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Getting Rid of Fleas Naturally

Whether they are in your home, on your pet, or in your yard fleas are a nuisance to have around. Killing them without toxic chemicals is possible and affordable. This is a guide about getting rid of fleas naturally.

Getting Rid of Fleas in Bedding. Upclose photo of a flea.
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August 17, 2012 Flag
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I recently started to get bit. I didn't know if it was fleas or bed bugs because it was only in one room of the house until they started to spread. I have no pets so I have no idea where they are coming from. I need help. I have a two month old, so I don't want to use chemicals, but willing to try anything because I just killed two fleas in her baby crib. :[

By Fatima

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August 21, 20120 found this helpful
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UPDATE: we thought we had the fleas under control when I posted on the 19th. We were wrong, walking from the shower to the bedroom yesterday morning I 'collected' several fleas on my legs!

At first skeptical but made hopeful by further Internet research, my husband hotfooted it down to ASDA (British WalMart) and brought home 20lbs of cooking salt (cost £3). We sprinkled a thick layer, worked it onto carpet and upholstery with a broom. We over bought on the salt, btw, it took less than 5lbs of salt to completely cover our aprx 700 sqft of carpet and upholstery.

WOW!!! The salt works, and works very quickly! We picked a couple of fleas off of our trouser legs after we'd spread it, threw the fleas into the salted carpet and watched them die. They hopped, shorter lengths and lower heights with every hop. Finally (within seconds) those fleas went over on their sides, writhed for another couple of seconds and then simply stopped moving. Dead as doornails.

We left the salt down and this morning walked all through the house in short trousers-not one single flea.

We'll leave it down until tomorrow and then vacuum it up. We'll also repeat once a week until freezing winter hits. My husband is seriously considering going under the house and salting the crawl space to keep the fleas from congregating under the house to await our going lax with the salting (which isn't going to happen, salting the carpet and upholstery just became a regular part of my housekeeping routine).

Stefanilynn deserves a HUGE prize for tipping the Thrifty Fun community to this, it really does work, we're shocked. Salt is so much safer and so much less expensive than commercial pesticides, I am truly grateful to her for posting her reply to Fatima's question.

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August 12, 2005 Flag
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I had feral kittens dying from a flea infestation. They were too young for treatment with commercial remedies, and tea tree oil can KILL cats at any age. As a nurse, we once had a patient who had head lice infestation that we couldn't rid of with prescription treatments. The CDC recommended olive oil left in for 4 hours and then washed out, so I decided to try it for these little (less than 3 week old) kits.


I soaked them, taking care to avoid eye and mouth areas, with the olive oil and left it on. Their mom licked them clean and not a flea since. I recommend treating moms with worming medication after treatment since fleas ingested result in worms. And I would re-treat in 7 days or any time the fleas reappear. I don't recommend ANY essential oils (tea tree, cedar, peppermint, etc.) as they can kill any small critter.

By Creeksend

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December 4, 2009 Flag
11 found this helpful

Isn't it pitiful for your pet to scratch and whine, and not even be able to catch a good snooze, because fleas are tormenting him or her? Meanwhile, you are torn between watching them suffer, or taking a chance on doing more harm than good by using chemicals or medicines you don't really feel good about using.

I have a very old, blind, infirm Eskimo Spitz who I love dearly, and would be afraid to use any sort of medication or chemical on, or in, because his system is delicate now and his skin is also tender from age. I have been using this method on him, and he is just fine. I think you will love my solution:

If your pet has really thick or matted fur, or has scratched until she or he has sores, you should probably trim it back as close as possible the first time with just some scissors, so the skin can get plenty of air to help the healing process. Then go to Dollar General; they have lice killing shampoo in two-bottle packages for around $8.00. It contains pyrethrins, a natural insecticide derived from chrysanthemums, and is safe enough for small children, obviously.

Bathe your pet by diluting the shampoo a tiny bit and rubbing it deeply into her fur and skin, for several minutes, just a nice, slow all-over massage (ears too). Then submerse her into a medium amount of warm water. Rinse her off, and do not rinse her again. This will not only kill the fleas, it will keep them off for several weeks.

You can also use the garden center variety of liquid intended to spray for aphids on roses (which is also pyrethrins) in the washer for laundering her bedding and in your carpet shampooer to rid your home of the fleas.

I know this will help her, and you, feel better and you can get back to doing what you do best: lovin' that furry baby!

By dollyslaffn from Darien, GA

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July 20, 2015 Flag
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What can I use to get rid of fleas with a newborn baby in the house?

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    July 28, 20150 found this helpful

    Into a white bowl or dish or even a lid put water mixed with some liquid dish soap and mix, but do not make suds. Fleas are attracted to white. Set this on the floor with a candle or other warm light source. The heat also attracts the fleas. The fleas will jump, land in the soapy water, and drown as the soap makes it impossible for them to escape. Next you must remove the source--the cats and dogs--from the house.

