Last Modified on May 26, 2016
Natural flea control remedies for pets include apple cider vinegar, borax, dish soap and salt.These remedies can safely be used on pets or around the home.
If you have pets, likely you have dealt with fleas at one time or another. Not only are fleas a nuisance, they can transmit disease, cause a pet constant misery and even cause anemia in a severely infested pet. A dog or cat that is constantly scratching is not only uncomfortable, if the skin is broken during scratching, infection can result. Fortunately, our readers have submitted dozens of options for effective natural treatments for fleas!
Traditional over the counter and prescription flea treatments commonly come with side effects ranging from mild to severe reactions, not to mention the expense of such treatments. "Flea Bombs" can also cause side effects for pets and their owners. Chemicals used by professional pest control companies have been linked to severe side effects in some people. The top home remedies for fleas that you will find here at Earth Clinic are much safer and much less expensive for you, your dogs, and your cats. It is likely that you have one or more of these treatment options in your home right now.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Our most popular natural remedy for fleas is apple cider vinegar. Please see this page for four ways to use apple cider vinegar for fleas, plus dozens of reader testimonials about its effectiveness.
Dish Soap for Flea Control
Our readers have had great success with dish soap to get rid of fleas. Dawn has been the preferred brand.
Topical Use of Dish Soap
Many readers just give their dogs or cats a bath, using the dish soap instead of shampoo. Using a flea comb when grooming after the bath will help to remove dead fleas after this treatment.
How to Make Dish Soap Flea Traps
Fill several shallow pans (a pie dish or cake pan will work well) with warm water and a squirt of dish soap. Ideally, you will put these traps near pet sleeping areas with a light above the water. The light will attract the fleas. The soap breaks the surface tension of the water so that the fleas cannot get out.
How to Get Fleas out of the Carpet - Naturally!
One of several safe natural products can be sprinkled in to your carpet to get rid of fleas. Choose (one or more) of the following and sprinkle it into your carpet. Work it in to the carpet with a broom. Reapply after each time you vacuum for at least 2 weeks. Hold your sprinkling container low to the ground and wear a dust mask to avoid getting the powders into your own lungs. (And do the sprinkling when pets are outside or in another room to avoid irritating their lungs!)
Borax - Borax is found in the laundry aisle of your grocery store. It is safe for pets. Borax is part of Ted's famous Mange Cure and can also be used topically for external parasites. You can use borax instead of soap in a flea bath for your pet.
Baking Soda - Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is found in the baking section of your grocery store. Large warehouse stores have large containers of it, which is useful for large applications, and then you will have plenty on hand for all manner of non-toxic cleaning around your house. An extra advantage to baking soda is its carpet freshening abilities!
Salt - The least expensive salt you can find is fine for applying to carpets to get rid of fleas.
Diatomaceous Earth - Diatomaceous Earth, also known as fossil shell flour, kills bugs by dehydrating them. This can be found in most farm stores.
Are Essential Oils Safe for Flea Control?
A number of essential oils have been used to get rid of fleas. Tea tree, lavender, peppermint and cedar essential oils have been helpful to get rid of fleas. But essential oils are a more expensive option for flea control. They are also more likely to be irritating to pets. There is growing concern about the toxicity of essential for the use of cats. If your cats have fleas, avoid the use of essential oils to solve this problem. There are many other natural remedies that can be used instead.
Have you used a natural remedy for fleas? Please share you experiences with us! And read on to find dozens of creative natural remedies for flea control that are safe for pets and their owners!
Remedies for Fleas
The Popularity of Fleas Remedies - Full List
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.
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.
I tried the amethyst crystal and it does work! I want to point out I too had the same issue with the stone not working after a period of time. It didn't seem logical for something to just stop working so I experimented and found out what worked for my kitty.
My cat has a horrible time with the fleas in FL. They are unlike any other place I have lived. Frontline doesn't work & just makes my cat sick. The crystal was worth a shot and would cause no harm. Within a week I saw a difference and there were no more new bites. This lasted for about 2 mo. and then the fleas started again. In case anyone is thinking its due to a change of seasons, no that's not the case. There is no down time in FL when it comes to fleas.
I don't believe the stone just stops working but perhaps our pets chemistry changes. Either way I decided to add another stone I had at the house to the bowl. It is blue calcite and once again it worked. It is a complement to amethyst with its metaphysical properties. I was so happy to see it work again, but about 1 1/2 mo. later I was back to square one. It stopped working.
