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Alternative Flea Treatments

Updated on June 14, 2019
CaitBooth profile image

Caitlyn loves animals of all species and sizes. Yes, that includes creepy-crawly bugs and snakes.

The author would like to note that in more severe cases of flea infestation in the home, medication from the vet may be needed to effectively eliminate the problem.

The following remedies are for more minor cases. Always see a vet if there are any concerns or questions, or if the pets become lethargic, have pale gums, and don't want to eat. Younger animals can develop anemia from flea infestation and undernourishment.

Apple Cider Vinegar Spray

A spray made of diluted apple cider vinegar (1:1) can help kill any fleas on the dog's body. Do so daily, and use in combination with the flea comb if possible.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) has a variety of great uses, including treating parasites in animals! Feeding dogs and cats a recommended serving of DE can rid them of the many different kinds of parasitic worms they can have in their digestive systems. DE is used in treating fleas by dusting them, leaving it on for four hours (or more), and bathing them after to remove the dust (and fleas).

Be sure to use food grade DE as the other type of diatomaceous earth can be toxic to animals and humans alike.

Therapeutic Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is wonderful for pets. It's great for their skin, their coats, and overall health when consumed. When rubbed on, as is done when treating fleas, it works to smother the fleas. Plus, it soothes any irritated skin the fleas cause, and most dogs love it anyway.

Just take the oil and rub it into their coats!

Dish Soap

Dish soap, especially brands like Dawn, is great for killing fleas. Plus, bathing the dogs washes off the fleas and larvae. There are special flea shampoos out there for treating flea-covered dogs, but these should be used with care as some can contain dangerous chemicals. Seek out natural shampoos for the best results!

Flea Combs

The traditional flea comb can be a useful tool when dealing with a mild infestation. Combing through their coats daily will keep things under control, and most pets love to be groomed!

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used for a variety of things, such as relieving headaches or keeping bugs away from the house, and this includes treating fleas. Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, and cedar oils can be sprayed onto the pet's coat to repel fleas (and ticks). Always dilute the oils as they are very concentrated and be sure not to spray it around their face as the smell can bother the dogs.

Other Tips

Aside from treating the affected animals themselves, there are many other ways to try and control the flea infestation.

  • Vacuuming the floors and furniture, followed by spraying the apple cider vinegar onto the couches and chairs (be sure to throw away the vacuum bag afterward!)
  • Washing bed covers
  • Sweeping and mopping hard floors
  • Washing pet beds and toys


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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