Fleas
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How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas in Pets

| Modified on Aug 11, 2021

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Carolyn (Rockford, Il) on 10/04/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I'm attempting to use ACV for my animals for fleas as the topical treatment did not work and with having a crawling baby I didn't want to use more. It seems to be working fine on my two dogs, but one has been itching so bad that he has a bald bleeding spot on his legs. I have avoided putting the treament on there for now for fear that it will burn and hurt the wound.

Is there any ideas on how I can help that heal quickly so I can apply treatment to that leg and ensure fleas do not return?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Amanda (West Virginia ) on 10/18/2015
1 out of 5 stars

So I've seem to pick up a flea army in our home!!! Driving me my kids and our pets insane!! The cat is losing hair and none of us is getting sleep. I tried flea bombs three times!!! It is not helping. My mom helped me find vinegar as a solution. So I've been placing it in a spray bottle and spraying on everything. Rugs furniture and floors directly. I thought it was helping but today we got home and 100s jumped on our legs!! I've also been bathing pets obsessively. Washing all blankets and sheets pillows and keeping all laundry done! Am I doing something wrong?! ?! How long does this take?! I'm going on two months with this problem and can not afford professional help right now!! Please any advice!!!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Katrina (Ohio) on 10/28/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Apple cider vinegar for fleas. It works 5 stars. I have been dying from the infestation of fleas on my two cats( below the age of 5 months) they were fine! Gave regular baths as needed in dawn dish soap, was seeming to work. Than boom 2 weeks later no bathing took place my whole upstairs became infested. (Not to mention downstairs my mother in-laws pooch under 3 pounds is also covered). I tried everything from lemon juice flea combing with lemon juice and water. Blah no real results but for maybe a couple hours. Boom infested once again! Mind u I havent bombed yet! I recommend if you choose to bomb to do an extra bomb for each room IF you are infested and when airing out the house remain gone an additional hour. Anyways. 'Ive tried everything to no avail. Than I tried spraying them with Apple cider vinegar. Worked like magic. I did find though that mixing it with water and dawn worked well. But I prefer it straight, my cats didn't mind it and it worked in seconds! Please consider trying it!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Linata (Ohio) on 09/24/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I used apple cider vinegar on a little kitten that was covered in fleas but too young for traditional flea medicine. It worked perfectly. Now my kitten is happy and flea free. I used a 1/2 apple cider vinegar + 1/2 water solution.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 07/18/2016

20 years ago I had many cats who went in and out - and in the fall fleas jumped on my many cats and hitched a ride indoors to wait out the winter - not fun! And since my cats lived everywhere in the house, everywhere needed to be treated - this is what I did.

