Natural Remedies

Natural Flea Control

Dish Soap

30 User Reviews
5 star (28) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Sherri (Houston, TX) on 10/16/2008

I TOTALLY agree with ___ Soap for killing fleas! It worked so well that fleas seem to "run away" from the suds -- I'd started sudsing my dog's back around the shoulder blades, then washed his neck. Next I was going to start on his ears, but when I lifted one of his long floppy ears, I was mortified to see hundreds of fleas lined up next to each other to escape the soap. It looked like small brown fish scales at first, they were so close together; it actually nauseated me a little to see it.

I poured out a LOT of ___ onto a washcloth and went to work on the fleas in his ears, then rinsed them under the tub spigot to make sure they rinsed off. But I never bathed him in that order again -- I came up with a much better system over time:

I wrapped a soft washcloth around my index finger, then applied a generous dab of ___ to the end. I carefully worked in the soap around his eyes, nose, and mouth area, being careful not to get any soap too near the sensitive areas. I made sure to work the area under their chin too. Then I got the inside of his ears sudsy to prevent the fleas from escaping to that area when I worked the rest of his body. I continued down until I reached his neck area, and all around the neck zone.

Next I did his privates, then tail, then hind legs -- I didn't want the fleas to escape to his private parts like they did in his ears the last time! Finally, I could work the rest of his body in any order I chose to, because I had put up a suds barrier to all the escape areas.


Replied by Sindee
(San Diego)

My furbabie and I had so much fun playing fetch in my back yard then we came inside and began to itch and saw dozens of flea. Neighborhood cats like to congregate there and I just got this pretty little goldendoodle now we are fighting off fleas. I'm going to try several of these remedies and report back later. Thank you for all the great tips.

Dish Soap
Posted by Heather (Monticello, IN) on 10/09/2008

I used ___ dish soap on my cat and watched the fleas drop off of her instantly. I used it also on my dog. The ___ is worth it.

Dish Soap
Posted by Cheryl (Centerton, Arkansas) on 09/18/2008

You can use Dawn in a shampooer just put it in the soap container and mix it with water. I also have a spray bottle with flea shampoo and water in it to spray under the beds and hard to reach areas for any fleas & eggs that might have fallen off the dogs. It also works good on furniture and carpet as well for bad cases. If its a mild case like I have now, I recommend water and vinegar solution to spray everything down plus it works as a deodorizer.

Dish Soap
Posted by Sue (Hazel Green, WI) on 09/01/2008

I just bathed my 2 8 week old kittens with the vinegar and dish soap recipe. We picked some fleas off. It seemed to work for now. Hopefully no more for quite a while. Thanks for having this posted on this sight. I had been looking for a safe remedy for little kittens. They are comfortable under a blanket with a heating pad.

Replied by Sue
(Hazel Green, WI)

I'm just updating on the flea bath. We did all 3 of our cat in the vinegar, dish soap bath. It has worked wonders. They are happy cats now. Thanks for the cure. Hope everyone can enjoy this website as much as I am.

Dish Soap
Posted by Melissa (Belpre, OH) on 06/08/2008

___Dish soap truly kills fleas! I took in a stray cat and tried using the flea shampoos from Walmart several time and the fleas kept coming back... So my mom told me about it. So we gave the poor cat one last bath and it killed every flea on his body within minutes!! Make sure to avoid the eyes and mouth. A little soap goes a long way. His fur was also soft afterwards!

Dish Soap
Posted by Kay (USA) on 06/05/2008


For those of you who are bathing your pets in ___ Dish Soap. I thought you might be interested in a bit of info.

Toxin Detergents.
Detergents are divided into several categories.
Soaps: Bar soaps, laundry soaps, and homemade soaps.
Anionic detergents: Laundry detergents, shampoos, dish soaps, and electric dishwashing detergents
Cationic detergents: Fabric softeners, sanitizers, disinfectants, and rust inhibitors in petroleum products. This category includes quaternary ammoniums.
Non-ionic detergents: Dishwashing detergents, shampoos, and some laundry detergents.

