If you’re looking for ways to get rid of fleas without having to use chemical pesticide treatments, then read on, as the flea home remedies and the simple homemade flea trap below will soon have your pets and household flea free.
Whilst fleas are a major concern for most pet owners, some people consider fleas to be nothing more than a minor ailment for your pet; however, if left unchecked fleas can wreak havoc on pets and humans alike.
Fleas are problematic as they survive on blood. In fact, a female flea can consume up to 15 times per body weight in blood every day. Fleas are not only a nuisance, but they can also cause serious health complications, such as tapeworms, anaemia and flea allergy dermatitis, known as FAD. Although they are wingless, these pests can easily jump from pet-to-pet or from pet-to-human, and from room to room around your home.
Flea Home Remedies
The following home remedies for fleas were chosen for their effectiveness and safety. The majority of flea infestations can be controlled and eliminated via these natural methods. To be honest, you don’t really need to look any further than remedy #1 (DE powder) and remedy #2 (homemade flea trap), but the other home remedies are included here, as they are popular and reported to be effective.
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Remedy #1 |Get Rid of Fleas With Diatomaceous Earth Powder
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is actually comprised of ancient algae fossils. Upon contact, the microscopic fossils actually penetrate through the fleas outer shell and are then soaked into their bodies. Due to the dehydrating effect of DE, fleas are dried out and ultimately destroyed. This remedy is so powerful, DE is often the primary ingredient in all-natural pest cleaners.
Important note: only purchase and use ‘food grade’ diatomaceous earth powder. Other forms of DE, for example, pool DE, can have added harmful chemicals. ‘Food grade’ DE should be clearly labelled as such ‘food grade’.
To utilize this remedy, thoroughly vacuum every room in your home. After cleaned, sprinkle an even layer of DE throughout every room of your home. Focus on areas where humans and pets congregate as this is typically where fleas rest. After the DE powder has rested for 48 hours, vacuum clean. Repeat as many times as necessary to eliminate an entire flea colony. DE really is one of the most effective natural home remedies for fleas, but an added bonus around the home is it also kills ants, spider and cockroaches too!
When initially treating your home for a flea infestation, DE powder is best used together with one or more of the homemade flea traps (remedy #2) below.
If anyone in your household suffers from chronic allergies or skin conditions, it is might best to treat/test one room first (before doing the whole house!) and check for any reactions. DE is considered safe for household use, but you can never be too careful if anyone in your household suffers from a chronic condition.
Using Diatomaceous Earth Powder Directly On Pets?
Food grade diatomaceous earth powder has been used on livestock, all over the world, for decades. It is widely considered safe to use on pets as well. The main caution with using DE on pets is that inhalation of DE should be avoided by humans and pets, as it can cause respiratory irritation, so be mindful of this when using DE powder.
If you are worried about skin irritation and want to be doubly careful with your pet, try treating a small area of your dog/cat with DE powder for a few days, to see if there is any skin reaction. If all is well, you can proceed to apply the DE powder head-to-foot, being careful around the head area, so that the DE is inhaled. You may need to repeat every few days for heavy flea infestation.
Personally, given DE’s effectiveness at killing fleas, I really cannot see the point in purchasing harmful pesticides and spraying them all over your home. Diatomaceous earth is a safer, natural alternative, that is equally lethal to fleas.
Remedy #2| Homemade Flea Trap
Although there are many commercial flea traps available on the market, they can be quite expensive and I don’t think they really work any better than this simple DIY flea trap. Also, this homemade flea trap costs next to nothing to make as it uses everyday items to effectively catch and trap fleas throughout your home.
How to make a homemade flea trap
- Place a baking tray or plate filled with warm water in the middle of the room.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to the water and agitate to make the water soapy.
- Place 1 tea candle in a jar, in the centre of the baking tray/plate and leave overnight. Throughout the night, fleas are attracted to the heat and light coming from the candle. When they jump toward it, they land in the water and drown. This is due to the dish soap breaking the surface tension of the water
- Us this DIY Flea trap for three to four consecutive nights, or until you do not wake up to flea bodies in the water.
