Natural Remedies

Natural Flea Control

Dish Soap and Lamp Method

10 User Reviews
5 star (10) 

Posted by G (Buffalo, NY) on 11/09/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Please Post. After having my house INVADED with fleas...I used the flea bombs, shampooed my rugs, threw any thing I could in the dryer (rugs, bedding, clothes that the kids had left on the floor, etc.) on high heat. The dogs and cats were dosed with the flea medicine that is put on their necks that I bought on line (also available at the vets, but you don't have to take your animal in to have them checked first and only takes about 2 days to receive in the mail..costs the same)..I could tell that the fleas literally fell off on my cat! I sprayed the rugs with a spray (more than once, but supposed to last for 6 mos.) that I bought at the pet store. I also went to the dollar store and bought nightlights to fit into any socket I could get to in all the rooms infested. Under the nightlights, I placed WHITE bowls of water with just a few drops of dish soap (mix it around, doesn't matter what kind/color). The soap covers the fleas and makes them sink to the bottom of the bowl. The light colored bowl allows more light to be absorbed, attracting the fleas. Even after everything I had done previously, I was still finding fleas in the bowls (a couple every day or so.) for a few weeks. But, I believe that keeping my pets on the 3 monthly dosage of the flea medication is what finally ridded our house (but, remember, my house was infested) because it kills the fleas on bite, no time to lay eggs. If I found a flea on me, or one of my animals, I would just get a small glass of water, add a few drops of dish soap, place my fingers under the water and release the flea...it sinks...it can't breath, and dies. (works for ticks also.)

This "light colored bowl of soapy water" also works great when placed next to candles outside to attract mosquitoes!!

Dish Soap and Lamp Method
Posted by Brenda (Princeton, Kentucky) on 10/13/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Dawn Dish Soap in water helped my son to get rid of some fleas in his home. I came across your website to see if I could find something to help his flea problem. I told him about the use of a low bowl with water and dawn dish soap placed in the corner of a room with a desk lamp turned on at night. He tried it except he used a nightlite. The next morning, a lot of fleas were floating in the water. He is having better success with this method than any other he has tried. Thank you very much for your website.

Dish Soap and Lamp Method
Posted by Nicci (Midland, MI) on 10/26/2006
5 out of 5 stars

This is a remedy my grandmother used. It is safe for the pets, and easy to do. Just take a little dish saucer (one that sits low to the ground), fill it with water and add two drops of dawn dish soap. Place it on the ground in the corner of a room along with a desk lamp. Turn the lamp on and let it sit. The water may need to be changed every couple of days. This remedy works well especially at night because the fleas are attracted to the heat of the lamp, so they jump in the water and the soap weighs them down and the drown. Very effective on minimal flea problems.

Dish Soap, Garlic and Lemon

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sherry (Wilmington, DE) on 08/04/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had used Frontline on my two dogs in the past and they would both run and hide as soon as they saw that tube come out. Both of them had lowered red blood cell counts and the vet said that he didn't know why. After having read somewhere else that the prescription flea treatments were causing lowered red cell counts, I discontinued it. when the fleas started up again, I read some of the remedies on this website and decided to try the Dawn detergent first to get rid of them. GONE!! Worked like a charm. Since then, I've put a little garlic in their food and have been applying lemon juice to their coats (they don't run from the lemon juice!). I have had not flea one and their red blood cell counts are back up where they should be. I wonder how many more years have been added to my dog's lives by using natural methods? Thank you so much!

Replied by Connie
(New Liberty, Iowa)

i too used to be a frontline user. until this year. not only did the fleas still run all over my poor old girl but she got a major flea allergy on her pink skin from front line not working. i called them and they tried to tell me i was not doing something right lol . i have worked with dogs for years. used to work at an animal shelter. i live on a farm i think i know. i tried lemon joy last night and dawn before and both killed the fleas. now if i can find something to keep them from jumping on her and ideas out there. have a great day =]

Replied by Janice
(Seminole, Florida)

To Connie: I live in Florida which has a huge flea problem and I have two cats that go in and out at will. I use Neem shampoo initially, which kills all existing fleas and their eggs organically. Then I follow with a ACV and water mixture as a final rinse which I do not rinse off. I let 'em loose and no flea problems whatsoever. If it works on my cats, I see no reason why it wouldn't work on your dogs. I have not seen ANY fleas on either animal and I do this every 4 to 6 weeks.

