The Manual of Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat identifies the ‘cat flea’ as one of the most common species of fleas that infest both cats and dogs. Moreover, a paper published for the University of Florida notes that it is essential to treat both the pet and the premises when getting rid of fleas. This brings us to the relevance and necessity of reliable home remedies for fleas on pets. By treating your four-legged friend with the best home remedy for fleas, you will be keeping them and your home safe. Find out what options you have for natural solutions below.
Try these natural home remedies for fleas to treat your pet.
A lot of pet owners swear by garlic as the best natural home remedy for fleas. The active ingredient in garlic is allicin, a substance that causes it to have its peculiar taste and smell. Due to the strong flavor of garlic that fleas can’t stand, this can be used as a flea repellent for your pet.
- Feed your pet ¼ clove of fresh garlic for every 10 pounds they weigh. Use 1/8 clove for pets that weigh under 10 pounds.
- Repeat once a day if your pet is infested or daily for 1 month before flea season comes for prevention.
- Use garlic spray in your yard for extra safety.
- Chop 8 heads of garlic and boil in 1 gallon of water.
- Steep for 12 hours, then strain and add to a spray bottle.
- Spray key areas in your front and back yard with it.
* However, please consult your veterinarian prior to using garlic, as it can be toxic for some breeds.
Similar to garlic, lemons work as home remedies for fleas on dogs and cats because of the pungent smell for the insects. In the case of lemons, their citric acid causes a very powerful and repelling scent for fleas. Lemons can be used in multiple ways as a home remedy for fleas on dog, but using a flea comb works best.
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and put in 3 chopped lemons.
- Cover and steep for 3 hours.
- Strain and pour into a spray bottle.
- Gently spray your dog or cat’s fur with it and comb their fur with a flea comb.
- Put the flea comb in the solution beforehand if your pet is really annoyed by the spraying.
3. Diatomaceous Earth
Another top home remedy for fleas on dogs that is perfectly safe to use is diatomaceous earth. If you’re not familiar with the term, diatomaceous earth is a powder created from diatoms that is not toxic for pets. These organisms destroy eggs before they have the chance of growing into fleas.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth to cover all areas where your pet usually hangs out. This should especially include key areas outside, like your lawn and garden.
- Cover your carpets with the powder if you have any in your home.
- Wait for 48 hours and vacuum afterward.
- Repeat once every month if you’re in flea season.
4. Dish Soap Water
Who would have thought that home remedies for fleas in house as simple as soap and water could be effective? What makes this remedy work is actually the illusion it produces for fleas. These insects have an attraction for light, so you can lure them in by placing this solution strategically. Once they make contact with the soapy water, they will be intoxicated and drown.
- Take the lid from a large jar and fill it with warm water.
- Add 1-2 drops of liquid dish soap.
- Place it under a light and leave overnight.
- Replace the following morning and continue for 1-2 weeks on a daily basis.
5. Salt & Baking Soda
When you combine baking soda with table salt, you get one of the best home remedies for fleas on cats and dogs. Both of these ingredients dehydrate the fleas, drying them up and destroying them. Make sure that the baking soda you use is still active by dropping a bit of vinegar in it. If bubbles instantly appear, it’s good to go.
- Combine equal parts of table salt and baking soda in a shaker. Use enough to cover the surface of your carpets.
- Generously spread all over the carpets in your home.
- Leave the mixture on overnight, closing off the area for pets.
- Vacuum in the morning.
- Repeat every 3-4 days once every 2-3 months.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
The strong acetic acid in vinegar recommends it as one of the best home remedies for dog fleas. Like in the case of garlic or lemon, apple cider vinegar is repelling for fleas and will help you keep them off your pets. In addition to this, ACV provides extra shine for your pet’s fur.
- Pour 1 cup of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Use distilled white vinegar if you don’t have apple cider vinegar around.
- Add 1 quart of water.
- Add 3-4 drops of lavender oil (optionally).
- Shake the bottle so the ingredients mix.
- Spray your pet’s fur with the mixture, avoiding the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Soak a clean cloth in the mixture to wipe around their neck.