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    November 12, 2008 Flag
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    Puppy and kitten.Does your dog or cat have a flea problem? Many commercially available flea remedies contain synthetic pesticides like organophosphates and carbamares. This includes common sprays, powders, rinses, lotions, and those dreaded flimsy white collars that keep your pet's head immersed in a constant cloud of toxins. Read the label. It will tell you to avoid getting these products on your skin, yet tell you cover your pet's skin thoroughly! So instead of running to the pet store, here are 5 safe and effective remedies to cure flea infestations organically.

    1. Herbal Shampoos: These can be used once a week, but not so often they dry out your pet's skin. Keep in mind that once your pet is wet, fleas will quickly move to higher ground. For this reason, it's wise to create a "shampoo ring" around your pet's neck before wetting the rest of their body so fleas cannot escape to their head. Shampoos containing pine cedar, bergamot, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, citronella, rose, juniper, or geranium are all effective. Certain strong-smelling herbs (citrus, rosemary, cloves, pennyroyal, lemongrass, rue) are considered cat repellents and should only be used on dogs. Comb your pet daily with a flea comb between shampoos to stimulate the skin's natural oils.
    2. Beneficial Nematodes: This outdoor treatment is usually associated with controlling certain garden insects, but these micro-organisms eat flea larvae, too. Look for names like Fleabusters, Bio Flea Halt! And Interrupt! To apply, follow label directions carefully.
    3. Team Borax: Sprinkle borax laundry detergent over carpet and furniture (work it into your carpet until you don't see any residue by "skating" over it with your shoes). The detergent works by dehydrating the adult fleas and the larvae. If necessary, repeat every three months during flea season to keep fleas away. Baking soda will also work in a similar way.
    4. Diatomaceous Earth: This works in the same way as detergent, by drying out adult fleas and their larvae. Use food grade diatomaceous earth. This can also be dusted on the animal's coat, but only sparingly, as it is very drying to their skin.
    5. Citrus Oil Rinse: Use this on dogs only. Cut up citrus peel into chucks (lemon, grapefruit, oranges) and simmer it in pan of water for 15 minutes. Cool completely. Pour over your dog's fur so it covers the skin thoroughly-paying close attention to areas that are hard for your pet to reach.

    Other Flea Control Tips

    Clean your house thoroughly. This means vacuuming furniture and rugs daily (especially pet areas), and washing pet bedding in hot water and drying it on high heat. Vacuuming alone can remove up to 30% of the larvae and up to 60% of flea eggs from carpet. Flea eggs can survive in vacuum cleaner bags, so when you're done vacuuming throw the bag out, or stick it in the freezer for a few hours before reattaching it.

    Keep Your Pet Healthy. The absolute best way to avoid flea problems is to keep your pet healthy. Fleas will seldom take up residence on a dog or cat that has a healthy coat and skin, but on animals with dry, itchy skin, or hot spots it's a different story. Exercise your pets regularly, and feed them a high-quality pet food (your own cooking or an organic food is best) that contains whole vegetables and whole meats (not meat by-products). Avoid foods with added "meals" (corn, soy, etc.) or other fillers, or those that contain artificial colorings and preservatives, such as BHA and BHT, propyl, gallate, sodium nitrite, and ethoxyquin (a known pesticide).

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    October 17, 2011 Flag
    5 found this helpful

    A dog lying on a green couch.When I lived in OK, I lived in the country as it was less expensive. However, there were fields and woods in my neighborhood. Fields and woods means lots of wild animals; including deer and mice. I constantly had fleas and ticks and they were a nasty problem, for a while. They were in the yard, in the house, in my bed and everywhere.

    I finally spoke with a veterinarian and I was told to sprinkle salt everywhere I had fleas and ticks. "The rock salt you get when you make ice cream is best for the yard, but just regular table salt works great also." the vet said. I used the rock salt in the yard and the table salt in the house because I really didn't want to vacuum up rock salt. It worked great. No more fleas or ticks, and the yard did not suffer any damage to it, like when you put ice melt down.

    The rest of the time I lived in OK and since I moved to NE, I have not had severe problems with fleas or ticks. When I notice some in the house, I just get the salt shaker out and get rid of them. Then, I sprinkle some rock salt in the yard to make sure I don't bring anymore into the house. My dog has only had fleas once.

    By Donna S. from Beatrice, NE

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    July 5, 2013 Flag
    6 found this helpful

    Before bed, sprinkle salt along all baseboards and along floors around furniture. You can also do this before you leave the house for the day. Simply vacuum up after you have allowed it to sit over night or during a work day.

