How can you get rid of fleas in house fast? If you are a pet owner, the thought of your beloved cat or dog catching fleas is a constant strain on your mind.
These parasites feed off the blood of animals and can easily become a problem in your home, biting both you and your furry friends.
Relative to their size, fleas can jump further than any other insect. If an average sized human had the same jumping ability of a flea, they would be able to jump 295 feet across and 160 feet high!
Flea bite on humans are quite rare, the majority of the time it’s your beloved pets which come victim to flea bites.
They aren’t particular painful compared to wasp stings but you will become aware once you have been bitten. As with all insect bites, itchiness and swelling will occur around the bitten area.
These wingless, creepy insects called fleas can give you sleepless nights! Fleas love to survive on warm vertebrates places, even you can be their hosts.
One reason for their overwhelming presence in your house is the fact that the eggs of fleas can get dropped anywhere inside your house. These eggs then turn into larvae and finally into fleas.
What’s irritating is that flea eggs can remain dormant for over a year and that’s why sometimes when you have treated your home and felt as if it is now fleas free, they appear from nowhere! And that’s why you need to be on a regular watch and clean your home frequently once you have eliminated fleas.
Here are some effective home remedies for fleas with which you can not only kill the fleas but can also control their recurrence.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Fleas
1. Flea Trap Remedy to Catch Fleas with Dish-washing Liquid
If you want to get rid of fleas, this seems the easiest way to catch and kill the monstrous fleas, yes a flea trap! If you give a bath to your dog with a dishwashing liquid, you’ll be able to kill the fleas on its body too. However, a flea trap will enable you to clean up your entire house of fleas.
- Dishwashing liquid
- Dinner plates or bowls
- Tea candles
- Warm water
- At night, place a plate or a bowl in each of your rooms, preferably in the middle of the room. Place it on the floor.
- Now fill them with warm water. If you are using a bowl, fill it partly and if using a plate, fill it to the brim.
- Now add dishwashing liquid to this water. Use a good amount of it, about a capful.
- Place one tea candle in the centre of each plate. If using the bowl, you may not be able to place the candle inside it. You can place the candle near the bowl.
- Now light the candles.
- The fleas get attracted towards the light. When they jump towards the light, they will get stuck in the high viscosity of the liquid with soap. This way, fleas will get trapped and die.
- You may dispose off the bodies in the morning.
- If your house is badly infected with fleas, you may continue to do this for 3-4 nights.
Warning: As you are using fire at night when applying this home remedy to trap fleas, you should be extra cautious. You may like to stay awake till all the candles get extinguished. Also, do not let your pets and children roam freely when you have laid a trap with soapy water and lit candles in the middle of each room.
2. Herbal Flea Spray to Get Rid of Fleas from Your House
If you have been thinking of a flea bomb loaded with chemicals to eliminate fleas from your house, you must reconsider once and give a try to this herbal spray instead.
This homemade flea spray uses such ingredients as lemon juice and witch hazel. They are entirely safe for your pets and kids. Here’s the recipe for this herbal flea spray.
- Vinegar- 1 gallon (a little less than 4 litres)
- Water- ½ gallon (a little less than 2 litres)
- Lemon juice- 16 oz. (a little less than 500 ml)
- Witch hazel- 8 oz. (a little less than 250 ml)
- Fresh vacuum bag- 1
- Home and Garden Sprayer- 1 (this sprayer should be able to hold at least 6-7 litres at a time)
You need to do the vacuuming and then spraying with the flea spray.
- Collect everything that cannot be vacuumed and wash it at the hottest setting of your washer. This kills even the larvae and eggs of fleas.
- Now vacuum properly. Vacuum each corner, upholstery as well as services with the help of various vacuum attachments. Use the fresh vacuum bag. This ensures unrestricted air flow. Debris that collects from earlier vacuuming may hamper smooth air flow.
- Now mix vinegar, water, lemon juice and witch hazel.
- Fill this liquid mix into the garden sprayer.
- Spray using a heavy spray.
- Spray your carpets, furniture, pet bedding, window sills, floors, every nook and corner of your house.
- Do this daily for at least 2-7 days depending upon how bad is the flea infestation in your home.
- When fleas become less noticeable, you may then repeat every 3-4 days and thereafter once a week throughout the flea season.
If you start using this non-toxic spray just when the flu season is approaching, you will need to spray only once a week throughout the flea season.
3. Salt Remedy to Get Rid of Fleas
As common an ingredient as salt can get you rid of tough fleas, especially from your carpets. How does it happen? Salt becomes a dehydration agent for fleas and dries out their bodies. So, how to use this inexpensive way to control fleas? Here’s what you need to do.
- Table salt or any of the sea salts (you will need lots of it depending on the size of an area where you need to sprinkle salt to kill fleas)
- Large spice bottle with a shaker top
- See if your salt is finely ground or not. If not, grind it to get a fine salt powder.
- Fill up your spice bottle with this salt leaving a little room on the top so that you can shake and sprinkle the salt with it.
