Flea Control – The Ultimate Natural Guide Treatment for Cat Owners with Fleas

Fleas suck. I’m sorry you’re here if you have to deal with flea infestations. I understand the desperation. I understand the exhaustion. I’ve been there – two times in less than a year. I created this page to have all the natural flea control pest options out there compiled in one place. I wish I would have found this when I was where you are. That’s why I created it. Please share it, and please share it widely.

mitted tabby cat scratching neck fleas outside itching

While there are many ways to fight fleas on your pets and in your home, remember there’s no perfect solution. Both chemical and natural products can have risks, and every animal reacts differently. Before using anything, research it thoroughly to understand its safety. Whenever possible, try natural methods first. If those fail and your pet is miserable, consider a chemical product as a last resort, but use it cautiously. Read about the dangers of the chemicals here.

When it comes to fleas, it’s a trifecta in tackling them:

  1. In your home
  2. On your pet
  3. In your yard

If you don’t do one, then the chance of the cycle continuing will be great. In other words, if you have fleas in your yard and treat your home and your pet but not your yard, there’s a good chance your pet going into your yard will get them again and bring them into your house. Or if you have fleas in your home but haven’t worked at vacuuming, etc., to get them out, your pet could bring them into your yard, making the cycle commence again.

So, this post explores those three areas.

This post has been a very long time coming. After what I have been through, it is important to me to have a guide like this. I wish I had found something this thorough when I was going through tackling fleas naturally.

I have consolidated this information into an easy-to-digest series. You can sign up to receive it for free here.

Please know there is no one-size-fits-all regarding natural flea control and treatment for cats. So, I have offered multiple suggestions here and my view, as well as shared what my standard flea treatment protocol is. However, you might find something else that works better for you. If you know of something not mentioned in this article that is helpful and controls fleas, please leave it in the comments to help others.

The reason I stopped using topical treatment flea medicine is because my Ragdoll cat, Charlie, got a head tremor from me using them over the years. As a result, I can no longer go that route.

Of course, a killer immune system (starts with a feline species-appropriate diet) as well as preventative measures, will help fleas to stay away and not become an infestation problem.

Any pet owner with experience dealing with fleas knows how much of a nightmare they can be. Fleas aren’t just a pest for your pet – they can take over your home and become extremely difficult to evict. Many owners struggle to control a flea infestation in their house – treating the host (cat or dog, etc) but finding that the problem keeps recurring.

If you have a cat or dog like mine who got a head tremor from using chemical topicals with neurotoxins, then you know how important it is to use natural flea control. If you don’t, then this is something I’ll cover in this guide.

Cat is scratching itself.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

This is the ultimate guide to natural flea control. I’ve interviewed experts, researched suggested treatments, and looked at ways of preventing fleas in the future. This is designed to be the guide I needed when I had so many issues with fleas.

Much of the information and products are based on what I’ve used, but not all – I’ve also included recommendations from other sources. Plus, I’ve found some videos and interviews you should watch to delve further into the topic of flea control.

I’m going to cover:

  • A basic intro to flea development – understanding your enemy will help you win the battle
  • Why traditional flea meds can be dangerous
  • How to tackle and control a flea infestation
    • On your pet host
    • Inside your home
    • Outside your home
  • Ways you can prevent fleas in the future
  • Natural products you can use for treatment, including:
    • Sprays
    • Alternative flea powders
    • Collars and tags

Tackling Fleas – What I Do

Flea from cat fur harmful bio organism vector illustration
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Because this guide is full of information, you might want a quick summary of what I do:

