The best way to get rid of fleas, is to prevent your pet from getting them. If you’re not keen on using the traditional chemical flea remedies or preventatives, there are some natural solutions that may provide your pet with some relief.
DIY Flea Spray
A mixture of apple cider vinegar diluted 1:1 or 1:3, depending on the flea activity and your tolerance for the vinegar smell, with water can be sprayed around the house to discourage fleas from setting up camp in your home. Areas that fleas may find especially appealing include carpets, furniture, pet bedding, and blankets. Before applying your DIY flea spray, vacuum or wash those areas to remove any eggs or flea dirt.
Baking soda has many more uses than making your baked goods rise. It is a powerful deodorizer and can help lift fleas and flea dirt from carpets and other fabric household items. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before vacuuming to remove dirt and pet odor from high traffic areas. When dealing with a flea infestation, always empty your vacuum immediately and dispose of the contents in an outdoor trash bin to prevent reinfestation.
Diatomaceous earth is microscopic remains of fossilized algae, called diatoms. It is a very fine non-toxic powder that can be purchased at many local farm stores in a human safe food grade option. The diatoms work to kill fleas at all life stages by dehydration. Its use is similar to that of baking soda, but for maximum effectiveness it is recommended that you sprinkle the powder and leave it for 2 days before vacuuming. Due to the nature of the powder, it is recommended that the applicant wear a face mask to avoid throat or nose irritation.
Rosemary extract can be found in many natural pet solutions, and is a common ingredient in pet treats. Fleas and other pests are repelled by the smell of rosemary, so adding some to your DIY flea spray or feeding it to your pet in small doses can aid in flea control. It is extremely important to understand that rosemary essential oil and extract are very different. Rosemary essential oils in high volumes have shown to be toxic to humans and pets, rosemary extract has a different molecular structure and is non-toxic.
Dish soap is another household item with multiple uses, it can be used on pets of all ages to soothe itchy skin and slow the spread of a flea infestation. A dish soap/water solution can be placed in a bowl in high flea activity areas to attract and trap adult fleas.
Protect your Yard from Fleas
Fleas don’t just magically appear inside your home, they hitch a ride on you or your pet from the outdoors and then make themselves comfortable inside. The simple act of keeping up with yard care can greatly reduce the chance of fleas finding their way into your home. Fleas like tall grass and weeds, so mowing often and spraying for weeds are both highly recommended. If you have a green thumb, plants such as lemon balm, sage, rosemary, basil, and mint can deter fleas and other pests. If you’re still struggling to get your flea problem under control, diatomaceous earth in pet potty and play areas can also be helpful.
My Pet Has Fleas, Now What?
- Weekly flea baths in dawn dish soap and an apple cider vinegar dilute.
- Wash beds and blankets in HOT water
- Vacuum often with baking soda or D.E.
Repeat these steps and the suggestions above until the infestation is completely gone, the flea life cycle can be several months long. If the infestation persists and your pet is uncomfortable, consult with your veterinarian.
Hogan, R. (2020, May 15). Our Best Home Remedies For Fleas. Retrieved August 26, 2020, from https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/best-home-remedies-fleas/
Labs, V. (2017, April 06). Is Rosemary bad for my pet? Retrieved August 26, 2020, from https://www.vetriscience.com/blog/2017/04/is-rosemary-bad-for-my-pet/