7. Mint Leaves
Mint leaves contain menthol, the substance that gives them their scent and flavor. Owing to this substance, mint leaves are among the most trustworthy home remedies for fleas. They act as a repellent without harming your pet.
- Soak 10 mint leaves in a bowl of water for one night.
- Strain in the morning.
- Squeeze 2 lemons and add the juice.
- Pour 10 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in too.
- Put the mixture in a spray bottle and mist your pet’s fur with it.
Studies show that the active constituents in rosemary have antifungal properties. Similar to many other home remedies for fleas on this list, the scent will repel the insects and leave your cat or dog flea-free. When applying as a home remedy for dog fleas, it’s best to prepare a rosemary infusion.
- Boil 1 liter of water.
- Add 2 cups of rosemary leaves (fresh, if available).
- Let it steep for 30 minutes.
- Pour into a spray bottle once chilled.
- Spray onto the animal’s fur.
- Allow to dry on its own.
9. Pennyroyal Leaves
Speaking of mint, pennyroyal is a species in this family that has particularly effective results among home remedies for killing fleas. Do not use pennyroyal oil for treating fleas in cats. It can be toxic and cause miscarriages. Only use leaves in flea remedies for home.
- Place dried pennyroyal leaves in your pet’s bed.
- Add leaves to other places they frequently go to in your home.
- Put 1-2 leaves under a dog’s collar or bandana if going out into the woods.
10. Citronella Oil
Some home remedies for fleas combine the benefits from multiple ingredients, like citronella oil. The main ingredient is citronella oil, which comes from the Ceylon citronella plant. Combining this with lemongrass oil and geranium oil will boost the repelling effect it has on fleas.
- Slightly heat 1 gallon of warm water.
- Add the below-mentioned amounts of the following oils:
- Vacuum the whole home thoroughly.
- Use the solution to mop the wooden floors of your house.
- Repeat every day for 3-4 days and then 1 time a week for prevention.
11. Horse Apples
Frequently regarded as Osage oranges, horse apples have often been used as home remedies for getting rid of fleas. Not only do they help repel fleas, but also grass snakes or field mice. It is best to use horse apples while they’re green so they have time to dry in your home.
- Get 1 pound of horse apples and slice them into cubes or halves.
- Put the pieces of horse apples in the rooms of your house, particularly in the areas where your pets lie. Use them for your outdoor perimeter too.
- Leave them for 2-3 months, even when they dry out.
You probably have noticed a pattern among home remedies for fleas – using ingredients that smell or taste horrible for fleas. The same goes with eucalyptus, which contains the active ingredient cineole. Owing to this substance, eucalyptus leaves and oil have the strong scent that wards off fleas.
- Pour water in a small, 8-10 ounce spray bottle.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of eucalyptus oil.
- Spray all over your home, insisting on the places your pet stays.
- Repeat 3 times weekly to keep fleas away and a fresh scent in your home.
Both lavender leaves and oil work as home remedies for fleas on dog. Lavender contains linalool, a terpene alcohol that gives the plant its powerful aroma. As you can probably expect, fleas detest the scent and will stay away from it.
- Boil 1 cup of lavender leaves in 3-4 cups of water.
- Allow it to steep overnight.
- Use as a spray the following morning on your pet’s fur.
- Use 1-2 drops of lavender oil in 500 milliliters of water as an alternative.
- Apply it in the same way as you would lavender water.
14. Coconut Oil
Lastly, this home remedy for killing fleas is also healthy for your dog’s fur. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a substance that keeps fleas away from your pet. Furthermore, the lauric acid in coconut oil provides its great antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It is safe and non-toxic for pets.
- Melt a bit of coconut oil until you get enough to lather your hands with.
- Apply to your dog’s coat thoroughly, massaging into the skin.
- Go through the fur with a flea comb afterward.
- Apply this remedy daily for 1-2 weeks for flea removal.
As a final note, home remedies for fleas are an excellent natural alternative for dangerous chemical flea repellents. However, a severe case of fleas should always get professional medical attention. If you find that your pup or kitty still has fleas after 1 week or so of use, go to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
As for those with positive experiences, which method worked the best for your four-legged family member? Share with other pet owners below!
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