We love our furry friends, but it can be a hassle when they bring home a flea population. You only signed up for a dog, not an insect colony! There are hundreds of flea removal products on the market, but some include chemicals you may not want around your pets and children. Plus, why spend a steep price on chemical products or professional carpet cleaners when there could be an at-home remedy?
Now, there may be a lot of skepticism surrounding natural remedies. Do they actually work? Is it worth the time and effort? Before applying an anti-flea product, you want to be entirely sure that it is going to work. Spending any more time with a flea infestation is a nightmare!
So, let’s talk about a common at-home remedy for fleas: salt. It seems like such a simple method compared to the complex and powerful chemical flea products available. Does salt kill fleas and flea eggs, or is it just an old wives’ tale?
What You'll Learn
- 1 Does Salt Kill Fleas and Flea Eggs?
- 2 Understanding the Flea Life Cycle
- 3 How Does Salt Work to Kill Fleas?
- 4 Steps For Removing Fleas With Salt
- 5 Quick Tips For Using Salt to Kill Fleas
- 6 Other Effective Methods
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Rid Your Home of Fleas Today
Does Salt Kill Fleas and Flea Eggs?
The short answer is yes! Salt is effective at killing fleas, so much so that many people swear off using any other products or trying other methods to get rid of fleas.
However, use the salt only for your home, not your pets, because it can irritate their skin. The dog’s flea treatment is separate, and you can use your preferred shampoo or drops for your pet.
Understanding the Flea Life Cycle
Once you’ve spotted fleas on your dog, that probably means hundreds more exist and that they’ve already laid eggs. The key to eliminating a flea infestation is understanding the flea’s life cycle and treating them in their most vulnerable stage.
The adult fleas that your pet brings into the house lay about 10-50 eggs per day. These eggs can stay on your pet or fall on the carpet and household furniture. Since the egg protects the baby fleas, a salt treatment will not affect them.
Once they hatch, between one and ten days, the fleas enter the larvae stage. In some cases, the larvae take longer to hatch. Once they have emerged, the fleas stay in the larvae stage for about five to fourteen days.
During this stage, the fleas are incredibly vulnerable. The ideal scenario would be to use the salt to target the larvae, but it is near impossible to know what stage the fleas are in at any given moment. As such, it is best to apply multiple periodic treatments to kill any new larvae that have emerged.
Before becoming an adult flea, the larvae create a cocoon. They stay inside for anywhere from a few days to a year. During this stage, it is challenging to kill the fleas as the cocoon provides an impenetrable shield. Once the fleas leave the cocoon as adult fleas, they are again extremely vulnerable to salt treatment.
The salt definitely works to fill fleas, but not in every stage. It will kill any adult and larvae exposed, but eggs and larvae hidden in cocoons can survive. They may not ever hatch if the environment is not suitable, but there is a high possibility of new fleas emerging weeks or months after treatment.
However, the difficulty in killing flea eggs and pupae in cocoons is not unique to the salt treatment. Traditional chemical treatments face the same problems and may only kill active adults and larvae. The plus about using salt to kill fleas is that you can easily reapply the salt periodically for the most effective treatment.
How Does Salt Work to Kill Fleas?
Fleas lay their eggs in dark, warm places, like deep in the couch cushions or lush rugs. Sprinkle the salt in those areas and wait for it to take effect.
Since salt is a dehydration agent, it sucks the moisture from the fleas’ environment, which they need to survive. This process essentially dries them out and kills both the larvae and the adults. Not only does the salt dry the environment, but if salt touches the flea, it can take out all the moisture in their bodies.
Now, while we’ve stated that salt can kill flea eggs, the more accurate statement would be that they kill adult fleas and young flea larvae. Remember that because an egg or a cocoon protects the fleas, the salt will probably not affect them.
As such, the key to using salt to kill fleas in all stages is to apply it periodically. Once you’ve applied the salt once, consider doing it again in one or two weeks to make sure you kill any larvae that managed to survive and hatch during that period. You can even do the process a few more times for good measure to ensure you’ve killed every last flea.
Steps For Removing Fleas With Salt
Using salt to kill fleas and flea eggs is quite simple, but you should still take some crucial steps for the most effective treatment.
- Use either household salt or sea salt, but make sure it is highly refined salt.
- Grind it down into a fine powder.
- The larger the salt particles, the less chance they’ll come in contact with fleas.
- Once you grind the salt, sprinkle it over areas where the fleas could be living.
- That includes your carpet and upholstered furniture.
- You can even use it on your dog’s bedding.
- Brush the furniture to make sure the salt gets down into the material.