I used food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) - it is light and cheap and 10 pounds will last you decades. I started with my bed room - I stripped the bed, and dusted the room wearing a face mask. I worked - pounded - the DE into the crevices of the mattress, under the mattress, into the floor boards, against the wall where the wooden molding edges the floor - everywhere; the room was one billowing cloud of dust when I left and closed the door. I let it sit for 25 hours, and in the mean time I used another bedroom. Once I had established a 'ground zero' I stood the mattress up and gently beat off the excess DE and again the room was a dust bowl. I gave it a few hours and let the dust settle and then gently swept up the excess, leaving plenty behind in the cracks and crevices in both the mattress and the floor boards. The floor was still very dusty - you could feel it on your feet if you walked bear foot. I then laundered the bedding and dried it thoroughly and back on the bed; no cats were allowed to sleep on the bed during this process, as to avoid re-infesting the room. I then did the second room and created another 'ground zero' space. Into this now cleared room went freshly flea bathed cats with sanitized liter boxes and all fresh laundered kitty bedding. The cats were not allowed to leave this room until treatment was completed. Then room by room I did the same - I dusted the couch cushions and put them into large plastic bags, dust and all, and let them sit for 24-48 hours. I had to put a bag over the electronics to avoid getting DE dust in them as it is very hard on moving parts. I left the DE sit for 24-48 hours, and in the mean time washed every piece of bedding, every rug, anything the cats could encounter. I had carpeting in one room and I sprinkled the DE on and worked it deep into the carpet fibers with a broom. Again, wear a face mask as you will be working in a billowing cloud of dust that will irritate your sinuses and mucous membranes. After the wait time/working time was up I gently swept and brushed off the carpet, taking care to leave plenty behind deep in the carpet fibers and in all floor cracks and crevices; for under the couch I didn't even bother to vacuum, I just left it down - in fact anyplace that I could not see, or had to lift up furniture to get under, I just left the DE down. Doing all laundry at the same time is crucial, so I bagged up items until I could process them. A proper flea bath is crucial to the process as well. I used dish soap, starting with the cat in a dry bath tub [clip claws before you start] and started with soapy water and a wash cloth at the nose and worked from the nose outward; once I had the head and behind the ears saturated with the soapy water I then went on to the next cat. When all of the cats' heads were treated I filled the tub and did the bodies, again in the dish soapy water. I then drained the tub and used clear water with a cup of white vinegar to remove all traces of the dish soap and to balance the PH of the skin to avoid drying. You could see the fleas as black specks as the water drained. I followed up by blow drying the cats and flea coming. It was work, I was persistent, and the cats hated it, but I got them clean and clear and into the holding room they went while the rest of the house was treated. I want to say it took me 4 days to get the house treated and before I could release the cats. The basement and attic were not used by the cats so they were not treated. I did not have to treat the house again ever - and 10 years later I still found DE in the floor cracks. I made a point to stop letting the cats out in the late summer and fall until the first frost. I also dusted the cats with DE by putting them in a sack with DE - the head was out but it was snug at the neck so the cat was dusting ala 'shake-n-bake' style. By not letting them out during prime flea-hitch-a-ride-inside time, and by dusting the cats in the fall, plus the initial house debugging, I never had a problem again. I have since moved to a more rural location and have only 2 cats, and experienced fleas in my first year at the new house. I learned about the lamp flea traps and deployed 4-5 of them with great success: I firmly believe the lamp trap is easier to use, far less labor intensive, and just as effective as dosing the entire house in DE - or any other sprinkled substance. Now if I see my cat twitching the hair on her back as if she has the heebie jeebies, I dust the cat ala shake-n-bake style, and turn on the lamp traps.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Terryann (Springfield, Oregon) on 07/16/2016
1 out of 5 stars

I spray my dog every single time we go outside or go walk and fleas jump right on him even when he is still wet with ACV/water spray. I am beside myself … he has a flea allergy. It is ruining our lives, no exaggeration. I spend most of my time fighting fleas. Please help?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Maryann (Ga) on 05/04/2016
5 out of 5 stars

For fleas, use apple cider vinegar internally and externally.

Put 1 drop. of apple cider vinegar a day in their food. After I did a drop in food 3 times a day for a week, it finally worked. It works on the outside once they get it on the inside.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Angie (Upstateny) on 09/06/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I am so glad I found this site...I have tried a few of these suggestions as we have had a terrible infestation of fleas this summer. My poor fur babies I feel for them. I own 2 pomeranians and to watch them constantly scratch even after being sprayed and bathed and we treat the house and we have bought spray for the yard...but within a few days of peace, they are covered all over again and the cycle repeats and its costly. Not to mention I am the only one besides the dog that gets bit from the fleas and I react bad to the bites(allergic reaction type)....

Anyways, have tried the diluted ACV Spray and its working, we are starting to see them less and less as we just started. Also I have always mixed frozen peas in my dogs dry food so they get their roughage and it also keeps them from eating grass and helps in digestion. Well I soaked the frozen peas in ACV and mix it in there food now and they eat it just fine as well. If I try to put it in water they wont drink it. So Im crossing my fingers we will be totally flea free very soon..thank u so much for this site

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sarah (Philadelphia, Pa) on 10/31/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I used apple cider vinegar on my two adult cats, & it worked so well. The fleas died on contact, & some didn't but they slowly died after, I didn't think it would work, but it has. So I definitely recommend this to people. I just learnt about this 2 days ago, & I bought it at the grocery store. You can spray it on your cats or give them a bath in it. It doesn't hurt them so it's safe.

