Fleas are wingless, creepy insects that survive on warm vertebrates such as dogs, rabbits, cats and sometimes, even humans. Flea eggs can be dropped just about anywhere inside your house. The eggs turn into larvae and then eventually turn into fleas. Flea eggs can stay dormant for more than a year, so even if you’ve treated your home, fleas can still show up seemingly out of nowhere. For this reason, it’s important to keep a regular watch out and clean your home frequently, even after you’ve eliminated the fleas. The following is a list of helpful home remedies that can be used to not only kill fleas, but also limit their recurrence.
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1. Flea Trap With Dishwashing Liquid
A flea trap is one of the most effective ways to rid your entire house of fleas. In order to do so, gather up some dishwashing liquid, a couple dinner plates or bowls, tea candles, and warm water. Before you go to bed, place either the plate or bowl on the floor in the middle of the room and fill it with warm water. Once, that’s done, add a good amount of dishwashing liquid to the water.
Place a tea candle in the center of each plate/bowl or near the plate/bowl. Light the candle and the fleas will be attracted to the light. They’ll jump towards it and get stuck in the water with the soap. The fleas will remain trapped and eventually die and the bodies can be disposed of in the morning. Depending on how bad the problem is, you may need to repeat this for several nights.
As a warning, make sure you are extra cautious when using an open flame to set the trap and ensure that no pets or children are in the room while the trap is active.
2. Herbal Flea Spray
Flea bombs are usually a popular option to help rid your house of fleas, but they can leave behind harmful chemicals in your house. Instead, try using an herbal flea spray to accomplish the same thing. You will need one gallon of vinegar, 1/2 gallon of water, 16 ounces of lemon juice, 8 ounces of witch hazel and a spray bottle.
First, wash everything in your house with hot water if it cannot be vacuumed. Second, vacuum your entire house and make sure to get in every nook and cranny. Once you’re done, take your mixture and spray the carpet, furniture, pet beds, window sills, floors and any other small areas in your house.
Repeat this for 2-7 days depending on how bad the infestation is. Once the fleas are less noticeable, you can spray less frequently and eventually go down to once a week.
3. Salt Remedy
This is one of the simplest remedies on the list. Salt acts as a dehydrating agent for fleas and it will dry up their bodies. By sprinkling salt in areas where fleas are common, you can effectively eliminate a large number of fleas through this very inexpensive manner.
Simply take any type of salt and ensure that it is finely ground. If it is not, grind the salt to make a fine powder. After that, sprinkle salt over the carpet in each room and make sure the salt covers the area evenly. After letting the salt sit for 12 to 48 hours, you can vacuum the area thoroughly.
4. Boric Acid Remedy
Much like salt, boric acid works as a dehydrating agent for fleas and essentially dries them out and kills them. You can sprinkle boric acid in any area you think may have fleas, larvae or eggs. For this remedy, it’s recommended you clearly label your shaker to let anyone who may come into contact with it know it is boric acid.
First, vacuum your house in any areas you wish to apply the boric acid. Then, after vacuuming, sprinkle the boric acid in thin layers and take a soft brush and work the acid into the carpet. Be careful as boric acid can discolor fabrics, so make sure you test it before applying. Much like the salt, leave it for 12-48 hours and then vacuum regularly. After a month of so, you can wash your carpets and other areas you used the boric acid on.
As a precaution, always use boric acid cautiously when you’re around pets and kids. Although it has a relatively low toxicity, it should still be handled carefully.
5. Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder that is made of silica, a component of glass. The exoskeleton of fleas is vulnerable to the sharp edges, which cuts them and results in them drying out and dying.
In order to use this remedy, brush off all your carpet and vacuum thoroughly. Wash off anything you can’t vacuum with hot water in your washer. Sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth anywhere you think fleas of larvae may be hiding. The powder will start to kill the fleas in 4-6 hours, but it’s recommended to leave the powder for 12-48 hours. Once the time is up, vacuum away the powder.
Make sure you always buy the food grade version of the product. While it is non-toxic, it is still a fine powder that can irritate you if used wrong. Always use caution when in use.
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6. Pennyroyal Herb
Pennyroyal herb comes from the mint family and is dangerous for human and animal health. This method is best used if you want to repel fleas, rather than kill them. But make sure to be cautious when using it. There are a few different ways you can use it to repel fleas.
First, you can grow the pennyroyal plant around your yard. It’s important to make sure that is out of reach of children and dogs, however, so this method requires some monitoring. Second, you can crush a handful of leaves until they begin to release an aroma. Tie that paste of pennyroyal leaves in a cheesecloth and then hang it in any room that may be infested with fleas. Make sure you keep it away from all pets and children wherever you may place it.
Third, you can put a few drops of the pennyroyal oil on your dog’s collar, as long as you put it on so that it does not touch the dog’s skin. If the dog begins to scratch at the collar, remove it immediately. Fourth, you can place tea bags with dried pennyroyal around the house. Lastly, you can sew cloth tubes and fill them with dried pennyroyal to use as collars for your cat.
If the flea infestation is not bad, but rather irritating, rosemary can be used to fight it. It can be used as a powder, rinse or oil, but for home use purposes, the powder is most efficient.
Gather up equal parts of Rosemary, Rue, Wormwood, Fennel and Peppermint. Grind all of those herbs together until they become a fine powder. Take that powder and sprinkle it in your house on your carpet, furniture, pet bedding, window sills and anywhere else you think there may be fleas. It’s important to note that this is a natural flea repellant and will not kill fleas.
8. Homemade Flea Spray
Flea spray is available on the market, but often times it can be hazardous to health, so why not just make your own? In order to do so, gather up six thinly sliced lemons, a handful of rosemary leaves, a liter of boiling water, and 3 to 4 drops of geranium essential oil.
Take a large bowl and place the lemon slices in it. Chop the rosemary leaves and add them to the bowl with the lemon slices. Add the boiling water to the bowl with the lemon and rosemary, and then add the geranium oil. Cover the mixture and leave it overnight.
In the morning, strain the mixture and fill a spray bottle with the water. Since it is a safe herbal solution that will repel fleas, it can be used everywhere, including furniture, bedding and dog bedding.
9. Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella oil has long been used as a natural flea repellent because it is a safe oil for both pets and humans. Mopping with a mixture of essential oils, including citronella oil, will help keep fleas and other insects away from your house.
Take 20 drops of citronella oil, 10 drops of tea tree oil, 10 drops of lemongrass oil, 5 drops of geranium oil and one gallon of warm water. Add all of the oils to the gallon of warm water and use this mixture to mop your house everyday for the first few days, eventually mopping only once a week.
Before using, make sure you vacuum your whole house properly and discard of the vacuum bag.
10. Horse Apples
Horse apples belong to the mulberry family and are traditionally used for repelling insects. You can either use whole horse apples or cut them into halves and sections. Place the fruit around your house, including in yards. The fruit should last about two to three months and will continue to be effective even when they dry out.
This remedy will not only work for fleas, but will also help control other insects and rodents such as field mice and grass snakes.
No matter which home remedy you choose to try out first, it’s important to stay on top of it and begin before the flea season even begins. It’s much more difficult to get rid of fleas once they already made it into your house. Preventing fleas from developing right off the bat will help immensely in your pursuit to stay flea free.