9 Non-Toxic Ways to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally
We have a house full of pets. No, really. We’ve got 3 dogs, about 10 cats, and 2 ferrets. That means we have our work cut out for us when it comes to flea control.
Since we also have a house full of kids- who love their pets- I really hate to use topical, chemical flea control (not that it works well anyway) and I worry about what the chemicals are doing to our furry family members when they ingest so much of these pills or chews that supposedly get rid of fleas. Luckily, there are a lot of options to get rid of fleas naturally!
How to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally!
I am fairly certain that ever since Frontline came out so many years ago we have slowly been creating a breed of super flea that is immune to so many of the things we throw at them.
That is the great thing about fighting nature with nature- most of the time you can’t build up a resistance to it! Now I won’t tell you that these are quick fixes because they aren’t. That being said, here are just 9 ways to get rid of fleas naturally.
Diatomaceous Earth is one my favorite things for pest control. I use it in my garden for flea beetles and squash bug nymphs. I use it on my goats and chickens for lice and mites. And I use it on our pets and in our home as natural flea control. It is important to remember that you want FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth and if you are sensitive you might want to use a mask and be careful when applying so that you, and your pets, don’t inhale the dust.
Diatomaceous earth can be used to treat both your home and your pets. We keep our small dog’s crate dusted with it so that the fleas stay off his bedding and him while he sleeps. You can also directly dust your pet, working the powder down into their coats. Make sure to reapply if they get wet.
One particularly bad year, we dusted our entire house with diatomaceous earth. We spread it all over the wood floors with a dust mop and then left for the day. When we came home we swept and vacuumed the entire house.
Essential Oils have so many uses and are better for the body than their chemical counterparts. Lemongrass, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, and Lavender all help to repel or kill fleas.
Please keep in mind that not all pets are created equal, some animals are more sensitive than others, so if you are using oils start small and test for sensitivities. Also, most oils are not safe for cats, so use them on your dogs and your home, but stay on the safe side and keep them away from your cats.
You can make a EO flea spray to spray on bedding and furniture. And you can also put oils on your dog’s collar to help get rid of fleas naturally that way. Just a few drops in a circle around the collar will help immediately. Just replenish the oils when they fade- about once a week.
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is good for so many things- fleas included! Apple Cider Vinegar works both externally and internally to repel fleas- with the added benefit of improving your pet’s skin and coat.
To use ACV externally, you can simply put 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar in a spray bottle and apply to your pet or spritz your home. You can also add a few drops of essential oils in the mix here too.
Internally, you can either mix a good, organic, apple cider vinegar into your pet’s food or into their drinking water. I don’t measure this, but many sources say that it should be about a teaspoon per 40 lbs in a quart of water. We have all the animals drinking from the same 3 gallon waterer, so I just pour a little in when we fill it up each time. My dogs are a bit too picky to eat it with their food.
Flea Trap Light
A flea trap can be bought or homemade, and very simply it’s a light shining over a pan of soapy water. We bought one since it was easier than having a lamp in the middle of the kids’ rooms. The one we had came with sticky pads, but once those were used we just filled it with a little water and blue dawn.
Fleas are drawn to the light when the room is dark at night- they jump into the water and die. Pretty simple and great for natural flea control!
Homemade Flea Powder
You can up the flea-fighting power of diatomaceous earth by adding in other herbs and essential oils. Herbs like catnip, rosemary, sage, and yarrow have some flea repelling properties. Grind up these herbs with your diatomaceous earth and add in a few drops of cedar or eucalyptus oil and apply to your dog (or leave out the oils for your cats) once a month or as needed.
A good bath is a great way to drown all of the fleas currently on your pet right now. You can use a good quality pet shampoo, but I find that blue dawn does as good or better than most products I have tried, plus it’s pretty easy on the skin.
If our dogs are particularly covered, I might add a bit of lavender essential oil to the water. I also recommend making a ring of soap around the top of your dogs head and neck…that way once you start rinsing all the fleas won’t just crawl up to their face to hide out.
Our large dogs don’t get baths that often- a couple of times each summer, but our little chihuahua gets one about once a week since he seems to get more fleas than the rest.
I also like to do a final rinse with a cedar wood essential oil and water to help get rid of the fleas for even longer.
There’s no hiding the fact that a clean house equals less fleas. The little buggers like to hide out, so frequent vacuuming and sweeping is a must to get rid of fleas and keep big flea infestations away.
I was told years ago that you should vacuum once a week for every body in your house- pets included. So that means I need to vacuum about 8 times a day, but it is a good rule. We vacuum the entire downstairs daily. I would do the kids’ rooms upstairs….but oh, the legos that would be caught!
It’s also a good idea to keep a little diatomaceous earth in your canister or vacuum bag to help kill the fleas that you have trapped inside your vacuum!
I mentioned cedar wood oil above, but cedar in general is great for repelling and killing fleas naturally.
Consider filling your dog bed with cedar chips, or bedding an outdoor doghouse with them.
About 4 years ago we had a horrible, horrible, year. And when I say horrible, I mean fleas in my bed horrible. Nothing was working. Not even when we broke down and bought the chemicals. I came across a product called Cedarcide. It is made from cedar oil and hydrated silica. I was desperate so I bought some. It was wonderful! It seemed to kill fleas on contact. It was too expensive to spray the dogs with all the time, but it was a lifesaver for our home. We could spray our sheets before sleeping and no more fleas.
Beneficial Nematodes are parasitic roundworms that feed on organic matter and insects such as fleas. They generally live in warm, moist soil and are completely safe and non-toxic.
Nematodes are applied to your yard- specifically where your dogs and cats tend to hang out to get rid of fleas in the immediate area. This helps you by preventing re-infestations when your pets enter the house from outside.
Keeping your yard neat and trimmed can also help prevent fleas from coexisting with your pets outdoors.