14 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally

Written by Lev Baker
Updated: November 17, 2023
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Fleas can be annoying when they infest your house, and with 2,500 flea species around the world, you need to be careful in order to keep these pesky pests at arm’s distance. You must be vigilant as fleas reproduce quickly, and they will be creeping into your place in no time, especially if you have furry pets. Their rapid multiplication is not the only infuriating aspect about them. They can make their home in your pet’s fur, causing severe itching and irritation.

A flea infestation can be eradicated after thoroughly cleaning, regularly inspecting furniture and bedding, and using effective natural remedies to eliminate fleas. Of course, the best way to deal with it is to take preventive measures to keep fleas away from your home. But if you already have fleas in your home, don’t fret. There are plenty of remedies to help tackle the problem, including some natural and eco-friendly methods. Ultimately, the method you use is entirely up to you. In this article, we’ll go through some of the most effective ways to get rid of fleas for good. Note that these natural methods are most effective when combined with other methods, so pick a couple of your favorite ones to tackle your flea problem.

Before we jump in, one disclaimer: While the remedies below are great, make sure to always consult your vet if you have any pets at home. You never know, as they may cause allergic reactions or may cause sensitivities — especially when it comes to essential oils, which can be toxic to your pets.

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1. Homemade Flea Trap

insect flea light  trap in the room

A homemade flea trap lures in fleas with the light and kills them with dish soap.

©summerphotos/iStock via Getty Images

This is a simple yet effective remedy against pests like fleas. All you need is a bowl, some water, dish soap, and a small flameless candle or another light source.

Take the bowl and add water and dish soap to it. Mix and place the candle in the middle of the bowl, making sure it is floating on the water and isn’t sinking. Now, all that is left is to put this apparatus near the affected area and leave it overnight.

Fleas are attracted to light, so they march towards it, get trapped in the dish soap mixture, and eventually die. Throw the mixture away the next morning. This method is quite effective in getting rid of these pests overnight without making any substantial effort.

2. Salt

Yes, salt is an effective method for getting rid of fleas naturally.

©HandmadePictures/Shutterstock.com

Salt is easily available in homes and stores and can surprisingly be effective against fleas, depending on the scale of infestation. You will need fine salt for this. Sprinkle the salt on your carpet and on any other flea-infected areas. Then, leave it for two days and vacuum it. Salt acts as a dehydrating agent, eliminating fleas.

Keep in mind that, as with many of the other natural remedies on here, this method works best in conjunction with other methods. Also, make sure to sprinkle salt generously. The good thing is salt is safe for everyone; just don’t put it on wounded skin. Ouch! 

3. Baking Soda

baking soda

Use baking soda with salt to get rid of fleas naturally.

©Geo-grafika/Shutterstock.com

For baking soda to work, use it alongside salt. Simply sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the carpet, give it a good brush, and then vacuum away the fleas after a couple of days. As with salt, this mixture will kill the fleas. However, make sure to repeat this process after a couple of days in order to kill any newly hatched fleas.

4. Lemon Spray

Ripe Meyer lemons hanging from a tree with bright green leaves.

While lemons may smell nice to us, fleas hate the smell.

©RebeccaJaneCall/Shutterstock.com

Lemon is famous for its strong and refreshing smell. While we love its smell, many critters, including fleas, surprisingly hate it. So, you get the advantage of having your home smell nice while eliminating these pesky pests. To create a lemon spray, you will need a lemon, water, and a spray bottle.

Slice one lemon and let it sit in a pint of boiling water. Then, let the solution sit overnight. In the morning, put the lemon mixture in the spray bottle and lightly spray over infested bedding and furniture. You can use it on your pet’s bed as well. As lemon is acidic, it is recommended to spray the lemon on a sample cloth before spraying on bedding.

5. Rosemary

Boil some rosemary in water and put it in a spray bottle to spray on your pet.

©iStock.com/marrakeshh

While it may smell pleasant to us, rosemary has a strong smell that can repel fleas. You need to use it in diluted form for it to be harmless for your pet. Do consult your vet to be sure, though.

To make this mixture, take some rosemary and boil it for a few minutes before turning off the heat to cool it down. Then, pour the cooled mixture into a spray bottle and spray some on your pet’s fur after a bath so that fleas can stay away from your pet. Note that while this method is touted for its ability to repel fleas, if you already have a severe infestation, you may need to couple it with other methods.

6. Boric Acid

Does Boric Acid Kill Cockroaches - Boric Acid

An effective method to get rid of fleas naturally is to use boric acid.

©sulit.photos/Shutterstock.com

Boric acid is another dehydrating agent that is perfect for getting rid of fleas in your home. You should use it in the same way as you use salt and baking soda. Just sprinkle it over your carpet, mattress, bedding, cushions, and other infected areas. Let it sit for two days before vacuuming it thoroughly. Do not put the boric acid directly on your pets.

7. Wash Using Hot, Soapy Water

White laundry machine installed in the bathroom

Of course, one of your first steps when discovering a flea infestation should be to clean everything in hot, soapy water.

