10 Natural Flea Remedies

If you prefer to use natural flea remedies without harmful chemicals, why not try one or more of our home remedies below? They use all-natural ingredients that won't harm your pet but will undoubtedly help eliminate those pesky parasites! 

Top 10 Home Remedies For Fleas

Getting Rid of Fleas with Home Remedies

"...I'm reluctant to use toxins on my dog just to get rid of his fleas, are there any alternative natural flea remedies that I could use?..."

I've heard that question asked many times, so I thought I'd take a stab at answering it here.

Golden cocker spaniel, lying in a stream with many coloured stones.Treating your pet with natural flea remedies will keep him safe

When you look at the chemicals listed on commercial flea treatment packaging, it's understandable that many owners are turning to more natural flea remedies as a safer option.

And the good news is that it is possible to free your Cocker Spaniel and your home of dog fleas without using harmful toxins.

You've probably got the makings of some natural flea control treatments already sitting on shelves in your kitchen cupboards. Simple, natural ingredients that won't harm your pet but will kill those pesky fleas!

Here are 10 easy ideas for effective natural flea removal, but don't just take my word for it.

Why not try one or two of them for yourself?

1. Natural Flea Remedies: Citrus Oils

Citrus oils are often used as a natural flea remedy for controlling, repelling and killing dog fleas.

The oils are best diluted with water which can then be poured over your dog in the bath after shampooing, or used in a clean spray bottle to dampen his coat.

Citrus fruits are just one of many alternative natural flea remedies.Citrus fruits: natural flea remedies

But be careful; if the citrus oil isn't sufficiently diluted, it may irritate your dog's skin.

Make sure you get behind his ears and rub it into the top of his head (a favourite meeting place for fleas), but place your hands over his eyes to protect them as you spray.

The base of your Cocker's tail and under his 'armpits' are also places where fleas like to take up residence, so make sure you give those areas a good drenching too.

Re-apply every four days or so. 

It's much safer spraying natural lemon juice onto your dog's coat than it is to spray him with chemicals, and having to do it around twice a week is a small price to pay for the benefit, don't you think?

How To Make Your Own Citrus Spray

If you like the sound of this but don't have any citrus oil handy, you can easily make your own citrus wash using grapefruits, oranges, lemons or limes; here's how.

  • Cut a couple of lemons or a selection of citrus fruits into slices or quarters (it doesn't matter which) and place them in a heatproof bowl.

Top Tip: Score the skins of the fruit before you cut them to help release more of their oils. 

  • Squeeze the fruit to release their juices into a medium-sized bowl.

  • Place the fruit into the bowl and pour a pint of boiling water the mixture, and leave to cool.

  • Once cooled, you can strain the pulp and use the liquid in a clean spray bottle or sponge directly onto your dog's coat.

2. Bubble Bath? A Natural Flea Control?

Bubbles and soap suds are a great way of getting rid of adult fleas because the soap makes the fur slippery, and the fleas can't get a grip on the hair. They literally drown in the watery soap suds!

Using your favourite dog shampoo (baby shampoo works fine too), get a good lather going and wash your dog. Make sure you create lots of bubbles!

When you're sure he's clean, rinse him thoroughly. Twice is always a good bet, and then again to make sure there are no more soap suds left in his coat.

Once his coat is squeaky clean and well-rinsed, make sure you dry him off thoroughly.

If you want to double up on effectiveness, you can use the above lemon recipe in the final rinse.

Alternatively, you can add a little mild liquid soap to the citric liquid and use it for bathing your dog in the usual way.

Top Tip: Another effective way to kill fleas is to place a small bowl of soapy water next to a (safe) night light near to where you dog sleeps. The adult fleas will be attracted to the warm glow and will drown in the soapy water. 

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Is Another Natural Flea Remedy

Apple cider vinegar has so many good uses, and getting rid of fleas on your dog is one of them.

If you want to make a spray, you can quickly pour two tablespoons into a small spray bottle and top it up with water.

Spray it onto your Cocker Spaniel's coat and let it dry naturally. Repeat this every 4 days until the fleas have gone.

You can also add it to your Cocker's water or food, and as it builds up in your dog's bloodstream, it's said to make his blood unpalatable to fleas.

I add a splash to Max's fresh drinking water each morning, and I also use it as a spray for his coat. I use unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar because it's more natural.

(It also makes a great salad dressing added to olive oil and a few crumbled walnuts!)

Not only can apple cider vinegar help to give a sheen to your Cocker's coat, but it can also help to strengthen his immune system too, so it's a win-win situation all around!

Of all the natural flea remedies on this page, I think this is the most effective!

4. Home Remedies for Fleas: White Vinegar

White vinegar is also a natural flea control for our dogs.

Simply make up a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water and spray onto your dog's coat.

Liverpool and Bronie, two cocker spaniels on a lead, sitting by a park bench.Was that a flea I saw? Don't be silly!

One of our regular visitors (Stephanie, you know who you are!) sent us this great photo of her Cocker Spaniels.

Stephanie sprays her dogs' coats with vinegar to repel fleas naturally.

She swears by it as she says it makes their coats beautiful and glossy, and it's not expensive. It's a great cheap alternative to those expensive, chemical, de-lousing pipettes!

5. Rosemary and Lavender

If you grow rosemary or lavender in your garden - this one's for you, but even if you don't, it's so easy to grow, either in pots or in a border.

Snip a few sprigs off the plant and allow to soak for an hour in a small bowl of boiling water. When the water has cooled, remove the sprigs and strain if necessary.

This liquid is 'concentrated' and will need to be diluted before you use it. Top up with a litre of warm water and add to a spray bottle.

