Fleas can be extremely difficult to get rid of when trying to avoid toxic remedies. With perseverance home remedies can work. This is a guide about home remedies for fleas.
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I had some outdoor cats that brought fleas in the house. My first response was to reach for the chemical sprays and get rid of them ASAP.
I tried 3 different sprays and they made a difference, but nothing got completely rid of them. I sprinkled salt all over the carpet and that didn't stop them either. I found a recipe that worked very well with vacuuming every day for a week. Spray this every 7 days for at least 2 -3 weeks.
Yay, we are flea free now! I hope this helps. You can also spray this on furniture, walls, etc.
Source: I found this recipe online, but can no longer locate the source.
By cabincove from Ft. Worth, TX
To get rid of fleas, use apple cider vinegar! Add a bit to your pet's drinking water and it really helps! I have 3 small dogs that are prone to fleas and we no longer have that problem.
By Kathy from Plymouth, CT
I use ammonia to get rid of fleas. I close the window and then pour it on the carpet and anywhere your dogs lay. Take your dogs and cats out of the house for at least 4 hours. When you come back in, open all windows. There should be no more fleas. Just run the vacuum all through the house and give your dog or cat a flea bath.
When I do this, I don't get fleas back in my house for a good year.
By Holly H. 
For years Avon's Original Bath Oil has been used as a great remedy for preventing fleas on your pets. Horse ranches also use this. It has a variety of uses and is cheaper than the commercial flea pills. It can be used however you prefer, diluted or undiluted. And of course, the original use was for bathing. Its a very effective product for your dry skin and for the animals.
By Irene from Williston, FL
Give your cats or dogs a bath with Head and Shoulders shampoo. It will kill the fleas but they will still be stuck on your animal. After you give them a bath, take a fine tooth comb and get all those bloodsuckers off of them. Stick them in a clean room and vacuum the whole house. Do this as many times as you need to. Your pet and your house will be flea free.
Put shallow bowls of warm water with a dash of Dawn liquid detergent (do not stir) on the floor under lamps (set the lamps on the floor too). If you have fleas in your house, they will gravitate to the warmth of the light bulbs and jump in the water. The detergent will drag them into the water to drown. Leave it overnight, you'll be surprised how many you have in the morning!
I also keep a deeper bowl with the detergent and HOT water beside me when combing my pets. If any fleas jump, they will migrate to the water. When I pull the comb off with the fleas on it, I hold it over the water and scrape them off the comb. You can see the little buggers float to the bottom.
To kill fleas in your home, put down lots of salt in your carpet. Wait 24 hours and vacuum. If you do this every other day, your home will be free of fleas. You have to keep up this or they will come back. Plus I bathe my dog and cats with dish detergent like Dawn once a week or so. It kills fleas on contact. Its cheaper than those expensive dog shampoos.
By boomboomkitty from Lynchburg, OH
Use a flea comb on pets, it works wonders. I use a dry flea comb on my 2 cats. Swipe, then throw the fleas into a bowl of water and dish soap. I do this every day to make sure they are rid of fleas. Takes about ten minutes a cat. Run your carpet sweeper every day and throw out any fleas you find or drown them in water. Keep it up, fleas will disappear. I do this year round to get rid of and prevent flea problems. Also, keep your linens washed and fresh and clean.
By Charlotte K. from South Bend, IN
Diatomaceous Earth can be used for a variety of purposes for health and home. Be sure to get Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth if you or your pets will be ingesting it. Pool grade Diatomaceous Earth can contain trace amounts of chlorine. Sometimes you can find the best deals for Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth online. Here is a 10lb bag for under $20!
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Here are questions related to Home Remedies for Fleas.
I have 11 cats and 9 dogs. It is too expensive to buy Frontline or the equivalent to get rid of the fleas. I am also on disability so money is tight. How can I get rid of the fleas very cheaply?
By Rena from AL
The product I use is a cedar based super concentrated oil, from the Cedarcide Store, that you can dilute with water and it goes a really long way. I bought a quart size bottle of their product over 3 years ago called Pet-Horse Livestock Concentrate and Indoor Flea Control and it isn't even halfway gone. I just mix a capful of it and add it to a spray bottle of water. It makes up to 100 gallons and it kills on contact... not just fleas either.
I use the spray bottle and mist my dogs with it during the summer when the mosquitoes are out and it repels them along with gnats and other annoying insects that bite. You can also use it on puppies, kitties, babies and yourself as it is non toxic. Since your fleas are real bad, you can mix a couple capfuls in a gallon bucket of warm water and sponge it over your dogs and let it dry naturally. Be sure to get their face and ears too and you will be flea free in no time. Plus it conditions their skin and coat.