©Hiroko Yoshida/iStock via Getty Images

When you discover a flea infestation, a thorough cleaning should be number one on your list. If you have a mild infestation in your home, you should wash your bedding and cushions in hot, soapy water. This is an effective method against fleas, larvae, and eggs. Keep in mind, however, that you may need to repeat this washing cycle a couple of times to get rid of infestation completely.

8. Steam Cleaning

Get rid of bed bugs - steam cleaning

Steam cleaning is an effective method to naturally get rid of fleas.

©Dmytro Golovchenko/Shutterstock.com

You cannot wash everything with hot and soapy water. In this case, the next best thing to do is steam clean your house, including your carpets. Make sure to get professional help for steam cleaning, as they have the equipment and experience to handle high enough temperatures to kill fleas. Steam clean your mattress, sofas, and pet bed. The heat of the steam works wonders in getting rid of fleas, eggs, and larvae and aids in eliminating an infestation.

9. Natural Flea Repellent Collar

Lavender essential oil

Put diluted lavender or cedarwood oil on your pet’s collar.

©iStock.com/Olivka888

You can make your own natural flea-repellent collar for your dog with lavender or cedarwood essential oil. Just dilute the essential oil with some water and apply that mixture to your dog’s collar. Note that while the flea-repellant collar can be a great option, it is more used as a repellent rather than a method to get rid of fleas completely. So, this method is most effective when used alongside other methods, such as using salt and diatomaceous earth.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

A hand-labeled bottle of apple cider vinegar next to an apple

Brush or spray diluted apple cider vinegar on your pet’s fur.

©focal point/Shutterstock.com

Apple cider vinegar creates an acidic environment for fleas that works wonders in repelling fleas. You can make a water and apple cider vinegar solution by taking the vinegar and water in equal parts and putting it in a spray bottle. Brush or spray this mixture onto your pet’s fur for best results.

As with flea repellent collars, using apple cider vinegar will not directly kill fleas, but spraying it before leaving the house helps prevent fleas from latching on your pet’s fur in the first place.

11. Flea Comb

Combs for dogs, to combat fleas and lice

Flea combs can help control flea infestations.

©Miguel Alvarez/iStock via Getty Images

You can use a comb with closely spaced teeth to catch fleas. This is another good but time-consuming method to eliminate your pet’s fleas. These combs can also take out the larvae and the eggs. They are available in various sizes, so you can buy one according to the size of your pet.

Make sure to dip the comb in soapy water to kill the fleas. Target the areas behind the ears and around the neck.

Regularly combing your pet with a flea comb is a non-toxic and chemical-free method to control flea infestations. It’s especially useful when combined with other natural flea control methods 

12. Vacuuming

Cleaning house with vacuum cleaner, female with pet cat

Vacuum everything when you discover fleas.

©Valeriy_G/iStock via Getty Images

It is important to vacuum your bedding, couch, upholstery, and carpets regularly. This can help get rid of adult fleas naturally. After vacuuming, empty the vacuum cleaner bag or canister into a sealed plastic bag and discard it outside. This prevents fleas from escaping back into your home, which defeats the purpose.

13. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth( Kieselgur) powder in jar for non-toxic organic insect repellent. Using diatomite in garden concept.

One of the most effective natural remedies for fleas is diatomaceous earth.

©FotoHelin/Shutterstock.com

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a white powdery substance resembling chalk. However, it is actually a type of sand made from fossilized algae that is widely used as an insecticide.

It serves the same function as boric acid: dehydrating and killing fleas. It works by absorbing the waxy outer layer of fleas, leading to their dehydration and eventual demise. If applied to an area infested with fleas, it kills off them effectively. And if a flea were to accidentally ingest the diatomaceous earth? Well, it would effectively tear them apart, as the DE acts like microscopic shards of glass.

However, when using DE to naturally get rid of fleas, make sure to use one that is food-grade. Also, while food-grade DE is non-toxic to your pets, don’t apply it to their fur, and especially keep it away from their face. Apply it directly to your carpet and bedding. Do not use it at all if your pet has asthma.

14. Dish Soap

Dishware and sponge in clean water . Wash utensil after used.

Wash your pet with dish soap to kill fleas.

©seksanwangjaisuk/iStock via Getty Images

As previously mentioned, you can create a light trap using dish soap to eventually kill the fleas in your home. But you can also use dish soap to kill fleas on your pets. Make sure to use a dish soap that is free of any additional chemicals or perfumes, such as the original Dawn dish soap.

To use it, dilute the dish soap in warm water and then put it on your pet’s fur. Make sure to keep the solution away from your pet’s face, and rinse your pet thoroughly with warm water afterward.

Summary of Effective Ways to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally

NumberMethod
1.Flea trap
2.Sprinkle salt
3.Baking soda
4.Lemon spray
5.Use rosemary
6.Boric acid
7.Wash using hot and soapy water
8.Steam cleaning
9.Natural flea-repellent collar
10.Apple cider vinegar
11.Natural flea comb
12.Vacuuming
13.Diatomaceous earth
14.Dish soap

The photo featured at the top of this post is © ThamKC/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Lev is a writer at AZ Animals who primarily covers topics on animals, geography, and plants. He has been writing for more than 4 years and loves researching topics and learning new things. His three biggest loves in the world are music, travel, and animals. He has his diving license and loves sea creatures. His favorite animal in the world is the manta ray.

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