Last Modified on Apr 26, 2016
Did you know that a flea could jump 100 times its own height? Did you also know that just one female flea will produce 20,000 eggs in a period of only three months? Lastly, did you know that it can take anywhere from three to six weeks for flea eggs to hatch? Now that's definitely some eye opening, yet frightening flea trivia!
The pests in question are tiny, brown, wingless insects that survive on the blood of your pet. Unfortunately once they have found that food source they are very difficult to get rid of. Any of you who have been faced with the regrettable task of dealing with fleas truly know how trying it can be, and how incredibly quickly the problem can spread to other pets and to your home.
All Natural Flea Treatment
So first let's talk about a couple of ways in which we can prevent flea problems for our pets altogether. The addition of Garlic to every one of our dog's meals will help to keep them free of fleas, as will the addition of Sulphur to their diet on a once a week basis. You can also try giving your pet Black Walnut Hulls that come in a capsule form at many health food stores which will repel not only fleas but also, ticks and mosquitoes. Also check out our page on the apple cider vinegar flea treatment for dogs! Keep in mind that none of these solutions will work overnight and may take about four to six weeks before they are effective.
If you suspect that your pet does have a flea infestation examine the animal closely by separating the hair on the animals back or flank area. You want to be able to view the skin of the animal as well as possible and it will always be easier to detect fleas on those pets that have a lighter skin tone. During your search you might actually be able to see a flea scurrying by, but more likely you will see the evidence that the flea has left behind. Flea dirt (or feces) will appear as small, black pebbles in the fur and on the skin. To determine whether or not what you see is actually flea dirt, take some wet paper towel and wipe it over areas where the dirt is most prominent. If the dirt on the wet paper towel has dissolved into red blood then you can bet that you are indeed dealing with a flea problem.
Now let's get down to bathing your flea infested friend. Use an herbal shampoo that contains a combination of any of pine cedar, bergamot, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, citronella, juniper or geranium. Before you wet down your pet here's a handy trick to ensure that you are successful in killing all of those nasty fleas. Know going into this process that as soon as you wet the animal down, those fleas are going to run for higher and dryer ground; this means they will flea (no pun intended) to the head area. You should never douse your pet's head with water and certainly not soap, so in order to prevent the fleas from escaping make sure that you first pour a thick layer of the shampoo all around the head and neck area; as close to the top of the head and underneath the chin area as you can get. Pour small amounts of water with your hand onto the soapy area and spend some time building up a thick, soapy barrier that will kill the fleas that attempt to pass through it. Proceed by wetting down and lathering up the rest of the animal's body while frequently returning to massage and re-lather the neck area. Fleas are very difficult to kill and it is better for your pet if you can handle the problem with one good bath rather than several of them, so be sure to leave the shampoo on for at least 15 minutes or more while continuing to massage the soap deep into the animal's fur. Rinse the animal thoroughly and dry it off well, especially during cold weather.
If you are also dealing with a house infestation of fleas, here's a great way to get rid of the problem. Mix together 1 1/2 pounds of diatomaceous earth, 1 1/2 pounds of natural borax and 1 cup of salt. (Don't use the earth and borax that you can purchase at a pool store, rather use the products that you can get from your local garden store.) The diatomaceous earth works because it contains very tiny particles that have sharp spines, which puncture the exoskeleton of the flea, killing it. The borax and salt work by absorbing the moisture of the flea and make all of those cracks and small areas that they might find to live in your home much more undesirable. You can use the mixture by sprinkling it throughout your home onto carpets and into those harder to reach areas. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of days and then vacuum it up. Although these powders are not poisonous it's never a good idea for you or your pet to breathe it continually for days so if it's possible to go elsewhere while it sits then that's definitely an option you should use. Alternatively, if you prefer not to douse the house with the mixture, you can always pour it into your vacuum cleaner bag and vacuum everything thoroughly so that any of the sucked up fleas will die inside the bag. Keep in mind that this solution will not kill the un-hatched flea eggs and therefore the process may need to be repeated several times depending on the severity of your problem."