  • Bathe the Cats – Depending on how severe the flea infestation is, I might bathe the cats in Epsom salt and baking soda – this will get rid of eggs and fleas.
  • Dust the Cats – Once blown dry, I use Buck Mountain Paradise Dust or food grade Diatomaceous Earth on their coats.
  • If it’s just a few fleas and no flea dirt, I’ll skip the bath and jump straight to the Paradise Dust or Diatomaceous Earth.
  • Garlic Pills for the Cats – I’ll feed the cats garlic pills unless they’re already taking them for flea prevention.
  • Homeopathic Remedy – I give a homeopathic remedy to help relieve them of the bites, etc. Love this one – Newton Homeopathics Flea~Bug Bites
  • Vacuum – I’ll vacuum every day for two weeks or until I stop seeing fleas. And vacuum everything – not just the floor but the carpets, hardwoods, upholstery furniture. After seeing the last of them, I’ll continue to vacuum daily for one more week. This means too – that I am no longer seeing flea dirt on my cats or on their beds (or anywhere they sleep).
  • Steam Mop – I will steam mop my floors.
  • Salting or DEing the Carpets – If I need a break from vacuuming, I’ll put baking soda and salt, or Diatomaceous Earth, over the carpets.
  • Washing – I wash everything I can – pet beds, bed sheets, towels, etc. And then, anywhere my cat typically lies, I’ll cover it with towels and continue to wash those daily. I pick them up every day and replace them with clean, fresh towels so I can stop vacuuming furniture. And while I am vacuuming, I wash the old towels. When I pick up the towels, I bring the four corners into one another, so if there are flea eggs on them, I am not scattering them about, but rather keeping them contained within the towel.
  • Upholstery Cleaning – I vacuum or use Diatomaceous Earth on (and under) couches, cushions, and any other soft furnishings that might house the fleas. I also have been known to spray my upholstery with Wondercide, Flea-Ex, or 91% Isopropyl Alcohol.
  • Nematodes – I put these down in my yard every other week (because I am putting Cedarcide down during the other times). See my video of how I put down nematodes. I order nematodes on Amazon.
  • Tick Killz or Cedarcide – I used to put down Cedarcide, but now I put down Tick Killz in my yard every other week during a noticeable flea problem. See my video of how I put down Cedarcide. I order Cedarcide on Amazon. Tick Killz is considered 25b exempt by the EPA, which means it’s not a registered chemical (that may have some restricted use). The EPA publishes a list of safe ingredients for active and inert ingredients; therefore, if a product is developed using only these approved active or inert ingredients, it falls into the 25b exempt category. Tick Killz is made from only ingredients found on the approved EPA lists of ingredients. You can Google FIFRA-approved Active and Inert 25b exempt ingredients and see the complete lists.

Facts About Fleas – An Overview

Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of a mammal, typically targeting animals such as cats and dogs, along with rabbits, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, and other critters that may be living near your home. 

Pulex irritans - a flea
Pulex irritans – a flea

They’re annoyingly durable, a pest, and can live up to a whole year if the conditions are right, though, in the summer, they tend to be more abundant and have a shorter life span.

Adult fleas measure less than 1/8 inch and have incredible jumping power, so they quickly transfer between animals. They’re tough and can survive for up to 2 weeks without food.

It’s vital to understand the life cycle of eggs to adult fleas, though, because many flea treatments only target adults. The four stages of flea life are:

  • Egg
    • Take between 2 days and 2 weeks to develop.
    • Makes up around 50% of the flea population in a household.
  • Larvae
    • Can stay in this stage for 24 days in warmer weather, up to 200 days in winter.
    • Makes up around 35% of the flea population in a household.
  • Pupae
    • Cocoon stage – typically lasts 2 weeks.
    • Can protect a developing flea for months if the environment isn’t suitable for hatching.
    • Makes up around 10% of the flea population in a household.
  • Adult
    • Begins feeding in just a few hours.
    • Will breed and lay eggs within a few days.
    • Can live between two weeks and several months.
    • Makes up around 5% of the flea population in a household.

So, a flea only spends around 5% of its life as an adult, yet many flea treatments focus primarily on this stage. So by using products that only focus on the adult fleas, you’re not tackling the source of the issue!

And the egg statistics are frightening:

  • A single female flea can lay up to 40 eggs a day – and they keep going. 
  • It’s common for a flea to lay up to 1,000 eggs in their lifetime. 

And then those adult fleas can lay more eggs. You can end up with tens of thousands of fleas within a few months.

This is why a flea infestation in your home can become highly stressful. Fleas can cause allergic reactions, spread diseases, and cause serious illness in animals in some cases. Infections from flea bites, disease, and even anemia, are risks. So, you have to take action to eliminate and control flea infestations as soon as possible.

And once you have fleas in your home, they will seek the warmth of your pet’s fur or the carpet fibers, and they’ll be hard to remove. Hard, but possible.

Tabby kitten paw scratches behind the ear, outdoor portrait. Fleas and ticks in domestic animals.

