Get Rid of Fleas with Salt! How to Kill Fleas…

posted by: Barry Silverstein

When fleas infest your home, they can get everywhere; in fact, any place your dog or cat frequents, fleas will be present. Carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture are especially vulnerable to infestation. Adult fleas jump from animals to these surfaces and lay eggs. These eggs hatch as larvae that can get caught in carpet fibers, creating an on-going problem.

Vacuuming and steam cleaning carpets and rugs will help, but there are natural treatments that can be even more effective.

One of these treatments is safe and uses a common everyday substance – salt.  Yes, you can get rid of fleas with salt! The salt acts as a dehydration agent and dries out the bodies of the fleas.

How to kill fleas using salt:  Obtain some highly refined household salt or sea salt. Make sure it is as finely ground as possible, almost to a powder consistency. Sprinkle it lightly but evenly over your carpet. Brush or rake it in. Leave this in your carpet for 12 to 48 hours, then vacuum thoroughly.

Salt can attract moisture, so do not leave it in for very long in very hot or humid conditions.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with salty, wet carpet.

For serious infestations, salt can be mixed together with boric acid. This chemical is found in a number of commercially-available products, such as Borax. Use the same technique as with refined salt; however, check with the carpet manufacturer to make sure your carpet can withstand boric acid. While boric acid is generally non-toxic, long-term, low-level exposure to boric acid can cause some health conditions in humans and pets, so this treatment should not be used frequently.

The accompanying video explains more about how to get rid of fleas with salt.

More information about how to get rid of fleas with salt and other natural, safe, effective methods and substances you can use to control fleas is available in Flea Control: How to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally.

36 Comments »

  1. carolyn Said,

    June 4, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

    can you use salt in a bath for the dog?

  2. Barry Silverstein Said,

    June 5, 2009 @ 5:46 am

    Carolyn:
    It is not a good idea to use ordinary salt to bathe your dog. It can be a skin irritant. Use a flea shampoo with natural, non-toxic ingredients.

  3. Kath Said,

    June 22, 2009 @ 4:53 am

    Hi Mark. Thanks for your tips. I found that I could buy ordinary table salt and put it in the blender. After blending, you have a fine powder that is just right for this purpose!

  4. Roby Said,

    September 23, 2009 @ 10:10 am

    what if I forgot to make the salt fine? will it not work?

  5. Teresa Said,

    June 26, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

    Hi Mark I am going to try this right now. just got a new puppy and saw fleas and I just freaked! Thanks for the info!

  6. stephanie Said,

    August 11, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

    Can u bathe your cat in salt water, if so how much salt and water do u use?Do u rub the salt powder on your cat?

  7. Sharon Said,

    August 25, 2010 @ 12:05 am

    I can’t give my cats a bath, what else would you recommend for me to do.

  8. Betsy Said,

    August 31, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

    @ Stephanie – the point of the salt is to dehydrate the fleas, so giving yur cat a bath in the salt wouldn’t work. Use flea drops on your cat; they’ll work within 24 hours then try the salt on your house. Then don’t bath your cat as you’ll just wash the drops right out of your cat.

  9. Mike Said,

    September 26, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

    Tell me. How did you spread it. They were on our cat, and now in our basement on the carpet. Some also is on our hardwood floors. Suggestions?

  10. Mark Said,

    October 21, 2010 @ 11:12 am

    I have 2 indoor cats which got fleas this summer. I guess I had some ride in on my pant legs or something. Anyway, I began using frontline plus and after 3 months (3 applications) It seemed like it wasn’t helping. I called the vet where I had been buying the frontline and they said that for some reason, the frontline plus wasn’t as effective this year as it had been in the past. They recommended revolution for cats. It’s basically the same thing, a small vial of medicine placed between the shoulder blades of the cats. I also noticed that the cats began to perch on top of tall furniture in my apartment and would only come down to feed. Meaning, I had fleas in my carpet!

    The day after the first application of the revolution, I bought 2 lbs of table salt, put it into a large spice bottle with a shaker top, and sprinkled it all over my carpet. 1 1/2 lbs was enough to thoroughly treat a 2 bedroom apartment. I waited 4 days and vacuumed thoroughly.

    All I can say is the cats seem much relieved now. I think it’s worked, and in a week I’ll apply a second treatment of revolution to the cats and probably do the salted carpet thing again just to be sure.

    Also, frontline and revolution is kind of expensive, but vets usually sell them in single doses ($15 – $20 each) where pet stores sell them in 4 packs ($80).