Ok, so this time I bought another amethyst. Yes, now there are 3 crystals in the bowl! I know it's crazy but its working and my kitty is not scratching.
I am going to do as another writer suggested & recharge the stones by moonlight over night. I was doing it by sunlight and I guess that may be wrong in this case.
Anyway, to anyone who says nay, experiment a bit before you give up.
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.
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.
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.
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 Danielle (Hendersonville, Nc) on 10/16/2012
From the research I have done, the amethyst raises the vibration of the water, or anywhere for that matter. Things and creatures that vibrate higher are healthier overall. Science has done studies that have looked into the crytal and mineral kingdom being just as alive and intelligent as we are. In fact, silly to some as it may sound, your crystals can guide you in things and you may not even know it was them.
I just put my large grape sized amethyst in my cats and dogs water bowl. My cat, who has the worst fleas, (because they seem harder to treat on cats different systems, ) started acted excited right away, as if I had given him a toy!! I will get 2 more for their 3 water bowls, and also do dish soap (plain) baths as I figure if they use it on animals who have been in ocean oil spills, it makes sense that it does seem to work for a time. Then regular cleaning and D. E. ON THE DOG. CATS HAVE SENSITIVE BLADDERS and they lick themselves constantly.... THANK YOU SO much for the person, people, who suggested the amethyst!!!
Posted by Diana (Morristown, Tennessee) on 02/19/2012
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!
Posted by Janice (Coloma, Mi) on 09/16/2010
You can add me to the YEA list on the amethyst. My homeopathic vet told me under no circumstances to use the flea and tick poison. Having two cats and a dog I was really afraid I was going to get infested with fleas. I had read about the amethyst for fleas a while back on Earth Clinic and decided to try it. All I had was an old amethyst ring (yes, it was polished) and I threw the whole thing in a big bowl that the animals all share. I probably threw it in there around March. It seemed to be working very well and then a friend who has a gem shop gave me some rough amethyst and I threw that in the bowl also. I left the ring in because it was working and I wasn't going to take any chances. They didn't seem to have any problem with it being in there and they drink from it every day. This was a very bad year for fleas and I am thrilled that it worked. I did have to do a lot of explaining about why my ring was in the animal's water dish.
Posted by Isabella (Raleigh, Nc) on 08/30/2010
Yes - it sounds bizarre. I didn't think it would work but decided to try an amethyst rock. I definitely don't believe in healing through crystals and I'm not into anything New Age. I bought a tumbled amethyst - about the size of a half dollar - from an ebay shop. It was less than $5 with shipping. I have 5 cats and a dog and usually spend a fortune in the spring/summer/fall on Frontline treating them for fleas. I started using the rock in April. I treated the cats one time in May and that was to kill ear mites. I have not had any problems with fleas or ticks! In addition, I treated my dog only once this year and that was in May. I was skeptical that this would work for cats and amazed that it has worked for my dog. I could not say exactly how long it took before it began "warding off" the fleas. I leave the rock in their water dish all the time - removing it only to clean and refill the dish. I would not claim this would work for everyone. I've tried many things on earthclinic that haven't worked for me but this is one thing I can say has!
Posted by Cleoppa (Cleburne, Tx) on 08/28/2010
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.
Posted by Kathy (Melbourne, Vic, Australia) on 06/06/2010
Yea - Didn't really believe it would work, but I had tried everything from teatree oil, flea collars, the tubes you squeeze on your dogs back - yet nothing seemed to get rid of my dogs fleas. I read the posts on amethyst and having some amethyst at home, decided to give it a try. I also gave my dog a wash with ACV (only once). I gave my dog a wash a week later, and was shocked to see not one flea. This was months ago now, and have been through the summer months without any more fleas!! My cats also share the same drinking water and they too are thriving without fleas. Can't believe it but it really does work.
Posted by WestWind (Orlando, FL) on 07/27/2009
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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Apple cider vinegar is Earth Clinic's top home remedy for fleas in dogs and cats! Apple cider vinegar is much, much cheaper than prescription and over the counter anti-flea medications. More importantly, it is much safer for your pet.
Posted by Sheila (Wichita, Ks) on 08/07/2012
Started brushing my dogs and cats with baking soda about 2 years ago. I originally did this as a dry bath. It definitely helped with the smell. But I have also noticed that I have not seen any fleas in this time. Usually I have to treat every year. I brush them once a week. It's worth a try right?