Replied by Jamie Lopez
(Lansing, Michigan)

i was just woundering about the lemon remedy that you put on the pets can you also use that to spray on your furniture too?please help i am in need of help bad .thank you.

Replied by Jami
(Largo, Fl)

What is the mixture for the lemon juice spray. Where can I get the Neem shampoo, oil

Don's Flea Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Don (Southwest, Michigan, USA) on 10/01/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Before vacuuming, pour a half-cup of moth crystals onto an area of flea infestation and then leave the crystals in the vacuum bag until it is full. It will kill fleas and any insect vacuumed.

I buy a bag of the lavender moth tablets at any discount store. They have two tablets in individual packets. I put a packet in my vaccum everytime I change bags to kill any critters I vacuum up. The lavender oil smells good too.

You can make a terrific flea repellant if you steep a quartered whole lemon in a pint of boiling water overnight then spray lightly on dogs back, hind quaters and on belly between front legs. You could probably also make it with two tablespoons lemon concentrate and one quarter tsp. citric acid to a pint of water.

Essential Oils

10 User Reviews
5 star (7) 
1 star (3) 

Posted by Jo (Bath, Maine) on 10/27/2010
1 out of 5 stars


I noticed an article mentions using Geranium, Citronella and Eucalyptus to bath the cat for fleas. I just hope that everyone reading realizes that these are very toxic and poisonous to cats. While I will always go the natural route to aide in matters of health with my cats, you have to become educated as to what plants and essential oils, etc are toxic to our little cat children. There are very good natural cat shampoos that use safe ingredients. And people are getting good results with Diatomaceous Earth. The food grade kind not the Pool chemical kind. This kills the fleas and their larvae without threatening the environment you or your pet live in. I hope that everyone researches carefully what natural means and that not everything that is organic or natural is good for your pet children.

Essential Oils
Posted by Fraizer (Venice, Fl) on 07/20/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I too have been searching for a natural remedy to rid my 2 cats of fleas. I tried the Vinegar and some home remedies, but none of them worked for me. I refuse to put any pesticides or chemicals on my pets because they are really harmful to them, and my cats have had bad reactions to them. I will not mention brand names, but I finally found success with a store bought product. Go to your pet store and look for a natural flea powder or spray containing natural oils (peppermint, cloves, etc.) that will kill fleas. They are more expensive, but are non toxic to humans and pets and WORK GREAT! My girls are no longer biting & scratching. Be sure to spray or sprinkle the powder over your entire house as well. My cats smell like TEA BAGS but are no longer FLEA BAGS!!! Please do not put poison on your pets. Find a natural remedy.

Essential Oils
Posted by Laura (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) on 12/06/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Skin Allergy Remedies for Pets
Lavender Essential Oil Spray.

This works so well my dogs actually ask for it! I just use about a 1/2 oz of pure lavender essential oil in a spray bottle filled the rest of the way up with water. In the summer, my bichon and lab both get 'hot spots' on their paws and seem to become a little obsessive about chewing on them, especially at night. When it gets to be too much they will walk over to my night table and whine until I open it and give them a squirt or 2 of this mixture and they calm down, stop itching and go to sleep. Lavender is a natural bug repellant too, and is also great as an antihistamine. There have even been times when my lab will go get the bottle and bring it to me... can you believe it!

Replied by Ayga
(Lodi, Ca)
5 out of 5 stars

This is a highly effective recipe for essential oil healing. Equal parts Frankincense, Lavendar (Antiseptic), Tea Tree (Germacide & heals skin disorders), Mandarin (Repellant), Patchouli, Rosewood (Healing). To this add 10X Grapeseed as the carrier oil. Due to the minute molecular structure grapeseed oil pulls the EOs into the skin to promote healing, stop itching immediately, restore healthy skin and coat. I Dilute with water and shake vigorously as I spray it into the coat. Massage it into the skin and the dog will get instant relief. I do not recommend for cats only because I have no experience with cats.

