There are over 2,000 flea species in the world and they are a major problem for the majority of pets and their owners. Flea infestations can get out of control very quickly because of the fact that they can produce up to 50 eggs per day. They are the most common external parasite that feeds on both pets and humans and can transmit and spread bacterial infections.
Nature has provided us with many ways to get rid of fleas and we want to share them with you. Here at Bright Side, we’ve collected 10 natural remedies that can help you get rid of this torturous infestation.
1. The rosemary flea dip
Rosemary contains very powerful active ingredients that can aid in the healing of flea bites while also creating an unpleasant environment for fleas to live. That’s why this mixture will cause them to leave your pet for good.
How to make it:
- Take two cups of Rosemary leaves and put them in a pan with 1 liter of water.
- Boil the mixture for 30 minutes.
- Strain the liquid and get rid of the leaves.
- Mix the liquid with 4.5 liters of warm water.
- Pour this over your pet and let it air dry, do not rinse!
2. Use flea combs.
A flea comb is one of the most effective ways to get rid of fleas. Unlike any other combs, the teeth of a flea comb are finely spaced allowing it to physically trap and remove fleas, flea eggs and flea dirt from your pet’s fur. After your pet’s fur is completely dry, comb through multiple times and cover the whole skin area to make sure you’ve gotten rid of the entire infestation.
How to use it:
- Prepare a bucket with hot water and dish soap mixed together. This is to rinse the flea comb as you work through your pet’s fur.
- Get a deep bucket and fill it halfway to prevent any of the fleas from jumping out.
- Place newspapers underneath your pet and the bucket to catch any escaping fleas.
- Start from the head, neck, and shoulders and work toward the back of your pet and the tail.
- Stroke the comb in the direction of the fur’s growth in order to remove fleas, flea eggs, dirt, and dead hair.
- Rinse the comb in the soapy water when you see it getting full.
- Continue down to the back, sides, and belly of your pet.
- Finish combing on the pets legs, tail and paws.
- Repeat 2-3 times and double check the belly, chin, and tail areas where fleas tend to hide.
- If you used the flea comb indoors make sure to vacuum the area.
3. Make your own flea collar.
Take your pet’s favorite collar that is also flexible and adjustable, and add a few drops of tea tree oil to the inside of it. According to the Mayo Clinic, tea tree oil is used topically to treat different kinds of infections and infestations such as fleas and dermatitis on your pet. However, be sure to use the oil ONLY topically, do NOT put it in the pet’s water or food to avoid a toxic reaction.
Use with caution:
- Do NOT put tea tree oil on cats. Cats have the ability to metabolize essential oils. Whether they inhale, ingest or absorb it through the skin, tea tree oil can be poisonous to them.
- Use only 1 drop of the product on your pet’s collar.
- Repeat weekly.
4. Keep a pennyroyal in the house.
Pennyroyal is also known as the mosquito plant in Europe. This is because it is a natural and very powerful insect repellent that smells like peppermint. Pennyroyal is applied to the skin to kill germs, keep insects away, and treat skin diseases. In addition to being used topically for gout, venomous bites, and mouth sores, it is also a great flea-killing remedy. While the pennyroyal can repel and get rid of fleas on your pet, excess amounts of it are toxic, especially in an oil form.
How to make it:
- Take 1 cup of leaves and crush them together until you create a paste-like texture.
- Add 1 liter of water to a pan and bring to a boil.
- Add the crushed leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Pour it all over your dog and let it air dry.
- After 1 hour, wash your dog and make sure they don’t eat or taste the mixture as it could be toxic when ingested.
- Do NOT use this mixture on cats since they can absorb the pennyroyal and be poisoned.
5. Citrus spray
Citrus is considered to be one of the most effective natural ways to get rid of fleas. A lot of natural flea killing sprays contain a citrus extract called D-limonene which is responsible for getting rid of fleas. Making your own homemade flea spray with lemon is very easy and with it, you can keep those insects away from your home, family, and pets.
How to make it:
- Get 3 lemons and slice them into thin disks.
