Control Fleas Naturally with Common Household Items

Picture of Control Fleas Naturally with Common Household Items

Flea season is upon us. If you have ever had an infestation, you know you have to combat fleas from many angles to control and eliminate these hopping, opportunistic parasitic pests. One of the most powerful agents in reducing flea populations is one of the most safest: Read on to find comprehensive ways to control these pests from making you and your pet's lives miserable with crawling, biting, itching and scratching!

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Step 1: Safe ingredient you have on hand!

Picture of Safe ingredient you have on hand!
Salt. Yes. Regular, everyday, plain old, put it on your fried eggs, salt. Can it be used effectively against large infestations of fleas? Yes. Salting and vacuuming your floors and furniture kills the flea's eggs by dehydrating them. If you take this route-you will be pleased with results. You'll have to be diligent and persistent with treatment to be really effective. But with patience it can be done.
I have also read about using borax. But the down side to borax is it can hold moisture. So using on your carpets can be a risk if you don't get all of the powdered vacuumed up, it can lead to problems later. Use rock salt in a knotted piece of pantyhose under furniture, or sprinkle sea salt, Kosher salt, or table salt.

Step 2: Cleanliness is next to Flealessness

Picture of Cleanliness is next to Flealessness
Flea eggs hatch every 3 days, so by sprinkling your floors for at least 9 days, vacuuming each 3rd day for 9 days, takes you through the complete life cycle of flea life. Be sure and empty your vacuum after each cleaning or the pests will just crawl back out and re-infest your home! You can also salt porches, doghouses and kennels to kill eggs & maintain flea control. Borax works as an alternative to salt but has a few cautions. In high humidity areas you may need to use a dehumidifier with the salt treatment for its use to be effective.

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0ctober5 years ago
I want to THANK for whoever posted this. My husband and I were at ODDS end with these pests!! After months of flea collars, sprays, powders, money spent and down the drain yesterday I saw this article (SALT!) Who knew? I wish I would have known this before. I hated putting poison on our pets and in our home. We even spent good portion of money having someone come in and spray, also with the advantage and frontline -NOPE didn't work! So now I have put salt EVERYWHERE! Baking soda too, I got my pan with water (dishsoap) and light. I baked my home made "flea terminator dog bones - which I can give if anyone wants it!) I did it yesterday and the DOGS LOVE THEM! I also added a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water as well. I can't wait until this week is over! I am also getting some lemons and using the lemon peels on the carpet as well. Going to get some oils and some cloth for the dogs. I do have one question - what about cat treat recipe for fleas, also can I use the same method of flea collars on cats? I bathed them as well they had like few on them not lot. My lab seems to have the MOST! The other dog did have alot yesterday (boxer, lab mix) but today he's looks CLEAN! Lastnight he was actually sleeping peacefully, he wasnt stratching every five seconds! I also like the salt idea because when they are bathed they rub everywhere so it just goes on their coats and the fleas hate that! I will let you know how it goes by the 9th day! We are following the instructions very carefully!
Boy, do I have battle scars from bathing my cats :/ I just walked through the whole house with the big salt shaker from the stove. I will vacuum tomorrow evening. I want those awful bugs to get a good dose of it. I hate what they do to my little babies. My poor cats have had bald butts for the past two months. I have purchased the whole gammit of flea products aimed at cats. Still, the fleas live and haunt the poor things.
I walked into my carpeted area the other day wearing white socks, white sweat pants and a light grey sweatshirt. Now that was an eye opening experience. Someone else wrote about plucking them off of themself and putting them in water with soap. I found myself doing the same thing. Ever try to crush a flea? It is almost impossible. I even tried rubbing the bottom of a flat bottom glass on one and it jumped after I stopped. We must be missing the boat here. With a hard shell like that, maybe we shoud be experimenting on them for a cure for osteo porosus...I know I probably spelled it wrong...but you know what I mean. I have been doing the white vinegar in the food, not the water on a daily basis. Basically, I put a capful in every 5.5 ounce can. I did a little research on the all natural foods they sell in the refrig section of the supermarket. THEY put white vinegar in there too. At least if I see the food disappear, I know they are getting the vinegar. I hesitate to put it in the water. Cats are a breed all their own. They will avoid the water to the point of dehydration if they do not like what is in it. I know some people asked about giving a cat the same treatment as a dog. Do the research first. Definately commercial flea treatments are species specific. You cannot use "dog" flea treatments on cats. You could kill the poor little thing. Nobody wants to do that. eyes were opened one day when I had white socks on. Want to find our if you have fleas in your house and what rooms they are infesting???...Walk around with white socks on! Make sure the socks go above your ankle or they can end up in the sock :( For weeks I did this until I was satified I was rid of fleas. MY family still thinks I belong in the nut house.