Replied by Julia
(Aliso Viejo , Ca)

Thank you for the information. My question is, how many drops of EOs do you use?

Essential Oils
Posted by Amanda (Trenton, Ontario) on 08/08/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I was reading your site as my cats were going crazy. I didn't have any of the things you recommend to hand. but after reading your shampoo advice, I realized I did have some lavender essential oil so I tried that and a few drops rubbed into their coat did bring immediate relief.

Essential Oils
Posted by Nancy (Long Beach, CA) on 07/08/2008
1 out of 5 stars


I was referred to your site by someone in the discussion of flea treatment, specifically cats.

The information you provide re: garlic and lavendar, rosemary, etc., is in direct contradiction with my knowledge and what was posted on other websites. My understanding is garlic and essential oils such as lavendar and rosemary are toxic to cats. I've included an excerpt from one site for your info.


Cats should not be given any essential oils, period.
The use of essential oils with cats is a potentially volatile combination. Cats do not efficiently metabolize essential oils and their use can lead to symptoms of toxicity. In addition to essential oils, cats have known metabolic sensitivities to certain herbal preparations and allopathic
medications. Because the cat's body does not efficiently excrete essential oils, they can build up to toxic levels. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, dizziness, clumsiness, lack of appetite, lack of energy and shock. In addition, cats have very thin, delicate skin. Essential oils are absorbed rapidly into their skin and enter the bloodstream, overwhelming their systems. Cats dislike strong odors and generally keep away from strong scents -- even highly diluted essential oils.

Many people find that they can use essential oils on their cats with no obvious adverse effects. Although one or more applications of an essential oil product or blend may not cause immediate harm, the effects of essential oils can be cumulative and manifest themselves at a later date in the form of toxicity for which owners and vets often can find no attributable cause. (source: www.aromaleigh.com)"

What's your response?


Essential Oils
Posted by dmpuppyove (Harrisburg, PA) on 04/15/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I am allergic to fleas really bad. I am also in rescue & can have as many as 10 dogs in my house (and on my bed) at a time. So I cannot afford to have fleas as I break out in hives. For 20 years this is what I have been doing. First I use a baby castle soap that I get at the health food store that has either tea tree oil, lavender or eucalyptus in it. Then every week I spray them outside with this- (I put 1 inch of Avon skin so soft bath oil in a quart bottle & fill with water) I have also sprayed my house now & then with a mixture of water & peppermint oil . I never have fleas. I can't afford to- my health will not tolerate it. And this also repels the mosquitoes & ticks.

Replied by Dudley
(La, Ca)
1 out of 5 stars


Everything I have read says that tea tree oil and lavendar oil among others are very toxic cats... Please be careful and speak to a vet before putting any essential oil on them!!!

Replied by Tina
(Tx - Texas)

Can you tell me the exact amount of each of wat you put in the bottle to spray on the dogs?

Essential Oils
Posted by Maryanne (Savannah, Georgia) on 08/23/2006
5 out of 5 stars


Replied by Alison
(Houston, TX)
5 out of 5 stars

I am so happy I found your site! I read your suggestion for bathing your pet in essential oils such as lavender, bergamot and cedar. I went on line trying to find a product with these ingredients and found something called Wondercide which you spray on your animals fur - and it is working! I have an older Mastiff who suffers from major flea allergies. Her rear and tail were raw and hairless. All I did was spray the stuff on her and now she is doing great. Her hair is back, she smells better, she is free of fleas, and she is no longer incessantly licking and biting herself. I also sprayed her bed with the product and use it in my home and yard. Our home and family are now finally without fleas. BTW I live in the flea capital of the world - Houston.

Replied by Sarah
(Portland, OR)

Be careful with essential oils like lavendar, tea tree, eucalyptus and others around pets. They can act as endocrine disrupters and are toxic to pets.

Replied by Jessica
(Ky, US)

SOME essential oils can be toxic to CATS, but not all, and most are fine for use with dogs.