[WARNING!] 08/17/2009: Doglover-gsd from Morganton, Nc Burke writes: "diatomaceous earth - is a poisonous vapor producing substance."
[WARNING!] 04/17/2007: Valeria from Athens, GA writes: "I have been reading all of the suggestions and am planning to try some. I don't have a question or remedy to offer, but felt I must let you know about a dangerous option.
I've used Diatomacious Earth for years, I even used it to get rid of a horrific flea infestation in my asthmatic boyfriends house with no bad effects. It works against all insects and parasites. The IMPORTANT thing to note is that POOL GRADE D.E. IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND CAN CAUSE SILICOSIS (scarring of the lungs similar to asbestos poisoning) The only safe D.E. to use is natural pulvarized or ground D.E. that can be found in plant nurseries and food storage shops. This D.E. has NOT been superheated, a process which creates fine threads of silocone glass which makes it a better filtering product, but makes it dangerous to handle or breath. Flour grade D.E. is meant to be used in graineries as a bug and egg deterrant is fine enough to mix with flour. The Regular D.E. can be spread on carpets, or the cracks between wooden floors. Plan on not vacuuming for a while(like a week) in order to allow the D.E. to cut up and dry up the little buggers, and be prepared for a little dust to be produced for a short while as you walk on it. I've even heard of it being used a a coat powder and mixed in feed (for horses, cats,and dogs) but I've never tried that personally. I sprinked it in the carpets and brushed it in with the broom and let it sit for couple of weeks, them vacuumed and reapplied. This with Advantage treatment took care of all the fleas and there were none for the rest of the year.
Well I'm off to try an ear mite treatment on my new cat. Thanks for all the suggestions!"
[WARNING!] 08/13/2008: Paul from Oakland, CA replies: "Hi, I was just about to buy garden grade DE to put in my vacuum bag... when this clerk told me to "get away from there, sir", saying the stuff is leaking out of the boxes... (you can see fine white powder on the outside of the boxes.) Then this helpful clerk told me to go outside and meet him...I thought he gonna sell me drugs or something, but he told me that he worked in Pest Control in the past and that if you put DE in your vacuum... that it's gonna come out and you are going to breath it. So in any case---I didn't get the DE. The clerk was very pro having your house "bombed" professionally etc... P"
Remedies for Flea
The Popularity of Flea Remedies - Full List
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Los Angeles, Ca
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Santa Fe, Nm
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YEA (6) 100%Posted by Karen (Russiaville, Indiana, United States) on 05/30/2013
Things to remember: every pet is different! Every flea season different too. Some pets can be allergic to chemical and/or natural treatments. I've found that natural prevention works better than natural treatment. Once you have an infestation, its very hard to rid naturally! Few years ago there was a mutant infestion in my area of Indiana. Chemicals were even having a hard time with the fleas. Know your area and possible infestation season. Know your pets and their possible allergies. Try new remedies in small doses first. Communicate with your vet! Prevention is easier than treatment. Good luck
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Posted by Pamela (Huron, South Dakota) on 11/13/2012
We discovered, after fighting fleas from June until November, that our DRYER WAS HALF THE PROBLEM! We were dragging back in loads of folded, clean laundry full of clean, fresh, healthy fleas every time we washed bedding, towels, clothing, robes, blankets, pillows, you name it. CHECK YOUR LINT TRAP TO SEE IF THEY'RE ALIVE. Ours were.
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Grover Beach, Ca
Posted by Lynne (Shady Valley, Tennessee) on 02/22/2011
[YEA] When we first moved to Tennessee, our "new" house had wall-to-wall carpet upstairs, our bedroom shared by the dog of course. We noticed that where the sun hit the rug, there were fleas hatching into yucky little worms. By hit or miss, we came up with a simple and very cheap solution! Get a dinner or sandwich plate (light color like yellow or white) put one drop of dish soap and fill with water. Then place the dish on the floor under a desk light that you put on the floor and aim the light at the dish. In a few hours the warmth of the light attracts the fleas and they jump in the water and drown! How simple and safe!