  11. Jennifer Said,

    April 15, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    Thank you so much for this information. I have four strays I took in this year and yes they came complete with fleas! I’ve been looking for something non-harmful to help because I can’t afford the amazingly expensive flea drops for four cats. I’m going to try this method and hope it works. It sounds very promising. Thank you again!

  12. Bev M. Said,

    April 19, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    Hi,
    what about sprinkling salt on the dog and then brushing out, will that get rid of them as well?

  13. Emily H Said,

    May 29, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    Don’t use any of those spot on flea treatments like Advantage or Frontline. They poison your pet’s bloodstream and can do all sorts of damage such as give your pet a seizure disorder like it did for my cat and I only gave him HALF the recommended dose. Luckily thanks to natural medicines that is somewhat under control but if I had to do it over again I NEVER would have used the spot on stuff.

    To get rid of fleas on your cat or dog bathe them with safe gentle non toxic soap or baby shampoo. I used organic dishwashing liquid for my cat. Try to keep them sudsed for 10 mins or so (to suffocate the fleas). While the salt is working to kill the fleas in your house keep your pet sprayed with a solution of one part raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and one part water. You MUST use the good apple cider vinegar. The fleas HATE this but as it dries or your cat or dog licks it off, you need to apply more. If your pet doesn’t like the sound of the mister, just sponge it all over then.

    Just keep up with it and with the vacuuming and salting your house and the apple cider vinegar for a week or 10 days until all the fleas in the full flea cycle are dead.

    Oh I also give my cat a half a capsule of Kyolic Garlic mixed in with his food. Adding Brewers yeast to their food really helps as the fleas hate the combination of garlic and brewers yeast but if your pet has urinary or kidney issues, don’t use brewers yeast.

    In general you can give your cat up to 1/8 the adult human dose of supplements or more for a therapeutic dose.

    Try to build up your pet’s immune system by upgrading their diet. Fleas aren’t normally attracted to healthy pets with strong immune systems.

  14. junior Said,

    June 2, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

    i have used this technique for years. I have 3 small dogs, and i live at a lake. You dont have to do anything to the salt. Don’t grind it up, you will just be adding sand on top of the carpet pad, wich will work together with said pad to create sandpaper on the bottom of the carpet, and ruin it in months.

    Just get regular ole table salt. You know, the stuff in the round paper can.

    Sprinkle it everywhere. 1/2 a can for small and medium rooms. A whole can in big rooms. Cars too. Sprinkle sprinkle. Leave it in for 24 hours then sweep or vaccuum. Its not rocket surgery.

    And dont waste your money on anything for your pet ie… Drops or soap etc. The environment is no longer habitable for fleas so the ones on your pet will also die.

    If your pet is infested, take them to the vet NOW. Summer and a bad infestation will kill your pet.

    I have never had to do anything to my yard or aything and my pets stay flea free!! Just salt the house cars, doghouse etc.

  15. APple Said,

    June 8, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    Can you apply salt to dogs after a bath? We have fleas BAD! Please help..

  16. Suzin Said,

    July 2, 2011 @ 8:43 am

    I’ve been bitten while sitting at my desk in my home and only in one room. It’s litterally driving me crazy that I don’t see anything. A local pest control company wants to charge me hundreds of dollars they say it could be fleas to bomb the room and the entire house??? Will the salt help this problem in the one room and would you suggest my doing the bombing? My legs are all bitten up. I don’t see flying mosquitos and I have dogs who are on the Frontline and do not have fleas, in fact, they sleep in our basement and I live upstairs. Any advice helps. Thanks so much!

  17. Brittany Said,

    July 3, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    Hi we live in a apartment complex we have two indoor cats and some how we have fleas really badly and they r eating us alive my one year old boy has bites all over him it’s truly embarrassing.. I step outside on my patio and had five of them one me.. what do u recommend us doing to fight theses things

  18. glenda Said,

    July 3, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    I have the house for sale and have a flea problem so what to do if I can’t wait 2 weeks to vaccume? I found them in the spare room that we seldom use and in my son’s room very bad.

  19. kayla Said,

    July 15, 2011 @ 10:02 am

    i have a daschund and he doesnt have a lot of fleas yet. but i dont want it to get out of control. what do i do?

  20. Amanda Said,

    July 17, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    I have tried everything to get rid of these fleas… we have quiet the problem. I have given all of the cats and the dog a flea bath, frontlined, even had an exterminator come in 2 times. I finally got most of the rooms in the house flea free except one… which is the only room we have that has hard wood floors… I just salted that room and everything in it, I’ll vacum it tomorrow and hope that it works… figures crossed… any other good ideas for ridding of fleas?

