Flea Control
Natural Remedies

Effective Natural Remedies for Flea Control in Pets

Flea Medication Side Effects

Posted by Letitia (Oceanside, CA) on 08/12/2014

My dog was treated for a bad flea allergy with a shot of steroids to help reduce the itchiness. She had a heartworm test, and the vet suggested putting her on Trefexis because it kills fleas (Frontline had become less effective) and because the coyotes are a vector for heartworms which they picked up after rescue dogs from the South (with heartworms) came to SoCal after Katrina.

The alternative -- to not give her the Trefexis -- seemed a bad choice after her terrible flea allergy and her suffering. So ate the Trefexis and did not throw up (I gave it with a good meal), and I've been giving her the step-down dose of steroids every day as directed.

Within 24 hours, I noticed small wet spots on the carpet. They are showing up where the dog has been sitting or lying down for awhile, so I don't think she is actually intentionally urinating; I have never seen her squat in the house and she's a well-behaved, house-broken dog. So I'm sure she's a bit incontinent.

I assumed it was the Trefexis, because I've given other dogs steroids in the past, and never had incontinence show up as an issue.

I've seen posts by other owners, and several people reported incontinence as a side effect of Trefexis. I don't remember seeing that as one of the potential side effects when I read the pamphlet before agreeing to give Trefexis, but having been in human drug trails myself, I KNOW that not all the side effects that participants report get listed on the package and label.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Letitia!

Thank you for sharing your experience with Trifexis. As you say, not everything gets listed on the label, so thank you for providing details on this side effect of incontinence in your dog.

I did a google search with "trifexis side effects urination" and quickly found a forum where another experienced urinary issues with their dog not concentrating the urine; when taken off the Trifexis the problem resolved.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!

Flea Prevention Tips

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

Flowers of Sulphur

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Zeynep (Uk) on 09/19/2014

No need to use essential oils on pets, no need to risk it. Flowers of Sulphur is an excellent ancient remedy which is very cheap and easy to use. It is actually very healing for the skin, never harmful, just the opposite (good for so many ailments, worth googling).

Sprinkle it with a flour sprinkler on floors, bedding, pets, repeat as necessary.

We had a very warm spring/ summer in UK this year and I had fleas first time ever on my house cats and it quickly turned into a huge house infestation! However, FOS seemed to have worked immediately, eased the itch as well. I happened to have FOS at home as my husband uses it for his psoriasis.

I hope it helps, I was devastated when I realised the scale of infestation but after a thorough vacuuming (vacuum some FOS to kill the ones in the bag) and sprinkling all seems to be fine now.

I also put a piece of amethyst in their water bowl as I like the sound of it :)

The vets prescribe very dangerous chemicals, which are proven to contribute to feline cancer.

Best wishes everyone.

Freezing the Bedding

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Jiminiecricket (Houghton Lake, Mi) on 09/29/2009

Has anyone heard of freezing the bedding of cat (or dog) and other small items your pet uses to kill fleas? I read this somewhere online.

Replied by Karen
(Russiaville, Indiana)

Freezing things only puts them in a dormant state. Sometimes putting in dryer for 30 minutes will kill a light case; like trying to kill lice.


23 User Reviews
5 star (19) 
1 star (4) 

Posted by Arlene (Lehigh Acres, Fl) on 12/18/2021

I just want to respond to the flea issue reported by Dyz (East Bay, Cali) in 2008 on the sea salt page (https://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/sea_salt.html#arthritisindogs_8591).

I also have a nearly 15 yr old German Shep. When he was young vet put him on the poisonous flea med. Every time I gave it to him, he would get sick and lethargic for days. I complained to the vet and he told me "well as long as he doesn't throw up in the first 30 minutes don't worry about it". I was so mad and sick of cleaning up those messes. Just like human doctors, they insist on forcing this crap on a poor animal and I decided I would no longer continue with this.

