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How to Get Rid of Fleas
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How to Get Rid of Fleas

Charlie, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Jul 21, 2020

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Did you know that the fleas you see are only about 5 percent of the fleas in your home? Flea eggs and larvae are hidden deep within your carpet, furniture, and even in the crevices of the walls. Once the infestation begins, it is extremely difficult to get rid of fleas.

Much of the time, it means a trip to the vet for a flea bath and expensive treatments for your home. Instead of spending an arm and a leg, here's how to get rid of fleas using home remedies.

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1

Use a powerful vacuum

Cleaning carpet by vacuum cleaner perfectlab / Getty Images

Once you've realized fleas in your home, there are probably more than you think. To help get rid of them, use a powerful vacuum on all carpets, mattresses, and furniture. If you can, it is a good idea to use a vacuum bag you can dispose of. On carpets and other areas you suspect a high infestation, it is also a good idea to sprinkle baking soda or salt on the carpets. To use baking soda, sprinkle it on the carpets and scrub with a brush and immediately vacuum. Salt can be sprinkled and left on the carpeted areas for one to two days before vacuuming. After you've employed these vacuuming techniques, you can rent a steam cleaner. The high heat and soap will help get rid of the fleas. It is a good idea to focus on areas your pet normally lays.

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2

Wash all of your bedding as soon as possible

hands of a young girl put clothes in the washing machine drum Yana Tikhonova / Getty Images

As soon as you recognize a flea infestation in your home, wash everything. This means you should wash your bedding and pillows, remove couch covers and cushions if possible, take down curtains, and also wash your pet's bedding. It is also a good idea to use strong detergent to increase the likelihood of getting rid of the fleas.

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3

Create a flea trap with dish soap

householding Ralf Geithe / Getty Images

Fleas are drawn to dish soap, much like ants and other insects. You can create a flea trap in your home by using dish soap and water. Put these two ingredients in a bowl in rooms where you believe the infestation to be most active. Fleas will be drawn to the mixture and drown in the water. It is best if this remedy is performed at night because fleas are nocturnal. You should also refresh the water-soap mixture daily for the best results.

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4

Mix up an herbal remedy

Coconut oil, white towel, lavender dried flowers. Natural skincare and sun-protector. Anna-Ok / Getty Images

Instead of spending a ton of money on toxic flea treatments for your home, you can mix up your own herbal spray. Mix up four liters of vinegar, two liters of water, 500 ml of lemon juice, and 250 ml of witch hazel. You can then put the mixture into a spray bottle for application.

Before spraying the contents of the bottle around the house, you should thoroughly vacuum and empty the contents of the vacuum bag outside. You should also wash all of the possibly infested cushions and bedding. Then simply spray a hefty amount of the solution on the carpets, beds, couches, window sills, and other spots in your home.

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5

Citrus can help fight fleas too

Close-up of farmer's hand taking fresh orange from wooden basket with ripe harvest in grove wundervisuals / Getty Images

Lemon and citrus can be a remedy for multiple things. Lemon juice is kept around some homes to help treat wasp stings and bug bites. It can also help remedy a flea infestation. To make a lemon spray for your home, all you need to do is boil one pint of water with thinly sliced lemon. Let the solution sit overnight and pour it into a spray bottle the next day. Then spray it on the infested areas of your home until damp.

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6

Diatomaceous earth can be used with caution to treat flea infestations

Diatomaceous Earth in an earthenware bowl against a wooden background Spitfire1973 / Getty Images

Diatomaceous earth can be used as a natural remedy for fleas, but it should be used with caution. Although it is non-toxic, it can cause irritation with your eyes and throat. It is suggested you wear a face mask when applying the treatment anywhere.

To treat infested areas, thinly apply the diatomaceous earth powder in layers. Leave the powder there for up to two days before vacuuming. After the application of the powder, follow regular flea prevention steps.

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7

Rosemary can control fleas naturally

close-up of fresh rosemary gaffera / Getty Images

Rosemary can be used on pets and for light infestations. While it will not get rid of fleas or kill them, a rosemary powder will control them. If you've noticed a couple of fleas, you can sprinkle your pet with this non-toxic solution. You can also spray other areas of your home. This will prevent new fleas from coming and keep it under control.

To make a natural powder with rosemary, combine it with fennel, peppermint, rue, and wormwood and grind it into a powder. Then sprinkle the powder anywhere you may suspect flea activity in your home. It is important to note rosemary will not get rid of fleas, but it will control a current infestation and prevent them in the future.

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8

Consider adding a flea repelling plant to your home

Large white flower bloom of a chrysanthemum disbud, with shell-shaped petals, surrounded by other blooms. Pleio / Getty Images

If you are looking to keep fleas out of your home altogether, consider adding a flea-repelling plant to your surroundings. There are four go-to plants for flea repellent, and they include chrysanthemums, lavender, spearmint, and pennyroyal. These plants won't help you get rid of an already-existing infestation, but it will help prevent fleas from getting in your home.

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9

Spread cedar chips in areas your pet likes to lay

A texture shot of fresh wet garden wood chips or mulch with morning sunshine. suwanneeredhead / Getty Images

If the flea infestation is in your yard and not in your home, there are a few things you can do as well. One of the most effective ways to get rid of fleas in your yard is to spread cedar chips, especially in the areas your pet enjoys hanging out. By removing debris and adding clean cedar chips, you strip away many of the places fleas like to hide.

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10

Tend to your pet's needs

Young woman with dog Jasmina007 / Getty Images

As you are using the home remedies above, you should also be sure to tend to your pet. Using dish soap to bathe them can help kill fleas on their bodies. You can also use a flea brush. Remember, fleas typically live around the neck and more densely furry areas. Additionally, you'll need to treat your pet's bedding.

When all is said and done, all-natural remedies don't always help severe infestations. Sometimes you will need to take your pet to the vet. If you notice the remedies you attempt aren't working, don't hesitate to talk to a pro.

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