  21. Esee Said,

    July 17, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

    Ohhh, so THAT’S WHY the cats will perch up high on the funiture — to get away from the fleas! Okay, I’ll take all this into account. Thanks.

  22. Megan Said,

    July 23, 2011 @ 3:34 am

    For some reason this is the worst year for fleas.. my brood has them quite bad. We have tried Frontline, revolution, and even giving all seven of them a bath with Flea shampoo. Would a fine salt be that detrimental to my cats? we are at wits end and i am so tired of exposing my cats to all these chemicals. Help!

  23. devona Said,

    July 24, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    hi. i have had a big issue with fleas this year. i was told by a vet that i cant put drops on my cats because it can seriously hurt them or die. a friend of mine sells avon. she told me to use skin so soft body oil and bath soap to kill the fleas. will this harm my pets? she said she used it on her animals and the fleas are gone. her animals are just fine

  24. arleen perryman Said,

    September 11, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

    if the salt gets on my cats feet will it harm my cats if they lick their paws?

  25. junk Said,

    September 12, 2013 @ 5:48 am

    Found a good way to make a disposable trap, get some old unwan ted bits of wallpaper, paste 3 or 4 foot lenghs of it but not quite at the edge say leave a 1 inch dry perimeter, place it say on an infected bed and watch the fleas jump on an get caught, leave it till it dries and throw it out, its catches hundreds of them due to the surface area plus they are attracted to the moisture.Repeat this til there gone. Sprinkle some salt into the paste to give it more umph. Its cheap but more effective than piddly little traps that catch only a few.

  26. Joan Pharo Said,

    September 18, 2013 @ 6:11 am

    I had a serious flea infestation.i read all the info about salt baking soda and dawn dish washing liquid. Soo first I used salt.left it down for 3or 4 days before I vacuumed it up. I also flea combed my cats as often as possible.ive going through chemo and receiving it in hospital so I was away from the house for a week or more every 3 weeks, but as soon as I got home I began salt again.then I started using baking soda alsoand flea combing with dawn.this all took about a month because of my absences and I was starting to think nothing would help. Then I filled a bottle with water and a little dawn and started lightly spraying the rugs and places where the cats lay the most. All of a sudden one day it was like a miracle.everything just stopped.they weren’t scratching . I wasn’t seeing any fleas on my. Socks .it worked .just don’t give up when u least expect it .IT WILL WORK.use a little dawn in the water that you use to flea comb your cats. I’m not putting frontline on them anymore. Just dawn and water solution.very mild.

  27. OLIVIA Said,

    September 18, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    WILL PLACING ORDINARY SALT ON YARDS KILL FLEAS WITH OUT HARMING YARD/GRASS/PLANTS?

  28. GINA Said,

    October 4, 2013 @ 6:53 am

    WILL THE SALT WE COOK WITH WILL IT KILL THE FLEAS AND BAKING SODA WILL IT KILL THEM TOO

  29. sarah Said,

    October 7, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

    I moved into a new and perminent house that’s has fleas and I have two kids n can’t replace carpet until nwxt may.I resareches everythinf and seen this salt..dose it work if I don’t blend it..bc I forgorgot to blend it and its all over our house..hope it rly works…

  30. lolza Said,

    October 10, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

    hay i have a bad flea prop and like my brother works like for houses and he brot these flees home and ill try useing salt and can you also make a page how to get rid of coch roaches and cuase he brot those to

  31. theresa babb Said,

    October 11, 2013 @ 8:05 am

    will the vinegar burn their butt.

  32. theresa babb Said,

    October 11, 2013 @ 8:08 am

    will the vinegar. burn my dogs. butt?

  33. Sena Said,

    October 11, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

    I have hard wood floors through my whole house, no carpet anywhere. Would this work in my house and if so how should I go about spreading it to make sure it works?

  34. jacqueline schon Said,

    October 25, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    My dog ( Marley) is allergic to flea bites & plus I have a bunch of like 35 cats some are indoor & some are outdoor ,so I hope this helps & plus in the northeastern part of united states of America where right its in the 50′s in the daytime & the 30′s at night ,so do you still recommend this treatment ?

  35. debbie myers Said,

    November 2, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

    I have found that purring a small salad bowl with soapy water on the floor and puting a night lite againist the bowl get all kinds of bugs including fleas. the bugs go for the lite at night and fall into the water.

  36. doll Said,

    November 11, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

    I see a lot of comments about salting.My question is can the cats walk around with salt on the floor

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