14 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Fleas Quickly

cat with shadow of a flea overhead

Are your pets constantly scratching, and even moving from one place to another as though they cannot find a comfortable place to rest? If that is the case, it is possible that they are being bothered by fleas. The good news is that there are plenty of home remedies to get rid of fleas, which are simple, effective and work fast.

How to Prevent Fleas from Becoming a Problem

Fleas start off as a minor nuisance, but grow to a more serious problem if left to multiply.

There are a few simple things you can do to avoid needing the remedies that follow in this article. The first of these starts outside of your home:

  • Cut your grass and trim your hedges. This keeps fleas and other small pests away from your home as they prefer dense, overgrown areas to safely traverse.
  • Trim your pet’s hair. Keeping your pet’s hair on the shorter side makes them a less appealing target for prospecting fleas to cling to.
  • Keep clutter to a minimum. Excessive clutter lends fleas the same sort of cover an overgrown lawn does outdoors. Limiting the clutter in your home makes it harder for fleas and other pesky critters to get around.

Keep in mind that these remedies can help get rid of fleas, but they are not all-inclusive cures. Many of these remedies are not to be used on the skins of humans or animals.

1. Boric Acid

One of the top home remedies that can aid you in getting rid of fleas is boric acid. Boric acid is a desiccant, which basically means that it is a drying agent, and it kills fleas, their larvae, and eggs due to dehydration.

What to do:

  • Place boric acid in a WELL LABELED shaker like what is often used for castor sugar.
  • Vacuum carpets and upholstery thoroughly and be certain to remove all objects from the area.
  • Sprinkle the boric acid over the infested areas.
  • Use a soft brush to work it into the carpet or cloth.
  • Allow it to sit for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Vacuum often, which pulls up the boric acid which is worked in deeper
  • Repeat this every few weeks for a couple of months.

2. Pennyroyal

It might sound like the title to a James Bond film when you first see it, but pennyroyal is an effective home remedy which can help to get rid of fleas. This herb repels fleas because they cannot stand its scent, so it drives them away. This herb must be used with caution, because ingesting it can cause fertility and reproductive issues in both humans and pets, so be sure to safeguard yourself, others in your household, and your pets against the possibility of consuming this herb.

What to do:

  • Grow pennyroyal plants around the perimeter of your yard, especially in areas where your pets frequent often, but make certain they are out of reach.
  • Another method is to crush fresh pennyroyal leaves and place them in cheesecloth.
  • Hang the cheesecloth above areas where fleas are most prominent in your home.
  • Additionally, you can place several drops of pennyroyal essential oil on the portion of your pet’s collar which does not come in contact with its skin.

3. Rosemary

A milder herbal solution you can use to get rid of fleas makes use of rosemary. This home remedy has similar effects as pennyroyal, but does not carry the same harmful side-effects. However, neither does it have the same potency, so rosemary is really better used if the infestation is a lighter one.

What to do:

  • Place 2 Tbsp of fresh rosemary leaves in 1 quart of boiling water.
  • Reduce heat and allow the water to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the tea from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature before straining it.
  • Make use of the tea to bathe your dog. DO NOT use this to bathe your cat, because it can cause negative reactions.
  • Repeat this remedy every couple of weeks until you are sure that fleas are gone.
Tip: Always keep fresh lemons.

4. Lemons

Lemons are also effective when it comes to getting rid of fleas. The citric acid in lemons repels fleas and keeps them away from their hosts. Lemon juice can be an irritant if applied directly to the skin, so utilize some caution with this remedy as well.

What to do:

  • Place 6 thinly sliced lemons and a handful of fresh, chopped rosemary leaves in a quart of boiling water.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat.
  • Add 3 to 4 drops of geranium essential oil. DO NOT add this if you have cats, which are highly allergic to geraniums.
  • Cover and allow the tea to sit overnight.
  • The following morning, strain and pour the tea into a spray bottle.
  • Use this spray on carpets, bedding, furniture and any place where your pets tend to spend a lot of time.
  • Repeat spraying every few days.

5. Citronella

Another herb which gets rid of fleas and keeps them away is citronella. Because its leaves have a slight lemony scent as well as other properties which irritate fleas, citronella is an excellent home remedy to try out.

What to do:

  • If you are able to grow it in your climate, grow citronella plants around the perimeter of your yard and in areas where your pets spend a lot of time.
  • As an alternative, you can make a citronella spray using 10 drops of citronella essential oil and 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil in 1 quart of water.
  • Spray areas where your pets frequent regularly, shaking the bottle to make sure the oil is distributed along with the water.
  • Additionally, you can add 20 drops of citronella oil, 12 drops of tea tree oil and12 drops of lemongrass oil to a gallon of warm water for mopping your floors.

6. Horse Apple

Not to be confused with a road apple, which is an entirely different thing altogether, horse apple is another traditional home remedy for repelling insects and is also used to get rid of fleas. A member of the mulberry family, horse apple is called by a number of different names, such as: Osage orange, hedge apple, monkey ball, bodark or bodock. By whatever name it is known, fleas are driven away by its scent and along with them are grass snakes, field mice and a host of other insects.

What to do:

  • Cut whole (green or ripe) horse apples into quarters.
  • Place pieces of the fruit around your house and yard, especially in areas where your pets are frequently found lying around.
  • Place one piece in each area and leave it for a couple of months.
  • You will have to replace them more often outdoors.

several different types of salt

7. Salt

We come to one of the simplest home remedies for getting rid of fleas; salt. Though not as powerful as boric acid, the desiccant properties of salt also make it a great means of dehydrating fleas, their eggs and their larvae, and eliminating their presence from your home.