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Albany, Oregon, Usa
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Brisbane, Qld Australia
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New Haven, Ct
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San Francisco, California
Posted by T.j. (Ramsey, Il, Us) on 08/18/2010
We have been inundated with fleas for about a month now. We live in a very large building (it used to be a Masonic Temple) and we use the big room upstairs for storage, and for the past year or so, to house my daughter's cats. We have 2 dogs that live in the downstairs with us. The room upstairs is very large, it's 30x50 feet, with a 16 foot ceiling. I seldom go up there, so I wasn't aware that there was a flea problem until about a month ago when my granddaughter went up there looking for something and came down covered in fleas. I went up there and within less than 3 minutes I had about 100 fleas on my feet and lower legs. I was freaked out by this, because even with 2 English Bulldogs sleeping in my bed I have never seen fleas like this before. Because I have a 13 month old and a 2 month old grandsons and a 16 year old granddaughter living here I wanted to be careful with what I used. I sent them away for the day, put the cats in a pet crate outside, and used 3 bug bombs upstairs. Then I gave the dogs flea baths and put them in my camper while I covered my floors and furniture with a popular powdered laundry booster (borax) that is mentioned on this site. I let that sit for several hours and then swept, mopped, and vaccumed it all up. I also sprayed a flea spray on the only room with carpet (my bedroom), and in the crate that my female likes to lay in. I put flea collars on the dogs too. I used an entire big box of the laundry booster on the carpet of the big room upstairs and worked it in with a broom. We bathed the cats with a flea shampoo made for cats, put flea collars on them, and then put them in an old rabbit hutch in our big storage building. I have retreated the dogs as well. We had planned on bombing upstairs again before moving the cats back up there, but didn't really think we would have any more problems. We also treated our yard for fleas.
Two days ago my female started going nuts trying to scratch her butt. She was spinning in circles, crying, and because of the way bullies are built she can't even reach her butt to scratch or chew. I thought maybe she needed her anal glands expressed, which my vet has to do internally. I didn't see any fleas at that time so I didn't think that was the problem. Then, the night before last she woke me up crying and spinning. It was 3 am, so I got up and checked both dogs, and found fleas. I was exhausted and had no flea spray so I didn't want to get up and bathe them without treating the rest of the house. What I ended up doing was mixing apple cider vinegar with a popular dish soap, about half and half, and rubbing it all over her butt. I was able to leave it on and go back to bed. She stopped itching and was able to rest. Last night I went and got more bombs, more spray, and more laundry booster. I bathed the dogs with flea shampoo and treated the furniture. Now I have to re-treat the house and all. What else can I do to stop these damn fleas? My feet and ankles have bites that are just healing, and even the babies have some bites, which makes me feel terrible. I don't want to use a bunch of toxic chemicals downstairs where we live, but I also don't want to have this keep happening, especially with it driving my dogs crazy and exposing the babies to fleas. Any ideas will be appreciated.
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Wheeling, West Virgina
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Boca Raton, Fl
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Atlanta, Ga, Usa
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Atlanta, Ga, usa
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Posted by Salome (New York, NY, USA) on 01/19/2010
[YEA] OMG, all this talk about DE, borax etc etc for flea infestation. The flea lives in your home. It feeds off your animal, lays eggs..dies.. these eggs hatch and develop ---the life cycle is about 20 days from bite to laying the eggs,eggs hatch,develop and grow into adult fleas. Why are people putting stuff on your floors and carpets and going nuts? All indoor living pets should get bathed and then confined in an area you already thoroughly vacuumed and damp mopped....it's CLEAN and flea free for now.