EC: Thank you, Sarah!

Just a reminder, since you didn't add this to your post, that Apple Cider Vinegar must be always be diluted with water (50/50) before you apply it to any pet.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Diane (Uk) on 08/19/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I have 3 cats, all had fleas. I bathed them in Apple cider vinegar and was not sure what the outcome would be.

The adult fleas died within 2 days and as the eggs hatched they died within the day. I also sprinkled salt on my carpets left for 24 hrs then hovered which also seems to work. I am so happy with the result I had to tell the world. I had previously spent a fortune on flea products. I will b sticking to the Apple cider vinegar in the future.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Christina (Council Bluffs, Ia) on 07/06/2016
5 out of 5 stars

ACV works great for fleas. I tried apple cider vinegar on my 2 boxers and German Shepard and it works wonders. Plus I sprayed my furniture and all carpeted areas - super great!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Matthew (Onamia, Mn) on 10/01/2016
3 out of 5 stars

Well lately I have been using apple cider vinegar as a spray to help with my 2 dogs, but it seems it only relieves there scratching and chewing for a few hours and see no signs of the fleas going away. Heck I even clean the house everyday and they still get them really bad (used the baking soda/salt trick) and giving them baths every other day to 3 days.

The only ACV we got is the plain stuff you get at the store, and I don't see an organic brand in our grocery store.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Mitzy G. (Texas) on 08/26/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I tried many otc remedies for fleas on my dog. None kept them off. Then I remembered my Mom used AC vinegar for bugs! Duh! I mixed Apple Cider Vinegar half and half with water and sprayed my dog. Relief at last no scratching and biting! Vinegar is very cheap and isn't harmful to animals or humans. I continue to spray her every morning with no return of fleas.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Barbie (Garden Grove, Ca) on 04/08/2017
5 out of 5 stars

ACV for cats - I remembered earth clinic from a lady I rented from so I researched for my cat who has fleas and other issues. I give a five star plus because she immediately felt better as I sprayed a lil at a time I saw larva leave her tail. I also had some my stomach issue clearing up. Thank you so much. It works it really does


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lori (Southern Cali) on 08/11/2016

I feel your frustration. My old cat, several years back, also was allergic to flea bites and he would get wobbly, start drooling & pant from a flea bite! Then a nice expensive trip to the vet ER :(

Fighting fleas sucks, but if you wage an all out attack immediately, it gets things in control. This is what I did, and it was very effective.

1. Bath the cat in flea shampoo. And SATURATE the cat! And let the flea shampoo set in the fur 5+ minutes then rinse.

2. AFTER the cat is bathed & dry, use a spot treatment like Frontline or Advantage. Don't apply this before the bath or it simply gets washed off.

3. Throw everything possible, that the cat has slept or laid on, into the wash with HOT water. Then completely dry it on high. It's the intense dry heat from the dryer that actually kills the fleas and dehydrates any eggs.

4. Use a spray, like Advantage Carpet & Upholstry spray. Spray the cats bed, carpets, sofa, chairs, anything that cat goes on. Fleas hate sun so a well lit room is unlikely to have many fleas.

5. VACUUM VACUUM VACUUM. Take a cheap flea collar, such as Hartz, and cut it into pieces and put it in your vacuum bag. Any fleas that you vacuum up then will be killed in the bag and you don't have to worry about them hatching & coming out. Vacuum 2x each day for week 1.

Also, an excellent way to tell if they are gone, & to kill fleas, take a white bowl, fill with a couple inches of water and add a teaspoon of dish soap. Set it in a room that has a lot of fleas, and put it on the floor under an outlet. Put a nightlight in the outlet above the bowl. At night, fleas are attracted to the light. They jump toward the night light, fall into the bowl of soapy water, and can't escape. Once you no longer are seeing flees in the bowl each morning, you can pretty much know your flea problem is in control.

