If you’ve ever had fleas in your home, you know that they are an absolute nightmare. They can not only make your pets miserable, but they can also cause serious problems for humans too.
Fleas are known to carry diseases, and if your pet gets these diseases some of them can be passed on to you. You may even end up with an allergic reaction or eczema if a flea bites you and leaves behind some of its saliva in the bite wound.
Luckily there are many safe and effective home remedies for fleas that will help you get rid of these pesky little creatures once and for all!
In today’s article, we are covering 10 of our favorite home remedies for fleas that actually work!
But First, What Are Fleas?
Fleas are small parasitic insects.
Fleas are tiny, blood-sucking parasites that can infest dogs and cats. They can also infect other animals, including humans. Fleas are part of the insect family Siphonaptera, which includes over 2,500 species.
Though there are about 2,500 species of fleas, only a few species live on dogs, cats and other animals. The flea species that live on dogs, cats and other pets include the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis), dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) and Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis).
Although fleas are very small, they can be seen with the naked eye. These pests are reddish-brown to black in color and about 1/16 inch long. They have a flat body and short legs with much longer back legs designed for jumping. A flea’s mouth is designed for piercing the skin of an animal host and sucking blood, and the flea has a tube-like tongue that can be extended up to five times the length of its body.
The female flea lays up to 50 eggs per day, which she drops off a host into the environment. The eggs hatch within two days and begin to develop into larvae within 24 hours. Larvae feed on organic matter and hide in cracks and crevices until they mature into pupae (immature adult fleas). The pupae remain dormant until they sense a host nearby, then emerge as adults ready to reproduce and continue the life cycle.
The larvae of fleas look like small caterpillars with no legs. They feed on organic matter in the environment such as dead animal matter or feces, while adult fleas feed on blood from the animal host.
Fleas can live in many types of environments, including homes, yards and other areas where both people and animals gather. Some types of fleas live in warm climates year-round while others survive cold winters by burrowing into the ground to keep warm.
When asking about home remedies for fleas that actually work, it’s important to make sure you are following all the proper steps for flea removal. Though leas are small, they can be dangerous and have been known to spread diseases to not only pets like dogs and cats, but also to humans.
Flea bites alone often cause itching, and in some cases they can lead to more serious diseases, as we mentioned above.
In fact, fleas can transmit several serious diseases, including plague, Bartonella henselae (cat scratch fever), and murine typhus. They also may carry tapeworms.People with certain health conditions are at increased risk of developing serious complications from flea bites or exposure to flea feces.
Unfortunately, fleas are very common in a variety of environments, so the best form of flea protection is using home remedies for fleas that work as well as different types of preventative measures.
But where do fleas come from, and why might your home be more at risk than others? Keep reading to find out.
Where Do Fleas Come From?
Fleas are common in yards and care often brought in by wild animals.
In order to properly manage a flea problem on your property, it helps to have a good understanding of why you’re dealing with fleas in the first place.
As we mentioned above, fleas are common in most parts of the world, so it can be very tricky to keep them at bay entirely. However, there may be a few things about your home or property that could be attracting more fleas than usual.
A few common things that could bring more fleas around include:
Unkempt Lawns – Fleas love tall grass because it provides them with cover from predators like birds, who would otherwise eat them. In addition, the taller grass offers more places for the female flea to lay eggs and overwinter (if necessary). You should always keep your lawn trimmed short if you live in an area where these pests are common.
Fruit trees – Fruit trees such as apple trees, pear trees and cherry trees are another favorite place for fleas to lay their eggs because they offer shade and protection from predators such as birds and cats. Furthermore, fallen fruit from fruit trees can attract hungry wild animals which can in turn bring more fleas to your property.
Wild Animals – And speaking of wild animals, these are some of the most common hosts of fleas. Wild animals such as raccoons, squirrels, opossums or rats can carry flea eggs on their fur which then drop off into your yard when they groom themselves. This can cause an infestation of fleas at any time of year but especially during warmer months when these wild animals are more active in our yards.
Garbage – Garbage attracts all types of pests including rats and raccoons, which carry flea eggs on their fur which then drop off into your yard when they groom themselves, as we mentioned above.
Debris – Fleas love to live in debris and can thrive in piles of leaves or mulch. Clean up any debris as soon as possible to prevent an infestation from taking hold.
Unprotected pets – Fleas are attracted to pets like dogs and cats, and pets that are not protected with a flea preventative are most vulnerable for flea infestations. Once pets are infested with fleas, they can bring them into your home.