While they're drying, someone HELPING is running the washer/dryer or goes to the laudramat with their bedding etc and someone is also thoroughly vacuuming the house, sofas, chairs etc etc.while the CLEAN pets remain confined in the CLEAN ROOM.
You DON'T SPRAY r@id,bl@ck j@ck,whatever,etc.....use the ACV or red cedar oil/nontoxic kind-IF it makes you feel better. remember that vacuuming will remove them,their eggs and developing @#$%!!!!s. You eradicate THEM and your animals remain flea free. YOU SHOULD CONTINUE to vacuum every day for at least a month and then find out that THIS is now your habit-- you vacuum your home everyday, damp mop too- Your dogs / cats get checked via the flea comb weekly- when they need to get baths they get them with whatever soap/shampoo/conditioner doesn't irritate them---the fleas come off simply due to the water, they're not lice adhering to them and don't produce nits sticking on the fur and don't burrow deep down into carpets,mattresses etc---they're fleas.--they dump their eggs on your floor/carpeted areas--and you vacuum them up and throw out the bag. Or what I did was simply put a piece of tape over the vacuum hose to make sure the little sukkkas couldn't get out in-between vacuuming when my house was alive with them.
It's not as bad as it sounds. The daily vacuuming quickly gets things under control. Cover your sofa etc if they go on them but still keep that vacuum going. Their bedding etc needs to get done anyway and you will truly find out that running the vacuum at least once a day keeps your home truly spotless and is not that time consuming either after the one time heavy haul.
Been there, seen it, done it AND going through it again---somehow in this freezing weather......a flea got in--BUT --I haven't HAD to go through this for more than 15 years -- I think 1 dog brought them in from the vet....kids didn't CHECK him-and we have always had at least 2 dogs/2 cats /indoors...and the dogs only needed baths as a routine when summer started and ended.
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North Bay, Ontario Canada
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YEA (1) 100%Posted by Karmala (Templeton, California) on 01/10/2013
[YEA] First off let me say that Earth Clinic is my "go to" site for getting informaion and answers and help. It is my starting point on whatever questions I might have. - I start here, google what I've found, and end up right back here again. This is an amazing community of people helping people.
I have recently had a bout of fleas on my poor dogs. There were only a few so I didn't know what it was for a couple of weeks. I kept checking them for fleas or mites, but never saw anything. They were miserable, would welt up, then get better. Then the cycle started all over again. After discovering the fleas, I did a test. In small, separate containers I put, hydrogen peroxide, aloe vera juice, white vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. I deposited a few fleas in each container. Surprisingly, they lasted less than 5 seconds in the aloe vera juice! The others took considerably longer... They swam in the white vinegar for about 20 minutes, in the ACV for about 5 minutes, and in the hydrogen peroxide for about 5 minutes. I had a 1 gallon container of organic 100% aloe vera juice so gave both boys a sponge bath in it... Really soaked them down. The welts have diminished quite a bit and they are finally resting comfortably.
YEA (11) 65% NAY (6) 35%Posted by Green Lonis (Greenville, Nc) on 10/27/2015
[NAY] Amythest in the cat's water-bowl did nothing.
A dish-soap bath killed all the fleas, but gave the cat a nasty eye-infection when water got in her eye. She was an old cat who always had very bad flea issues. The other 2 cats didn't have flea issues, but this 1 cat got it bad w/ sores...
It seems like she lost the use of her hind legs after the dish-soap bath. It killed the fleas, but, perhaps it isn't the best solution for the long term. She didn't last much longer after I started bathing her regularly. She was comfortable and not scratching all the time. Her skin healed up, but perhaps the fleas were a side-effect of a deeper systemic root-cause. Probably. Too bad whatever that root cause is, this site hasn't seemed to find it yet.
Posted by Mary (Costa Mesa, California) on 05/06/2014
[YEA] I have successfully treated my home for fleas but every time we went out in neighborhood, new flees to comb out. I put amethyst in water dish, first 1-2 months no change. After 3 mo. No new fleas, skeptical, since winter is low flea time anyway. Now warm flea weather is here & still no new fleas. When I use flea comb also NONE on her at bath time. Fantastic results, just took time for her VIBRATIONS to match the amethyst. We will see as summers flea season builds but normally by now, 80 degree weather, we would have a problem. Love nature.