What to do:

  • Place finely ground salt in a large shaker.
  • Sprinkle salt over the carpets and rugs in every room.
  • Use a brush to brush it into deeper piled rugs and carpets.
  • Allow it to remain in the carpet for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Vacuum thoroughly and discard the bag.

8. Herbal Spray

Because flea bombs are often loaded with harmful chemicals, they get rid of fleas, but they can also have a negative impact on your health and the health of your pets. A home remedy made from natural, herbal ingredients is a safe alternative as a flea killer and repellant and is made using items you already have in your home.

What to do:

  • Combine 1 gallon of vinegar, ½ gallon of water, 16 oz. of lemon juice and 8 oz. of witch hazel extract.
  • Pour this mixture into a clean garden sprayer.
  • You can utilize this out of doors in places your pets frequent often or indoors after thoroughly cleaning and vacuuming all surfaces which your pets frequent.
  • Repeat this weekly throughout flea season.

9. Flea Trap

Trapping a flea might sound hilarious at first mention, but it is a home remedy for getting rid of fleas which you ought to take seriously. By trapping fleas, you can remove them from your home and give your pets some peace of mind.

What to do:

  • During the nighttime, place small bowls, plates or saucers in the middle of each of the rooms in your house
  • Place warm water and a capful of dishwashing liquid as well as a tea candle in each of them.
  • Light the tea candles and leave them to do their thing.
  • Attracted to the light, the fleas jump into the soapy water, are trapped and die.
  • The following morning, you can empty your traps.
  • Repeat this for 3 to 4 nights, depending upon how severe of an infestation you have.
  • Alternately, you can leave dishes of soapy water in various, out of the way places inside and out of your home around the clock, though this is won’t catch as many as when utilizing a candle.

10. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

It is possible that you have never heard of DE before, but it is another safe home remedy which can be used to get rid of fleas. Made from the microscopic remains of fossilized algae known as diatoms, it is similar to tiny shards of glass which cut into the exoskeleton of fleas and helps to dry them out. The best part of using DE is that it is non-toxic to humans and animals.

What to do:

  • Vacuum all carpets and rugs thoroughly and wash all bedding in the hottest water your machine will allow.
  • Sprinkle Food Grade DE over areas where pets frequent most in a light layer.
  • Allow the DE to remain in place for 24 to 48 hours before vacuuming up the powder and discarding the bag.
  • Repeat this every few weeks during flea season.

11. Citrus Repellant

Earlier, we discussed how citric acid in lemon juice was an effective home remedy for getting rid of fleas. For the most part, nearly all citrus fruits produce the same problem of irritation for fleas and help to repel them. Citric acid repellants are a safe way of driving fleas away and keeping them away.

What to do:

  • Slice lemons, oranges and/or grapefruits and boil them in 1 quart of water for about 10 minutes.
  • Cover and allow the solution to sit overnight.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle and use it to saturate areas where pets frequent the most.
  • Repeat this every couple of days throughout flea season.

[mks_highlight color=”#acd68f”]Warning! DO NOT spray this solution on your pets or yourself as the citric acid will cause severe skin irritation.[/mks_highlight]

12. Eucalyptus Oil

Another natural, home remedy for repelling and getting rid of fleas is eucalyptus oil. This remedy works best on fabrics like carpeting, bed linens and pet beds. Like other essential oils already mentioned, eucalyptus oil is an irritant to fleas and they stay away from it.

What to do:

  • Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your wash when you wash bed linens and other cloth and clothing which pets utilize often.
  • Add it to shampoo solutions for shampooing rugs and carpet.
  • You can also add it to the spray solutions mentioned above in order to give them an added boost.

[mks_highlight color=”#acd68f”]NOTE: Keep in mind that some individuals and pets can experience skin irritation from contact with eucalyptus oil.[/mks_highlight]

13. Repellant Plants

When it comes to getting rid of fleas using home remedies, planting repellant plans is one of the best long-term solutions to the problem, though you won’t see instant results. Over time, fleas, as well as a number of other pests, will be less prevalent in your home, garden and on your pets.

What to do:

  • Plant repellant plants like citronella, pennyroyal, rosemary, lavender, mint and other such plants around the perimeter of your home and in areas your pets frequent most.
  • Grow these and other flea repellant plants in pots inside your home as well.
  • Make sure that you check the ASPCA list of toxic plants before planting any of these in order to know how they will affect your family and your pets.

baking soda in a bowl

14. Baking Soda

Simple home remedies for how to get rid of fleas in your home abound and one of the simplest, safest and quickest is baking soda. Like salt and boric acid, baking soda is a desiccant, which dehydrates and kills the eggs and larvae as well as adult fleas.

What to do:

  • Sprinkle baking powder in a thin layer over carpet, rugs and upholstery.
  • Rub it into the fibers with a soft brush and allow it to sit for most of a day and then vacuum those surfaces.
  • After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag to make sure any remaining live fleas, eggs or larvae are removed from your home.
  • Repeat this weekly during flea season.


Keeping your home free of fleas not only makes it more comfortable for your pets, but keeps your home more sanitary and protected against flea-borne illnesses. Armed with 14 home remedies to get rid of fleas, you can make certain that fleas are dead or stay away from your household pets and your family. If you have other home remedies to add to our list, be sure to do so below along with any questions or comments you might have.

Images: depositphotos.com.