Animal Feces – The feces of wild animals and even waste from pets such as cats and dogs can attract fleas. The waste contains proteins and carbohydrates, which are crucial for the survival and growth of fleas. If you don’t clean up after your pets, it can lead to a greater risk of having fleas in your yard.
So, now that you know why you might have fleas on your property, it’s time to talk about how to get rid of them. Here are 10 of the best home remedies for fleas that actually work!
1) DIY Lemon Spray Flea Repellent
A DIY lemon spray is a quick and easy way to get rid of fleas.
Lemon has long been used as a natural insect repellent. It works well on fleas and ticks, but it will also repel ants, cockroaches and mosquitoes. Lemon spray is an easy way to keep your home and pets safe from fleas and ticks without using harsh chemicals. For this reason, a DIY lemon spray is first on our list of home remedies for fleas.
But why do fleas hate lemon? Fleas are very sensitive to citrus scents like lemons, limes and oranges. They don’t like the smell of these fruits or their oils, so they’ll avoid them whenever possible. This makes lemon oil a great option for keeping your pet free from fleas and ticks because it’s all-natural, inexpensive and easy to use.
To make this spray to keep fleas away, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of witch hazel
- 30 drops of lemon essential oil (or 15 drops each of lemon and eucalyptus)
Add all of the above ingredients into a spray bottle and it shake well before each use. Spray this in areas you suspect flea activity including around your pet’s bedding, your bedding, on carpets, and around your home and yard. Avoid direct contact with light colored clothing or furniture, as the oil can stain.
Store the bottle in a cool place out of direct sunlight and do not refrigerate it.
2) Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has a strong scent that repels fleas and other pests.
Another all-natural product you can use to get rid of pests that belongs on our list of home remedies for fleas is peppermint oil.
Peppermint is a perennial herb with a strong aroma that contains menthol and menthone, which are responsible for its distinctive scent. These compounds have antioxidant, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antiviral and analgesic properties that can help treat a wide range of health issues.
It has a strong scent that repels the insects naturally. It is made from the peppermint plant, which belongs to the mint family. The essential oil is extracted from leaves and flowers by steam distillation or cold pressing. Peppermint oil has many uses outside of pest control, and is often used as a form of aromatherapy, skin care, and more.
However, it also works wonders when it comes to home remedies for fleas, spiders, roaches, ants, mice, and even rats!
The strong aroma of peppermint oil irritates the respiratory system of fleas, making them disoriented and unable to reproduce. In addition, this essential oil also kills eggs, larvae and pupae of fleas on contact.
To use peppermint oil to repel fleas, you have a few options.
How To Use Cotton Balls And Peppermint Oil For Flea Control
Grab a few cotton balls and soak them in peppermint oil. Then leave these cotton balls around your home and around areas you suspect flea activity. Replace these cotton balls with freshly soaked cotton balls once every two to three days.
How To Make Your Own Peppermint Oil Spray To Repel Fleas
Making your own flea repellent peppermint oil spray is a great way to repel fleas and ticks. This homemade flea repellent is safe and effective, and it will not harm your pets.
- 1 cup water
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
Combine the water and peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray directly on your pets as needed to repel fleas and ticks.
3) Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural product that can kill fleas quickly by dehydrating them.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. It consists of the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are hard-shelled algae. When crushed into a powder, DE’s sharp edges act like razor blades and cut through the shells of insects’ exoskeletons. As they dry out, insects like fleas will die from dehydration.
This is why Diatomaceous Earth is one of our top contenders for home remedies for fleas. Of course, it can also work against other hard-bodied insects like roaches, ants, earwigs, and beetles. Best of all, DE is completely naturally and perfectly safe to use around pets and people.
Diatomaceous Earth has many other uses outside of pest control, which is why you may already have it at hand somewhere in a closet or pantry.
In fact, Diatomaceous earth is used as an abrasive in products like toothpaste and cosmetics. It’s also used in agriculture as a soil amendment and in livestock feed to prevent intestinal parasites from developing. In addition, it’s used as a filter aid when filtering water or other liquids.
For getting rid of fleas, though, you can simply use the powdered form of Diatomaceous Earth. Sprinkle it around your home and in areas you suspect flea activity. Wait 24 hours, then vacuum the powder up. You can use it as often as you need to in order to control fleas around your home and yard.
4) Baking Soda
Baking soda is a staple in many kitchens and can be used to get rid of fleas and ants.
Baking soda is a versatile ingredient that can be used for cooking and cleaning. It is also effective in getting rid of pests. It is an alkaline salt that’s safe for humans, pets, and the environment. It also has various other uses around the house.
