Photo by Jared Belson
If you are a fur parent, chances are you’ve already encountered them—fleas. Fleas are annoying parasites that feed on the blood of mammals. Even if they don’t have wings and can’t fly, these tiny beasties can jump from one host to another, leaving eggs in their trail. They are considered a threat to our pets because they can transmit diseases.
There are many chemical-based products available in the market that can help you get rid of the flea problem. However, you can also combat the flea problem by natural means, using ingredients that are already readily available in your own homes.
You can treat your dog from the inside by adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) in his water bowl. ACV makes your dog’s skin a bit acidic and therefore, less tasty to these little beasts. Mix a teaspoon of ACV for every quart of water. To be safe, consult your vet to see how much amount of vinegar your dog can safely ingest according to his weight. Your dog might initially hate it, so add very little amounts until he gets used to it.
Create a flea trap using some dishwashing liquid and water. Fill a plate or bowl with warm water and dishwashing liquid then mix them. Look for the places in your house that has the most flea activity. Place the bowl there.
The mixture acts as a glue, trapping the fleas due to the high gooeyness of the solution. Repeat this method using a fresh batch everyday. This works effectively at night time, as fleas are nocturnal creatures. It has been suggested that a candle placed near the mixture will help, but we highly discourage this due to the potential fire hazard it can cause if the candle is left unattended.
You can make your own flea spray from materials found in your home. These are non-toxic products that are safe to use around your pets and children. For this mixture, you need vinegar, water, lemon juice, and witch hazel.
Mix 4 liters of vinegar, 2 liters of water, 500 ml of lemon juice and 250 ml of witch hazel in a large spray bottle. Before going on a spraying frenzy, clean your home thoroughly by vacuuming, throwing the contents outside, and washing any clothes or beddings that you suspect to be flea-infested. Once you are done with your thorough clean up, apply your home-made flea spray on carpets, furniture, beddings, and floors.
Removing fleas is a struggle. One of the most effective flea control remedy is vacuuming. By doing so, you are removing them from the fibers of your carpets and other furniture. Make vacuuming a more effective tool by using baking soda. We know baking soda has many uses. Who would have thought you can also use it to get rid of fleas?
Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets and furniture. Take a hard brush and rub it into the fabric. Let it sit there for a few minutes. After a few minutes have passed, vacuum your carpets and furniture thoroughly. Make sure to empty the contents of the vacuum into a bag and get rid of it in an outside trash can.
Salt is a great natural flea home remedy when paired with vacuuming, just like baking soda. It acts as a dehydration agent, drying out adult fleas, killing them.
Take some finely grounded salt. Sprinkle it all over your carpets and other rooms with flea infestation. Let it rest for 1-2 days. After some time has passed, vacuum throughout your home, especially the areas with the most infestation. Empty the contents in an outside trash can.
Lemons have a myriad of uses around the home. Not only you can drink it, you can treat wasp stings with it, or use it to get rid of fleas. It’s one of the best home remedies for fleas.
To make a citrus solution, get a lemon and slice it thinly. Add to a pint of water and bring it to boil. Let the citrus mixtures sit overnight. Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on areas with prevalent flea infestation like your sofas, beddings, carpets, etc. Dampen only, not soak. You can also spray this on your pet, after they have a bath. Use it as an after bath spray and do not rinse.
What is it? Diatomaceous earth is the microscopic remains of fossilized algae, diatoms. Very fine and non-toxic to humans, it is a great natural remedy to get rid of fleas as it causes flea dehydration, just like salt. Using it can be messy, and an eye and throat irritant. It is best to use it wearing a face mask.
Buy the food grade diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle it on areas with flea infestation. No need to lather a thick one, just apply a thin layer. Let it sit for 2 days for it to work. After 2 days, vacuum it thoroughly and dispose remains in an outside bin.
Though rosemary is an herb that we’d mostly use in cooking, it can be a great organic flea deterrent. This herb is more on prevention, not cure. It is a natural flea repellent.
Make anti-flea powder out of this herb by combining it with rue, wormwood, fennel and peppermint. Put it in a pestle and mortar and grind well into a powder. Sprinkle the mixture into beddings, sofas, carpets, and other areas with flea infestation. This remedy is only good for light infestations.
Now, wouldn’t it be nice to have plants that not only make your surrounding pleasing, but flea-free too? There are certain plants that fleas hate and stay away from. They contain certain oils or compounds that are repugnant to fleas. These plants are:
Boric acid powder, or borax, is an abrasive material that cuts through the fleas’ exoskeleton and kills them instantly. Prioritize and dust areas with humidity that is higher than 50% and areas not exposed to direct sunlight. Use a brush if you must to make sure it gets deep into carpets, furniture, and other places that are hard to reach. Make sure your dog doesn’t lick it by securing him away from the area you are dusting. Let borax sit for awhile—the longer it does, the better it works. All the eggs will dry out and get neutralized after a couple of days, and suffocating the larvae in the process. Immediately vacuum the debris and remaining borax powder and dispose accordingly in an outside trash bin.
Coconut oil is great for both dogs and humans. You can use this to get rid of fleas too because coconut oil contains lauric acid, a natural flea and tick repellant for dogs.
After your dog’s bath, dry him and then get some coconut oil. Massage the oil not only to get rid of fleas, but to soothe bites, hydrate the skin and nourish it. Make sure it has worked its way down to your dog’s coat. Run a comb through your dog’s hair. You will notice fleas sticking to the comb. Make sure to do this outdoors. Do this once a week.
Though fleas don’t usually attack humans, they do bite humans whenever they are given the chance. If you let the flea infestation remain unchecked and out of control, your pet will be miserable and you’ll have fleas throughout your home. As a responsible pet owner, keeping your pets clean and healthy and periodically grooming them are some of the easiest measures you can do in staying ahead of a flea infestation. With these home remedies, you are keeping your dog chemical free and flea-free.