, and do so at a spot where your pets love to spend their time (making sure to safeguard your pets so they stay out of reach of the pennyroyal plant). Crush few leaves in a mortar so that they release oil and aroma. Use a cheesecloth to gather the essential oil, but be careful not to drop any around the house.

Hang the cheesecloth in any room where flea infestation is high. You can also pour few drops of the oil onto the collar of your dog. Tie the collar around the neck of your pet, but make sure that the collar doesn’t come in contact with your dog’s skin.

10. Rosemary home remedy for fleas

When the infestation is mild, rosemary is your best ally to control the problem and get rid of fleas. The best way to get rid of fleas using rosemary is to prepare a simple remedy. You’ll need:

  • Rosemary
  • Wormwood
  • Fennel
  • Peppermint
  • Rue
  • Coffee grinder or mortar and pestle

How to do it:

Get equal parts of all herbs, and then grind them together until you get a fine powder. Sprinkle the powder anywhere in your house where there is mild infestation (for example, carpet, furniture). After few days, you will notice there are no more fleas in your house.

11. Horse apples

Commonly known as “Osage orange,” horse apples are one of the best home remedies for eliminating fleas. No matter what name you use, horse apples can help your flea problem, and you do not need any other ingredients.

How to do it:

Use whole apples (you can also cut them into halves). Place the horse apples in every room that is infested by fleas. Leave the fruit in your house for two months. The best way is to get green horse apples and wait for them dry out.

12. Flea collar

The best way to keep fleas away from your dog is by using a flea collar. All you need is few simple ingredients, and your dog will be safe and secure. The ingredients include:

  • 1-3 tablespoons of water
  • Cedar or lavender oil
  • Dog’s collar

How to do it:

Dilute the essential oil in water, and then use an eye dropper to apply the mixture to the sides of the collar. Tie the collar around the neck of your pet, and you can rest assured there will be no fleas on your dog’s skin. Just make sure to reapply the mixture once every week.

13. Flea drink

Your pets spend a large amount of time drinking from their bowl. And this is where fleas gather. To protect your dog and allow him to drink water safely, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the bowl. For every 40 pounds of your dog’s weight, you need 1 teaspoon of vinegar.

14. Flea bag

One way to get rid of fleas is by placing a small sachet in your home that will drive pests away. For the sachet, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2-6 inch squares of fabric
  • Handful of cedar chips
  • Peel of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of dried lavender buds

How to do it:

Cut the fabric and place them together, inside out. To make a sachet, sew all but one side of the fabric and invert it. Fill the sachet with cedar chips, lemon peel and lavender, but make sure to leave enough room at the top. Tie the sachet with a ribbon or sew it shut. Place the sachet under the bed/bedding of your pet. Make sure to change the mixture once a month (although that’s not feasible if you sew it shut).

How to prevent fleas

If you are curious about how to prevent fleas from coming into the home in the first place, then read the following. Because once you get a flea infestation, it can take weeks and weeks to get rid of them and your family and furry friends suffer through will itchy bite marks and possible infection from all the scratching your pet does.

  • Feed your pets with healthy, natural food. Fleas prey on weak victims. Therefore, the healthier your pets are, the lower the risk that they become victims to fleas. Personally I feed my three poodles a diet of Bil-Jac that I purchase from Petsmart. Yes, it is expensive running me about $60 per month, however when faced with the possibility of a flea outbreak, it is worth it! Plus, if you contact Bil-Jac you can begin receiving coupons.
  • Keep your pets properly groomed and cleaned. This is very important not only to prevent fleas, but to maintain the health of your pets. Make sure you follow the vets recommendations on bathing frequencies as it may vary per breed. For example, my poodles get bathed once per week which is what is recommended.
  • Keep your house clean at all costs. This is the part I struggle with because I have five children at home. Fleas feed on organic matter and debris, so the cleaner your house is, the less food flea larvae will have to eat and reproduce.
  • Wash the bed and bedding of your pet as often as twice per week. And if you co-sleep with your pets, this means your own bedding as well.
  • Vacuum thoroughly at least once a week. Your vacuum cleaner is your best prevention from fleas. Pay special attention to dark crevices, the space under the furniture, the corners, the space under the beds, rugs, your pet’s bed, and around baseboards.

Undisturbed and without a blood meal, a flea can live more than 100 days. On average, they live two to three months. Female fleas cannot lay eggs until after their first blood meal and begin to lay eggs within 36-48 hours after that meal.

