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Getting Rid of Fleas Naturally

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Getting Rid of Fleas in Bedding. Upclose photo of a flea.

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.

Solutions: Getting Rid of Fleas Naturally

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Olive Oil for Fleas

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

Tip: Use Natural Lice Shampoo For Fleas

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

Tip: Quick and Safe Remedy for Fleas

Salt. Baking Soda. Apple Cider Vinegar. Lavender. Mint. Teatree Oil.

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. Lavender scented salts can be diluted in water as a spray. Spray on fabrics, curtains, couches, etc.

Bathe your animals in Teatree oil shampoo. We keep fresh mint growing around our porch, as fleas dislike mint. Pull some out of the garden and lay the mint leaves in areas where your animals sleep. Also safe to rub the mint in your palms and give the animal a nice pet massage. Can steep the mint in water for a spray as well. Salt and baking soda will kill fleas. Lavender, mint, eucalyptus, and teatree are all great deterrents.

Soak nylon pet collars in a mixture of lavender, mint, etc. for a homemade flea collar. These do not have to be essential oils. Even lavender scented lotions and shampoos work great. We mop our floors with apple cider vinegar.

We did this and we were flea free in two days.

By

Tip: Salt for Inexpensive Flea Prevention

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

Tip: Diatomaceous Earth For Eliminating Fleas

I have 2 Huskies. I sprinkle diatomaceous earth on their food every day and the result is no fleas and no scratching. Each gets about 1 tablespoon depending on dog's weight.

It has to be FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth, not the stuff with the chemicals (pool grade). You can get this at a feed store, cheap stuff compared to other methods of flea control. I had a bout of fleas a few years ago, horrible. I sprinkled the whole house with borax powder. It took about a week, but there were no more fleas, great stuff!

By Shirl

Tip: Diatomaceous Earth as an Effective Flea Killer

Diatomaceous earth (or DE for short) is a big help in ridding the home of fleas. When placed along floor below the baseboard, it discourages the fleas from spreading. It acts as a dessicant by drying out the shell of the flea and "cutting" it. It's a light silicone dioxide powder and can be purchased at different levels all the way up to the purest, which is "food grade." DE occurs naturally in the earth and the purest forms are safe for humans and pets, but it can be difficult to breathe if you put down too much of it.

Sprinkle it lightly on rugs and furniture. Let it set over night, then vacuum it up, much in the same way you would with borax. Also, get a good steamer. Fleas only like temps up to 80 degrees, so steaming the rug and couch are really helpful. McCulloch makes a good steamer that also keeps everything clean. Fleas love clutter. Get rid of paper, cardboard, cloth in open areas and don't leave them on the floor. Vacuum and steam!

By

Tip: Vacuum Fleas from Cat

Our old cat sadly passed away. Every time the vacuum cleaner was switched on, he would appear. Yes, no cleaning would be done until he was done first He would turn over to vacuum each side with the pipe. He had no fleas.

By

Tip: Food Grade DE for Flea Prevention

The best and most economical flea prevention tip is the use of Food Grade DE (diatomaceous earth) powder. You can purchase it very cheaply (approx. $5.00 for two pounds), place in a shaker can, and sprinkle around your home. It's best to use it in corners, doorways, cracks, carpeting, bedding, and directly on your cat or dog.

Caution; It MUST be food grade, the type used for pool filtering is lethal. Putting DE powder on your animals and around the home will penetrate the hard shell of a flea, dehydrate it, therefore killing the flea. It can be used outside, in the doghouse, kennel, pen, entryways, etc.

This is best used as a prevention. It doesn't work well if you are infested with fleas. DE can be sprinkled on food as a dog wormer also. Quite often when you have fleas, the dogs will have worms from ingesting the fleas.

Source: This tip comes from years working as a volunteer Golden Retriever Rescue unit and passionate dog lover.

By wlee from Northeast NH

Article: Healthy Pets: 5 Tips For Organic Flea Control

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).

By Ellen Brown

Tip: Use A Flea Comb

I use a fine tooth flea comb on my cats daily and never have any flea problems!

By Holly

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Questions

Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Fleas Naturally.

Question: Homemade Flea Treatment

Does anyone have a homemade recipe to get rid of and prevent fleas?

By Patty

Question: Getting Rid of Fleas Naturally

I have 2 indoor cats. I was treating them with Revolution up until a few months a go, I then noticed my youngest male started over grooming. I found it just on the front of his arms.

I started doing research and it was either because he's bored or they where saying it could be fleas. I have never noticed any on him or my other girl and I constantly give him belly rubs, so then I found one on his paw. Now I'm thinking he's allergic to flea bites, so I then started putting a drop or two of apple cider vinegar in their water bowls. I gave them both a bath and then did a rinse with apple cider vinegar and water, half and half. I later found a recipe with acv, water, salt, and baking soda. The only thing is they don't say how often to spray it on them, like once a day, twice a day, once a week?

And I also have been putting salt in the front door carpet, in cracks of couch, chair, bed, their beds, but not directly on their their beds, but under the blanket, under my sheets, in the cracks of furniture and I make sure I rub it in good in carpet. I use a little, but I read a lot about using the salt method and I was just wondering why you are saying it's bad? I understand about them getting it in there eyes, but are there other health reasons not to? I just want to know all the info, I'm just trying to do all my research and if I find or hear something really bad I want to know to stop, but if you or anyone can give me any info on the acv mix question and fill me in more about why the salt method is bad, I would appreciate to hear it.

If anybody has any home remedies for flea bite allergies or if he is over grooming does any one have any ideas for that, and if they are pulling out their hair, is that from the fleas, like the allergy? Please help. Thank you

By Mandy M from Cornwall, Ontario

Question: Getting Rid of Fleas Safely

How can I safety get rid of fleas in a children's play yard?