Signs of Fleas

The sooner you can detect and tackle a flea infestation, the better. Removing them from your home might be much less work and easier to control if you act quickly.

The signs of fleas to look out for with your pet include:

  • Unusual scratching or biting at themselves
  • Acting restless, struggling to stay calm
  • Shaking their head or their limbs more
  • Tapeworms in their stool

Unfortunately, there’s another way you might find out about fleas, too – you might catch them from your pet!

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is a condition where your cat suffers a more severe reaction to fleas, including nasty irritation and inflammation of the skin. This is what my Ragdoll cat Charlie has.

It’s common in dogs but is becoming more common in cats.

It results from the antigens within a flea’s saliva, which are transferred onto the animal with a bite. However, the symptoms can take up to a week to develop, so owners may not associate the reaction with the presence of fleas.

Signs of FAD include:

  • Biting, nibbling, scratching, and licking of the affected areas – usually the back of the legs and the belly
  • Fur becoming thin, dry, and brittle, sometimes falling out altogether
  • Red, inflamed skin with pimples that will scab over when scratched
  • Potential secondary infections from scratching

Because the symptoms of FAD can last for weeks and then get worse with self-mutilation, it’s important to control and treat any signs of the condition as quickly as possible.

This involves tackling the flea infestation and ensuring your cat has a healthy immune system – a good diet, with some supplements, can help. Keeping your cat happy and stress-free can also improve recovery from allergens.

Why Traditional Flea Meds Are Dangerous

Cat scratching outdoor. Cute red cat
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Traditional flea medications that are isoxazoline-based are designed to be taken orally by your pet. They then administer a drug throughout the bloodstream that kills the adult fleas when they feast.

Firstly, this isn’t a good enough solution or treatment. Yes, it will kill the fleas when they are eating, but only in the adult stages. If you have an infestation, you’ll only kill off one wave of adult fleas to replace the next set of adult fleas. You will quickly lose control.

There are 5 main pesticide categories to be wary of:

  • Neonicotinoids – found in Advantage, Advantix, Capstar, Seresto Collars
  • Phenlypyrazoles – found in Frontline
  • Spinosads – found in Comfortis and Trifexis
  • Macrocyclic Lactones – found in Revolution
  • Isoxazoline – found in Bravecto, Nexgard, Simparica, Credelio

You can read about FDA warnings on isoxazoline here and a veterinarian study on the same parasiticide here.

According to Dr. Katie Woodley, the following common chemicals used in flea and tick treatments/preventatives have been reported to the FDA for adverse symptoms:

  • Heartgard – Can cause depression, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, mydriasis, ataxia, staggering, convulsions, and hypersalivation.
  • Interceptor – Same symptoms as Heartgard, plus weakness.
  • Sentinel – Can cause depression, vomiting, pruritus, urticaria, diarrhea, skin congestion, ataxia, convulsions, hypersalivation, and weakness.
  • Revolution – Can cause vomiting, loose stool, blood in stool, anorexia, lethargy, salivation, tachypnea, muscle tremors, pruritis, urticaria, erythema, ataxia, fever, and rare reports of death and seizures in dogs.
  • Proheart 6 – Can cause facial swelling, itching, breathing problems, collapse, lethargy, lack of appetite, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in stool, weight loss, pale gums, increased thirst and/or urination, weakness, bleeding, bruising, and rare reports of death.
  • Nexgard – 1315 reports of seizures in 5 years since approved by the FDA.
  • Bravecto topical and oral – 720 reports of seizures in 4 years.
  • Simparica – 557 reports of seizures in 3 years.
  • Credelio – 6 seizures in the first 6 months.

Remember that Dr. Katie’s video (linked to above) was released a couple of years ago, and the numbers are probably much higher now.

Other oral medications to avoid include:

  • Capstar
  • Trifexis
  • Comfortis

Meanwhile, Dr. Judy Morgan has written posts about the side effects of common flea products and the deadly chemicals used in Bravecto and listed the following potential issues:

  • Aggression
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Internal bleeding
  • Hair loss
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Seizures
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Death, in extreme cases

These are all symptoms of oral medications, but topical medications can also have adverse effects, including severe skin reactions right up to chemical burns.