As for treating; vacuum like a crazy person! Every day is best unless you have put salt/borax/baking soda down. Let that stuff sit for at least 24 hours. You really want to put that stuff where your vacuum can't reach easily. Baseboards, under/behind furniture, deep corners of your sofa or cloth furniture. I had the pleasure of finding flea larve in my guest bedroom, right on the quilt! It's a room no one uses, except the cat to take a nap. I was not aware he/we even had fleas. Anyway, I went to change the bedding and freshen up the room and BAM, little gross teeny tiny worms crawling all over the bedding. They are so small I would probably have not noticed except the larve do not like the light. So, when I went in and turned on the lights and the fan they must have all started to work their way somewhere else. So my point; the eggs and larve will be in the spots you can't get to or you don't get to often. Most likely, you'll never seen them, unless you are unfortunate like me. (You just can't unsee that.) Oh, and unlike fleas, which cannot stand the cold and need a meal within 7 days or they die, the larve do not need us to survive. They live off of flea deris which is flea poop and dead fleas. The eggs can stay dormat for months before actually hatching (depending on the conditions). THIS is why fleas are so hard to be rid of. It's not the fleas you see's the ones that are harvesting in your floor. We basically did any treatments. I vacuumed daily. Which at 3000 sq ft it enough to drive someone INSANE! I bombed the house with foggers (really works on the fleas that are jumping currently). Lastly, I did a combo of salt, borax and baking soda. The last part is the trick. Unless you find a way to kill the eggs and baby fleas you will treat and see new fleas about once a week. Now I use baking soda or borax monthly to prevent any flea issues. NEVER AGAIN! Good luck out there. REMEMBER:




Treat with salt, borax or baking soda


Bomb again if new fleas appear


Treat for life ;)

Let me tell you how I bathe my cat. This is no fluke. I have even taken a cat to a college class and given him a bath as a demonstration. If anything would set a cat off, that would. I have even bathed cats that aren't mine.

Take a big breath and relax. Your state of mind will influence his.

Start with a clean counter next to the kitchen sink. Put towels on it. Don't have them so close to the sink that the cat could grab it. Get your shampoo opened and handy. Consider which hand will be easier for you to hold the cat and which to wash and set up your towels and sinks accordingly.

Now, plug the side of the sink you'll be using to bathe the cat. In the other side, start the water. Get it to the temperature you want. Turn the pressure down to a slow flow - on that side.

Put your cat into the empty, plugged up side of the sink, facing the wall. I have bathed a cat with and without a towel in the sink. Your choice. Let him watch the water for a few seconds. With your washing hand, cup your hand, fill it with water and "pet" your cat with it. Start on his back, not his head. Do this several times. Slowly move the faucet over to his side of the sink but not ON him. Continue "petting" him with water. If he's relatively calm, increase the water pressure so the sink is slowly filling. Remember, you're washing with one hand and restraining him gently with the other.

Put some shampoo on him and water-pet and wash him. Have a little PLASTIC cup handy so you can scoop some of the water from his side of the sink and pour it over him (it has soap in it - might as well use it to the max).

Continue washing until you are satisfied that he is clean. GENTLY remove the plug and let the water drain WHILE you are filling that cup with clean water and gently pouring it over him. Scratch and pet him frequently. Talk to him.

