If you share your life with four legged friends, you would naturally want to care for them. Obviously you don’t want them to be flea infested. Not only is it a pain in the backside (couldn’t resist the pun) for your canine companion, it is a sign of an unhealthy environment. Modern anti-flea ointments and pastes contain weird chemicals with too many side effects. You wouldn’t want to put your pawed buddies under such a risk. Here is a comprehensive list of home remedies for getting rid of fleas when they come biting.
Signs and symptoms of fleas on your pet dog
- Unhealthy life style
- Lack of bathing
- Unhealthy diet
- Hot and moist climate
- Transfer from other pets
How to identify if your dog has fleas?
- Scratching and Licking
- Skin abrasion
- Pus oozing out of sores
- Patchy areas of hair loss
- Rubbing and Biting
- Tapeworm larvae in the stool
Natural home remedies to control dog fleas
1. Alcohol, distilled water and various oils spray
Fleas can be removed from your dog’s body by spraying alcohol, water and various natural oils. 100 ml of alcohol or pure alcohol is an excellent remedy. You can also use distilled water to remove fleas. About 200 ml of distilled water should be sprayed on the dog’s skin. You can also spray 30 drops of lemon tree oil or 30 drops of eucalyptus oil or 60 drops of lavender oil and rub it on your dog’s fur. All these methods can bear excellent results.
2. Aromatherapy spray to combat fleas
Various aromatherapy oils are also preferred. Aromatherapy oils are strong insect repellents. It nourishes the dog’s hair and skin and refreshes the dog. The base oil used is Sweet almond oil which is mixed with drops of lavender oil, geranium oil, common myrrh oil, bay laurel oil, lemon eucalyptus oil and atlas cedar oil. It is one of the most popular home remedies to get rid of fleas.
3. Bay leaves
Bay leaves should be crushed and rubbed on your pet’s skin. The process should be repeated every time you take your pet for a stroll. This method provides excellent result against flea infection. Bay leaves are easily available in the market and are also very effective.
4. Coconut oil
Coconut oil can be given to your pets to refresh them and to improve their overall fitness. Pure unprocessed coconut oil contains lauric acid which is a natural flea repellent. Pure coconut oil should be rubbed on your pet’s skin. This can reduce the body odor, improve coat shine and act as a flea, tick or mite repellent. The ingestion of coconut oil is also healthy.
5. Rosemary infusion
Two cups of rosemary leaves are mixed into 1 litre of boiling water and it is kept for about 30 minutes, then allowed to cool down. This mixture is supposed to be sprinkled over the dog’s fur and rubbed over the fur simultaneously, and it should be allowed to dry naturally. This method gives breathtaking results.
6. Lemon, salt and vinegar spray
A handful of lemons are boiled in water and a couple of tea spoons of salt are added to the mixture, and it’s allowed to cool. A table spoon of apple cider vinegar is added. This mixture should be sprayed on your pet’s fur; let it dry naturally.
7. Head and shoulders Shampoo
Here’s yet another way to kill off almost all the fleas in your poor pets fur. A squeaky clean bath ensures a silky smooth coat as well. The fleas might get stuck on the fur though. Thus it is very important to use a comb to clean it.
8. Eastern black walnut (Juglansnigra) powder or capsules
Eastern black walnut is another effective kryptonite for fleas, ticks and sandflies. It is widely used to cure tapeworms and ringworms. It is poisonous to some animals. Unlike other home remedies to get rid of fleas, for this one, professional consultancy is advised before giving it to your pet.
9. Mint spray
Soak some mint leaves in water and keep it like that overnight. After straining water, add juice from two lemons and ten teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Use this spray on your pet’s fur to have a quick removal of fleas.
10. Flea collar
It is a very popular method to get rid of fleas. Mix a couple of drops of lavender oil in 5 table spoon of water. Pour 5-10 drops of this mix on your dog’s collar. Also add a little bit of lavender oil. It is the perfect combination to ward of fleas for a long time.
11. Witch hazel
Mix witch hazel (8 oz), lemon juice (16 oz), half a gallon of water and 1 gallon of vinegar and spray it on your dog’s coat. Let it dry on its own. It can also be used while vacuuming the carpet.
12. Apple cider vinegar, baking soda spray and salt
About 240 ml of apple cider vinegar, 120 ml of warm water ,0.5 table spoon of salt and 0.5 table spoon of baking soda are mixed together and the resulting potion is sprayed on the pet’s skin and it is left to dry naturally.
13. Orange-grape-lemon puree
Use a blender to make a puree out of lemon, orange and grape peels. Add boiled water to the puree to make it paste like. Let the paste cool. Apply the paste on your dog’s fur and let it dry naturally. Not only does it hinder the presence of flees, it gives a fresh and beautiful smell to your puppy.
14. Essential oils
Various oils like thyme, witch hazel, lemongrass, tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, citronella, bay, lavender, sweet almond oil, linalool, clove, rue, neem (Indian Lilac), juniper, lemon, geranium, cinnamon, bergamot, cedar, pennyroyal etc are used to remove flea infestation. Some of the above oils are poisonous when ingested so some safe alternatives like cedar wood, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary and thyme are regularly used to get rid of fleas naturally.
Uncooked oatmeal should be soaked in water. After some time, rub it on your pet’s fur. Rinse it off after around 10 minutes with slightly warm water. Should take care of most of the fleas! Do this process daily and your pet will have a flea-free life.