The diatomaceous earth works too. I used that on my cats and no more fleas. They run when they see a spray bottle so I needed another way. I poured some in a jar (actually a jar with a lid that has holes in it-like one for parmesan cheese) and applied it in my screen room...it will make a mess when they shake but since you have fleas in your home that wouldn't be a bad thing, just try not to let them breathe it.
I live in Florida and have 2 dogs and 2 cats and none of my animals have had a flea on them since I started using the cedar oil. They have lots of products that you can use in different areas in and out of your home to be rid of pesky bugs and insects forever!
By Lisa 02/05/2011
Try borax in your carpets. Leave in over night vacuum and throw the vacuum bag out right away and a teaspoon of vinegar in the drinking water. Helps deter them.
I have a dog and now I have fleas in my backyard. Can I use bleach in my yard to get rid of the fleas?
By Charles from Fortsmith, AR
By ilovesophie 09/16/2010
Bleach can be harmful to pets if they walk in an area treated with bleach and then lick their paws, ingesting some of it.
By susan 09/16/2010
An exterminator told an aquaintence of mine about using bleach years ago. As I understand, bleach works to kill ticks but not fleas. I'm not sure why.
I am having a flea problem in my home. I have 3 chihuahuas all under 10 lbs. I have been reading all the different home remedies. But none have said anything about putting them on furniture.
Taz my long hair likes to sleep on corner section of unit while I am at work. So I have had seen some fleas on us when we sit on the couch. So are any of these remedies safe to put on fabric furniture? I am going to try the salt on the carpet today and bathe them.
I am just so tired of the little hopping pests. I have found them on me. And since dogs sleep with me figured I might even wash sheets in vinegar, too. Would really like to have any info that would help. Thanks.
By SandiF from Stillwater, OK
By Lori A.09/09/2012
I have 2 dogs and they brought fleas into my house a couple years ago. I was horrified as I'd never had this problem. I googled every possible solution and ended up using all of them but finally got the fleas out of the house and off the dogs, but it took us pulling out all the stops to do it. And it took a full 2 weeks of hard work to do it.
First, buy yourself a large box of Borax laundry detergent. Borax dries the larva out so they can't reproduce in your carpets; it interrupts the life cycle. Sprinkle it all over your carpets, then wait a day and vacuum; reapply the Borax after each vacuuming and wait a day. Repeat every day for 2 weeks.
Put some Advantix or similar product on your dog (I know there's an expense to this, but you can find off-brands at Walmart that work just as well). This will get into your dogs bloodstream and prevent the fleas that do land on and bite your dog from being able to lay eggs. It's either that or daily bathings with a flea shampoo, and I found that gets old fast.
The next thing I did is buy a can of Siphotrol spray from the Vet (about $15 for a large can), and I sprayed my upholstered furniture with it right after I had vacuumed the furniture really well (by the way, put a flea collar in your vacuum bag to kill the fleas you do vacuum up, or replace the bag each time, or the little buggers will just find their way out of your vacuum).
I took off the cushions, pillows - you name it - and sprayed the entire couch, cushions and chairs. I also put night lights in rooms with the highest concentrations of fleas and put a shallow bowl of Dawn dishsoap and water below it; in the morning I would find dead fleas that drowned (they were attracted to the light).
Lastly, I bought a few of those aerosol "bug bombs" at the local discount store, took the dogs for a trip for a few hours, and let the bombs off in the house about a week after I started all this. After all this, the fleas were gone. Basically, you aren't going to get away with just putting a flea collar on and hoping the problem goes away - it won't work. You have to interrupt the flea life cycle and understand that it will take time to do that until the life cycle has been completely stopped by your efforts.
I also realize that this isn't exactly a homeopathic way of getting rid of fleas, and I don't condone the regular use of chemicals, but I was desperate and this worked for me. Like I said, I pulled out all the stops.
My boyfriend and I just moved into a 2 bedroom apartment, because we are expecting a baby in 2 months. We have no pets, but the people who lived here before must have because this apartment has fleas. It is all carpeted and I don't want to use any chemicals since I am pregnant and the baby will be here soon.
I heard that salt works really well, but since we live on the 5th floor and have no pets, I was wondering if I should still repeat the treatment all of the time or if I should be OK with a few treatments since there is no way for them to get back in? Also if anyone thinks there are any better ways, please let me know.
By Debi savicky08/28/2012
Yes, salt works great. If you can find popcorn salt (usually available at restaurant supply stores or online) that is best because it will not show in carpet while you are treating it, plus it penetrates deep into the fibers. You want to sprinkle it into your carpet thoroughly, then use a broom or whatever you have to beat it deep into the carpet.
