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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 12, 2005 Flag
13 found this helpful

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


December 4, 2009 Flag
12 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


August 17, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

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, 20123 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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July 12, 20160 found this helpful

Discovered fleas cats are inside and I go from my car to my house and back again. They came in on my daughter and granddaughter. Anyway, I'm going to try the salt tonight. Thanks for this.

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November 12, 2008 Flag
2 found this helpful

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).

October 17, 2011 Flag
5 found this helpful

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.

A dog lying on a green couch.

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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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July 20, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

What can I use to get rid of fleas with a newborn baby in the house?

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July 22, 20150 found this helpful

Do not use Borax-it does kill fleas but does not kill flea eggs and, much more importantly, it harms babies and young children. The site below provides more information about Borax and also states not to use it around your house: Don't use this powder if you have small children (especially babies) or young pets (unless you keep them out the house for the day) as it can cause health complications due to their small body mass and close proximity to the ground. The site and more information:

If you are pregnant, please stay away from any Borate substance  this includes borax!.

Keep your cats away from the borax powder as it can cause terrible breathing problems and potential fatalities.

Make sure your carpets are not wet (even from humidity) as this can damage the fibers and cause discoloration.

Keep the borax powder away from food (especially if you have young children) as it is dangerous for consumption in large quantities. (more than 5mg) **UPDATE** I have recently been informed by a medical practitioner that anything around 5mg is still pretty safe (slightly higher toxicity then table salt). However, keep in mind that cats are rather sensitive to borax and as a result, just take it easy if you have one in the home.

Keep the borax away from your plants as it can cause damage to them.

NEVER put the borax powder directly onto pets, even if they have fleas. Borax is used to get rid of fleas in your home and using borax on dogs for fleas (as well as other pets) can be dangerous for their health!

Dont scatter borax powder for fleas around your home as a flea preventative because prolonged environmental contact can potentially cause health problems like skin irritation and other allergies. If in doubt, contact a health practitioner if you notice any adverse reactions after using borax in your home.

Don't use this powder if you have small children (especially babies) or young pets (unless you keep them out the house for the day) as it can cause health complications due to their small body mass and close proximity to the ground.

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July 28, 20151 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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October 7, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

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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January 13, 2014 Flag
3 found this helpful

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.

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October 23, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

Works every time! Take a 9 x 13 in. pan and fill 2/3 with water and a couple of squirts of Dawn dish soap mixed in. Place on the floor with a desk lamp or a work light hanging over it. The fleas will jump in the pan and the dawn water will kill them. Do this every night until the fleas are all gone. You can do this in every room, or just move it each night.

One of our rental properties was loaded with fleas when we evicted the tenants, and this is how I got rid of them. You can also bomb the house. You can buy the bombs at any tractor supply store or even a pet store, but you have to leave the house for a couple of hours.

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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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