If needed, you can completely repeat all the steps on week 2, only don't bath the cat again & don't reapply flea treatment as it can only applied once/month on the cat.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Om (Hope, Bc Canada) on 10/04/2015

Carolyn (Rockford Il.) for open wounds use turmeric powder. It is a natural antibiotic and you can google this, mentioning Ayurveda. I use it always.

When the wounds are healing, apply coconut oil. That's all that is needed.

Namaste Om


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ernie (San Jose Ca) on 08/30/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks Earth clinic and posts, this has helped my Boxer Rocky sleep last night! And wow! I checked him out this morning and no signs of fleas! I sprayed him with 25% ACV and 75% water in a spray bottle last night followed by a bath using dish soap. I did two soap washes to remove all fleas. There was tons! Anyway I then let him dry off a bit and resprayed him with ACV and off to bed we went. This morning I couldn't wait to see if this would work but even after letting him out in the backyard where all these bastard fleas are, NOTHING ON HIM! So I sprayed him again only because I know I didn't do 50/50. He is still scratching here and there but probably from scabs and irritated skin. So far so good! Hope this is my solution!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Rosangela (Florida) on 09/28/2016

The best way to treat pets is without the poison chemical in Advantix and other formulas.

More and more people are realising that dog food and flea meds cause fatal diseases.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 10/28/2016

Hey Christine!

I don't use chemical flea products on my pack. I fight fleas by keeping grass trimmed in the dog areas to reduce their habitat. I will treat the dog areas with a simple green cleaning solution for odors, which also discourages fleas in those areas. I check my dogs for parasites regularly and use a flea comb to remove any fleas I do find. I use floor lamp flea traps in the house to catch any hitchhikers. If we go for a walk in the woods everyone goes into the tub for a bath and flea comb when we get home. If I *had* to use a topical flea deterrent I would consider an essential oil spray - google recipes for home made topical flea sprays using essential oils like cedar or geranium. Spray down the feet and feathering and under carriage before walks - fleas and ticks do not want to hitchhike on a pet that smells like cedar! I do think that a healthy pet is simply not as appealing to a parasite than an unhealthy host. So having your dog in top condition, on great groceries and on a rotating water schedule with baking soda to alkalize goes a long way at deterring fleas. I hope something here helps you! Fingers crossed for a killing frost [followed up by weeks of Indian Summer, yes?].


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 07/23/2016

Hey Patricia,

I used Diatomaceous Earth/DE. I have not used salt or borax for fleas; I cannot imagine the amount of salt needed to dehydrate a flea, and the borax needs to be eaten to kill the flea -so not my first choice in eliminating fleas from the home. My first choice is the lamp flea trap. I posted this on another thread and reposted here about using DE:

20 years ago I had many cats who went in and out - and in the fall fleas jumped on my many cats and hitched a ride indoors to wait out the winter - not fun! And since my cats lived everywhere in the house, everywhere needed to be treated - this is what I did.