It needs to stay in for two weeks. If you have to vacuum before 2 weeks, then you will need to repeat the treatment. This works quickly and safely. I have had many, many, rescue dogs and this is the only way I would treat for fleas. Safe for adults and pets.
I have a 5-6 month old kitten that has fleas. I need a home remedy because she can't use other store products.
By NEWFIEGIRL 09/30/2013
The person you should be talking to for expert advise is your Veterinarian.
My daughter is covered in flea bites and nobody else in our family has any. She is a magnet for mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and any other insects. I don't know why it's just her. We all use the same soap and all. My dog has just a few. They seem to like my daughter more. What do I do? My baby looks like connect the dots.
By Mary O.11/28/2013
Treat the pets first. Otherwise you'll be fighting a losing battle. Honestly it's easiest to hire someone to come spray. Yes I know chemicals but fleas are very hard to get rid of. But you could try 20 mule team borax on the carpet. Leave it on for a couple of days then vacuum. You need to dispose of the bag straight away or else they will breed in there.
Cranking up the heat will help the eggs to hatch along with vacuuming, the beater breaks open the eggs. Warm water with a bit of dawn, under a nightlight traps them. Also there is stuff called flea tea that is a treatment for your dog. It's all natural. Garlic tablets given to your pup will keep the fleas off him. If you want to check if there are any fleas left put on some white socks, walk through out the house. White makes it easier to see them and they will be attracted to your body heat.
Editor's Note: Most veterinarians do not recommend giving garlic to dogs. Check with your own pet's health care professional before giving any supplements.
We are being eaten alive, help! How do I get rid of fleas without spending a fortune?
By Ce 07/12/2013
A great solution for fleas is original Skin So Soft bath oil from Avon. I mix one part Skin So Soft and five parts water. Put it in a spray bottle. It is also great to keep flies away and if you have an itch, it stops the itch immediately. It is great to use on animals just keep it away from their face. I check my two girls throughout the day and when I see a flea running across their tummies I spray SSS and the flea dies on contact. I always keep a tiny spray bottle in my pocket.
I just moved from Idaho, where there pretty much aren't any fleas, to Louisiana where there are too many fleas. It has been two days and my little dog is covered in them. I have given her medicine down her back, put a flea collar on her, and given her a bath with flea shampoo. She will not stop scratching, and she is covered with little red bites.
I am living with my cousin who has a cat that goes in and out, but is not having this problem. She also has a dog that stays outside, he doesn't seem to be having the same problem either. What do I do? Why are they attacking her the way they are? I'm feeling horrible for my dog!
By Stormie W.
By Robyn 06/03/2013
I would like to know which type of topical treatment you used on the back of the dog, and if you went in between the hairs, in a part and put it on the dog on the actual skin.
If it is frontline, then I would choose another one.
Flea bites can cause all sorts of grief, especially with the reactions of a dog which has had no bites before. Bless it's heart! I would immediately get a cat food which is high quality. I would choose one with no wheat, soy or corn.
Diamond pet foods have great foods, and there are ones at tractor supply which meet these needs. You start from the inside out. You have to put quality food in. When you put other food which is full of corn and other by products, you have a problem waiting to happen.
Once that is taken care of, I would make sure that the house is vacuumed frequently since they lay eggs all the time. Put a flea collar in your vacuum bag if you use a bag and a plastic bag over the hose part of the vacuum.
Here is what I do and it seems to work:
First the better quality food, which will make less stool and make the animal healthier.
Then vacuum the floor all the time, daily or every other day at first.
Sprinkle salt all over your house, on the floors, under the bedsheets ( I don't like feeling it on my skin, so I put it under the sheets and such). Put salt in the cushions of chairs etc. It is a dessicant and dries out the fleas.
It is also not really harmful. You don't have to be in a hurry to vacuum it up like you might feel like doing with borax.
I like to do that, and I also hear a lot of great news over putting a solar light over a bowl of water at night. Just keep the solar light in a window and then hang or attach it to a spot over the water. Other people might use a lamp but any light source will do. Here is an article on this sort of trap:
Now get a flea comb and get obsessive about combing though your dogs or cats fur and looking for fleas.
Flea shampoo is not really that effective. I use dawn, soap and leave it on them a while, about five minutes to get rid of tons of fleas. Make a large ring of soap around their neck. You will see the fleas climb up to their face, that is when the picking begins. Have a bottle of water or alcohol to put them in.
Keed little jars of water and soap all over the house so when you pick them off the pet you can put them in there. You will eventually get good at squeezing them into to kill them, the fleas. Some people cannot stomach that. LOL
Always disinfect your hands after handling fleas.