For this reason, baking soda is another one of the easiest and most effective home remedies for fleas you can use. We also like that baking soda is inexpensive and easy to find, and it’s also safe to use around children and pets when used properly.
To use baking soda for fleas, follow the below directions:
First, sprinkle some baking soda on carpets and rugs around the house. Scrub it into the carpeting with a broom or an old toothbrush.
Leave the baking soda overnight, then vacuum up the next day. Repeat this process once per week until all fleas are gone.
Salt naturally dehyrdates pests like fleas.
Salt is one of the best home remedies for fleas because it contains high levels of sodium chloride which is known to kill fleas by dehydrating them. It also helps to control their population by killing off adult fleas before they breed again.
To get rid of fleas using salt, follow these steps:
Spread finely ground salt on your carpets and rugs in the areas where you have seen the fleas. Leave the salt there overnight so that it can kill the fleas. You can also mix a couple of tablespoons of salt in half a bucketful of water and use this as an alternative way to get rid of fleas. If you have pets at home, remove them from the area you are treating before sprinkling salt on carpets or rugs as they may lick it off later on when they come back inside after playing outside. Though small amounts of salt won’t hurt your pet, too much can be harmful.
Remove salt and dead fleas using your vacuum after 12 hours or so. After vacuuming up the fleas and salt, sprinkle more salt over these areas again. Repeat the process as needed until you no longer notice flea activity.
6) Dish Soap
Liquid dish soap can be used a few different ways to get rid of fleas.
Dish Soap is a great way to kill fleas, so we’ve added it to our list of home remedies for fleas you can use that work. You can use dish soap in your home and, when properly diluted, even on your pets. The downside to using dish soap as one of your home remedies for fleas is that it doesn’t always kill them unless they make direct contact. It’s more of a case of getting the soap onto the flea and letting it do its work, so this can be a time consuming process.
Dishsoap works against fleas because it surrounds their bodies and suffocates them. In order for this method to be effective, you will need to spray fleas directly with dish soap. You can do this by making your own dish soap spray, which we will talk about further down, in order to get rid of fleas in your home and yard.
You can also get rid of fleas on your pets by washing them in warm water and using dish soap like Dawn Liquid Dish Soap, which is safe to use on pets if needed for flea control. (Please note you should not use liquid dish soap of any kind as a routine form of shampoo for your dog or cat).
To make your own dish soap spray as one of your home remedies for fleas, follow the below instructions:
- 5 to 10 drops of liquid dish soap
- 2 cups of water
- 1 spray bottle
Combine the above ingredients into your spray bottle and shake the mixture until it is sudsy. Then spray this mixture around your home and around areas you have noticed flea activity. If at all possible, try and spray it directly on fleas in order to kill them more quickly.
7) Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil is a common ingredient in cleaning supplies and natural insect repellent.
You might be familiar with the smell of rosemary oil. It’s a common ingredient in homemade cleaning products, and it’s even used as a flavoring in some foods. Rosemary oil has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for many health conditions. It’s even been found to have anti-aging benefits!
Rosemary oil is also an excellent flea repellent, but you should use it carefully when using it as one of your home remedies for fleas in order for it to be effective.
Rosemary oil is extracted from the leaves and shoots of the rosemary plant by steam distillation. It is a light yellowish green color, with a strong camphor-like odor. The oil contains many components, including eucalyptol, camphor, methyl cineole, borneol and bornyl acetate. Many of these ingredients are natural insecticides and insect repellents, meaning rosemary oil can be useful in repelling not only fleas, but also mosquitoes, ants, and roaches.
To use rosemary oil as one of the home remedies for fleas that works, you can make either a spray or you can use saturated cotton balls the same way you would if you were using peppermint oil.
To make a spray, simply add 5 to 15 drops of rosemary oil to two cups of water, then add these ingredients to a spray bottle. For extra killing power, you can even add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the mix.
Then spray this mixture around your home and in areas you have noticed or suspect flea activity. Repeat this process once every two to three days for the best results.
Vacuuming can quickly eliminate both dead and living fleas.
A vacuum is one of the most common household cleaning items we have in American households, so chances are you have one tucked away somewhere. And if you’ve noticed fleas, then a vacuum is also one of the quickest home remedies for fleas you have up your sleeve.
While using a vacuum for flea removal is self-explanatory, there are a few tips we have to help ensure you are capturing and disposing of the fleas most effectively.
First, be sure you know what to look for when it comes to flea activity and where to look. Remember that fleas can hide in a variety of places around your home, but they prefer living in carpets, pet bedding, and even in plush toys.