I had a K9 police neighbor and he told me about a company called SPRINGTIME. They sell garlic tabs for flea protection. Because I live in Fl, heartworm is a concern as well. At that time I decided to take my chances and go with the the garlic because the dog was becoming sicker and sicker and I truly believe he wouldn't have lived this long. He's been on garlic for over 10 yrs now and his coat is so beautiful and I brush him every day. I also don't have carpeting in my house just a few area rugs and it's worked out well after all these years. However, I have never met a vet who was happy about the garlic tabs. They give me a look of disgust because they don't like it when you go against their protocol. I do not have any ties to Springtime. I am merely a longtime customer. I also know someone whose Labs had seizures. Found out it was from Frontline.

I hope someone will find this post and help a dog that is being poisoned from these insecticides. God bless all❤️

Replied by Arlene

Hello again. I need to seriously update previous post. The 15 yr old did pass away from old age. We spent most of his life in Ft Lauderdale and have since moved to a semi rural area with lots of woods. Got a new pup and continued with the garlic tabs. However he was itching and seemed a little "off" I brushed him daily and didn't think he could possibly have fleas but took him to the vet and yes indeed under his thick coat was fleas. So my garlic pills were useless in this environment. Vet put him on Simparica and poor dog gets agitated and SEVERE diarrhea. After 2 doses I am NOT giving this poison to him anymore. Am going back to the vet because at 20 dollars a pill and 4 left I want a refund. I don't know what my next step will be but I will find a non toxic remedy. I guess if you live in a city and not the country garlic tabs will work but out here it's a battle. Maybe garlic doesn't work all the time but these poisons will shorten their lives. Maybe you might not notice it right away but ask yourself if you would drink a poison cocktail once a month. Check out petbucket.com/what are the side effects of Simpirica. Best wishes all

Posted by Ari (Willemstad, Curacao, Caribbean) on 05/16/2013

Hi there, we have 3 rescued dogs and they are all on 1 heaped teaspoon of minced garlic a day. I buy the jars. Garlic in olive oil. Fresh garlic is better but it is more work! They never have fleas. The vet didn't believe they are not on frontline or something like it, until I told him about the garlic. Apperently the garlic gives off an enzyme the fleas don't like. Garlic is healthy anyway. Give it a go.

Replied by Karen
(Russiaville, Indiana, United States)

Does the dose depend on dog weight??

Posted by David (Milton Keynes, Bucks) on 05/03/2013

Garlic keeps fleas off a dog. I capsule a day. Some use garlic salt on their food.

Replied by Terry
(Glendale, Az)

I have 5 SHIH TZU"S used to have 8. Using all natural remedies and through web pages. My oldes Shih Tzu is 16 1/2 years young.

He has a wart on hisd lower fron leg. I know when I had a wart on my thumb crease I used a garlic and tee tree oil and it fell off about 5 years ago.

In reference to Garlic it can be very poision ist to dogs . I wanted to put it on his wart (older dogs get warts) and if it goes through the blood stream it break down their immune system and makes them enemic and they could die from it.

Also on www.herbdoc.com they also told me the same thing. I use eye bright for his cateracts which amanda from 5leafpharmcy told me to use 15 drops of water to 1 drop of eyebright 2weeks and continue each day with less water till you get at 15 drops.

After about 1 1/2 months from having a complete white eye cornea the black rim outer part is shwoing. I do this for 3 times a day every day. Amada said they have excellent results with it. She study under this Dr. Shultze and does heart, liver, kidney problems for dogs. Her dog greens are excellent. Just some extra natural things I do for the pups.

Be very careful with the garlic.


Posted by Patrick Browning (Gulf Breeze Florida, Florida) on 06/06/2012

Garlic for fleas:

I've breed dogs for over 20 years large, and small bread dogs. And other then bad breath me and my wife noticed that the fleas are simply gone. The chemicals were getting expensive and I didnt really feel they were really safe. I mean come on, a chemical you apply once a month. I live in florida where there is a lot of insects, period. All I can say is we see the proof with no ill side effects.

I use minced garlic that I bought at sam's club.