- Sprinkle the salt over your carpets in each room. The salt should cover the area evenly.
- Leave for 12 to 48 hours.
- After 1-2 days, vacuum thoroughly.
4. Boric Acid Remedy to Get Rid of Fleas
Boric acid, more or less, works like salt when it comes to eliminating fleas. It acts as a desiccant or a dehydrating agent which causes severe dehydration in fleas due to which they are killed. You need to sprinkle boric acid wherever you doubt there may be fleas, their larvae or eggs.
- Boric acid
- A shaker (like one that is used for spices or Castor sugar)
You may even like to make your own shaker by taking an empty container with plastic lid. If doing so, prick the lid with a pointed needle or a similar tool to make holes in it.
Place some pebbles into the container to prevent caking of boric acid when it is stored away. Now fill 2/3 of this container with boric acid and your homemade shaker filled with boric acid is ready! Don’t forget to label it in bold with ‘BORIC ACID’
- Fill the shaker with boric acid. The rule for label applies here too. Anyone can take boric acid for some look-alike kitchen ingredient. So, label it as ‘Boric acid’ before using it.
- Vacuum the carpets, upholstery etc. where you want to sprinkle boric acid and remove all the objects like bags, toys, shoes, etc from the scene.
- Sprinkle the boric acid powder in thin layers. For this, shake the container and apply a little powder on the area like on the carpet. Now take a soft brush and work the acid into the carpet pile. For upholstery, you can use hand brush and work down into the gaps. Remember, boric acid can discolour fabrics. So, test it before you apply this remedy. Don’t forget to sprinkle the furniture.
- Leave for 12-48 hours.
- Now vacuum all the areas and surfaces treated with boric acid.
- Keep on vacuuming regularly. As you have worked the acid down into the carpets and upholstery, it will continue to kill the fleas.
- After a month or so, you can wash your carpets, upholstery etc.
Precaution: Although boric acid is low in toxicity for human beings and pets too, it should be used cautiously when kids and pets are around. Keep it away from food items and also out of reach of kids. Don’t sprinkle boric acid on counter-tops, especially in the kitchen where food is prepared.
5. Use Diatomaceous Earth to Control Fleas
Now, what is this Diatomaceous Earth (DE)? It is the microscopic remains of fossilized algae, diatoms. It is a very fine powder, just like flour. Diatoms are the type of algae that can be found in freshwater as well as in saltwater.
But how does this Diatomaceous Earth kill fleas? The cell walls of Diatom are made of silica which in turn is a component of glass. The exoskeleton or the hard shell of fleas or such other insects are vulnerable to the sharp edges of microscopic diatoms. The silica shards in DE cut through the hard shell of fleas and dry them out.
This leads to the death of fleas as well as of their larvae. What is more important is that DE is non-toxic to human beings and animals. But the only one which belongs to food grade category and not the one used for pool filtration systems.
How to use Diatomaceous earth to get rid of fleas?
Here are the steps that you should follow to use Diatomaceous earth to kill fleas.
- Brush off all your carpets and vacuum thoroughly. Wash off everything that you can’t vacuum, with hot water in your washer.
- Now wherever you think the fleas or their larvae might hide, sprinkle the DE in thin layers. You can safely sprinkle DE on your carpets, pet beddings etc.
- Leave the Diatomaceous earth in all these places for about 12-48 hours. While fleas start dying 4-6 hours after you treat your home with DE, it’s still better to leave the thing for longer.
- Now vacuum away all the powder and remember to discard the vacuum bag.
- You may even use this Diatomaceous earth in your yard but this will need a large quantity of the powder.
Precaution: Always buy the food grade DE. While this Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, it is still a fine powder that may get messy and irritate your eyes or throat.
So, it is desirable to wear a face mask while working with any such fine talc-like powder. Don’t ever buy DE used for pool filtration systems as they are hazardous when breathed in.
Diatomaceous Earth, however, is not so effective in humid environments and also when it is wet. Use it in dry form only. Try to avoid DE from coming in contact with the skin of your pets as this may dry out their skin.
6. Use Pennyroyal Herb to Repel Fleas
There are many varieties of the pennyroyal herb. European pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) and American pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegiodes) have been traditionally used to deter fleas.
However, pennyroyal which belongs to the mint family is dangerous for human and animal health. Native Americans had been using this herb for abortion. Dogs and cats too can face fertility problems if this herb is used for them.
They may even die if the pennyroyal essential oil is licked by them or its leaves are chewed by them. However, when you don’t want to kill fleas and just want to repel them, you may like to use pennyroyal. But use it with all precautions.
Ways to use pennyroyal for fleas
- Grow pennyroyal plant around your yard, especially where your dogs love to be. However, safeguard them in a way that they stay out of their reach.
