When it comes to household pests, nothing leads to more sleepless nights than fleas! In this guide, you will learn how to get rid of fleas fast, naturally and permanently. There are many common misconceptions about these insects and the proper methods for getting rid of them. Unfortunately, most people are not aware that there are safe and natural solutions for controlling an infestation. This is why most pet owners resort to toxic treatments to prevent and kill fleas. These chemicals have been proven to cause serious health consequences for pets. Symptoms can range from breathing problems and tremors to liver and brain damage. They may work great for getting rid of fleas, but they are also killing your pet (and possibly your family) in the process.
The fleas that you see on your pet only account for 5-10% of the total population in your house! Eggs and larvae hide deep inside of your furniture and carpets. Their various life stages also make them very difficult to eliminate. It is important that you take proper action to protect your dog, house and family.
Fleas are wingless insects, with mouth-parts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. They are external parasites, feeding exclusively from the blood of mammals and birds. They vary in size form 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. There are actually thousands of different species of fleas around the world. Signs of an infestation may include small, red, itchy bites on you or your pet. It doesn’t matter how they enter your house because once they are in there, everyone is at risk. They are capable of jumping from 8-12 inches and will move from host to host in search of a fresh supply of blood.
Did you know?
A flea can jump 150 times its own height. That’s the equivalent to you leaping over tall buildings in a single bound!
Step 1: Identify the Source of Your Infestation
Before you learn how to get rid of fleas, it is important that you determine the source of you infestation. Your cat or dog will be the culprit most of the time but fleas can also get inside your home in other ways as well. Humans are actually capable of hosting and spreading certain species. Since flea eggs can remain dormant for up to 1 year, second hand furniture, carpet and clothing can also pose a threat. Identifying the source is critical to preventing a re-infestation down the road.
Step 2: Clean and Wash Before You Treat
The first treatment for controlling an insect infestation is a good cleaning session. If your pet was the source of the infestation then you should isolate them during this process. Once that is done, it is time to get busy.
- Wash everything including clothes, pet bedding, human bedding, towels and any other fabric that could be harboring larvae or eggs. Wash everything in hot water whenever possible.
- While you are waiting for those loads of wash to finish, meticulously vacuum every floor, carpet and piece of furniture in your home. Carefully dispose of the vacuum bag or canister contents when you are finished! The vacuum vibrations will cause dormant eggs to hatch.
- You’ll also need to sweep, mop and wipe down all of your hard surfaces. These insects love dark places so pay special attention to areas like your baseboards.
These steps will not get rid of fleas completely, but they will help to control a large portion of the infestation. This will make killing the rest of the fleas much easier.
Step 3: How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs
When I first started using this natural remedy to get rid of fleas a few years ago, I bought the essential oils and mixed my own spray. If you would prefer to do this then the recipe is listed below. However, I recently found a pre-mixed product that uses the same exact ingredients. I find it much quicker and easier to just purchase the pre-mixed version. Naturally, it would be a little more cost effective to mix your own. The upfront price would be about the same but the raw essential oils will last you longer. Both options will achieve the same results so it is just a matter of preference.
DIY Flea Spray:
If you are mixing your own spray to get rid of fleas on your dog, it is important that you ONLY USE 100% therapeutic grade essential oils. The brand that I personally use and recommend is:
Lemongrass oil (Made by Healing Solutions, sold on Amazon.com)
Cedarwood oil (Made by Plant Therapy, sold on Amazon.com)
To prepare your flea spray, just mix 4 ounces of purified water into a spray bottle with 5ml of cedarwood oil and 3-5 drops of lemongrass oil. If you have a larger dog, just double each ingredient.
Pre-Made Flea Spray (Lemongrass and Cedarwood oils)
The product I currently keep on hand in the Marshal household for getting rid of fleas on my dog is called Evolv. It is a natural flea and tick treatment that is both a repellent and kills insects on contact. It uses the same 2 essential oils as my DIY flea spray (lemongrass and cedarwood essential oils). This product will also relieve itching, comfort dry skin and leave your pet’s coat shiny and smelling fresh!