Replied by Kim
(Cornwall, Ontario)

How much garlic would I put in her food without hurting her?

Replied by Donna

I have 3 Chihuahuas 1 that weighs 13 pounds two 12 pounders and one 6 pounds. How much will I need for them?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Use freshly peeled garlic, chopped up and allowed to REST for 15 minutes [very important! ]

5 lbs - feed one sixth teaspoon

10 lbs - feed one third teaspoon

15 lbs - feed one half teaspoon

20 lbs - feed two thirds teaspoon

30 lbs - feed one teaspoon

Posted by Josh H. (Portland, Or, Usa) on 08/31/2011

I noticed that you are recommending adding garlic to every meal your dog eats to help prevent flea and tick infestations. At one point, I was a small business owner and one of my products was all-natural dog biscuits. Despite the fact that most DIY dog biscuit recipes call for garlic as an ingredient, I found out through further research that this is actually very harmful to the dogs. Garlic, onions and many other alliums contain a particular natural chemical that builds up in a dog's kidneys over the course of their life. This build up can eventually lead to kidney failure or death for the animal. It has also been known to cause a rare form of kidney cancer in some dogs. This is something that I thought you should know....

Thanks, Josh

Replied by Sloan
(T-town, Al)

Garlic is still being disputed as a safe food for pets. There are conflicting results on a cat's ability to break down the chemical compositions in the garlic, remember their liver isn't as powerful as ours and even the pollen of an easter lily is enough to cause liver failure. Until there is more evidence of garlic being safe, I would recommend each reader to do their fair share of research to make that call, as there are reports of garlic (in any form) being highly toxic to both cats and dogs.

Also, Diatomaceous Earth is a great product if used properly. Readers need to learn of ALL the precautions on how to properly administer as a pet/home flea prevention method. Using it on carpet gives easy access to the pet's eye causing severe irritation and harmful damage. Since their face is constantly inches from the carpet, breathing the stuff in will happen. This can cause severe lung irritation.

I buy FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous. I use it as a de-wormer for my pets. But this "food grade" is HUMAN food grade and I use it as a supplement for myself (no, not as a de-wormer lol). It has great benefits for us, just research it before you use it, but is does some remarkable things.

When I use it in my carpets, I don't use enough to make a dust when I walk. I do it when my pets are out of the house (outside on porch or getting groomed, at the vets). I don't let them back in until it is settled in the carpet and wiped up, off the counters and floors.

When bought packaged as a human supplement (high grade, pure DE), the package clearly states "Keep from eyes and DO NOT BREATHE". This applies to our animals too. I would recommend not applying it directly on their skin, as some may suggest.

When using natural oils, again be sure to get food grade, high quality essential oils. DO NOT apply it directly to their skin, as they have a different PH than we do, and they often cause severe skin irritation. Even we humans use carrier oils when applying it directly to their skin.

Again, a cat's liver can often not handle many of the essential oil and have a hard time processing them. Their liver is just not as strong as we seem to think. AND YES! They do absorb the oils through their skin, which eventually gets processed by their liver. WE HUMAN DO THIS TOO. Anything that is absorbed by the skin gets processed by our organs. Skin is the largest organ we have. Nicotine patches work by being absorbed through the skin. Normal flea treatment works like this. After it is absorbed, it gets into the blood stream and viola! It's in. So do your research. There are conflicting reports when it comes to your pets ability to handle essential oils.

So be careful what you put on your animals.

I know I sound like a downer, but I'm just trying to inform people to do their research and decide for themselves. When there are conflicting reports, one needs to take precautions.

Fleas are a pain. I know. I have 5 long haired cats and a dog. It's a constant struggle. So far, there is no one answer. Good luck to you all.