General Information
Detergents come in a variety of forms with each having a different level of toxicity. Every home has these common products in some form, and all family members need to be aware of the dangers.

Soaps: True soaps are usually not toxic.
Anionic: Slightly to moderately toxic; may result in illness but generally not fatalities.
Cationic: Highly to extremely toxic; 1% solutions are damaging to mucous membranes .
Non-ionic: Less toxic than the anionic and cationic detergents

Vomiting and diarrhea.
Homemade soap may cause corrosive GI lesions (burns).
Anionic: Irritated mucous membranes, vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhea, and GI distention. May have corrosive injuries in the mouth and GI tract. Eye exposure may result in edema around the cornea reddening and swelling of the conjunctiva and corneal erosions or ulcers.
Cationic: Vomiting, lack of appetite, drooling, muscle weakness, depression, seizures, collapse coma, and burns to the mouth and GI tract. Eye exposure may cause redness and severe corneal erosions and ulcers. Skin exposure may result in hair loss and skin irritation. Non-ionic: Vomiting and diarrhea. Immediate Action

DO NOT induce vomiting if ingested. It may cause more harm. Seek veterinary attention. In the case of dermal contact, flush the skin for at least 30 minutes with running water. In the case of eye contact, flush the eye with sterile saline or water for 20 minutes. Seek veterinary attention while you are performing the decontamination. General treatment: Administration of milk or water in the case of soap, anionic, or non-ionic detergent ingestion, or administration of milk, water, or egg whites in the case of cationic detergent ingestion. If dermal (skin) or ocular exposure occurred, the affected areas will continue to be flushed with sterile saline.

Fair to good, depending on detergent ingested. Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets. If you think your pet has been poisoned...Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center 1-900-443-0000 ($55.00 per case. The charge is billed directly to caller's phone.) 1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435. $55.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card only.) Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973. There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service. **Animal Poison Hotline - a joint service provided by North Shore Animal League America (NSAL) and PROSAR International Animal Poison Center (IAPC). 1-888-232-8870 ($35.00 per incident. The charge is billed to caller's credit card only.) Staffed 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Dish Soap
Posted by Michael (Shell Beach, Ca) on 03/03/2008

We just bathed one of our cats with the ___ dish soap method and it was amazing. It was like instant the fleas had no time to run and hide and didn't even know what hit them. By the end of the bath we had a not so happy but flea ridden cat. Thank you so much Michael and Christin

Replied by Marjie
(Texarkana, Texas)

I am considering using a steam vacuum with dawn soap instead of the usual steam cleaner. I am moving into a home that has a horrible flea infestation (thank you, previous owners!) I hope it works.

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
495 posts

Hi Marjie, I've never checked it out but I read in some hint column or book that if you have fleas in the house and didn't want to use chemicals (who does) that you should place a bright table lamp on the on the floor, place a container filled with water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent in it about a foot to the side of the lamp. I think the idea was that the light attracted the fleas, which came jumping in the light, landed in the water, which dispatched them to the happy hunting grounds.

Replied by Leslie
(Martin, TN)


re: Flea remedies -- You can't put dawn dish soap in your steam cleaner, it will ruin it. It also will take forever to come out of the carpet.

Replied by Lawrence
(Cebu, Philippines)

Re: ___ DISH SOAP - Natural Flea Remedies - To Paul from Oakland, CA - You can try putting a wire mesh or chicken wire on top of the glass pie plate to prevent your cat from drinking the water. Just make sure the weave is dense enough so the cats can't stick their tongues through the spaces.

Dish Soap
Posted by Laura (Umatilla, FL) on 11/07/2007

For your pet, Fill your kitchen sink with 1/4 body temperature water. Add ___ dish soap, white vinegar and baby oil together to form a bubble bath. Have a baby shampoo ready for their head.

Ease your small dog, or kitten/cat in the bath (use rubber gloves so you don't get scratched) Immerse the body and not the head!

Pump some baby shampoo on to your hand and rub on their neck and between the ears across their head. The fleas are Dead!