Directions for applying either mixture
- Rub your hand in the opposite direction of the coat to expose your dog’s hide.
- Mist the hide, covering your pet’s entire body.
- Spray your hands and carefully rub it onto your dog’s ears and face. This will burn if it comes into contact with their eyes so be careful.
- Repeat these steps as needed until the fleas are eliminated. Essential oils may need to be applied more frequently than toxic pesticides. However, the benefits of getting rid of fleas naturally will greatly outweigh the harmful side effects of using chemicals.
- Spray 1 time per week for prevention
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your House
In order to get rid of fleas in your house, you will need diatomaceous earth and baking soda. Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the fossilized remains of diatoms (algae). It is a very fine powder with a similar consistency to flour. Fleas have an exoskeleton that is extremely vulnerable to these particles. Diatomaceous earth kills fleas by attaching to their body and drying them out within a few short hours. It is the best natural solution for getting rid of fleas, larvae and eggs without harming humans or dogs.
How to use Diatomaceous earth to kill fleas:
First off, food grade DE is non-toxic to humans and animals. However, please make sure you are using the correct grade of this powder. The DE that is used for pool filtration systems SHOULD NOT be used in your home. Be certain that you purchase 100% food grade diatomaceous earth. It is safe for skin contact and even accidental ingestion. The brand that I recommend and use myself is listed below. At the time this guide was published, Amazon.com is offering the 7oz bottle and 4lb bag for 50% off. Diatomaceous earth works very well for so many different pest control projects so I recommend that you pay the extra $2 dollars to get the 4 pound bag.
Instructions for getting rid of fleas in your house:
- Create a mixture of 50% diatomaceous earth and 50% baking soda.
- If you have not already completed step 2 in this guide, go back and complete it now.
- Sprinkle the powder in thin layers in all of the areas that you suspect fleas and larvae may be hiding. You can safely apply it to your furniture, carpets, pet bedding, etc.
- Leave the powder in place for 24-48 hours. The fleas will begin dying a few hours after application but I like to leave it for at least 24 hours to be safe.
- Vacuum up the powder
- Carefully discard the contents of the vacuum bag or canister.
Tip: Although diatomaceous earth is non-toxic and safe for humans and pets, it is still a fine powder that could irritate your nose or throat if inhaled. I recommend that you cover your mouth and nose with cloth just to be safe. Also, diatomaceous earth is not effective when it is wet so always keep your mixture dry.
How to Eliminate Fleas in Your Yard
Sometimes getting rid of fleas is difficult because they keep finding a way back into your home. Here is the secret weapon that I use in my yard every summer to control the population of various unwanted pests including fleas, ticks and mosquitos.
- 100% biodegradable and non-toxic. This is a natural alternative to chemical pesticides that is very powerful.
- Kills and repels kills and repels Mosquitoes, Fleas, Ticks, Ants, Chiggers, No-See-Ums, Mites, Moths, Japanese Beetles, Scorpions, Carpet Beetles, Mole Crickets, Termites, Box Elder Bugs, Silverfish, Roaches, Palmetto, Bugs.
- It is safe to use around children and pets.
- No safety mask or gloves needed. Anyone can apply it.
- No evacuation or wait time for re-entry. Just spray & play!
Remain Vigilant: Flea populations can quickly return if a few eggs are missed. It is crucial that you continue treatment procedures even after there are no more signs of fleas in your house.
Prevention: Continue to vacuum carpets and furniture regularly. This is the single best defense against an infestation. Wash bedding in hot water once a week and treat your dog regularly. Don’t leave personal items outside. Fleas will attach themselves to shoes and other items and then hitchhike back into your home. The BEST source of outdoor prevention is to use the flea repellent for your yard in step 5.
Finally: Don’t forget to grab a flea comb. You can get these at any pet store. If you want to grab one along with your other items, here is the one I use (it’s less than $5 dollars):
Congratulations, you are now a certified expert in how to get rid of fleas naturally! If you found any of this information to be useful, please do me a HUGE favor and share this page on your favorite social network. Your support allows me to continue doing what I love and providing free information to help people solve their pest control problems. Thanks!