Look out for these topical solution medications that contain pesticides, too:

  • Advantage
  • Frontline
  • Seresto Collars
  • Preventic
  • Vectra
  • Advantix
  • Revolution

While most cats and dogs can take traditional oral and topical meds without issues, the risks are still there, so it is always better to look at using natural flea treatments for cats.

If you’ve treated your cat with an oral pesticide, you’ll need to work on rebuilding your cat’s microbiome. If you’ve used a topical pesticide, it’s best to focus on supporting your cat’s liver and kidneys with detox supplements.

You’re then not adding anything potentially harmful to your cat’s body, but you’re still tackling the issue.

Getting Rid of Fleas

Stop-fleas-glyph-icon-isolated-on-white-background
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

You can get rid of fleas and flea eggs from your cat or dog in several ways without resorting to traditional meds.

As a quick summary, these include:

  • A good flea comb
  • Sprays and shampoos for your pet
  • Alternative flea powders
  • Supplements and dietary treatments
  • Collars
  • Environmental treatments for your home and yard

Flea Combs

You’ll want to get a good effective flea comb, for starters. A flea comb will help to remove adult fleas from your cat’s skin once they’re already on your pet. They have very fine teeth to capture tiny fleas. They should have rounded teeth, too, to avoid hurting your cat’s skin.

Here are some suggestions for a flea comb:

Repellent Sprays and Shampoos

There are various options for natural sprays and shampoos that you can use directly on your pet’s coat when they have fleas. These will kill the fleas and, for some of them, any eggs hidden amongst their coat.

Some of the recommended products include:

Thanks to the Facebook page #NotOneMorePet for some of these recommendations.

Some people also recommend using essential oils mixed with water to spray your cat’s coat. Please be very careful if you’re doing this, as some essential oils can be toxic to cats. Consider some of these other options before you resort to essential oils for your pet if you want to be completely safe.

Dr. Karen Becker is one expert who recommends essential oils as part of her own recommended remedy for a pet spray to be used before they go outside to help repel fleas:

  • 8 oz water
  • 4 oz Apple cider vinegar (organic)
  • 10 drops of neem oil
  • 10 drops of catnip oil
  • 5 drops of any of the following:
    • Lemon essential oil
    • Lemongrass essential oil
    • Geranium essential oil
    • Eucalyptus essential oil

Note that this is recommended for “pets,” but it may be best to skip the essential oils for cats.

Rita Hogan’s (an herbalist) Spray

  • 4 Ounces of warm water
  • 6 ounces organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 sea salt or Himilayan salt

Another option is to mix black cumin seed oil with water and spray this onto the coat. Black cumin oil can be effective but should not be used on all pets. For instance, it should only be used on dogs, not cats. It’s poisonous to felines.

Alternative Flea Powders

While traditional flea powders can be toxic for your cat, you can use some alternative options, including natural flea powders, a homemade remedy, and products that have a similar effect.

  • Diatomaceous Earth – Only ever food grade. Avoid inhaling or swallowing the powder. Here are two application methods: for a mess-free application, either dip a comb into the powder or use a clean makeup brush to target the roots, followed by combing through. Comb through hair to distribute the product.
  • Buck Mountain Paradise Dust – recommended by Dr. Judy Morgan.
  • Mollie’s Organic Pet Herbal Flea & Tick Powder for dogs and cats – this is very similar to the Buck Mountain Parasite Dust
  • OnlyNaturalPet Flea Remedy Powder
  • NoFleazPleaz – a blend of Amethyst and Amber pure mineral crystals that are gently blended into ground powder, making for a powerful topical flea repellant.

Natural solutions include Diatomaceous Earth – a powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, which were tiny aquatic organisms.

The powder – provided you buy food-grade – can be applied directly to your cat’s fur. You’ll just need to cover your pet’s head to prevent them from breathing it in, but then once applied, it will work really well at killing the fleas.

Here’s one way to apply Diatomaceous Earth to your cat:

Or why not make your own flea powder by adding the Diatomaceous Earth to Neem Powder and Yarrow Powder? This blend will be even more effective at killing fleas without causing harm to your cat. This comes from PrimallyInspired.com:

  • 1 cup food-grade Diatomaceous Earth
  • ½ cup Neem Powder
  • ½ cup Yarrow Powder

You can also add 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil for dogs but not for cats.