I used food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) - it is light and cheap and 10 pounds will last you decades. I started with my bed room - I stripped the bed, and dusted the room wearing a face mask. I worked the DE into the crevices of the mattress, under the mattress, into the floor boards, against the wall where the wooden molding edges the floor - everywhere; the room was one billowing cloud of dust when I left and closed the door. I let it sit for 24 hours, and in the mean time I used another bedroom to sleep in. Once I had established a 'ground zero' I stood the mattress up and gently beat off the excess DE and again the room was a dust bowl. I gave it a few hours and let the dust settle and then gently swept up the excess, leaving plenty behind in the cracks and crevices in both the mattress and the floor boards. The floor was still very dusty - you could feel it on your feet if you walked bear foot. I then laundered the bedding and dried it thoroughly and back on the bed; no cats were allowed to sleep on the bed during this process, as to avoid re-infesting the room. I then did the second room and created another 'ground zero' space. Into this now cleared room went freshly flea bathed cats with sanitized liter boxes and all fresh laundered kitty bedding. The cats were not allowed to leave this room until treatment was completed. Then room by room I did the same - I dusted the couch cushions and put them into large plastic bags, dust and all, and let them sit for 24-48 hours. I had to put a bag over the electronics with moving parts to avoid getting DE dust in them as it is very hard on moving parts - in fact I am sure sucking up all the excess DE shortened the life of my vacuum cleaner. I left the DE sit for 24-48 hours - this a time frame I thought was sufficient exposure to any fleas in the area, and in the mean time washed every piece of bedding, every rug, anything the cats could encounter. I had carpeting in one room and I sprinkled the DE on and worked it deep into the carpet fibers with a broom. Again, wear a face mask as you will be working in a billowing cloud of dust that will irritate your sinuses and mucous membranes. After the wait time/exposure time was up I gently swept and brushed off the carpet, taking care to leave plenty behind deep in the carpet fibers and in all floor cracks and crevices; for under the couch and under the couch cushions I didn't even bother to vacuum, I just left it down - in fact anyplace that I could not see, or had to lift up furniture to get under, I just left the DE down. Doing all laundry at the same time is crucial, so I bagged up items until I could process them. A proper flea bath is crucial to the process as well. I used dish soap, starting with the cat in a dry bath tub [clip claws before you start] and started with soapy water and a wash cloth at the nose and worked from the nose outward; once I had the head and behind the ears saturated with the soapy water I then went on to the next cat. When all of the cats' heads were treated I filled the tub and did the bodies, again in the dish soapy water. I then drained the tub and used clear water with a cup of white vinegar to remove all traces of the dish soap and to balance the PH of the skin to avoid drying. You could see the fleas as black specks as the water drained. I followed up by blow drying the cats and flea coming. It was work, I was persistent, and the cats hated it, but I got them clean and clear and into the holding room they went while the rest of the house was treated. I want to say it took me 4 days to get the house treated and before I could release the cats. The basement and attic were not used by the cats so they were not treated. I did not have to treat the house again ever - and 10 years later I still found DE in the floor cracks. I made a point to stop letting the cats out in the late summer and fall until the first frost. I also dusted the cats with DE by putting them in a sack with DE - the head was out but it was snug at the neck so the cat was dusting ala 'shake-n-bake' style. By not letting them out during prime flea-hitch-a-ride-inside time, and by dusting the cats in the fall, plus the initial house debugging, I never had a problem again. I have since moved to a more rural location and have only 2 cats, and experienced fleas in my first year at the new house. I learned about the lamp flea traps and deployed 4-5 of them with great success: I firmly believe the lamp trap is easier to use, far less labor intensive, and just as effective as dosing the entire house in DE - or any other sprinkled substance. I suppose if you used borax or salt, aside from needing enough to penetrate the carpet and fill in the cracks, the process would be the same as I describe above using the DE. Now if I see my cat twitching the hair on her back as if she has the heebie jeebies, I dust the cat ala shake-n-bake style, and turn on the lamp traps.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kandace (Fillmore, California) on 07/23/2015
3 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

I started using ACV a week ago and so far I think it's working except for the side effect of loose stools. I have two Scotties. My Wheaton I used the last vial of Revolution and then used the ACV on my black Scottie.

My Wheaton also gets ear infections that are yeast origin. That is also working. What I don't know is how often do I treat the ear? After I clean the ear, he shakes his head for about a half an hour.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by June (Winfield, Kansas) on 07/18/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I never bathe mine in ACV. If they are infested I guess you should bathe them to get the fleas off, probably with soap so it kills the fleas, but you can also just put a few drops of ACV on their fur and rub it in. Also put a few drops in their food every day. You will see the number of fleas decrease within a day or two. All my cats are outside and none of them have fleas. I have been using ACV for several years now. I put a few drops of ACV (organic with the mother) in their food every day. It works like a charm.

There is also this stuff called bug arrest you can buy online. It's non-toxic and contains no pesticides. It has enzymes in it that eats the exoskeletons off bugs. It will get rid of mange, scabies, earmites and all other bugs.

Good luck.



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