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Homemade Flea Treatments

Category Fleas
Fleas are often a problem for pet owners. Finding a good homemade treatment is often best for your pet and your pocketbook. Homemade flea treatments can be a great way to save some money.


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With two cats who come in and out, I worried about flea treatments.
So I did a lot of reading and saw a recipe in a book and online that recommends that you may add garlic and yeast to your cat's food. They said that it will cause a light scent that repels fleas.

I actually found a powder in my health food store, specifically for pets with garlic and yeast and began adding it to my cat's moist food.

When I brought my cat 'children' to the vet for their regular check up I asked my vet about them and learned something pretty interesting.
Garlic (and onions too, they are the same family) are VERY unhealthy and potentially deadly for cats! Two vets confirmed this for me and yet you can find it in some books and the internet! Take warning!

I had been thinking I was helping them, but was actually potentially hurting them. While I was at it I also asked about flea collars and was told that they are useless on cats as well. So, don't waste your money on flea collars and don't give your pets garlic nor onions. Check with your vet first.
There are "no shortcuts" to preventing flea's (sadly.)

Pictured is my Cat "little Orphan Annie" with her opinion of my garlic/yeast home remedy. Notice the tongue sticking out? :D

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I have several rescued kitties and there are loads of fleas here in the hot Florida summer. I need a homemade recipe for a flea deterrent, the medicine is way too expensive.


By Joyce from Gulfport, FL


August 21, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

At Tractor supply they have this spray. By Farnam Pet Products Water-Based Flea & Tick Spray For Dogs Plus Citronella Scent. I use it on my cats too. I sprayed them real good. Put them in the laundry room for the night. It is real strong. It wont hurt the animals. I used it on a little kitten that I found in my yard. I also spray their animal bedding and place they sleep. Anyway, I let that set on them for a night.

The next day I gave them a bath with flea and tick shampoo to get rid of any other lingering fleas. I let that set on them for 5 min before I washed it off. Then I wash them with Antibacterial Dish Soap. It repels fleas for some reason. It wont hurt their skin or coat. I use it all the time on all my pets. I have used that cat powder on both my dogs and cats. It works good. Also Sulfer repeals Flees. Some people say some spices and Garlic works. I haven't used that.


I tried yeast in their food, and it gave them wet, runny stools. I have heard Diatomaceous Earth works good, and it don't hurt people or animals. It is supposedly edible. Some put it in horse feed to keep them from getting parasitic worms, and it kills maggots in horse poop. I do know when we moved a year ago into this house. It was already infested with fleas.

My animals became infested too. I took home bug spray that you spray inside. I sprayed all floors in house plus carpet. I let it set over night. Then I mopped the floors, and steamed cleaned the carpets. The spray killed the fleas, and the steam cleaner sucked up all the dead fleas and the eggs and any live fleas. Also pulled the spray out of the carpet to not hurt animals. That took care of the fleas in the house. Fleas are real bad here. Everyone is having problems. I have to keep treating my pets and giving them baths about once a week. Dish soap works well just give them a bath in it. Fleas seem to not like soap. Hope it helps.

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Bath them well using a bit of Dawn. Fleas love warm water, but the dawn disrupts their surface adhesion, and they don't float. But the little baby in a colander, and bath it with a warm stream from the faucet. This scares them less than water that is held in the sink, plus gives the fleas a one way ticket to the drain.


The colander is so the wee one doesn't slip down the drain with the fleas. Then, put some Brewers yeast in their food and a small amount of vinegar in their water. This effects their blood and the fleas hate the taste. Don't use any product like a collar or application till they are old enough.

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Answer this Question...

August 22, 2012

This page is about using garlic to repel fleas. The presence of garlic can repel fleas if used safely.

Using Garlic to Prevent Fleas

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 21, 2009

I'm looking for a home solution for fleas, both in my house and on my pets. Any suggestions?