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    October 23, 2014 Flag
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    I recently moved in to an apartment that has fleas. I do not have any pets nor do I have carpets, its all hardwood floors. I am currently pregnant and have two small children so I would not like to use chemicals. Please help!

    By Jessica

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    October 25, 20140 found this helpful

    The first tip is correct. It does work every time. But, you don't have to use Dawn. Any dish washing liquid works because it breaks up the surface adhesion on the water which allows the fleas to drown.

    Another good tip is to sprinkle salt on your floors and leave over night. Vacuum each morning and dump the bag outside... don't leave it in the machine. It will take time but these two tips will get rid of them.


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    May 16, 2012 Flag
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    Looking for a safe way to rid our trailer of fleas that won't be harmful to us or our little dog?
    Thank you in advance for any and all helpful hints.

    By Fazy from FL

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    May 18, 20120 found this helpful

    Hi - be sure to give your dog a bath with Original Dawn dish soap to kill their "personal" fleas in addition to everything else you try. I have been told that flea eggs hatch everyday for 7-10 days so that is how long you will have to work on getting rid of them.

    Don't forget the outside even if your dog is an "inside" dog as fleas are carried in on animals and people. Try to treat the area you use the most.

    Look up flea control on Thrifty as there are lots of good suggestions.

    Fleas are very bad for small animals and I even had to have a small dog given a blood transfusion years ago so this is something you will want to work on until they are gone - and then keep a weekly schedule as a preventive measure.

    Someone mentioned using Seven Dust but I do not believe this available anymore as I have tried everywhere in Florida and the stores say they can no longer sell straight Seven Dust (either 5% or 10%). If someone finds it I sure would like to know if it is in the state of Florida! I loved it for plants and bug control.

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    August 6, 2014 Flag
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    I need a remedy for fleas, with no money to buy anything. My dog has got fleas so bad, that when I gave him a bath he was actually bleeding from being bitten. Please help.


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    August 17, 20140 found this helpful

    Fleas are killed by soapy water. Bathe your dog with blue Dawn dish soap. Also you might use a flea comb to help with this. The vet is always the best thing but you said you needed an inexpensive way. It won't be permanent but should help some.

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    October 19, 2012 Flag
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    Has anyone heard of using DE this way? I like the idea of using salt also. I do not think boric acid can really be called safe. I think the cat could get really sick from it.
    The other product, diatomaceous comes from diatoms which I think comes from sea coral. Ground up it becomes silica which slices up the fleas and is safe for pets and humans.

    By catfish hunter

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    June 25, 20160 found this helpful

    DE works although it is a bit messy. It works wonders! I do not suggest salt if you have humid climate as you will have a wet mess. Yes it works, but you will notice the dampness on everything.

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    December 14, 2011 Flag
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    I really need to get rid of fleas on my cat. I am wondering if baking soda will help in the carpet and maybe on the cat.

    By Karen K from Lowell, MI

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    January 16, 20160 found this helpful

    Perhaps she meant Borax?

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    August 25, 2011 Flag
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    What can I put on my furniture to rid it of fleas? They are driving me nuts; I have used borax and diatomaceous earth. I need to use all natural because both my dog and I have allergies. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    By sbobo from Tacoma, WA

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    September 24, 20150 found this helpful

    Baby oil, alcohol, and cloves do a search.

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    October 21, 2011 Flag
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    Should the salt be made into a powder before putting it on the carpet?

    By Ann G.

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    October 24, 20110 found this helpful

    Salt should not be used at all on the carpet or furniture.

    Think about it. Your pets (and children if you have any, especially little ones) will be walking, laying, playing and everything else on those carpets. No matter how well you vacuum there will still be salt in the fibers, which will get into their paws and fur (and onto children's hands and feet). Then the pets and children will be using those same paws, hands and feet to rub their eyes with from the irritation the salt has caused their eyes. It can be extremely painful and extremely dangerous to your pets and to your children.

    The same thing goes for Borax. Either one can possibly cause blindness.

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    October 7, 2011 Flag
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    The best and most economical flea prevention tip is the use of Food Grade DE (diatomaceous earth) powder. You can purchase it very cheaply, place in a shaker can, and sprinkle around your home.

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    August 11, 2010 Flag
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    I have used Frontline on my dogs and cat. One dog almost died. I have used salt on the carpet and still have fleas. What can I do now?

    By Becky from CA

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    October 8, 20120 found this helpful

    Where are you buying the Dry Borax ? I can't seem to find it any where. Also I was told that garlic is deadly to dogs.

    is it just the fresh garlic ? Gaye

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    July 13, 2013 Flag
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    Can I give my dog garlic pills?

    By Dddjjj

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    July 15, 20130 found this helpful

    Garlic and onion can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs and cats. It can be fatal. You might get away with it but I wouldnt take the chance.

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