When you are all done, let him drip a little and then put him on the towels and wrap him up gently but quickly. Use old towels. If he has his claws he might snag them a little.

Drying is the hardest because he wants to run away. Dry him as best you can and then release him in a warm room. Don't let him outside until he is dry.

I hope this works for you as it has for me.
Arkykat 0ctober2 years ago
Can I get your dog cookie recipe. Thanks
myrrhmaid (author)  Arkykat1 month ago

here you go.

can you please send me the flea terminator treat recipe?? or post is here for everyone?
Skyebug 0ctober2 years ago
Can you send me the receipe for the Flea terminator dog bones
Skyebug Skyebug2 years ago
renee.dykes1 month ago

I am gonna try this and I have read other comments as well. I really hated chemicals in and on us including our pets and children. I will let ya know how it turns out! Thanks for the info! =)

iamaqtpoo7 months ago
thank you so much for your lovely and thorough explanation of everything Fleas. It was very useful to me as I try to be as pesticide free as possible. I have two cats and 1 dog and ferrets, my major problem is the ferrets, because fleas can kill ferrets. I've told the salt trick to many people and they're always surprise, but it does work like a charm and I feel that it's much safer than borax. thanks again and have a lovely day, cheers, Mary :-)
renateho2 years ago
i sprinkle a bit of yeast, just half a teaspoon, (nutritional or brewer's yeast) on my cats food every day and they haven't had fleas in over 6 years. it's good for their fur too and it's very healthy for them. i bought it in a nature shop.
myrrhmaid (author) 2 years ago


3 cubes beef bouillon
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup brewers' yeast
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 egg yolks


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Dissolve beef bouillon cubes in boiling water, and set aside. Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, corn meal, brewers yeast, and garlic powder. Add the yolks, then gradually pour in the bouillon water while stirring. Mix thoroughly to form a firm dough. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies one inch apart onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the oven off, and leave the cookies inside for at least 3 hours or overnight to harden. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

BtheBike3 years ago
Powdering the Salt makes it More effective . Put it in the Blender until the grains are dust .
Borax has Boric acid . Its better to just get powdered Boric acid .

I mixed powdered salt and boric acid in an old carpet powder can.
Shake it in the corners ,base boards, everywhere. It will dehydrate
insects . They are toast .
redstick174 years ago
I came to this board about a week ago frustrated with my flea problem.  Thanks to you guy's the fleas are no longer a problem.  After reading your comments I purchased salt and vinegar.  Per your instructions I sprinkled the salt around all of the baseboards and let it stay there for about three days.  Last weekend we vacuumed, cleaned all the baseboards and sprinkled again with salt.  We also added vinegar to their water, and I hope I wasn't wrong but I sprayed the cats with vinegar also.  As of today we are no longer having a problem with fleas.  Thank you so very mcuh. 
momjeans836 years ago
nervous surprisedI had this problem about a month ago,when an possum died under in a crawl space under my home. after the smell dissipated and I returned with my kids, it was infested with fleas, and probably was for weeks. now, we don't have animals, so the assumption is that it was some how carried in with the dead carcass that was removed weeks later. well, an organic farmer around here told me the same thing, and i was very surprised that this technique worked! i swear by it, because table salt is ,for one, less than $.50 and doesn't harm the little lungs or nervous systems of the children. Kudos for the Instructable, i swear by it .
myrrhmaid (author)  momjeans835 years ago
Thanks for the testimonial. It seems too simple but it really is effective!

I was wondering... where do you put the salt? All over your house? Also have heard baking soda will do the same thing. And also with ants. There is a blogger on "The Pointy Eared Beast" (talking about her Frenchy) who washes her dog in baking soda and water, then apple cider vinegar and water. She does this once a week. Google her blog. I did it a few times. I plan to keep it up. She does it to keep Folliculitis away. My dog has that and it's caused by flea bites. I'm trying everything under the sun to help him. I just don't think antibiotics are the answer, which is what my vet keeps prescribing. They work for a while and then it comes back.