Posted by Louann (Tennessee) on 08/29/2013
[NAY] I tried the amethyst stone in my dog's bowl and my cat's bowl. I've had it in there over a month now and it doesn't work at all. My amethysts are large and still part of the rock itself so I know the quality is good. Time to try something else.
Posted by Minkxy (Brooklyn, Ny) on 08/01/2013
[NAY] I just tried the amethyst stone for fleas. Although a nice idea, 2 weeks in and nothing. Stone bought off of new age store on ebay. 1 inch in width, unpolished in stainless steel bowls.
Posted by Sue (Coos Bay, Oregon) on 06/11/2013
[YEA] I too was skeptical about amethyst, but thought if I could pick one up on ebay for under 2 bucks, what could it hurt? I have an enameled bowl, probably over metal, I put it in. I won a cheap bid for a beaded necklace, though I bid on several different amethyst pieces... Natural rock, rings, beads... I was pretty amazed that for the last 6 months now, I have not seen one flea... For all the "know it alls" who claim they have a bridge in Arizona for sale, hahaha, you can keep it along with your closed mind!! Or those who say it can't work, you are wrong... I don't believe in fairy tales, or magic or much of anything, but this worked, I don't know how or why, it just worked and my cat is flea free!!
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Posted by Diana (Morristown, Tennessee) on 02/19/2012
[YEA] An amethyst stone put in your pets drinking water will totally eliminate FLEAS! Just drop a stone in the water and no more need for expensive treatments. I don't know why or how it works--it just does. I have used this method for two years and have not seen a single flea. My daughter was using expensive treatments once a month and still having an infestation of fleas, and she was even having to use an exterminator once a month.
She tried the amethyst stone and for a year now she is flea free!!
Try it and you to will be a believer!
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Clare, Mi 48617
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West Tawakoni, Tx
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Posted by Cleoppa (Cleburne, Tx) on 08/28/2010
[NAY] Before trying this, I did a bit of research. Although not a lot of people had commented on their results online, I found that nearly everyone who had cats found this to work and maybe half the people who had dogs did. I thought maybe some other circumstances, such as the size of the amethyst, made a difference. I wanted to get a large amethyst, just in the off-chance it was ingested in the water. I bid on two large (3 inch) amethysts on ebay, expecting to only win one. I ended up winning both. I put them both in my dog's water for some time and saw little, if any difference. So, I'm pretty sure it's not a matter of the amount of the amethyst. Possible there are different types or qualities of amethyst? Or maybe my flea problem was too extreme to it to help? I'm keeping the amethysts in the water and if I do think it makes a difference, I'll post here.
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St. Augustine, Fl
Posted by WestWind (Orlando, FL) on 07/27/2009
[YEA] Ameythest for fleas. Yea, it really works. Buy a stone from any new age shop for about $1 and put in cat's water dish. That's it. You never need to buy a new one. I first heard of this when my cat Zeus who was all cream color took off on me for almost a week. When he came home he was covered in fleas (being cream, they really showed). A friend told me that one of his friends did just what I am suggesting and her cat never has fleas. I was skeptical, but gave it a try. I don't remember exactly how long it was but it couldn't have been too long because I never remember worrying about fleas on him again (and he was an outdoor/indoor cat in Florida where the fleas are unbearable). I now have 3 other cats, one who used to go outside and two that never do and I never have any problems with fleas. They all get exposed to fleas, however, as I have a Bassett Hound who get them occasionally and brings them in the house. Obviously this doesn't work on dogs however - have no idea why. Just must be a chemistry thing.
Economical, natural and couldn't be easier. Give it a try.
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Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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Ny NY, Usa
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Seattle, Wa Usa
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