Replied by Mark
(Exeter, Uk)

Please provide evidence for your claims, garlic is widely used by dog owners with no negative outcomes, the warning against garlic only seems to benefit profit hungry vets.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Facts: The primary toxic ingredient in garlic and onions is n-propyl disulfide, an oxidant. [Other toxins are S-methylcysteine sulfoxide, methyl disulfide, and allyl disulfide]. Compared to humans, dogs and cats are more sensitive to “oxidative damage” on their red blood cells. Dogs have more “areas” on their red blood cells that oxidizing agents such as n-propyl disulfide can attach to. This attachment is recognized by the body as a foreign invader, and in the attempt to remove this invader, the body also destroys the red blood cell. This is called “hemolysis” – the breaking down of the red blood cells. Garlic is more toxic than onions – with raw garlic, toxic ingestion is around 1 gram per pound, and with onions it is 1 gram per 5 pounds. To put this into perspective, if you feed 50 cloves of garlic to your pet in one sitting you will induce hemolytic anemia in your pet.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Mark! Check it out: Https://www.sojos.com/learn/articles/pet-mythbusters-5-pet-food-myths Http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1677&aid=2414 I have used powdered garlic in home made food for my dogs with no ill effects. While garlic may be toxic to dogs in large quantities, the health benefits of garlic in small quantities is widely proven. Http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

Replied by Mark
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
12 posts

Big Pharma takes over veterinary medicine; dogs and cats drugged with chemicals for profit


Pet health is now in rapid decline

The result of all this is that our dogs and cats are sicker than ever. Ask any vet who's been practicing for more than ten years: They've never seen such an increase in the rate of liver disease, nervous system disorders, cancers and diabetes. Ever wonder why?

Replied by Mark
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
12 posts

Found on Earth Clinic's garlic for dogs page:


Garlic, the Facts,

by Lisa S. Newman, ND, Ph.D.

Since 1982, Dr. Newman has been a world renowned pioneer in the field of natural pet care. The author of nine books."

"When it comes to your pet's health, do you want to follow facts or fears? Unfortunately, garlic has come under attack. This is primarily as a result of garlic's close cousin onion's reputation for triggering hemolytic or "Heinz factor" anemia (where circulating red blood cells burst) through its high concentration of thiosulphate. With onions, a single generous serving can cause this reaction. Garlic simply DOES NOT CONTAIN THE SAME CONCENTRATION of this compound! In fact, it is barely traceable and readily excreted (not stored in the body).

Despite this fact, garlic is falling victim to mass hysteria spread through the internet. Yes, there are 51,174 sites devoted to warning about the "toxicity" of garlic, this hysteria has even prompted the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center to place a warning on garlic although there is little scientific data to back this claim other than the fact that thiosulphate is also found in garlic. Yet, there are also over 400,000 sites still proclaiming its benefits, many of them from reputable holistic veterinarians who have widely used garlic in their practice for many years! How can an herb suddenly turn so bad?!

There is no doubt that onion, due to its concentration of thiosulphate, will cause Heinz factor anemia. In addition, as stated by Wendy Wallner, DVM, "Onions are only one of the substances which can cause Heinz body anemia. Other substances such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and benzocaine-containing topical preparations can also cause Heinz body anemia in the dog." The latter probably accounts for many cases as it is prevalent in creams often recommended for allergy-suffering pets due to its ability to numb the itch. It is absorbed through the skin and builds up in the blood stream. This other substance is likely to have been involved in cases where garlic was suspect.

For centuries, as long as humans have been using herbs, garlic has been a primary remedy turned to in a majority of cases. For as long as people have been using garlic, they have also been feeding it to their animal companions. Its properties have proven far reaching, easy on the body and safe to use. In the past fifty years, during the rebirth of holistic medicine in the United States, garlic has been in the forefront. Every text that I have researched on herbal health which mentions pet care has recommended it, especially for its incredible anti-parasitic and anti-septic properties. In my own experience, garlic has also benefited pets with cancer, diabetes, liver, heart and kidney disease, uncontrollable staph infections and a host of other conditions, as well as been a staple in my recommended preventative protocols. It has been widely used by hundreds of thousands of pet owners with no reported negative side-effects - except its effect on their animal's breath - until now.