Spot-On Treatments

Spot-on treatments are liquids you apply to your cat in one spot, typically between the shoulder blades. Depending on the product, this protects your cat from fleas for up to a month.

Supplements

From a diet perspective, garlic is known to be effective. Many people believe that garlic is toxic to cats, and they’re right – but not in small doses.

I’ve made my own garlic pills for my cats before – provided you only give a small capsule every 2-3 days at most, there won’t be any risk of toxicity, and you’ll be able to help your cat fight off fleas. You can also add it to their food, if you’re cat is game for that.

Other options include:

Or there’s TAGiWIG – a homeopathic flea remedy that you could try.

In an interview I did with Julie Lee of Adored Beast Apothecary, she mentioned Grindelia as a great homeopathic remedy for fleas. This Newton Labs Homeopathics Remedy Pets Flea also has grindelia in it.

Also, Doug wrote me saying, “My cats have had absolutely zero fleas for the past three flea seasons.” You can learn more about what Doug does with Psorinum 30C as a flea repellent for cats on his site, CatNewsHeadlines.com.

I further Googled about Psorinum 30c and found homeopath Joette Calabrese using it too:

To relieve the torturous itching, get rid of fleas, and protect against them in the future, she has used Psorinum 200, Ledum palustre 200 and Antimonium crudum 6.

Here’s how it’s done: At the first sign of a flea attack: one dose of Psorinum 200 every seven days; one dose of Ledum 200 twice a day; one dose of Ant crud 6 two to three times a day. (And remember to scroll to the bottom of this page to receive this information in a free, easy-to-reference remedy card!)

Continue using these medicines, sticking to the same schedule, until the fleas are gone and there is no more scratching or nibbling. Sometimes, the itching can continue after the fleas have gone. So, just make sure that no more symptoms exist before discontinuing this method.

Fleas: A Homeopathic Solution

I’ve also seen colloidal silver recommended to prevent fleas. It can be added to your cat’s drinking water, with just 5-6 drops needed for a large bowl.

You can buy colloidal silver here.

Oils Suitable for Cats

There are a couple of oil options that are suitable for cats and that work as flea prevention.

Before using essential oil (a VERY concentrated solution), just open it up (loosen the top, don’t take it fully off), offer it to your dog or cat, and see what happens. The answer is:

  • NO – If you open one up and the cat is sort of sniffing it and then departs the room, then that’s a big no.
  • YES – If they are sort of attracted to it and sniffing around and don’t seem to mind it at all, then that’s a good one to use for them.

Here’s another alternative:

Mix this, put it in a spray bottle, spray it onto your cat’s coat, and then use a flea comb to spread it through.

Collars

It’s worth considering a flea collar for your pet, too – though only one that uses natural means to help control fleas, as many contain Permethrin.

Many flea collars work with scents or by releasing chemicals – don’t use these. They can contain similar insecticides to traditional flea treatments and damage your cat’s health.

Ultrasonic collars are the safest option for pets, from a chemical perspective, since they don’t emit anything harmful.

Just be aware that, in some rare cases, a flea control collar can cause hair loss around the cat’s neck. Check-in with your veterinarian if you’re worried about cat hair loss.

Some pet collar options from #NotOneMorePet include:

Tags

Tags work like collars, except you attach the tag to your cat’s existing collar. While electromagnetic barriers can be helpful in some situations, they are not a foolproof solution. Tags emit frequencies that are generally considered safe.

Put on the collar only after removing any ticks and fleas you find on your pet. The collar can take 1-4 weeks to reach its full effectiveness, so keep it on your pet continuously during this time.

Environmental Treatments – Tackling Your Home and Yard for Your Pets

Cat scratching head
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Remember that when a flea is feasting on your cat’s blood, it’s already in the last 5% of its lifespan. You likely have a flea infestation in your home, and you’ll need to tackle that to stop the fleas from constantly coming back.

Here’s a look at how to treat your home for a flea infestation inside and out.

Treatment of Your Home Areas

Here’s a quick summary of how to protect the inside of your home from fleas:

  • Lots of cleaning, including daily vacuuming and using a steam mop
  • More regular laundry, using higher temperatures
  • Sprays and powders for your home
  • Protecting the areas used by your pet with temporary surfaces like towels
  • Use of essential oil diffusers

Cleaning Your Home

At a basic level, expect to do a lot of cleaning. You’ll have to vacuum daily to get rid of the fleas. If you have a model that still uses vacuum bags, consider adding a flea killer to the bag, throwing it out after every single vacuuming session.  