By Geralyn Maher from New Orleans, LA



Homemade Flea Treatment

Even though you said a home treatment I want to give a thumbs up to the Frontline spray and notice I said "spray" and not the topical treatment. I think the spray is better. I have read about this, but it is too complicated for me to be able to explain. Something about the oil glands causing it to be ineffective after shedding. I am not sure. Anyway it is cheaper.

Here are some things I do in the flea season besides Frontline: Either salt or borax on carpets and furniture. Under sheets in the bed. Salt is something they really hate.

Shampoo animals in peroxide and baby shampoo. Fleas hate peroxide. Any shampoo will kill them, but when there is a bad infestation, leave the shampoo and peroxide on the pet a little longer.

Here are a few other links I like to read:

I am sure you will find something that will work for you. I like the suggestion of putting apple cider vinegar in the water, go to and look up pets and read all they have to say about natural remedies. They are a great site. Robyn



By Robyn Fed

Homemade Flea Treatment

Any time I see a flea on one of my pets, I give it a bath in Dawn Dishsoap. It will kill the pests. Do not use Dawn all the time though because it may dry out the pets' skin by stripping it of its oils. (05/20/2009)

By Kim

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May 12, 2009

I just found this little kitten today outside my work and me being a cat lover I took it home. I noticed that this cat is completely covered in fleas. I tried using flea shampoo (the Hartz brand), and this foam stuff but it really didn't seem to get them all. I live in an apartment and really don't want to have my home infested. Can someone please give me some safe cheap home remedies? It would be appreciated.

Beth from Lorain, OH


Homemade Flea Treatment

Get powdered Brewers Yeast at a health food store. Make sure you take the kitten outside and put the Brewers Yeast all over him. Rub it in. The fleas will jump off, which is why you need to be outside. (11/01/2007)

By Grammie

Homemade Flea Treatment

Try a little lavender. A little pillow (sachet) tucked in his bed. Rub (just a little) lavender oil on his coat or wipe him down with fresh lavender. Fleas and lots of other critters do not like the smell of lavender. Moths don't like it either. Enjoy your new family member! (11/01/2007)

By lavenderdeer

Homemade Flea Treatment

Hi Beth,
You didn't say how old the kitty is, and that might make a difference. Our kitten was about 12 weeks old when
he got his bath in the blue original Dawn dish washing liquid. I watered it down to about 2/3 water and 1/3 Dawn
liquid, and saturated the kitty. Being careful not to get it in his eyes or mouth, rubbed it into his fur really well. Used a gentle flow of warm water to thoroughly rinse him, and wiped his little face and ears with a damp washcloth. Then I wrapped him in a towel and got most of the water off him, then wrapped him in a clean dry towel, and rocked him to sleep. If you are very careful and talk to him all the while, he will not be traumatized by a bath, and you'll be rid of the fleas too. The Dawn kills them instantly, I suppose. He has never again had fleas in the 3 years we've had him.

Don't put the kitty in a basin of water, but set him on a safe surface to do the a plastic chair or
table set in the bathtub. Then rinse him in the same place. They are more afraid of being submerged in water than of the water being dipped or sprayed on them gently.

I hope this works for you too. Fleas are such an awful torment for the poor little things. We sprinkled Twenty
Mule Team Borax all over our carpet and furniture to ensure there were no remaining fleas or eggs loose in the house.
Leave it there for about 2 weeks. It'll gradually work itself into the carpet, and you should never have a problem
again. I wish you and the kitten the best. You are a good person to be caring for him. (11/01/2007)

By Julia

Homemade Flea Treatment

Whatever you do, don't try home remedies. I know it is a bit more expensive, but you need to get the cat to a vet right away and they will give you whatever is proper for the cat. Home remedies don't always work. You will end up spending more in the long run to de-flea your house. It usually takes at least 2 treatments from a professional exterminator to completely rid your home. Good luck! (11/01/2007)

By Robin

Homemade Flea Treatment

Dear Beth,
First of all, throw the Hartz stuff away fast! I have heard this from several animal lovers & experts a like that Hartz Flea Products can and do kill kittens. Please get rid of it.