Homemade flea trap caution – don’t allow pets to access the area the DIY flea trap is located in. They may drink the soapy water, or burn themselves on the candle. If you don’t want to use a candle, you can also try standing an adjustable lamp on the floor, with the light shining into the centre of the baking trap/plate. Pets should still be excluded from the area due to the danger of the proximity of the lamp to the water in the flea trap.
Below is a photo of our DIY homemade flea trap. To be honest, this old baking tray has much higher sides than our other two traps. I’d have assumed that lower sides would be better, as it’s easier for the fleas to see the light, but this trap works just fine Quick and simple to make, and mighty effective!
If you have a heavy flea infestation, a simple DIY flea trap like this can catch dozens and dozens of fleas each night. The whole thing looks too simple to work but trust me if you have lots of fleas this simple homemade trap will catch lots of fleas.
Interestingly, this DIY trap also seems to attract and kill stink bugs! I may do a separate post on that after some more testing…
Remedy #3 | Homemade Flea Spray
If you wish to kill fleas throughout your home while leaving a pleasant scent in its wake, then you should use this homemade flea spray. Each of the ingredients is known to hold powerful anti-flea properties, capable of destroying fleas along the same lines as a chemical treatment without the harmful compounds.
To utilize this DIY flea spray, combine the following ingredients into a large container:
- 1 gallon of white vinegar
- 1/2 gallon of purified water
- 16 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 8 ounces of witch hazel essential oil
Once you’ve combined all of these ingredients, pour the solution into a standard handheld spray bottle. After vacuuming the room, spray a liberal amount of this solution throughout your room. Pay attention to corners where carpeting and walls meet. Repeat every day until the fleas have been eliminated.
Remedy #4 | Salt Powder Flea Home Remedy
Many ‘all-natural anti-flea powders’ utilize sodium as a means of eliminating these annoying pests. In the most fundamental sense, salt works to kill off fleas by penetrating its shells and dehydrating the fleas from the inside out. This is an effective, chemical-free, home remedy for fleas that is surprisingly easy and effective.
To utilize this remedy, simply purchase finely ground sea salt. In order to work, the salt must be ground to a fine powder. If your salt crystals are too large, grind until it’s a fine powder. The amount of salt you’ll need depends on the size of your room. Once the salt is finely ground, sprinkled throughout every room in your home. Make sure there is an even layer on the carpet. Allow the salt to rest for 48 hours before vacuuming. Repeat until your flea infestation has been eradicated.
Remedy #5 | Homemade Herbal Flea Powder
As you can see, the most effective home remedies for fleas call upon dry powders to penetrate flea shells for full eradication. If you wish to use the power of a flea powder, but without the use of irritating compounds, then you’ll want to utilize this herbal flea powder recipe. Begin by placing all the following ingredients into a coffee grinder:
- 1/2 cup of dried rosemary
- 1/2 cup of dried rue
- 1/2 cup of dried wormwood
- 1/2 cup of dried fennel
- 1/2 cup of dried peppermint leaves
Once all these ingredients are in the coffee grinder, grind them together until a fine powder forms. Remove from the coffee grinder and place in a resealable container. Sprinkle the powder throughout your home. Focus on areas where fleas are often found, but also sprinkle in less-active areas. This is an excellent powder to sprinkle around openings of your home, which makes it act as a flea repellent.
Allow the herbal flea powder to rest for 48 hours before vacuuming and repeating. Consider using this home remedy for fleas as an everyday preventative treatment; especially during the warmer months when fleas are most active.
Flea Home Remedy Summary
I believe that unless you have a heavy, heavy flea infestation, there is no need to purchase expensive pesticide flea treatments from stores or vets. The only downside to using DE powder and homemade flea traps is that they don’t kill flea eggs, whereas some pesticide sprays do. That said, DE powder and DIY flea traps cost next to nothing and they work extremely well for hatched fleas. Consistent use brings down flea numbers quickly and effectively.
Using DE powder and homemade flea traps may take a little longer to get a flea infestation under control, but once the hatched fleas are dead and no new eggs are laid, you are sorted. At this stage, you can probably stop using any homemade flea traps, but to stop fleas from returning, I would continue with the DE powder as ongoing maintenance.