Put it in a plastic bag and tie it off so the fleas, flea eggs, larvae, etc. you vacuumed will die in that bag. Otherwise, the eggs will hatch and the fleas will thrive inside the vacuum.

You’ll also need to crank up the laundry too. Wash bedding at a higher temperature and tumble dry to kill off any flea eggs or larvae. Pay particular attention to pet bedding using your natural flea control products.

It’s a good idea to put down towels where your pet often tends to sit or lie. You can then swap these out daily and launder them rather than letting the fleas get embedded in your carpets.

Home Sprays and Powders

There are numerous home remedy options for flea control inside the home. These have no aerosols and are quite effective.

But one of the most effective is also one of the simplest – mix baking soda and salt in equal quantities and spread this around your home. 

Spread it, leave it to work, then vacuum it up. And then follow up with more of the baking soda and salt mix.

Some people have reported that this can mess up their vacuum. I have an Oreck and a Hyla and have not had a problem with either – and it gives you a break from vacuuming for a few days!

Another option is to make a spray that blends some of the essential oils with lemon juice and garlic, but again be careful with essential oils and cats.

Or, you can buy Wondercide’s Indoor Pest Control Spray if you want a natural, ready-made product. Just be careful using it on furnishings – check a discreet patch first to ensure it doesn’t stain.

Some people recommend borax sprinkled on bedding and furniture. Still, it can be toxic for cats, so it should be avoided.

And others use isopropyl alcohol – a high percentage would be needed. You’d need to keep your cats locked away until the alcohol had dried into the carpets and the smell had died down. It can be highly effective when combined with vacuuming, steam mopping, and treatments for your cat’s coat.

Essential Oils

There’s a lot of confusing information about whether essential oils are safe to use with pets.

They are, if you’re careful – it is REALLY important to use essential oils that are 100% pure. You need to know where they are sourced from. At the time of this writing, three essential oil companies are known to be OK:

You can also check out my interview with Dr Sarah Brandon, a practicing veterinarian, on the subject of using essential oils safely with cats.

Use the oils with a diffuser to force the fleas to look for a new home elsewhere. Just be sure to put it somewhere safe your cat can’t reach.

Diffused oils are normally diluted enough to be safe, but there are some precautions you should still take:

  • Don’t diffuse in a small room or enclosed space
  • Use the diffuser for an hour at a time
  • Make sure your cat can leave the room if they want
  • Clean up any drips or oil spills immediately

Recommended oils you can use with a diffuser to deter fleas include:

  • Lavender Oil
  • Lemongrass Oil
  • Rosemary Oil
  • Neem Oil
  • Cedar Oil
  • Rose Geranium Oil

Read these articles if you’d like to know more:

Flea Traps

You could try flea traps – these work just as they sound. They attract the fleas and then trap them using strong glue.

Don’t use these on their own – they won’t tackle a massive infestation. But used alongside other methods, they can help to get rid of fleas faster.

Severe Cases

Suppose you have a severe infestation in your home. In that case, you may need professional help from a pest control company like Fleabusters, who will use Rx for Fleas Plus to fully tackle your home, killing off the fleas for good.

You can have your carpets steam cleaned, furniture, etc., and then use an essential oil flea bomb mix – but you will also need to move out of your home, as the pets cannot be around that.

Another option is your own flea bomb, recommended by Dr. Katie Woodley:

  • 70 drops of Black Pepper Essential Oil
  • 70 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 70 drops of Oregano Essential Oil

Use this diffuser with the bomb. Again, you’ll need to leave the home while it’s diffusing.

Dehumidifier

Fleas need a humidity of at least 50% to survive – so one option to help kill them is to use a dehumidifier in your home.

If you can keep the humidity below 50% for a couple of days, you should wipe out the fleas in that area. It won’t kill the eggs, but it will stop them from hatching – so you will still need to clean and vacuum as normal.

Treatment of Your Yard

Your yard is just as important as your home regarding a flea infestation. Often fleas will be sourced from the critters that visit your outdoor spaces. So, using a flea repellent or killer around your home can be a vital line of defense for your pet.