- Crush a handful of fresh pennyroyal leaves in a mortar and pestle till the leaves release oil and aroma. Tie this paste of pennyroyal leaves in a cheesecloth. Be careful about not dropping any juice of the leaves. Hang this cheesecloth in your room or any other place which is badly infested by fleas. Ensure to keep it out of reach of the children and pets. Also, let your family members know about this herb and how you are using it so that they do not try to experiment with it in any way.
- Pour 1-3 drops of pennyroyal essential oil onto your dog’s collar. Tie this collar to around your dog’s neck in such a way that oil doesn’t come in contact with your pet’s skin. If you see the dog itching or any other sign of allergy, remove the collar.
- Place a small amount of dried pennyroyal herb into some tea bags. Leave these tea bags on the floor. If you have kids and pets around, keep them at a height where they cannot reach these tea bags.
- You may sew cloth tubes filled with dried pennyroyal and use them as collars for your cat.
7. Use Rosemary for Flea Control
If your house is not badly infested by fleas but yes if it’s irritating due to even a mild flea infestation, you can use the herb rosemary for controlling such flea problem in your home. You can use rosemary for flea control in several ways, as a powder, a rinse, or an oil.
While dogs can be washed with rosemary water (made by boiling rosemary leaves in water), cats should not be given this treatment due to certain reactions in them. Rosemary oil can be poured (only a couple of drops) in your pet’s collar.
However, because we are discussing flea control for the overall house, here’s a recipe for rosemary powder that you can use anywhere in your home.
How to make rosemary herbal flea powder at home?
Equal parts of:
- Coffee grinder or mortar and pestle
- Take all the herbs and grind them together using a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder.
- Grind them till they become the fine powder.
- Sprinkle this herbal powder on your carpet, furniture, pet’s bedding, below furniture, window sills or anywhere else where you think there may be fleas.
- This is a natural flea repellent and not a way to kill fleas.
8. Homemade Flea Spray for Flea Control
While you can get lots of flea spray in the market, they all contain chemicals that can be hazardous in a long term. You can make your own herbal flea spray with such natural ingredients as lemons, rosemary and certain essential oil. Here’s the recipe.
- Lemons (thinly sliced)- 6
- Rosemary leaves- from a handful of sprigs
- Boiling water- 1 litre
- Geranium essential oil- 3-4 drops
- Spraying bottle- 1
- Take a large bowl and place lemon slices in it.
- Take off the rosemary leaves from sprigs and chop them.
- Add the chopped rosemary leaves to the lemon slices in the bowl and also add boiling water and geranium oil
- Cover and leave overnight.
- In the morning, strain the water and fill it in the sprayer.
- Your homemade citrus flea spray is ready to be used.
- Spray the solution on your furniture, bedding and anywhere you want to. As it is a safe herbal solution, you can even use it for your dog’s bedding. This spray will repel the fleas.
9. Citronella Essential Oil for Flea Control in Home
Citronella oil has been used traditionally as a natural flea repellent. It is a volatile oil derived from the stem of the plant Cymbopogon nardus (Ceylon citronella) or Cymbopogon winteratus (Java type citronella) along with greenish blue lemon-scented leaves.
It is a safe oil to be used not only for pets but also for human beings. Citronella oil effectively repels insects such as fleas and ticks, mosquitoes, black flies etc.
You can mop your floors with a mixture of essential oils with citronella oil as one of the key ingredients. This will keep fleas away from your home.
How to use citronella essential oil for flea control?
- Citronella oil- 20 drops
- Tea tree oil- 10 drops
- Lemongrass oil- 10 drops
- Geranium oil- 5 drops
- Warm water- 1 gallon
- Vacuum your entire house properly and discard the vacuum bag.
- Take the warm water and mix all the essential oils with this.
- Mop the floors of your house with this water.
- For the first few days, mop every day with this scented water. Thereafter, you can do once a week to keep the fleas as well as mosquitoes away from your home.
10. Horse Apples for Flea Control
Horse apple (Maclura pomifera) belongs to the mulberry family and is commonly known as Osage orange. The other names of horse apple include hedge apple, monkey ball, bois d’arc, bodark, or bodock. Traditionally, horse apples have been used for repelling insects. You may also try this out.
- You may take whole horse apples or cut them into halves or sections.
- Place the fruit or the pieces all around your house, in rooms, hallway, window sills and even in yards.
- Place one fruit in each room.
- This fruit lasts for about two to three months in the air-conditioned environment.
- Some say the ripe horse apple works better and others say the raw ones do well. Forgetting the best out of the fruit, use the green ones and let them be there till they dry out. They continue to be effective even when they are wholly dried out.
- These fruits not only control fleas but also other insects and rodents including field mouse, grass snake etc.
Whatever home remedies for flea control you decide to apply, it’s better to begin with the arrival of flea season or even before this season starts.
Once your home gets infested with fleas, it becomes harder to get rid of them. Preventing the fleas from developing at the first instance will help you a lot in your efforts for flea control.
boric acid, food grade diatomaceous earth, pennyroyal plant (acts as repelling to fleas), essential oils (like rosemary oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass or citronella), etc