Pets are just as important to our family as our actual babies – they deserve our love and attention and to be treated as one of the family. That’s why I have been investigating natural flea killer remedies – I want to protect the health of our pets so they have the longest, healthiest life possible.
Why go natural?
I wouldn’t put a chemical lice killer on my kids, so why would I put a chemical flea killer on my dog or cat? I wouldn’t. Plus by using a natural flea killer on my pets, when they groom themselves afterwards I know they are not ingesting any harmful, toxic residues from a chemical-based product.
Standard topical flea treatments are pesticides. While the vast majority of pet owners use these products successfully, without incident, there are many conscious owners, myself included, who are not willing to take a risk on the health of their pet.
Using a natural flea killer is especially advised for sick, very young or very old pets, and those who have shown a sensitivity to pesticides already. Small breed dogs can be at risk for receiving too much flea medication, and cats sometimes accidentally get a dog’s dose – very dangerous! So these are even more reasons to try out a natural flea killer product for your pets.
So, what are our options for a natural flea killer for dogs?
Most of the recipes I have found include Apple Cider Vinegar, plain white vinegar or lemon as the main, active ingredient.
Each has a very strong, distinct smell and are very acidic – while they don’t kill fleas dead, per se, it may repel them as the fleas simply don’t like the smell or taste of these everyday ingredients.
There are also certain dog-safe essential oils that you could add to your natural flea killer arsenal. These include geranium, lemongrass, lavender, neem and catnip oil. Please be aware that only a couple of drops is needed, do your research before applying.
Here are three methods to create a natural flea killer
Natural flea killer spray with Apple Cider Vinegar:
Take an unused spray bottle, and fill it with half water, half Apple Cider Vinegar. Protecting their eyes, spray your pet until they’re wet but not dripping, and let air dry (if warm enough) and repeat . NB: When starting out with this method, spray every day for a week then every second day, then a top up once or twice a week.
Natural flea killer spray with lemon:
If you prefer a lemon scent, try this recipe: Take 2-3 lemons (depending on how strong you want the smell to be) and slice finely. Leave peel on. Place slices in a pint of water and bring to the boil, and let steep overnight. In the morning, pour solution into unused spray bottle and apply as above.
If your pet doesn’t like bring sprayed, try soaking a cloth in either solution and using it that way. If your pet has long hair, saturate the coat and brush solution through to maximise effectiveness.
You could add some of the essential oils mentioned above to give added protection.
Please note that lemon juice can lighten dark fur.
Apple cider vinegar can be given to pets internally for flea control. It can be added to your pet’s water bowl or mixed in his food. Add 1-2 tablespoons of raw and organic apple cider vinegar to each quart of water for your pet. If you pet won’t drink the water with vinegar in it, decrease the amount. Some have found that very little vinegar is needed to keep their pets flea free.
To mix apple cider vinegar with food, try 1 tablespoon for a large dog, 1/2 teaspoon for a small dog, etc
If you have a serious flea infestation, you may need to begin with an apple cider vinegar bath for your pet. Add two cups of undiluted apple cider vinegar to the bath water and wash your pet thoroughly (avoid his head). Massage his coat and towel dry, do not rinse.
You could use any of these three methods as a natural flea killer for cats also although personally my cat wouldn’t stand for a bath!
Prefer a natural store bought product?
If you don’t have time to make your own, and would prefer to buy natural products for your pets – our directory covers companies that specialise in looking after your pet’s health, and happiness, naturally. Visit the pet section here.
Here’s how to rid your carpet of fleas
Fleas are not picky, the will hitchhike onto anything. Here’s an effective solution for a natural flea killer for carpet.
Bicarb Soda and Salt: Mix the salt and bicarb soda together (works by dehydrating the fleas and eventually killing them) and pour the mixture into a shaker bottle. Sprinkle liberally on the entire carpeted area. Use a brush or broom to spread the mixture across the carpet evenly. Leave overnight. Next day, vacuum thoroughly and if you are using a bagged vacuum, seal the bags immediately and get rid of them outdoors. Repeat every 3-4 days until you get rid of the remaining fleas. Repeat the entire process every few months.
An important point when using bicarb soda to kill fleas is to ensure that the product is still active. To test if your bicarb soda is still active, add it to a few drops of vinegar. The mixture should bubble instantly and continue to bubble up for a few minutes. If this is not the case and the bubbles are forming rather slowly or not forming at all, then it is time to replace your existing batch of bicarb soda.
One final idea for a natural flea killer – use a flea trap!
Take a white bowl, fill with a couple inches of water and add a teaspoon of dish soap. Set it in a room that has a lot of fleas, and put it on the floor under an outlet. Put a nightlight in the outlet above the bowl. At night, fleas are attracted to the light. They jump toward the night light, fall into the bowl of soapy water, and can’t escape. Once you no longer are seeing flees in the bowl each morning, you can pretty much know your flea problem is in control.
A couple more natural flea control tips:
Natural flea killer is a handy weapon in your non-toxic arsenal, but it will be more effective when combined with other natural flea control methods. Make sure you follow these tips as well:
- Wash your cat or dog’s bedding frequently in hot water and dry on high – it’s the high heat that kills the fleas and dehydrates the eggs
- Wash area rugs where your pets like to spend time
- Vacuum every day, making sure to get in corners and between furniture cushions
- A flea comb is an underrated and valuable tool!