For your HOME: Use ___ dish soap in a glass pie plate with water 1/2 inch deep at several sunny places in front of a door and/or window. The fleas jump in and die. Change the water every day and in less that 1-2 wks ALL fleas are gone. A guy for a pest control company wouldnt charge me because of my little kids and the risk of inhalation of his chemical. I stuck to his intruction and WOW I was flea free! Its cheap too! The ___ dish soap and a hose water sprayer kills bugs off my bushes in Florida (I love dawn dish soap!)

Replied by Paul
(Oakland , CA)

Hi...I really want to try the glass pie plate with ___ liquid and water near the windows..but how do you keep the cats from drinking out of it?..... I'm trying to get the monthly flea med on the cats and they sense my anxiety and they are overdue and scratching ---I can't take it. Paul in Oakland.

Dish Soap
Posted by Candice (Victorville, CA) on 11/21/2006

We rescued two kittens, just to find out that they were infested with fleas. Since they were so young they could not use the traditional flea baths/powers/creams. This is when I searched (earthclinic) and seen the remedy. I decided to combine a couple of them.

*Dish soap (Ajax, but any will do).
*Rice Vinegar (this is just what I had)
*Baby shampoo
*Heating pad (optional)

First-what I did was filled up the sink half way with lukewarm (make sure not too hot, because what is comfortable to us is hot to them) I then added the VINEGAR (any vinegar will work!) I put a very good helping.

Second-I dipped the kittens in the vinegar solution (minus their heads) then I began to massage the DISH SOAP on. YOU WILL SEE THE FLEAS RUNNING! They will be running towards the head. This is when you lather the kitten with the BABY SHAMPOO ... try your hardest not to get any in the eyes.

Third-Now dip the kitten back into the solution (making sure not to get the head wet) and use a cup or your hands to make sure that you are saturating the fur entirely.

Fourth-This is where it gets tricky. Using a pair of tweezers, tweeze off all of the fleas that you can. THIS IS TIME CONSUMING! But it is worth it! When done tweezing, redip and then rinse off with lukewarm (not too warm) water, and towel dry.

This is when the heating pad will come in handy. What I did was set it on LOW, and put a towel/small blanket over it and then set the kitten down on top if it (first checking to make sure that it wasn't too hot) this is when I went flea hunting once again. This was about an hour process, with two kittens. Once I was finished, I towel dried them very well, and the kittens went right to sleep. I haven't had any reinfestations and I only did this the one time. I have 10 (all rescued) cats and it would be very hard for me if they became reinfested, but so far so good! THANKS!

Dish Soap
Posted by Robin (Mansfield, OH) on 07/19/2006

We have two dogs and four cats. Needless to say, fleas are a major problem in the summer. Upon searching for a flea killing product, we were told by a local store employee to try ___ Dishwashing liquid. She had used it on her animals and claimed that it worked. We were desperate and would try anything reasonable. Sure enough it worked!!. While bathing the animals, we saw the fleas literally running from the soaped areas. We scrubbed the animals throughly with a brush while bathing them, making sure that the soap was completely throughout the fur. We reallly found dead fleas in the water and on the floor after the bathing was done. Wash your animals once a week with this product and the fleas will not be a problem.

Replied by Kathleen
(West Columbia, South Carolina)

I am also going to try the D.E. and, thanks to your post, I will buy it from a garden store. I just wanted to thank you so very much for your very important and vital information about the D.E. from the pool stores.

Also, I am going to try bathing my dogs in the ___ Dishwashing Soap along with baby oil and white vinegar and use the baby shampoo for their heads. I really pray that this will give them some relief. It hurts to see them suffer and we are suffering also. The fleas are in our house too and I am always scratching. It is horrible.

Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful upcoming week.

Replied by Mary
(Birmingham, AL)

Do natural dish soaps work as well, or is it something specific to Dawn dish soap? I use seventh generation dish soap and my kitty has fleas. thanks!

