Borax vs. Salt for Fleas?

We are infested with fleas, I guess lots of other people are having this problem this year. It's very frustrating and driving us nuts. We've got more flea bites than the cat! I guess they're called "sand fleas" or something like that. They come in from the grass outdoors on our clothes and such.


Anyway... I've seen posts about 20 Mule Team Borax and also about salt. We've tried the diatomaceous earth - it works a little bit, but the fleas are still here.

We have a very old house with pine wood floors as well as area rugs. Do you recommend borax or salt and how should we use it?

Thanks so much in advance for a prompt reply from anyone who knows.


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June 6, 20122 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had a house that had a terrible flea infestation, I used the table salt method and it worked! The thing to do is completely saturate the base boards and around the heat vents with table salt and completely saturate the floors also.


Leave it on the floors for 24-48 hours and vacuum good afterwards. I haven't had any fleas since.

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May 1, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

Please be careful using salt and other such things with your pets. I tried the salt method in the past, as it was told to me by a friend. One of my cats got salt into her eye (probably from wiping her face with her paw), and it caused her to have a terrible eye ulcer. With several trips to the vet, meds and time, her eye healed, and I was so thankful.

Also remember, that if it is left on the carpet where your pets walk, it is getting on their paws and could dry their paws out, and they also lick their paws.


I wish I knew of a perfect solution. I've been using the flea treatment from the vets. I hate using it, but I don't want them to be overrun with fleas either. I'll keep reading up to see what's out there.

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June 19, 20160 found this helpful

Baking soda, cover the floor with it. It dehydrated fleas and prevents them from finding a suitable place to lay eggs in your carpet. The eggs tend to end up under the couch cushions at my house, but they are all concentrated into one spot and I just vacuum them right up and get rid of them. Baking soda doesn't look too appealing on your carpet, a white powdery mist after it's been swept into the carpet, but it really works for repelling fleas. They choose not to even go in the carpet and it makes it a lot easier to control them.

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August 15, 20180 found this helpful

Please keep in mind the following when choosing Borax versus diatomaceous earth for your carpets:

MSDS shows that DE is carcinogenic when inhaled, while borax is not.


Some posts confuse Borax with Boric Acid. Borax is relatively harmless as shown in this MSDS:

If you don't want to read the MSDS then I have posted some information summarizing the safety info here:


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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

I tried the salt and it didn't work. I am now going to try the borax I hope it works! You know what I mean.

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May 1, 20130 found this helpful

Just noticed that someone mentioned not letting pets or children into the room, until the salt was vacuumed up. That is great advice!


I also like the suggestion about the pie pan, nightlight, pie pan and syrup and some of the other suggestions. Thank you.

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May 15, 20130 found this helpful

I tried the salt and its easy and perfect! No Fleas! No damage to my cheap but nice vacuume:P

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November 18, 20151 found this helpful

The salt and Borax thing is the ONLY thing that has worked for me

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May 5, 20171 found this helpful

Borax AND salt mixed together absolutely works. I've used nothing else for over 25 years. I use 2 c borax and 1/2 c salt. Shake it out on carpet and on areas pets sleep.


Vacuum up 24 hours later- wait 2 days if you have fleas in the carpet. We have 5 cats- no fleas.

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December 30, 20180 found this helpful

Diatomaceous Earth is not carcinogenic when breathed. It can, however, irritate the lungs if inhaled in large quantities and can make you cough. It works great as a flea killer in carpets. It is best to buy the edible organic DE for use indoors instead of the garden variety. To use on carpet, you vacuum carpet which stirs up the fleas, then sprinkle carpet with DE and leave on for 8 hours (it is safe for your pets to walk on and even if they lick it off their paws it will not hurt them, although it may make them sneeze. It has worked for me for years. DE kills fleas, ticks, ants, spiders and anything with an exoskeleton as it penetrates it and dries it up.

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August 20, 20190 found this helpful

I did the DE/baking soda/salt thing, and it definitely works. It's an unholy mess to clean up, but it works. I leave the DE down year round behind/under my furniture, and find dead bugs I didn't even know existed when I clean it up.
Food Grade DE is not carcinogenic when inhaled. The study made some poor guinea pigs inhale mass quantities of crystallized DE for years; you'd have to TRY HARD to get any carcinogenic effects from DE. Borax is basically salt and the mineral boron, which btw, has been banned in several countries, even though it too is harmless unless you really really tried. People actually EAT DE and Borax as supplements. Blech. Either one is 100% safer than bug bombs and sprays.

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August 20, 20190 found this helpful

Copied from link above:

*Ingestion Risks*
Food grade diatomaceous earth is not poisonous to humans and many food manufacturers use it in food preparation.

***Inhalation Dangers***
The major danger of food grade diatomaceous earth arises from the fact that it is a powder and is made from silica. A person can inhale powder into the lungs and become ill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that inhaled silica can cause a range of diseases such as silicosis. Other diseases of the lungs can also be made more likely from inhaling silica, such as tuberculosis. Exposure to silica may also be involved in the development of other non-lung related diseases such as autoimmune problems and chronic kidney disease. These dangers are more likely to occur with repeated exposures to the substance.

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