Replied by Donna

Where can I buy this wondercide. I have four Chihuahuas all under 20 pounds that are in need of defleaing. I'm on fixed income so need help getting rid of the fleas. Thanks Donna

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Donna,

Because your dogs are so small and essential oils are so strong (and can be even be toxic) I would find another remedy like apple cider vinegar.

Mix 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar in a bottle. Use a cotton ball to apply some of the solution to the back of your dogs' necks daily to prevent fleas.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Just google it and you will find their main website with a store locator. I do think your best bet would be to use floor lamp flea traps - one per room, and also give your dogs flea baths [use dawn dish soap with white vinegar rinse] all at the same time, and also wash all bedding all at the same time, and to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Cheap but for the cost of your labor.

Flea Combs

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lea (Columbia, MO) on 09/29/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have been happy with a mixed approach, using soapy water flea traps, sticky lighted flea traps, baths for cat & dog, having them on a Program & diatomateous earth in the carpet. One thing no one mentioned is flea combs. I have found that my cat seems to enjoy the attention and will sit for a long time in my lap while I flea comb her (and pet her ears, which she loves), dumping the fleas into slightly soapy water (and drying off the comb on a rag). It gets a little messy, but it is worth it. I comb my dog, too, but she is not happy about the proceedure. It works, tho, for those fleas that either escaped the bath treatment, or jumped on later. I have also spent time each day catching fleas on my feet & lower legs, & putting them in soapy water. My husband prefers very sticky tape to get them off of him. We are still fighting them, but sooo much better!

Flea Medication Side Effects

Posted by Teri (Usa) on 08/23/2014

My 12 year old Lab is going crazy chewing at her legs until they bleed. This stems from flea and or other insect bites. Is is possible the topical flea meds. I give her monthly are no longer working? She just had the last application no more than 2 weeks ago and I found a flea on her just yesterday. They really do not seem to alleviate the flea issues any longer. The problem has gotten progressively worse. Is there a natural, perhaps better remedy I might try? I have resisted taking her to the vet because my last visit was upwards of 600.00, ridiculous in my estimation. So anything you might suggest would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you, Teri

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

Put white vinegar in spray bottle and spray dog every day, fleas will die but be careful of dog's eyes

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Teri!

I am curious as to what your $600+ vet bill bought you - could you share? And is your dog an indoor or outdoor dog? If she is an outdoor dog please consider bringing her indoors as this will greatly reduce the opportunity for her to be bit by so many insects. If she is an indoor dog and still flea infested, please consider using a flea trap to reduce your indoor population of fleas.

While the fleas may have bitten your dog on the legs, it is not a typical place for fleas to feed; think root of the tail, or around the neck. I wonder if your dog doesn't have a staph infection on her legs; you might try Ted's Anti-fungal/Anti-staph rinse for her to see if that brings her relief. You might also consider alkalizing for her; this helps balance her PH making her less appetizing to fleas and other biting insects. You can start off with a crisis dose of 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into 1 liter of water and have this be her only drinking water for 5 days; after that drop the dose down to 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into a liter of water as a maintenance dose.

Good luck and please report back!

Replied by Sandra
(California, US)

Have fed Wysong foods with tons of fresh and thankfully, no fleas. Have used Cedarcide spot on with great results occasionally.

Replied by Tab628
(San Lorenzo, Ca)

Hi Theresa,

Thanks for responding. Right after I posted the question I started reading some of the other posts with similar issues. I was very surprised to repeatedly see apple cider vinegar as an option. Just so happened I had a bottle. Since it was 1 am and I couldn't go shopping for an alternative, I figured what the heck! Well, it worked surprisingly well I'm happy to say. I just need to keep up with the applications. I let a few days go by and she started in on her leg again. With all the healing sores and this new one she looks like she was attacked by wild animals. So that's the story I'm rolling with, I believe it was a bear! Ha. She seems to like this scenario better than the truth.

As for the 600.00 vet bill, I received for my dog, 2 fabulous trips to the vet, a fun an exciting ear culture, accompanied by 2, yes 2, types of drops for her ears and last but certainly not least, a brand new bottle of exotic ear wash. It hurts less if I laugh!

Many blessings, Teri

p.s. I also started her on probiotics, will keep you posted. Seems to be working.

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!