Replied by Casper
(Port Crane, Ny)

Any dishwashing liquid will kill fleas. The ones containing lemon will work even faster. Fleas have an oily surface to them that keeps them alive. Mess that up with a little soap and they suffocate. You can always kill a few fleas taking your four legged friends for a swim. FLEAS CAN'T SWIM AND WILL ONLY DROWN IF IMMERSED IN WATER! I have black labs that swim most every day and fleas are never a problem.

Dish Soap and Lamp Method

10 User Reviews
5 star (10) 

Posted by Supertigertv (San Francisco, California) on 08/03/2014

I was really surprised to have a FLEA TRAP I learned about on this website work GREAT! Those critters die EASILY in just a little bit of soapy water! I set up a flat dish with HOT water and a few drops of dish soap then arranged for a hot desk lamp to stay focused over the soapy water and all other lights in this attic room OUT. In the morning the plate was SO FULL OF DEAD FLEAS I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT! I did it two more nights and then NOTHING. THANK YOU EARTH CLINIC! You just want the room to be quiet and uninhabited while you do this of course so the light also can't be knocked over because the plate really needs to be on the FLOOR.

Dish Soap and Lamp Method
Posted by Carlos (San Francisco, Ca) on 10/20/2012

I went to the pet store the other day and I told the clerk that despite using Advantix or Frontline my dog still have fleas. He told me that fleas have developed a resistence to them.

I have found regular baths with shampoo and a lice or flea comb works well. To get rid of an infestation I suggest a trick a friend of mine told me about.

Get a white shallow bowl like a pyrex. Fill it with soap and water. Place a lamp next to it and turn off all other lights.

The Fleas will jump in, the soap and water will drown them. Works like a charm.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

My husband tried the lamp/white saucer trap, and it worked like a charm. While my dogs are not infested, a flea from outside will jump on them and catch a ride to inside the house. My husband said he thought he saw a tiny black speck in the bed with him and the dog, so he thought of the lamp trick; I had been collecting small lamps just for this moment :-) He got a small white saucer and placed it under the lamp on the floor with soapy water in it, turned out the lights and shut the door; 4 hours later there was a flea! We then deployed the lamp trap in various locations around the house to see if there were more - nope! Caught all manner of tiny winged things flying loose in the house, but just the 1 flea. I suspect that the flea season is just beginning so I will have the lamp traps working for me from now on, rotating them around the house to catch those fleas who hitch hike their way into my house. Great trap, easy to afford as lamps are just a few dollars from the thrift store, it does not use any poisons and it works like a charm.

Dish Soap and Lamp Method
Posted by Jennifer (Gainesville, Fl) on 04/19/2011

I've read that you can use the desk lamp and dish wtih soap but I modified this to be more successful at least in my case. I have found that CLEAR containers work much better than opaque. Fleas seem to be attracted to white so under each clear container I have placed either a white paper towel or a white piece of printer paper. The best light source has actually proven to be an LED battery powered lantern (dorcy) and I have placed a small bowl in the clear container with the lantern sitting in it. Then put water in the clear container with a few drops of dish soap. The separate bowl for the lantern keeps it from getting wet but attracts the fleas quite well. I have also had luck with the clear dish and soap with white paper under when I have just used a glow bracelet or stick. Pink or red sticks don't seem to work but those that are white or green attract them like crazy. Using the above methods I have caught around 200 fleas in the last 3 days since I started setting these traps--I set two with lanterns and 3 with glow sticks/bracelets. I am hesitant to use an actual lamp or anythign with a cord since my cats tend to knock things over which could prove quite dangerous. The battery powered LED lanters work better than the glow sticks but the glow sticks are nice in that you can just toss them in the water and they work without risk of damage.

Replied by Laura
(Yorba Linda,Ca)

I'm printing this out & going to Party City for green glow sticks. THANKS.

Dish Soap and Lamp Method
Posted by Lynne (Shady Valley, Tennessee) on 02/22/2011

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!

Dish Soap and Lamp Method
Posted by Joni (Lorimor, Ia) on 10/15/2009

I tried the candle in a pan of soapy water to kill fleas and It really works!!! Every night I catch about 20 of the little devils. I am going to attempt to bath my cats with ACV. This should be interesting!! Thanks for the suggestions.