If you’ve ever dealt with fleas, you know how frustrating it can be. These little critters may be wingless but they’re excellent jumpers and can make their way to all parts of your home. It isn’t enough to get rid of the fleas; they lay eggs in pets’ fur, the carpet, and more. Total annihilation is necessary if you’re going to have a flea-free home but is a thousand-dollar exterminator treatment the only thing that you can do?
I don’t think so and I’ve got some tried-and-true solutions for killing fleas and taking back your home. Best of all, there isn’t a need for strange, harmful chemicals and lengthy processes. In this guide, I’ll be showing you how you can kill fleas with salt, plus a little bonus trick for increasing the effectiveness of the salt.
Say Goodbye to Fleas with Salt
Yes, good old household salt can do wonders for your flea infestation. Just be sure that it’s good-quality table salt or sea salt. Not only is this method cheaper than hiring professional services but it’s way less harmful.
You will want to use salt that is finely crushed so that it resembles a powder. This way, it can seep into whatever surface you’re putting it on, be it the carpet or your pet’s bed. For best results, use a small brush to thoroughly coat the surface and disperse the salt. Leave it in for 12 to 48 hours so it can work its magic, then vacuum the surface.
How to Use Salt to Get Rid of Fleas
- Sprinkle finely crushed salt on the infested surface
- Use a small brush to thoroughly disperse the salt
- Leave it for 12 to 48 hours, longer is better
- Vacuum the treated area thoroughly
Taking Measures up a Notch
If you have a serious flea infestation, then regular salt might not have what it takes to eliminate those critters. Adding boric acid to your salt can amp up the flea-killing power and might be what you need in order to clear out your home. Boric acid, also known as Borax, is usually non-toxic to humans and pets when used in concentrated areas, but try to keep pets away from the carpeted areas that have boric acid to prevent skin irritation and breathing problems. Households with small kids should avoid the boric acid method because it can be potentially dangerous for children, given their small body mass.
To try this out, combine equal parts salt and boric acid. You can also sprinkle just boric acid without the salt. In the same manner, you’re going to want to sprinkle it on the infested area of the carpet and use a brush to get it interspersed with the rug’s fibers. Leave the mixture in for 24 to 48 hours – longer is better when killing off fleas. Vacuum thoroughly afterwards.
How to Kill Fleas Using Borax and Salt
- Mix equal parts of salt and Borax
- Sprinkle the solution on the infested area
- Use a brush to disperse it in carpets etc.
- Leave it for 24 to 48 hours
- Vacuum thoroughly
As a final word of advice about boric acid, most professionals recommend Borax powder rather than boric acid powder as the former is milder and doesn’t pose as serious a threat as the latter. Borax powder is readily available at local supermarkets and big retailers such as Walmart or Target.
Why Does This Work?
Salt is a desiccant, which means that it is a drying substance and can speed up the drying process. This is bad news for fleas because once they come into contact with the salt, the tiny salt crystals will rub onto their body, causing them to lose fluid and blood until they bleed to death. Essentially, they’re drying out and dying; it’s a similar concept to putting salt on a snail.
Just the same as salt, Borax works to dehydrate the fleas by making small cuts along their bodies. The fleas eventually dry up and lose all of their fluids, leaving you free to vacuum them up. Be aware that boric acid doesn’t work on flea eggs, which is unfortunate, because fleas are constantly reproducing and the average female flea will lay nearly 800 eggs in her lifetime.
Fleas thrive in hot and humid conditions, which is why you’re most likely to come into contact with them during the summer months. That being said, cold temperatures won’t kill their eggs either; it will just render them inactive and leave them lurking in carpeting and furniture.
Vacuuming and steam cleaning the carpet and furniture after the salt treatment can be a final push to eliminate the critters from your home. The vacuum can suck up adult fleas and larvae as well as eggs. Before you even do any of that, though, ensure that your carpet can handle the salt treatment. If you can, check with the manufacturer and be certain that the salt won’t ruin your rugs for good. Moreover, keep in mind that salt attracts moisture over time so you don’t want to pour a bunch of salt in a hot, humid room and leave it there. The result could be gross, wet carpet, furniture, or pet beds.
You might be worried about fleas making their home on your dog or cat. Perhaps the flea infestation is causing skin irritation or inflammation on your pet or even yourself. What’s worse is that these creatures can be disease transmitters so taking action promptly is crucial.
While lots of people assume that they can give their dog or cat a salt water bath to solve the problem, this isn’t a good idea. The salt water is dehydrating and can even pose a threat to your pet’s health. Instead, opt for a flea treatment from your vet or you can try a natural remedy such as equal parts raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water. Spray or sponge it all over your pet to keep fleas at bay. Some pet owners also find that crushed-up tablets of brewer’s yeast and garlic do the trick too.
Prevention and Control
Keep in mind that just because you have treated a flea infestation doesn’t mean that you can’t experience this issue again. That’s why prevention and control techniques are crucial. Sanitation efforts should be in full swing, especially during the warmer months when fleas come out to play. Routine vacuuming as well as pet bathing will be necessary to ensure a clean, pest-free home. In addition, try to wash your pet’s beds and plush toys regularly. Also run a vacuum over furniture and throw rugs on a weekly basis. These tips will keep you in control of fleas and ensure your best chances of a pest-free home.