If you are unsure about the difference between fleas and tickets, please check out our fleas and ticks page for a detailed comparison.
*Disclaimer* These home remedies for fleas are based upon circulating knowledge from various pet websites and forums, are purely for academic purposes only. Use at your own risk.
Home Remedies for Removing Fleas from Pets
Using Lavender Shampoo to Get Rid of Fleas
Lavender is a well known insect repellant, which is why it is a common ingredient in many types of commercial mosquito repellant sprays and lotions. You can use this fact to your advantage by using a lavender based shampoo to kill any fleas currently residing in your pet’s fur, or even your own hair! Washing hair regularly with lavender shampoo also works as a great preventative measure for fleas. And best of all, it smells great and no one will even know that the shampoo is specifically for fleas! Cloud Star’s Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner is a terrific shampoo for this job, and is highly recommended.
Effective and Cheaper Alternative to Frontline/Advantage for Pets
Frontline and Advantage are the two most popular choice for flea preventing on pets, but both are very costly, especially if you have a number of pets. A cheaper and just as effective alternative would be to apply Bayer Tree and Shrub Insect Control using a Q-tip to the shoulder blades of your pet (all the way down to skin, not just on top of the fur), just as you would with Advantage. Usually about a small amount of around apply a small amount like 10ml (about a teaspoon) is enough for one dog. The Bayer Tree and Shrub Insect Control is safe for use with pets and can be purchased in a large bottle for only $20 at walmart. Do NOT get the Bayer Tree and Shrub: Protect and Feed as it contains fertilizer, which some claim that the fertilizer version is poisonous. The correct Bayer Tree and Shrub’s picture is shown above. If you would like to try this alternative flea treatment out for your pet, we highly recommend that you first do a Google search of Bayer Tree and Shrub for Dogs for more information.
Using Liquid Dish Detergent to Kill Fleas on Pets
Liquid dish detergents in general are very effective in killing off fleas, but we specifically recommend Dawn’s dish detergent for washing pets, as that is what many animal rescue organizations use. Bathing your pet, or even your own hair, with Dawn’s dish detergent can be a safe and effective method for killing off fleas. This approach is most commonly used for dogs, but if you think you can handle washing your cat, just be sure to wash off the soap well afterwards. Do not wash your pet more than once a week or else it may be over drying!
Here are some easy steps for using dish detergent to washing your pet:
- -flea comb;
- -dawn dish detergent;
- -buckets (or shower head);
- -small wash rag;
- -oatmeal pet shampoo or pet fur conditioner (used afterwards).
- Place your pet in a bath tub of warm water.
- Wet your pet’s fur with clean water.
- Lather the detergent onto your pet’s fur, taking note of the head, neck, ears and face, as that is where many fleas will migrate to when you start the wash.
- Squeeze a SINGLE drop of dish detergent on your finger and very carefully massage it into the pet’s face, avoiding the eyes.
- Continue to massage the fur of your pet for a good 5 minutes, allowing the active ingredients of the soap to kill off any lingering fleas.
- Comb through the lathered soap with the special flea comb to remove any dead fleas, along with any lingering alive fleas, which should be pushed to the soap water to drown.
- Allow the dirty water to drain while rinsing your pet with the bucket filled with warm water, along with using a wet wash rag to clean any soap from the face.
- Finally, dry off your pet with a towel.
At this point keep in mind that in the process of cleaning your pet, you have stripped its skin and fur of its natural oil. To re-balance this you can either apply a pet conditioner or rewash your pet in an oatmeal pet shampoo to add moisture back to its skin/fur.
Home Remedies for Removing Fleas from Humans
Using Calamine Lotion to Treat Flea Bites
If you have a heavy infestation of fleas in your house, there is a good chance you also have issues of fleas on humans. Calamine lotion is a very gentle topical for irritated skin and is great for soothing the itchiness of flea bites. While it is not recommend for use on a pet (as the pet may lick it off), it is a great way to treat flea bites on humans. The natural of the calamine lotion even helps reduce the appearance of the bite marks!
Garlic as a Home Remedy for Fleas
Garlic is a controversial topic among the animal world, and there is always a lot of debate between pet owners whether garlic is safe for dogs and cats. Interestingly, a lot of high authority organizations claim that garlic is perfectly fine and a natural and organic form of flea control, but many other organizations believe that garlic is highly toxic to pets. One thing though is for sure; garlic repels fleas, and humans can eat garlic. That being said, if you eat a good amount of raw garlic, the fleas will stay far away from you, along with humans as well.
Home Remedies for Removing Fleas from Household Areas and Carpets
Using Pool Water to Kill Fleas
Assuming you don’t live in some remote part of the world, chances are there are at least a couple of local swimming pools nearby. And fortunately, pool water is an effective measure to destroying flea infestations due to the chlorine. This means you can simply spray pool water directly onto carpets infested with fleas to kill them quick and effectively. However, this is something that should be done fairly regularly like twice a day if you truly want to rid your house of a flea infestation. And if you happen to have fleas on yourself due to your pet, you can simply take a dip in the pool and relieve yourself of any lingering fleas.
Spraying Vinegar, Lemon Juice and Witch Hazel on Carpet
Spraying a mixture of these organic yet powerful astringents will make fleas die very quickly, and fortunately, it is safe enough to spray everywhere; even bedding and clothes!