I wonder if you can put baking soda in your yard? Maybe around your house? Or would it kill your grass?

Nofleasnow1 month ago

Just wanted to be sure I understand instructions. Are you suppose to leave salt on carpet/hardwood for 3 days before vacuuming? I have dogs and cats, they would probably eat it.

myrrhmaid (author)  Nofleasnow1 month ago

Yes. Do a 9 day cycle of salt and vacuuming. Salt, wait 3 days, vacuum, repeat 2 more times to hit the full egg lating lifecycle.

unfortunately not possible when you have a small apartment :( any point in doing it on a daily basis - leave on overnight and hoover in the morning, every day for the nine days?

myrrhmaid (author)  finebettysays9 days ago

Sure! It's worth a try. It's such an easy solution! Just don't forget to empty the vacuum canister or they hop right back out!

One of the vet assts suggested putting a flea collar in my vacuum bag to kill the ones I'm vacuuming up while fighting this infestation. My furkids are getting fleashocked in the morning and while they're there, I'm going to do this salt/vac cycle and pray it works. We live in a second floor apt with two cats that are strictly indoors, and we're surrounded by pavement or concrete. We're pretty certain the fleas came from my son's gf's dogs when they came by for a visit after spending time there. One of my cats got worms likely from grooming the other, so people check for what looks like tiny grains of rice around where your pets spend time or, ugh, around their butts. It's easily treatable and should be taken care of asap.

ladywarrior4jc11 months ago
Has anyone gotten the recipe for "Flea Terminator Dog Bones"? I have yet to see a response regarding the recipe. Please share this recipe as there are many folks who want to care for their dogs flea issues without the use of harmful products. The question was also posted if there were any "Flea Terminator Cat" recipes and so far no response. Anyone have a recipe to share regarding this subject? Anyway to control heartworm and all those nasty worms in our dog's and cat's in a natural manner? Seem's like everything on the market is toxic and dangerous. Thank you for sharing if you will please and thank you.

The recipe is above and has been posted again in a comment...

I found info about Diatomaceous Earth on the web while looking for a natural solution for whipworms in my dog. DE is good for so many health problems for animals and humans. Just be sure to get the FOOD GRADE variety. Feeding a small amount daily in their food will keep them parasite free. Also can be used to combat fleas and other insects.

Black walnut (comes in capsules) & Hawthorne Berries (come in capsules), will get rid of heartworms & will not hurt your dog. You can find them in the vitamin & herb section of Wal-Mart or most Drug Stores.

myrrhmaid (author)  ladywarrior4jc11 months ago
Hi lady warrior, The Flea Terminator Dog Bones recipe is in step 7. It's from the allrecipes site.
Oil of Scotch pine (turpentine) can be used as a dewormer,
Cats can be a lil pickier about what treats they eat. Maybe adjust the recipe by adding some tunafish and they might find it palatable.
Kora1211 days ago
DO NOT!!! GIVE DOGS or CATS GARLIC!!! It's very toxic for them and can cause liver failure and/or death if consumed

That's not true - in the right dose its fine - for dogs anyway, not sure about cats.

mmcheh1 year ago
My FIL brought his cat into my house for 3 weeks and by the time they left, the fleas had infested both my room and my baby's room. I am someone who attracts fleas, My dermatologist told me I am unlucky that way, my skin has some sort of molecules that attracts these monsters and I am allergic towards their bites.

I have no pet in my house, 2 adults and 2 babies, no carpets anywhere, only 80 year-old pine wood flooring. Since the flooring is very old in these french homes, there are big space better these wood, where the fleas can hide and we can't find them.

I tried your method with salt. By the end of the 3rd day, no noticeable improvements because I get fresh bites everynight. By the end of the 6th day, I was ready to come back to your site and put nasty words because not only the situation did not improve, but it also seem to has worsen because instead of 2-3 bites per nite, it escalated to 7-8 bites per nite. On the 7th day, I left my home for a 3 weeks holiday.

