Our pets are our furry four legged family members. But unlike most of our other family members, they like to roll in dust and usually bring in parasites like fleas and ticks. For this reason, pets can quickly become ‘pests’ no matter how much we love them. Using chemical based flea control is naturally what many pet owners resort to as a quick fix. However, there are some pet owners that tend to shun from using such products since they are known to harm the environment and could also be toxic for the pets. If you feel the same way, then you will enjoy this guide which focuses on the use of vinegar to kill fleas.
But first, let us consider what a flea infestation really means to your pets.
Decreased quality of life associated with fleas
Pesky flea infestations can make you and your pet’s life miserable. Flea bites on pets lead to scratchy, irritated and anxious pets. Flea allergy dermatitis can also lead to patchy hair loss in cats and dogs. In some cases, flea bites could lead to anemia or weakness in the animal. In absence of animals, fleas can also bite humans disturbing a good night’s rest. The good news is that you can kill fleas with vinegar instead of using chemicals.
The many uses of vinegar
Vinegar has been used for centuries to clean and deodorize. It is known to work well against ant and fruit fly invasions in the kitchen. Vinegar can also be used to clean and deodorize bathrooms and toilets. Apart from these indoor uses, vinegar can be used outdoors on lawns to prevent aphids, ants and pests eating green produce. White distilled vinegar sprayed on weeds can help kill and control them. Pet owners can also use vinegar to deodorize their dogs and cats. But perhaps, the most important use of this natural ingredient (since you did visit my site about flea bites) is for getting rid of fleas and ticks.
How to get rid of fleas with vinegar
Let me show you some of the methods you can use to get rid of fleas with vinegar. The vinegar based remedies described here are effective in treating existing flea infestations and can also help prevent new ones.
You can start by shampooing your dog or cat using a vet approved product that kills fleas. Once the pet has been rinsed and washed off as per the instructions, simply add a quart of distilled white vinegar to its bath water. Use this solution to pour all over the animal. This will help repel new fleas and also kill existing ones. The reason why vinegar is so effective in getting rid of fleas is because fleas and ticks cannot stand the smell of it. After using the vinegar rinse, do not towel dry the pet; instead let it air dry. As an added bonus, vinegar will also give your pet a shiny and healthy coat.
Another way to use vinegar to kill fleas is to wash your pet using DAWN® dishsoap and, while working up the lather, adding a stream of vinegar and alternating it with a stream of plain warm water while massaging the pet. Let the soap and vinegar solution stay on the pet for at least 10 minutes. Then wash off as usual. The result is a healthy and glossy coat that is completely devoid of fleas.
Adding vinegar to the dog’s drinking water to kill fleas
Some pet owners have also had great success in killing fleas by adding a few drops of vinegar to their dog’s daily drinking water. This remedy makes the dogs’ blood and skin too unpalatable or acidic for fleas, as a result of which they get repelled. Caution: do not add vinegar to your cat’s drinking water as it is too acidic for cats. Instead, simply spray some diluted vinegar on the cats fur to see the same results. When using vinegar, internally or topically, always remember to monitor your pets for any adverse reactions.
How else can vinegar be used to kill fleas?
Vinegar is proven to kill fleas and another way in which it can be used for this purpose is to wash the pet’s bedding in it. Simply soak the pet’s bedding, linen, bed sheets (and all other fabrics the pet uses while sleeping) in water and vinegar solution. Let them soak for a few hours then dry them on the highest setting of the dryer to get rid of flea eggs and larvae.
Vinegar solution with water can also be stored in spray bottles and sprayed on the animal and its bedding from time to time to kill and get rid of fleas.
Which type of vinegar helps get rid of fleas?
It is now a well established fact that all kinds of vinegar kill fleas. However, I have had many home/pet owners ask me which specific vinegar to use for this purpose. Is it mainly apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar? The answer is that both types are equally effective in killing and repelling fleas. Both types contain acetic acid that makes the product highly acidic. Most pet owners prefer using apple cider vinegar for killing fleas on pets while they tend to use white distilled vinegar around the home to keep it clean and flea free, but you can easily reverse the roles and use both vinegars for either purpose.
Apple cider vinegar and baking soda for fleas on pets
To make apple cider vinegar even more effective in fighting fleas, use baking soda. The combination of soda and vinegar is super potent and is also completely safe for pets as well as the environment. Baking soda cleans pet’s fur and the combination of vinegar and soda makes it very soft and healthy. Here is the recipe:
- 200 ml of organic, raw apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Baking soda ½ tsp
- 2-3 tsp warm water
In a spray bottle, mix the above ingredients. Shake well. Spray all over your pet. Let the mixture sit for at least 10-15 minutes. You can then rinse it off with warm water. This super effective remedy also gets rid of ticks, mange, mites and other bugs on your pets. It is one of the best home remedies to get rid of fleas on your dog or cat. The ingredients are readily available and hardly cost a few pennies.
Apple cider vinegar for fleas in the house and on carpets
You can also use apple cider vinegar around the house to get rid of house fleas. Fill up a spray bottle with distilled water and ACV in 1:1 ratio. Spray the mixture around the house, under furniture, on carpets and rugs and especially on pet bedding. The advantage of doing this is that the fleas will be repelled due to the stench and your house will smell fresh to you. This remedy is also a cat pee deterrent. Spray the ACV on rugs or carpets where your pet voids and the vinegar’s smell will stop your pet from making the same mistake again.
Apple cider vinegar for fleas on cats
Apple cider vinegar is a safe remedy to eliminate fleas on cats. Here is how to use it:
- Add one tablespoon of organic, raw apple cider vinegar to your cat’s drinking water. The ACV will strengthen your feline’s immune system and make the animal a less tasty target for fleas.
- Also add half a cup of apple cider vinegar to your pet’s final rinsing water after shampooing. Allow the cat’s fur to air dry naturally. Not only will this repel fleas; it will also make your pet’s coat healthier and shinier.
Apple cider vinegar for fleas on humans
Flea bites on humans are not life threatening but they can be extremely irritating and itchy. The good news is that you can use apple cider vinegar for healing those bites and even avoiding future bites. The aromatic elements in ACV are deterrent to fleas and the naturally occurring enzymes and acids soothe existing bites. The ingredients are simple:
- 1 cup distilled water
- ¼ cup organic apple cider vinegar
Spray the mixture on or use a towel to apply the solution to the flea bites. If you are fighting a massive flea infestation, you can spray the solution on your feet, arms, legs and other exposed areas of the body to deter flea bites.
As you can see, vinegar is a simple and effective solution for getting rid of fleas. So the next time you are faced with a flea infestation, make sure you try out vinegar first before resolving to other toxic products available on the market.
Got fleas? Find out which products work in 2019, with my updated flea control product comparison chart.