Secondly, if you will just take the kitten to a vet, they can give you just one pill called Capstar, which will kill the fleas within 24 hours. Then they can also provide appropriate flea control meds for your new baby. God Bless,
Sheila in Titusville, FL (11/01/2007)

By Sheila Saey

Homemade Flea Treatment

First of all do not use any Hartz MT. products. I worked for a major dept. store a long time ago and the head honcho of Hartz MT products told me if I had pets, do not use it on any of them. Take kitty to a Dr., you can get one pill for him to take care of the flea problem, then get a program that is not harmful to your new baby. (11/01/2007)

By Rosa

Homemade Flea Treatment

Thank you so much everyone for the advice and info on the hartz flea killer (kitten killer also). My kitty is doing a lot better due to the advice that I was given from all of you. I seriously almost cried when I got her home and first bathed her, she had so many fleas. The water was bloody from the flea bites. I am taking her to the vet on Tuesday to get all checked out. I did use the dawn soap remedy and believe it or not, dawn is great for not only dishes but flea problems too.

Oh and to the person who asked how old my kitty is, I believe she is about 2 months. She still has all her kitten teeth. Thank god I found her in the time I did because it is really cold where I live now and when I found her she was shivering and starving. Again thank you all. (11/02/2007)

By beth

Homemade Flea Treatment

I use fresh rosemary sprigs and rub that into the cats coats. Crush some stems in your hands and then stroke your cat's fur. Works great and your cat not only will enjoy the attention, but will always smell nice!
Plant a rosemary bush somewhere in your garden. Not only will you have it for cooking but many other uses too. Rosemary is a very hardy bush that needs little watering and will reward you for years. (11/04/2007)

By joycie

Homemade Flea Treatment

Use any cheap shampoo, ie dollar store, the laurel sodium sulfate is what kills the fleas. If you have fleas in your carpets, get a box of borax and liberally sprinkle on the carpet and leave for a few hours or over night, then just vacuum up the dead fleas and get a carpet cleaning at the same time. To help keep your pets relatively free of fleas you can buy (at a health food store) a mixture of brewers yeast and garlic that you sprinkle on your pets food everyday. If you're not sure you have fleas, plug in a night light and place a pan of soapy water below it. The fleas will jump for the light and fall into the water, the soap kills them. Right on about the store bought flea treatments, almost lost both of my kittens after treatment but got them in a tub and washed the stuff off after they showed signs of poisoning, took them awhile to recover but they are fine now. (11/09/2007)

By Viki

Homemade Flea Treatment

Fleas can't stand certain essential oils: Tea-Tree, Lavender, Geranium, and Citronella are all great. Just put a few drops on the kitten's collar or bandanna, and they'll leave it alone. You'll need to reapply every 1-2 weeks, but this is a safe non-toxic remedy. Also, if you use Avon products, Skin-so-Soft works too! (03/08/2008)

By Cheryl Waldrop

Homemade Flea Treatment

I just tried the "cheap shampoo" on my dog and kitten. I don't think it did the trick, and my kitten literally freaked out while trying to bathe her. My father and I held her in the sink and tried to slowly sprinkle water on her. It was a nightmare and the poor kitten is probably traumatized for life, still has fleas, and my father got scratched really bad in the hand. Now what do I do? I'm definitely not doing the bathing thing again. By the way, I tried the Hartz flea stuff before the bath and obviously it didn't work, but at least she didn't get sick (07/27/2008)

By Diana

Homemade Flea Treatment

I spoke to my vet and she said that rosemary and lavender oil are good too and safe for cats.
It's usually best to get a vet prescribed treatment if it's severe, or you want to prevent it from becoming severe.
Hartz products are not recommended. Advantage is best. I've also used Zodiac. I wouldn't recommend flea powders or homemade powders, too messy and can get in the animal's eyes or nose. (09/06/2008)

By animalluvr

Homemade Flea Treatment

Someone stated to put lavender oil and Tea Tree Oil on a cat. Don't use these oils on your cat because it is toxic to them and can cause allergic reactions and death. Make sure the label says safe for cats. (02/13/2009)

By Mandy

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