- Get 1 liter of water, add it to a pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Add the sliced lemons to the pan and cover it.
- Have the lemons simmer in the water for 30 min before removing them from the fire.
- Leave them to soak in the same pan overnight for approximately 8 hours.
- Remove the lemons from the water.
- Set a strainer over a bowl and pour the lemon water through it.
- Spray it onto areas where you suspect fleas are present.
- Rub it over your pet’s fur and leave on – don’t wash it out!
- Repeat 2 times a month to keep fleas away.
6. Vinegar spray
Vinegar has been used for centuries to sanitize, clean and deodorize. Pet owners can use vinegar to deodorize their dogs and cats. However, this miraculous natural treatment is best used for getting rid of fleas. The best way to do this is to create a solution with water and spray it gently on the animal’s fur, bedding, the house and floors to kill fleas once and for all.
How to create the solution:
- In a spray bottle, add 1/4 distilled white vinegar.
- In the same bottle add 3/4 water.
- Shake well and spray gently on the fur of your pet.
- Leave on for 1-3 hours until your pet’s fur is dry.
- Rinse off.
- Repeat 2-3 times a week.
7. Sprinkle some salt.
Salt acts as a dehydration agent and dries out the fleas, altering the pH balance of the fluid that carries nutrition and oxygen in their bodies. In addition, it can kill the fleas’ eggs which makes this an ideal permanent and natural repellent. Salt is a relatively easy and affordable way to get rid of fleas and is also safe for all your house pets to be around.
How to use it:
- Identify the areas of infestation.
- Apply a generous amount of table salt to the infested areas.
- Do NOT remove! Let it stay on the infested area for 2-3 hours before vacuuming it up.
- Treat your pet to a nice salty bath.
- Vacuum up the salt and sweep it away.
- Repeat daily until the infestation is gone.
8. Keep a bowl of soapy water around.
When it comes to dealing with fleas and persistent infestations, it is important to consider multiple methods in order to exterminate them. Earlier we mentioned physical products and repellents you can use. However, it is important to set traps as well. Using water, soap, and light, you can create an incredibly effective flea trap.
Soap contains surfactants that lower the surface tension of water which will result in sinking and drowning – even when just a couple drops of soap are added to the water. Fleas are attracted to light and find its shining splendor irresistible, so using an aluminum pie pan to set the trap will work wonders.
How to do it:
- Fill an aluminum pie pan with water.
- Add 3-4 drops of dish soap.
- Place it on an area on the floor where the infestation is the most visible.
- Leave it there for 24 hours.
- Do this to multiple rooms in your house.
- Repeat every day until you see no more fleas in your house.
9. Use a lamp to attract fleas to your traps.
Fleas aren’t the smartest insects around so they’re very easy to trap. Using the water and dish soap trap we mentioned above, place a source of light above it to attract more fleas. This will actually help you monitor your progress. The more fleas you can see, the more you need to clean.
How to trap fleas:
- Place a directional lamp beside or on top of the trap.
- At night, before you go to bed, turn on the lamp and position it above the trap. The fleas will be attracted to the light and warmth, so when they jump toward the light they will fall into your trap.
- Use a heat producing bulb to attract most of the fleas.
- Use it in rooms where you can shut the door and keep your family and pets away from it.
10. Continue your regular cleaning regimen.
It is important to repeat your cleaning regimen as often as possible when an infestation occurs in order to prevent the fleas from multiplying faster. With the female flea producing 50 eggs a day, the infestation can spread everywhere in just 1 week.
Remember that for each flea that catches your eye there are 80 more in hiding places that you can’t really see. That’s why the more regularly you clean, the faster you’ll get rid of the infestation.
Your cleaning regimen should include:
- Vacuuming thoroughly every day! Due to the fact that fleas can develop resistance to insecticides, vacuuming regularly will keep them under control.
- Try to mow your lawn every week.
- Wash your and your pet’s beddings twice a week until the infestation is eliminated.
Have you ever had to deal with fleas before? What did you do in order to get rid of them? What methods did you use and what would you recommend? Please let us know in the comments below so we can all help each other!