This is the point;

garlic has suddenly become a "suspect, " not proven the culprit.

Do not let mass hysteria determine a holistic care program for your dog or cat. Follow hundreds of years of "proven use" rather than recent "suspicions" in regards to this miracle herb, as garlic is known to be. As with anything, do use garlic in reasonable doses, and do know that you can trust history over hysteria. ------

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

Mark, everything said very true.

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc Canada)

Mark (Exeter, United Kingdom)---

Just to thank you, Mark, for your post. You said it and yet, people still believe and trust the veterinarian association. Health is a business and disease is desired for profit.

Let us hope these days be shortened.

Namaste, Om

Replied by Samantha

Many to most of the health issue in our pets today are due to over vaccinating. Check for information on Dr. Ronald Schultz. He the leading expert on animal immunology world wide. Is currently in Wisconsin. His and others studies have proven that annual vaccinations are not just unnecessary, but very harmful. One DHPP (dogs) or FVRCP (cats) at or after 16 weeks of age immunizes them probably for life. Challenge studies have proven immunity for at least 9 years and titer studies 15 years. Most of the other optional vaccinations like bordetella, leptospirosa and such are not needed and also quite harmful.

Replied by Anja

I am so happy to read this! Finally someone with common sense about garlic!

Garlic is 100% safe as long as you don't feed one garlic (like 15 cloves) to a Chihuahua or so ;-) My dogs get garlic, they are both small sized dogs, and they get half a clove per meal, twice a day.

Against flees and ticks I prepare an oil, with the cloves of 1 organic garlic, chopped, some ginger cloves, and about 1/8 of the bottle with AVC, then fill it up with (organic) sunflower oil (you can use any oil of course), let this stand for 24 to 48 hours, shake every few hours.

When ready, simply add a few drops to your hands and massage it in the coat of your dog, that is enough to keep any flee and/or tick away for at least 24 hours. Repeat daily!

I never have flees or ticks or other nasty small beasts that hunt my dogs. This recipe is great for cats too. I wouldn't try it on your canary or parakeet, but even for rabits and of course for horses (use more than a few drop, I'd say a hand full of oil), any animal that can get flees/ticks!

Posted by Mama (London, Ontario, Canada) on 11/09/2010

Our German Sheppard was covered in fleas when we adopted him. His whole belly was full of the little black bloody droppings ugh... I read about garlic and began chopping 2 cloves and mixing it into 2 raw eggs and feeding this to him with his supper. I'm telling ya in the next 2 days I couldn't find a single one!! He stopped itching and was happy. I stopped the garlic thinking he's fine now, and in only a week he was beginning to get infested again. So I now keep up his supper routine of the 2 cloves of garlic in 2 raw eggs and he's been flea free ever since. Good/bad it's quite the controversy, but I'd rather this than the chemicals that are ALL bad. He's never seemed healthier.

Posted by Angela (Maple Falls, Wa) on 12/29/2009

Natural Flea Treatment

Last summer we had an extreme flea problem, all of our animals were infested ! We are always more inclined to use a natural remedy instead of chemicals, as we have a special needs child.

First we started adding a small amount of minced garlic to the pets food (you can also use aged kyolic garlic found in health food stores )

Second, we washed all bedding, and sprayed furniture with a mix of 8oz water with 20 drops each of lavender/tea tree oils.

Lastly, we bathed the animals and sprayed them down with citrus water :

RECIPE : In a large bowl of boiled water , add 2 quartered lemons and 2 quartered limes , let sit covered overnight . Strain liquid into spray bottle and use to spray pets coat( avoiding the face and other sensitive areas) bonus ~ They smell great LOL. I store any left over in the fridge .