After you have done all this, and keep the yard grass down if you can. You should see a reduction in fleas.
I am including an article on yeast infections in pets in case this ever is a problem from the Great Dane Lady who in my opinion is very knowledgeable on this.
Robyn from Tennessee
I need an immediate home remedy for home and dog flea infestation!
Its too late at night to go to any store.
I have tried everything and I cannot get rid of the fleas on my dog.
By bjpeoples from Siloam Springs, AR
By Sherri 09/09/2009
Hello, Can you take you pets to a groomer? Then apply advantage every 3 weeks, that should do the trick. Good luck
How do I kill fleas with household products besides vinegar, lemon, Dawn, and boric acid, etc.? Please help. I am a single mom in need of a cheap solution!
By Amanda M.
You can get some Boric Acid very cheap at the Dollar General store (and most likely Wal-Mart as well) for like $2.25. You just can't beat that and you can get a bottle of Dawn there too for $1 for the non-concentrate. Vinager is also very cheap. But Dawn kills on contact when you bathe your pet in it and the boric acid disrupts the life cycle.
I need to know home remedies to kill fleas in house and on my pets.
By Frugal Sunnie 03/16/2015
Re the pets, consult your vet. If you can stand the smell, Avon Skin-So-Soft (original formula, that's important) used to work when our cat was going outside. I used to put a big dollop of the oil on my hands then work it into the cat's coat - he didn't like it, but it did work. He doesn't go out any longer so I don't need to use it on him now.
Keeping the fleas out of the house is easier with him in all the time, and using the steamer keeps the fleas gone. We tried the spot-on treatments but those didn't seem to work as well for our cat. My daughter swears by it for her dogs, though, so you might want to give that a thought.
How do I kill fleas quickly on my dogs?
By Dericktroys from IN
By Abigail A. 02/04/2015
Frontline behind the ears kills fleas. However, it doesn't kill the ones on their bedding, in your carpet, etc. Shampoo or steam clean the carpets. Wash all bedding, including yours. Keep the dogs updated with Frontline and baths.
I was looking on the internet a while back and I remember it saying something about using oil, apple cider vinegar, and water. I don't remember what the measurements were for this or if it even works. Someone help please!
By Randy J.03/05/2014
1 gallon vinegar
1/2 gallon water
16oz lemon juice
8oz witch hazel
Can you spray the witch hazel/vinegar mix right on the dog?
By Jo Sloan M.
By Tori 12/02/2014
Jo Sloan M,
Yes! That recipe is safe to use on dogs.
I have 5 day old kittens with fleas; how do I get rid of them? Is it only Dawn soap or does Ajax dishsoap work too?
By Deana C.
By Tammy C.06/24/2013
I have used other dish soaps and they all work well for kittens and puppies.
I didn't know what it was, but have been getting bitten by fleas for awhile. Now I know, and have been trying to treat the problem, but can't get it stopped. I believe they are in and under my livingroom couch. I can't really treat them because of my man's uncleanliness. I have been putting salt and borax acid on rugs and using bug spray. Will I ever get rid of them, if I can't treat the main spots?
By O. Scott
I was told some time ago that there is a solution that can be mixed to spray outside in the yard for bugs, including mosquitoes and fleas which includes Coke. I have moved and lost the paper it was written on. Does anyone out there know about this mixture? I believe it includes 3 things.
By Carolyn C.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I have 4 dogs ranging in size from 12 lbs. to 45 lbs. and a cat. I need a really good home remedy for fleas and a good remedy for a large yard. All of my animals have been either strays or put in my yard. I love all of them and hate to see them suffer from fleas. Going to the vet for all of them is too expensive for me right now while in college. I really need your help.
Jessica from OH
I just poured the pine oil all over the floor and that was it. I did it about four times as the pine oil kills not all of them at the same time, but with 3 more applications I was able to get rid of all of them. Note my basement is concrete and not carpeted. (11/30/2008)
By Ericka W.
I have a Beagle and my husband and I are living in a house with 3 cats that are badly infested with fleas, and another dog.
My roommate and I just recently started having problems with fleas in our house. I saved a stray, injured kitten less than a month ago and only had it in the house for less than a day. We did not know it had fleas. It has not been in the house since and we keep the house quite clean.
I am constantly getting bitten all over my body. I have allergic reactions to each one and that has made it difficult for me. I am worried it will cause health problems. I have bombed the house once and tried to clean every inch, but it seems to not work.
We have mostly wood flooring so there is not much carpet. We are college students so money is kind of an issue. I read once that after a while they go away if there is not any animal in the house. I do not know if that is true though.
Does anyone have any ideas on what to do for a reasonable price? I'm desperate!
By Mindy743 from Kansas City, KS