16. Apple cider vinegar
Including apple cider vinegar to your pet’s water or food helps to maintain correct pH balance, digestion and helps to maintain a very healthy skin devoid of parasites like fleas, ticks and ringworms. Just add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a bowl of water. It can also be sprayed and rubbed on the surface of the skin before taking your dog out for a walk. It is one of the best fleas’ home remedies.
17. Organic Rose bar soap
It is a low cost solution to your flea problems. Obviously there is nothing like a great bath to drown those fleas in water. Organic rose bar soap is a very effective natural repellant which also makes the fur super soft and shiny. Make sure to get organic soap as other variations can be poisonous and might harm the dog in the long run.
18. Brewer’s yeast and garlic
A mixture of garlic and brewer’s yeast is something which fleas just can’t stand. Add a bit of this mixture to your dog’s food regularly to ensure a flee-free pet even after long walks in the woods and other flea infested areas. Make sure you don’t add too much garlic as it is not good for your dog.
19. Cloves and camphor crystals
Camphor crystals should be kept in an alcohol solution until it fully dissolves. Add cloves and some apple cider vinegar. Pour this mixture in a spray-bottle and use it to spray on your dog’s fur. Take special care to protect its mouth and eyes. Wash with water after two hours. It is the perfect mixture to reduce fleas on dog’s coat.
20. Bathe your pet in a natural, herbal shampoo
Your pet should be regularly bathed using a herbal shampoo which should contain a combination of pine cedar, bergamot, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, citronella, juniper or geranium. This reduces the flea on cats to a great extent. Though it might be awkward for cats to get a shampoo bath at first, it should get used to it in course of time.
21. Organic Peppermint soap
Such soaps are rich in peppermint oil which is a natural insecticide. It kills all insects in one go. It is very effective as it directly attacks the nervous system of insects like fleas and ticks. Added advantage is that it has a wonderful smell.
22. Dry pennyroyal
Dried pennyroyal is an excellent de-worming agent and a well known insect repellant. It can be placed anywhere your dog spends a lot of time, be it the kennel or even your home. It is very good to remove fleas. It can also be used in oil form but utmost care should be taken to prevent accidental ingestion as it is highly toxic. Very few home remedies to get rid of fleas are as effective.
Fleas Homeopathic Remedies
23. Sulphur 30 c
Sulphur 30 c in water can be used effectively against pesty parasites like fleas and other insects. However these are ineffective against ticks. Rather than killing the pests, this mixture makes the pet skin less prone to these bugs.
Another effective remedy is Ledum 12c in 30c water. These are used as remedy for wounds and bites. They have excellent healing powers. It should be used along with other preventive remedies.
Another potent remedy is staphysagaria 6c with water. Several staphysagaria 6c pellets are added to water and the mixture is sprayed around cracks and crevices. It is excellent in killing adult fleas.
Indoor House Treatments
Fleas from carpets, floors and furniture can be removed using a good vacuum cleaner. Proper disposal of vacuum bags is also heavily advised. If the fleas are unbearable then you can also hire some professional help to remove fleas in the house. Though it is a very basic thing to do, it goes a long way in countering fleas.
27. Salt with baking soda
Salt with baking soda should be sprinkled over the carpets after removing all the furniture. After that the sprinkled mixture should be swept over the carpet using a broom. It is then left alone for 12 hours. After that the carpet is vacuumed. This is a really effective method as both baking soda and salt are good in dehydrating the fleas so they die out of thirst. Repeat the same process for several days.
28. Dehumidifiers and air conditioning
All the above mentioned processes can disrupt the flea life cycle. Fleas need a humidity of 70-75% for hatching and 50% humidity for surviving. They can also survive at temperature ranging from 32 deg C to 70 deg C. So maintaining temperature conditions lower than or different from the specified conditions is one of the best home remedies to get rid of fleas.
29. Boric acid
Boric acid is an insecticide as well as an antiseptic. It is available in all grocery stores. It disturbs the flea metabolism and degrades its exoskeleton. Boric acid should be sprinkled over your pet’s fur and also on the carpets and furniture. Also vacuum the room after keeping the room undisturbed overnight. Doing this every week is good enough to keep the fleas away for a very long time.
30. Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a sedimentary rock. It is soft and crumbled into very fine white powder. It has fossilized remnants of a type of rigid-shelled algae called diatoms. The powder dehydrates by absorbing the lipids out of the outermost layer of the insects’ exoskeletons. It should be sprinkled to get rid of fleas in yard.
31. Happy gardens
Keep grass and other plants in your backyard garden clipped especially in portions of the home where your pet loves to spend its time. You should not use excessive watering. Sunny and dry atmosphere can mitigate flea population. Also make sure that your garden is well protected from other wild animals. Fleas can easily find its way to your home through these unwanted animal hosts.
32. Plants that repel fleas
There are many natural plants like Eucalyptus which naturally ward off fleas from infesting your garden. Make sure you have plenty such plants not just in the garden but also indoors as potted plants. They help in creating an environment which is tough for fleas to survive.
33. Nematode worms
These worms eat flea for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is available in most pet shops. Introducing nematode worms to your backyard can reduce flea population by a whopping 80% in less than 24 hours. Regularly water your backyard to make the environment suitable for the nematodes to thrive. These worms are harmless as they don’t harm anything other than fleas and other garden parasites.
Prevention is better than cure – how to keep your dog safe from fleas?
- Give your pet a thorough wash everyday
- Use a flea comb
- Clean your pet’s bedding once a week
- Treat your yard to kill breading fleas.
- Feed the dog with immune strengthening diet
- Consult a vet if you find any of the signs and symptoms of fleas infestation on your dog