Another great idea is to sprinkle carpets with 20 mule team borax at night before bed, then vacuum in the morning . We no longer have a flea problem :0)

Posted by Ben (Southern Pines, Nc) on 10/14/2009

Garlic Oil: I give my 130lb shepherd/dane 3 tablets 2 times a day and when I ran out the fleas where horrible, he had sores and all. started back on the regimene and within 3 days a drastic improvement

Posted by Db (San Francisco, Ca) on 10/06/2009

Hi, I came across your site while searching for safe & natural flea bath options for our cats. I noticed your garlic food supplement suggestion and thought it would be good to pass this info along to you and your readers:


The suggestion of garlic on the dog's food jumped out at me because our boy cat loves to nibble on house plants and we've had to spend some time learning about what plants are toxic to cats; Bulbs and many other plant parts from members of the Lily family (of which garlic is a member) are especially bad for cats. -I did not know that garlic was also toxic to dogs but apparently it is as well (I do know that cats don't have some of the toxin processing apparatus that other mammals have, so they tend to have the broadest risk of plant poisoning.)


EC: Please see Lisa Newman, N.D. about garlic for dogs: https://www.earthclinic.com/pets/garlic_for_dogs.html#ARTICLE

We also have pages of positive testimonials from readers about dogs and garlic in the same section.

Posted by Daphne (Myrtle Beach , SC) on 06/23/2009

I contacted our vet, and was told Garlic was not good for pets, so we never tried it, but I will be trying the ACV in a spray and drinking water.

Posted by Ann Marie (Indianapolis, Indiana USA) on 12/30/2008


Garlic (& other onion-like plants) are REALLY NOT that good for cats. It adversely affects their blood cells.

Replied by Mark
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
12 posts

@Ann Marie (Indianapolis, Indiana USA)

Hi it appears that the myth of garlic applies to cats as well as dogs.

I used to make garlic water and then store it in a 500ml glass bottle refridgerated. For my cat I was pulled up approx 0.2ml of garlic water and squirt and mix into his food. No adverse reactions, but remember having to start at a low dose and build up a little ech day. I also used to boil fresh parsley for 3 mins the strain and bottle that water using a teaspoonof that in food, as parsley would help cleanse the kidneys (Dr Hulda Clark).

Not only is garlic good for fleas but I use it successfully on myself and my dog (bitch) for tooth abcess, we both were in a bad way with a leak rendering us from 'normal' to intoxicated within seconds by posion from the tooth seeping out the tooth & down thraot, using garlic, within 24hrs I was 90% better with the next day normal again, a little longer for pugsley as I had a much bigger dosage, both sorted and with out the liver bashing and flora gut masssacre we would have endured taking 'anti-biotics', a wonderful anti-biotic for family, children and 4 legged friends.

All the nay sayers who post here have read a scare story or 2 written by profit making businesses, selling synthetic copies of organic meds, whose profits will suffer when / if garlics healing potential is whole heartedly acknowledged.

Don't you think the holistic vets and also the pet lovers who use and praise garlic hold more weight than a written statement thats regurgitated by a worry wort?? (intentions may be good but really its holding back the truth based on shoddy research quite frankly).

One more thing, Vets have access to extremely cheap medications that are just as good as the top shelf expensive meds.

Some vets will offer euthenasia if 'bills' cant be paid for due to greedy vaccine, meds extortion fees. The vaccine and pharma corps forbid them from offering the affordable meds to lower income pet homes. If they start to dish out cheaper alternatives then EVERYONE will want cheaper therefore massive profit drops!! Also a vet practice will pay little over £1 per vile of vaccine (USA approx $0.80), so a £70 injection is not only toxic un-needed abuse to your pet but also pure profit for vets. Over half a vets annual income is vaccine related-hence the yearly illegal boosters (dont even accept the 3 yearly vaccine) puppy jabs for dogs and cats WILL LAST THEM THEIR LIFETIME!! Vaccine toxicity will show its self 3 months after the injection- which removes the vaccines from accusation coz 3 months is long time but im sure lots of you will be able to marry current illnesses to a start point 3 monts after a vaccine injection.

please see .....http://www.petwelfarealliance.org/

scientific eveidence and the fight to stop vaccine abuse.



Thanks, Mark

Replied by Jeff
(Willits Ca)

Garlic is NOT an onion like food!!