- You don’t want it to be left just on the top fibers of your carpet.
- Leave the salt for 12 to 48 hours, and don’t let your dog in the area.
- If you sprinkled salt on their bed, put it somewhere they won’t have access.
- You want to give it time for the salt to take full effect.
- Once you’ve waited, vacuum the carpet and furniture.
- Be sure to use a smaller vacuum on the couch to get into all the tiny crevices.
- Repeat the process in seven to 14 days.
- If needed, continue for a few more weeks.
It’s that simple! You can use a household product to rid your home of the flea infestation effectively.
Quick Tips For Using Salt to Kill Fleas
We’ve already talked about the main steps, but a few more tips will make this flea treatment even more powerful.
- Make sure you have enough salt for all the areas you want to treat.
- Get one large salt container for each room that you want to treat.
- Treat all areas that possibly have a flea infestation.
- These spaces could be anywhere your dog or cat has been.
- Pair the salt treatment with a thorough vacuuming and cleaning.
- Use a small vacuum to get into the small crevices and suck up any fallen fleas.
- Once you have cleaned, take the dirt and fleas directly to the garbage can.
- Post salt treatment, take preventative steps including cleaning & vacuuming.
Other Effective Methods
Salt is not the only natural method for killing fleas. If you are looking for a completely effective solution to killing fleas, consider combining the salt treatment with one of the following options.
- Citrus Spray: Make your own natural spray with lemon in boiling water.
- Coconut Oil: Both topically and internally, coconut oil can prevent fleas.
- Herbal Spray: Combine witch hazel, lemon juice, vinegar, and water.
- Baking Soda: Mix similar to salt, and spread into your carpet evenly.
- Plants: Spearmint, lavender, and chrysanthemums all prevent fleas.
- Diatomaceous Earth: Another natural flea remedy that will keep fleas away.
- Dish Soap: Yes, you can use dish soap as a natural flea repellent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finding the perfect flea treatment for your home can be difficult. You don’t want to invest time and energy in a home-made process that may not work. So, before you get started, review the following questions to ensure this is the right method for your home!
Can You Use Salt on Your Dog?
We do not recommend using the salt method on your dog because it will irritate their skin. Treat your dog’s fleas separately from the house infestation, and keep your dog away from the treated area until after vacuuming.
Try one of the non-toxic, natural shampoos for your dog. As you go through the process of salting your house, maintain a constant pet treatment as well. Repeatedly wash your dog with the shampoo or continue the anti-flea drops to eliminate any fleas that could have transferred to your pet again. The key is to treat both places simultaneously.
How Long Should You Leave the Salt?
You can leave the salt on the carpet and furniture anywhere between 12 and 48 hours. Obviously, it may be harder to keep your dog and family out of individual rooms for two whole days. The best plan would be to salt the critical areas before going to bed and vacuuming in the morning.
If you live in a particularly humid area, make sure the salt doesn’t stay too long in the furniture or carpet. You may end up with a wet, sticky mess.
How Effective is Salt at Killing Fleas?
Salt is a very effective treatment for removing fleas. As previously stated, it will not be as potent on the flea eggs and larvae nestled in cocoons as they have a certain level of protection. However, by applying salt periodically throughout the rooms, you can kill emerging larvae and adults.
The amount of time that fleas stay in each stage can vary drastically, especially depending on the environment. They can survive a few weeks, even without a host. Ideally, you would want to reapply the salt about 10 to 14 days after the first application. Applying salt once more after another two weeks is the best way to ensure the infestation is completely gone.
Is Using Salt Safe?
Applying salt is one of the safest methods of defeating a flea infestation. Instead of having a pest removal company come in and use a chemical bomb, you can relax knowing that your family and pets are safe from any fumes or potential ingestion.
Of course, it is essential to leave the salted area alone while waiting for it to take effect. This step is not for your pets and children’s safety, but to leave the salt untouched and thoroughly effective.
Make sure not to use salt on your dog or cat. It is a dehydrating agent, which won’t only affect the fleas. It can dry out your pet’s skin and irritate it. Instead, use your favorite natural shampoo or anti-flea drops that are entirely safe for your furry friend.
Rid Your Home of Fleas Today
Salt is a fantastic, safe, and cost-effective method for killing fleas. Keep plenty of salt in your home, so you are prepared for any potential flea outbreak. This method will save you money and give you peace of mind as your family and pets’ safety is a priority.
If you can’t effectively use salt to mitigate your flea problem, there are plenty of other home remedies that we’ve mentioned above. Worst case, it may be time to call a professional who can remedy your flea problem in no time at all.