By klinghard


Most Recent Answer

By merlene smith [4]08/29/2013

Gardens Alive has a product that contains nematodes that eat the flea larvae. I got it when we had a bad infestation and I have not had a flea since, it's been several years. It is environmentally friendly, no poison etc.

Question: Getting Rid of Fleas

Can I give my dog garlic pills?

By Dddjjj


Most Recent Answer

By Lizzyanny [9]07/15/2013

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.

Question: Using Diatomaceous Earth to Control Fleas in Carpets

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


Most Recent Answer

By GodBlestWoman10/21/2012

ONLY use food grade DE! The other is used in pool filters and has harmful chemicals in it! You can also sprinkle this on your furkids to control fleas.

However, keep this away from eyes and nose, both of your pets and you. Use in small amounts.

Question: Child Safe Flea Treatment

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


Most Recent Answer

By Frugal Sunnie [11]08/21/2012

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.

Question: Natural Flea Remedy

Please help me. My dogs have never had fleas before. I think since the Houston drought and heat last year and heat and rain this year, the fleas are terrible. My whole subdivision is having problems. We are having mosquitoes and fleas. What is the best natural flea killer for pets, home, and yard? Your help is so much appreciated.

By Helen B


Most Recent Answer

By vicki hood [4]07/29/2012

Biggest flea breeder is your carpet. Sift 2 cups of 20 mule team borax for average room into carpet, their bed and furniture. Leave for 2 weeks before vacuuming. Natural, effective - good thing. No flea shampoo. That is poison. No flea collars. That enters their liver and kidneys.

Use 2 soapings of dawn or any bar soap. Cedercide (internet order) for the yard. No corn wheat or soy in the diet and - no vaccines. Part raw diet. Nothing from the pet aisle at the grocers. Improve immune system with granules from nzymes.Com. Kibble that is no more expensive than Purina is diamond lamb and rice available at feed store or co op. Fungal itch, foot itch, use the amber only colored Listerine. No pink no blue no blue or any other color. Skin issues on horses/livestock often cleared with brownish/amber colored Listerine. Dip feet too. No rinse. Don't put it in their eyes, please. Kiss them regularly, spoil them rotten as they are family members. My girlfriend has a pit bull who has saved her life 3 times now. Robbers,rattlesnake and rapist.

Question: Getting Rid of Fleas

For the past few days I have been sitting on my couch picking fleas off my puppy putting them in a cup of water then washing them down the drain. I can't use any of the flea combs because her hair is too short. This is especially true during the summer because she has her summer coat on. I am just wondering if there is a better way to take them off. She is a Chihuahua and too small for any treatments. Any suggestions?

By jonathanha


Most Recent Answer

By vicki hood [4]05/21/2012

Dry 20 Mule Team Borax (2 to 2 and 1/2 cups per average carpeted room), I put it in a sifter or veggie drainer and spread over carpet, dog bed, couch etc. Leave for 2 weeks and vacuum. 2 weeks to complete life cycle of egg - larvae - and adult. Good reports although I have not tried is rock salt in the yard.

Question: Getting Rid of Fleas

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


Most Recent Answer

By cybergrannie [30]05/18/2012

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.

Question: Getting Rid of Fleas Naturally

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


Most Recent Answer

By arlene3333412/16/2011

Not baking soda, but boric acid. Obviously do not put on your cat but you can sprinkle it in between furniture cushions, carpet areas the cat can't walk on, around baseboards. It has worked much better for me (and less expensive!) than flea treatments or exterminators.

Editor's Note: Boric acid is toxic to pets so use caution when treating household.

Question: Using Salt to Kill Fleas

Should the salt be made into a powder before putting it on the carpet?

By Ann G.


Most Recent Answer

By Cricket [201]10/24/2011

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.

Question: Getting Rid of Fleas Naturally

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


Most Recent Answer

By Robyn [361]08/26/2011

Do not use frontline. It doesn't work on my dogs and cats and on many other peoples pets. They must have changed something in the formula.

Get one of the other vet topical treatments. Discuss this with the vet. Animals cost money and this is one of the areas not to scrimp on, for their sakes and yours.

Blessings, Robyn

Question: Getting Rid of Fleas Without Pesticides

Black dog in yard near a pink water tub.How can I rid my dogs of fleas without using chemicals?

By Lucy


Most Recent Answer

By ISABELLE09/02/2011

Wash your dog with Dawn dishwashing liquid.

Question: Natural Flea Remedy

How do I get rid of fleas naturally?

By Texas Hard from TN


Most Recent Answer

By Marsha [1]10/23/2010

Food-grade only Diatomaceous Earth. Fleas and tics, all internal parasites will be gone in a few short weeks. Depending on the size of the dog or kitty, sprinkle it right onto their food. From 1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoons of it every day. Put some in an old sock and dust it all over the fur, being careful not to get it in their eyes and don't let them or you breathe it in too much. It's really great though, and can be used on any age animal. Even nursing mother dogs and cats. It will not hurt the babies but will insure them to be "bug-free" as well. Can be purchased online, and just be absolutely sure it's food grade.

MisMachado

Question: Getting Rid of Fleas Naturally

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


Most Recent Answer

By gaye_mcgann10/08/2012

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

Question: Flea Life Cycle

How long can fleas live without a host?

By Alice from Long Beach, CA


Most Recent Answer

By Dena Roberts [31]02/25/2010

We bought a house that had sat empty for about 18 months. The previous owners had a dog. We moved in and the place was full of fleas so, at least 18 months!