When using the vacuum as one of your home remedies for fleas, be sure you Check the vacuum bag after each use. If you find any live fleas, throw away the bag and replace it with a new one. You should also run the vacuum over all areas where you have seen dead or dying fleas. You may need to move furniture and other objects if they are in the way of the vacuum cleaner’s path.
Make sure you vacuum floors, carpets, furniture and draperies thoroughly and frequently (even daily if possible). Change the bag or empty the dirt cup often at least once every 30 minutes so that you do not spread any live fleas around while cleaning up dead ones.
9) Flea Repellent Plants
Lavender is a beautiful plant that repels a wide variety of pests including fleas.
Using home remedies for fleas can be helpful, but it’s also helpful to use home remedies that work not only to get rid of current fleas, but also repel any future ones. One of the best ways you can do this is to consider using companion planting.
Companion planting is the process of planting specific types of plants in your yard or garden along with your ornamental plants to help repel pests like fleas.
Some of the best flea repellent plants you should consider planting in your garden include:
Lavender: This herbaceous plant can be grown as an annual or perennial depending on where you live. It’s easy to care for, tolerates poor soil conditions and requires little maintenance once established. The flowers have a strong scent that bugs don’t like, including fleas! Lavender grows best in full sun or partial shade with well-drained soil that’s slightly sandy or rocky.
Thyme: Thyme is a perennial herb that grows around two feet tall and has small leaves with white flowers. Thyme may be grown indoors or outdoors but it prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. The essential oil from thyme can be used as a flea repellent for pets as well.
Marigolds: Marigolds are one of the most popular flowers, coming in many different colors including gold, orange, pink, red and yellow. Marigolds also come in different sizes ranging from dwarf varieties to giant varieties that can grow up to 12 inches tall! They are annual plants that grow best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade as well. Marigold petals have been found effective at repelling fleas, ants, roaches, and other pests from your garden.
Catnip: This perennial herb has been used for centuries by humans and cats alike to ward off fleas and other pests. It can be grown as an annual in colder climates, but does well in zones 4 to 9 and needs full sun or partial shade. Catnip can get up to three feet tall and has leaves that smell like mint with a hint of lemon. It blooms from June until September, so you’ll have plenty of time to harvest it before frost hits in fall.
10) Protect Your Pets
Protecting your dogs and cats is one of the most effective ways you can prevent fleas.
Last on our list of top home remedies for fleas is a simple one – be sure you protect your pets year-round from these pests! Remember, fleas can be tricky to get rid of because they are so common in so many different environments.
Furthermore, they can cause serious diseases that can be spread from pets to people. Fleas in the home are most commonly caused by transfer from infested pets, and protecting your pets is an easy and effective method of flea control.
You have many options you can choose from when it comes to how to best protect your pets from fleas, but some of our favorites include flea collars, chews, and even natural methods like the use of peppermint-sprayed bandanas or flea repellent pet shirts that are worn when pets are outdoors.
If you’re not sure which flea repellent would be best for your dog or cat, talk with your veterinarian to help you decide.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas For Good – Best Methods
Choosing the best method of flea control for you can take time and research.
Fleas are a common problem for pets and their owners. Although there are several ways to eliminate fleas, it is important to choose the right method for your situation.
Unfortunately, getting rid of fleas is not a simple task, and it’s important to choose the best method for getting rid of them, especially if you’re looking at getting rid of fleas in your home.
Here are a few different methods you can use to get rid of fleas.
Home remedies for fleas is what this article is really focused on, but it’s important to remember that there are pros and cons to using home remedies alone for flea control. Though many home remedies for fleas on our above list can work well, a severe infestation may require you to use home remedies for fleas in conjunction with other methods like natural products, insecticides, or even contacting a professional pest control company for assistance.
If you’re worried about using chemicals or harsh ingredients that could be toxic for your family and pets, then natural products for flea control may be right for you. Natural products can also be used as flea repellents, but they may not always kill adult fleas, larvae, or their eggs. Furthermore, natural repellents may need to be used more often than insecticides in order to be effective, and they may be more costly. However, they can work effectively when used as directed.
When it comes to using insecticides to get rid of fleas, there are a few different methods and types you can choose from. You will choose different varieties of insecticides for flea removal depending on the location of your flea problem as well.
Professional Pest Control For Fleas:
If you notice you have a severe flea infestation around your property, it may be best to forgo using home remedies for fleas and to contact a professional instead. A professional pest control company will often use safe and effective methods to remove the fleas from your home or yard.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on best home remedies for fleas that actually work! Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.