Nematodes

Nematodes are a highly effective way of tackling flea problems around your home. These tiny insects kill flea larvae and eggs directly without harming you, your pets, or even the beneficial insects in your garden.

Here’s a video all about nematodes:

You can spray them around your garden using a hose-in sprayer. Just be careful to remove any mesh filter inside the sprayer before using it with nematodes. Otherwise, the filter will capture the nematodes, and you’ll spray plain water.

Go around your garden, ideally creating a perimeter barrier, and you can help to get rid of fleas from your home once and for all.

While convenient, nematode sprays aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Their effectiveness depends on environmental factors, especially moisture. Reapplication may be necessary depending on these conditions.

Diatomaceous Earth

Again, Diatomaceous Earth can be used in your yard to help stop fleas. All you need to do is spread it around on the soil of your garden area and leave it to work.

Just be aware that Diatomaceous Earth will render nematodes ineffective. Don’t try using both – it’s one or the other.

Hydrated lime is another option, or you can use Cedarcide Insect Repelling Cedar Granules.

Outdoor Sprays

Outdoor sprays are another option – they’re a liquid that will help to kill fleas, ticks, and other pests without contaminating your garden with lots of nasty artificial chemicals.

Plants that Repel Fleas

For flea prevention in your yard, consider growing plants known to prevent fleas. The aromas of these plants will stop fleas from being attracted to mammals and pets near your home.

These include:

  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Citronless
  • Basil
  • Catnip plants

Recommended Viewing

Check out these videos if you want to know more about tackling fleas in a natural, safe way in your home. I’ve already summarized the main points from these videos in this guide, but it’s worth watching these if you have the time.

My interview with Dr. Judy Morgan of Naturally Healthy Pets:

Dr. Judy Morgan’s Facebook Live Video

Dr. Karen Becker’s video on fleas and ticks:

Dr. Katie Woodley’s video on natural remedies for fleas.

FAQs

Life cycle of a flea illustration
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

What Flea Treatment do Vets use?

Veterinarians often use traditional flea treatments on cats, so be wary of taking your cat to the vet without discussing your preferences for natural treatments first. You can treat fleas at home, though if your cat suffers a severe illness, you can discuss your options with your vet.

Where do Fleas Come From?

Fleas come from a variety of sources. They’re often brought into the home by a visiting pet from a family member, or they may travel on a wild animal that visits the outdoor space near your home. The fleas can then jump to your pet, infecting them and your home.

What is the Best Flea Control?

The best flea control is one that is natural and doesn’t harm your cat or even you. There’s no single best solution, but a combination of treatments and preventative methods – along with hard work cleaning your home – is the best choice for your pet.

How do I Get Rid of Fleas in my House Fast?

To get rid of fleas fast, you need to remove them from the source. Tackle your yard with nematodes or Diatomaceous Earth, then use an agent to help clean your home, getting into crevices and cracks – a mix of baking soda and salt works really well. Deep clean the home and wash all linens at high temperatures, tumble drying them too.

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Fleas?

Some people claim that Dawn can kill fleas similar to other shampoos, but it won’t prevent any infestations from reoccurring. There are better alternative products, but a mix of Dawn and water can be used to bathe your pet or kitty to remove the fleas.

More Flea Reading:

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for your content! It has been so helpful for me with the journey my kitty and I have been on since December with fleas…! First time to have them in 10 years!
    While I was able to get rid of the fleas fairly quickly, my kitty is still suffering from flea allergy and grooming to the point of a patch of fur missing on her tummy. I have her on a homeopathic remedy but not seeing the results I would like. Do you have any other remedies that you recommend or resources to look into? Thank so much, really appreciate it!

    1. I am so sorry that you’ve been at it since December. My last flea situation was from July to October. Vacuuming every day. It was horrible.

      Are you sure the fleas are gone from the environment? I would try:

      1. Slippery elm and I buy this one.
      2. Organic coconut oil on the patches – is she short haired? Coconut oil actually can suffocate and kills fleas, it’s also a natural antibiotic
      3. I have been using this homeopathic remedy on mine: Newton Remedy Pets Flea~Bug Bites 1oz Liquid
      4. Liver Tonic by Adored Beast – I use this on mine

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