Upon my return, I was very anxious. I didn't want to be bitten by these monsters and was ready to use the diatomaceous earth which I have ordered online.

First night, no bite, second night, no bite, third night, no bite and I knew the salt worked.

Thanks a lot for posting this method. All in all, $ spent to kill these fleas, $ 3 for 10kg of salt and $32 for the 1 kg of diatomaceous earth which I have yet to use.
Kora12 mmcheh11 days ago
Truthfully your vacation is what killed the fleas. Fleas die after a week without a host to feed from. So if it happens again enjoy another vacation :)
myrrhmaid (author)  mmcheh1 year ago
You can't even imagine how happy it makes me to hear your success! I am like you.. I attract fleas! If I go into a room that even has one flea, it finds me! Hence my own personal journey (vendetta) to thwart these parasites!
I wish I could find any reason to appreciate this creature as I am a real bug lover. But I find no redeeming value in their existence so I take great joy knowing of them being extinguished!
Brava mama for sharing your story with us! Much love from California! OXO
deilert made it!1 month ago

Have had flea bites each evening for the past week (I have about 25 sores at this point.) My guess is they may have come back from on my suitcase from a recent business trip. They are painful and itchy. It actually took me a week to figure out it was simply fleas. So I'm all in as I'm loosing a lot of sleep and am quite stressed. I'm feeling creepy crawly all day.

I put out a home made flea trap last night (glass pie dish with very soapy water and a lamp just above it) at around 3am when I couldn't sleep from fear of more bites. At first glance, no fleas, but found a few in there as these are much smaller than I recall from my youth on kittens. Probably a different variation.

This morning I purchased a box of regular iodized table salt (NaCl) from the grocery store and dumped the full 26 oz all over my bedroom floor after a thorough vacuum. I added a bunch of Borax (also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium
tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of
boric acid
) to the mix as well for good measure.

I dusted the bed and blankets with food grade DE (Diatomaceous Earth) and will reset the flea trap this eve. I also made a nice salty 'stuffed animal' to sleep with. It's a stocking with some ice melt salt inside (mix of NaCl, KCl and other salts.) Maybe I'll make another stuffed animal with Cedar chips as well. Thinking about sleeping elsewhere however.

Of course I'm treating the animals (1 dog, two cats.) Stay tuned for follow up.

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deilert deilert16 days ago

No fleas after twelve days! I extended the time somewhat as I actually lost a lot of sleep due to the issue - really wanted to ensure we got them all.

I slept elsewhere in the house. I also sprayed my skin with a homemade citrus spray in the evenings (lemon and orange boiled down) and sprayed my night clothing with Clove / Mint / Soap mixture. I know I went overboard, but I was hurting.

Never actually found a flea though (trap or otherwise) - even though we had a good 40-50 bites in the family.

x-tex27 days ago

How many dog treats a day ? I have a 15 pound dog, feed them everyday ?

myrrhmaid (author)  x-tex27 days ago
I would say 3 small treats a day. Really, it depends on how big the treats are made. As long as it's not so many that it spoils their regular feeding.
ShirleyJ11 month ago


shirleys photos 264.jpg
myrrhmaid (author)  ShirleyJ11 month ago

You can make a broth to put over their kibble. My dogs and cat love this!

Use leftover bones from beef, pork or chicken. Cover with water, add 1/2 tsp sea salt per cup and 2 T. vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for at least an hour or longer. Remove from heat, let cool enough to be safe to handle. Strain and chill. Strain with a colander in a bowl.

You can optionally add any clean vegetable or fruit scraps-celery, carrot, potato peels, apple or pineapple skin, stems from herbs like basil, oregano or thyme.

If you have a pressure cooker cook for 15 minutes.

Once the broth is strained you can add rice, instant potatoes or oats to thicken, if desired.

Just curious, my dog sea swims at least once everyday for a good half a mile or more and yet after collecting fleas on a visit recently, we continue itching. I thought I wouldn't have a problem when we returned and he started swimming again. Not the case. I will try the carpet salting and report.

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