How To Repel Fleas with Regular Household Items (Using Smells Fleas Hate!)

updated Oct 27, 2022
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(Image credit: Emily Billings)

There’s a lot to love about having pets, but one of the downsides is the fleas that can sometimes come with them — especially if your pet goes outdoors. Fleas can be a pain to get out of your house, but there are a number of regular household items that can be used to repel and kill them without harming your beloved furry friend (no, not you, Windex). Learn more about these below.

Salt and a Vacuum

Salting and vacuuming your carpet and furniture kills the fleas and their eggs by dehydrating them, according to 1-800 PetMeds. With your carpet in particular, be sure to brush the salt in since flea eggs can fall in between the fibers — and for most effectiveness, leave the salt there for 12 to 48 hours before vacuuming it all up.

It’s helpful to keep your pet out of the room while you do this, as it’s crucial to make sure your pet is not around to lick up the salt.

Simply vacuuming up fleas can do the trick as well, with a 96% destruction rate of adult fleas and 100% destruction rate of younger fleas, according to Science Daily. This can be especially useful if you live in a studio or other small space that makes it impossible to keep your pet away from the furniture.

Essential Oils

A 2017 study published by the Journal of Arthropod-Borne Diseases found that thyme and myrtle essential oils can repel fleas effectively. Cedarwood oil can also repel fleas from fabric, people, and pets, according to Healthline.

Essential oils can be dangerous for pets, so it’s important to never use these essences on them or in an area where they can lick the oils up. This is a good way to repel fleas around the house in places your pet cannot access, such as an off-limits room.

Get to Washing

Pop pet beds and other home items you suspect to be infested by fleas into the washer with a natural laundry detergent that’s safe for pets, veterinarians have recommended to NBC News. They suggest the Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent, which is made for sensitive skin and free of dyes, fragrances, or artificial brighteners.