6. Natural Flea Remedies: Cedar Wood

Cedar chips or shavings placed inside a pillowcase or your dog's bed is said to repel fleas because, apparently, they don't like the smell...how on earth did they work that one out?

Cedar chips must be contained, especially if your Cocker Spaniel enjoys chewing wood because cedarwood could make him sick if ingested.

If your dog also has an outside kennel, don't forget to use the cedar there too.

7. Garlic is a Natural Flea Control

It's said that fleas don't like the taste of garlic (again, how on earth do they know that?)!

Mix a small amount in his food, and the fleas will be falling over themselves to jump ship. You can buy capsules from health food shops, or you can use powdered garlic.

However, my research shows that large amounts of garlic can actually harm your pet.

As I couldn't find out what defines a 'large amount' of garlic, I strongly recommend that you mention it to your vet first to get their opinion on safe amounts to feed if you plan to use garlic as a flea deterrent to protect your Cocker Spaniel.

8. Brewer's Yeast

The same applies to brewer's yeast as it applies to garlic...fleas don't like the taste!

You can buy brewer's yeast tablets to add to your pet's food, but I would check with your vet first. They will be able to advise you on the correct dosage according to your pet's health and weight.

9. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal is a plant that belongs to the mint family, and it's said to deter parasites. It can be made into batches of home remedies for fleas and used accordingly.

You might want to consider planting it in the garden near where your dog usually plays or lies, and you can also plant it in pots on the patio to deter fleas.

Just be careful if your dog tends to eat plants as they can be poisonous.

10. Use A Flea Comb

The trusty old flea comb is one of the most natural flea remedies there is, and it's really effective for combing out those pesky parasites.

Have a small bowl of warm water by your side as you comb through his coat so that you can dip the comb into the water to remove the fleas from the teeth. (The fleas will drown in the soapy water).

Unfortunately, a flea comb won't remove the eggs; you'll need to use a rinse treatment or spray after combing, which will stop the eggs from developing any further.

Comb your pet's coat every day until all the fleas have been removed. Some of the eggs may hatch, but if you comb regularly, you're bound to comb them out.

Once you've finished combing your Spaniel thoroughly, you can spray his coat with your favourite natural flea remedy.

Bonus Natural Flea Remedies

Essential Oils

Many essential oils can be used in natural flea remedies to kill off fleas, and you might like to try one or more of the following;

  • Cedar, 
  • Lavender,
  • Tea Tree, 
  • Geranium,
  • Lemongrass, 
  • Citronella.

Essential oils are stored in tiny bottles because they're very concentrated.

They need to be appropriately diluted; otherwise, the oils may irritate any skin they come into contact with.

Always follow the manufacturers instructions. You'll never need more than a few drops for each spray bottle.

A Word To The Wise!

Natural flea remedies are a simple alternative option. It's simply a matter of choice.

As with any product you intend to give your dog, natural or otherwise, I recommend you chat about it with your vet.

Max, my golden cocker spaniel sitting on the dry sandy earth at the opening of vineyards in the south of France.No fleas here!

Natural Flea Remedies: Quick Checklist!

Keep an eye on your pet's skin to be sure he doesn't have an allergic reaction to any of the treatments you use on him.

Make sure you keep his bedding clean, and spray all areas where he sleeps with one of the natural flea sprays on this page; it will help repel fleas and keep his bed smelling fresh.

After vacuuming, you might want to spray your carpets and soft furnishings with one of the diluted essential oils; however, I recommend doing a small patch test first to make sure it doesn't stain.

And if you don't have carpets, you can use them in some warm, mildly soapy water to mop the floor!

I hope I've helped you with your flea problem and hope you find something that works for you.

If you have any natural flea remedies that you'd like to share with us, you can drop me a line here.

And if you'd like to learn more about getting rid of fleas on your dog, simply follow this link.

Visitor Question: 

Cheap, Effective Home Remedies for Fleas

By Shelly
From: United States

Help, my dog has fleas!

I don't know where he picked them up from, and I don't suppose that matters much, but I need to get rid of them fast.

I don't want him to suffer, nor do I want a dog flea infestation in my home.

The problem is I'm on a very tight budget and can't afford to take him to the vet, but also, I can't afford to buy treatments off the shelf.

Does anyone have any home remedies that I could try?

Reply From Pauline (Website Owner)

Hi Shelly,

You might like to check out the natural remedies for treating fleas listed on this page, above, and they won't cost you a lot.

Give it a go, and let me know how you get on.  

Visitor Comments: Natural Flea Remedies

Natural Flea Control That Doesn't Cost the Earth!

By: Jen

I agree lavender, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil are all great at getting rid of fleas, either on your dog or in the home.

My dog doesn't get many fleas (unless he's been around next door's cat), but he does pick up a tick or two when he's out in the fields.

On the odd occasion that I spot a flea, I get out the spray bottle, add water, and top up with a few drops of whichever of the three oils I have available and get spraying.

Aside from killing fleas, it makes a nice-smelling room spray too!

A Flea Treatment That Works!

 By: Shelly

I'd like to share something I discovered quite by accident and out of sheer desperation.

Back in 2004, we rented a room in a house. The head renter had a king-size mattress stored in the garage that he lent to us. Naturally, I vacuumed it before using it, but we went nuts from flea bites the first night.

I really didn't have much money at the time but did have a small bottle of eucalyptus oil and a bottle of tea tree oil. I mixed about a 1/4 tsp of each in a spray bottle, added half a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and filled the other half the spray bottle with water.

I then sprayed the mattress, first one side, then the other. That night, not one bite or one flea to be found.

I never had that problem again.

I have used just eucalyptus oil but never killed the fleas so quickly as with the misting of both oils.

I have used this treatment once or twice (as needed) since, and I swear by it.

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