Your dog or cat has been scratching lately. Something small and black jumps from the sofa onto your arm. Don’t freak out. Take control with these steps.

Call the vet

Is your pet on a flea control program? If he is, it must not be working. Ask your vet what she recommends. You want a product that treats fleas at every stage — from egg to adult bug — and that works well in your climate. Most flea treatments take only one dose a month to keep fleas from making you and your pets itch. If your pet is already on a flea treatment product, ask your vet about switching to something else. And make sure you treat every pet in the house.

Crank up the vacuum cleaner

If you rarely vacuum, fleas should inspire a change of habit. Regularly vacuuming lowers the number of fleas and their eggs from carpeting, cracks in wood floors, and on curtains and upholstered furniture. It also catches them under furniture. Don’t forget to vacuum the areas where your pet sleeps and eats. Empty the vacuum cleaner bin or throw away bags in a garbage can outside right away so the fleas can’t sneak back in. For the parts of your home where you and your pets hang out the most, like the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms, vacuum every day. For everywhere else, do it once a week. If you have a serious flea invasion, have your carpets steam-cleaned. The heat will kill the fleas, but it may not kill all the eggs. They may hatch later, and you may have to steam-clean again. For very bad cases, you might consider treating your house with a flea “bomb” or calling an exterminator. Just make sure whatever you do is safe for you and your pets.

Wash Bedding in Hot, Soapy Water

Hot, soapy water kills fleas, so wash your cat or dog’s bed every week. And if your pets sleep in your bed or with your kids, make sure to wash everyone else’s bedding, too.

Use a flea comb

It may seem old school, but a flea comb with tiny teeth can do a good job of removing fleas from your pet. Do it outside, and focus on the neck area and the base of the tail. Keep a cup of soapy water beside you. Use it to dip the comb so you can drown the fleas.

Regular flea combing will also let you know how your flea control efforts are working.

Give him a bath

Once the house is vacuumed and the bedding is washed, give your dog a bath. Bathing your pet regularly will also help rid your home of fleas. Any soap will kill them, so you don’t have to use a flea bath. But make sure that the soap you use is safe for a cat or dog.

Some people like to finish the bath with a nice-smelling essential oil that may also help keep fleas away.

Before you do, know that some dogs and cats may have problems with oils with:

  • Citrus
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • D-limonene
  • Geranium
  • Tea tree
  • Lavender
  • Linalool
  • Bay
  • Eucalyptus
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rue

These essential oils are less likely to cause problems if you use only a little bit:

  • Lemongrass
  • Cedar wood
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

Timing is everything

When should you treat your dog with flea or tick products? It depends on where you live.

Fleas are worst during warm-weather months, but they can be inside your home all year long. Spring and summer are usually the heaviest time for ticks. But they can live year-round in some parts of the U.S.

If you see signs of these pests on your pet, treat them right away. Otherwise, start treatment at the beginning of flea or tick season. Your vet can tell you when if you’re not sure. Some areas require year-round treatment.

Types of prevention

Many flea treatments are on the market. Some also prevent ticks or other pests.

The most popular products are pills and the “spot-on” treatments that go onto your dog’s back under his fur. They work well and are easy to apply. Other products come in the form of dips, shampoos, collars, foggers, and sprays.

Safety guidelines

  1. Check with your vet before you use any flea or tick product. This is key if your dog is:
  • Taking other drugs
  • Old
  • Sick
  • A puppy
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Allergic to flea products

In these cases, the vet might suggest you use a special comb to pick up fleas, eggs, and ticks. Then you can drown the pests in a bowl of hot, soapy water.

  1. Follow instructions. Don’t use dog products on a cat, as this could be deadly. Only apply the amount needed for your pet’s size. Never double up on products. There’s no need to pair a powder with a spot-on treatment.
  2. Wear gloves, or wash your hands with soap and water after you apply the drug. Follow the instructions for proper storage and disposal of packaging.
  3. Keep pets apart while the product dries. You don’t want them to groom each other and swallow the chemicals.
  4. Watch for signs of a reaction, especially if it’s the first time you’re using the product. Call your vet if your dog has symptoms such as:
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • A lot of drooling
  • Depression
  • Seizure

If your dog has a bad reaction, bathe him right away with soap and water. Follow any instructions from the package insert. Call your vet and report problems to the National Pesticide Information Center at 800-858-7378

Our Affiliates