Household Ingredients to Get Rid of Fleas


Fleas are small, blood-sucking insects that love to come into the home on pets or clothing. Fleas are a nuisance and cause distress to both animals and humans. Commercial flea killers are often made of toxic pesticides. Several household items, however, work to kill fleas, including diatomaceous earth, borax and dish soap.

Diatomaceous Earth

  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in the carpet, along floor boards, in pet bedding and under furniture. Sprinkle the powder close to the floor so it doesn't create a cloud, as diatomaceous earth damages lungs. Leave the powder on the floor overnight and vacuum it up the next day. Do not let young children crawl on the carpet before it is vacuumed. Use it in conjunction with boric acid for a more effective flea powder. Apply diatomaceous earth at the first sign of fleas or weekly throughout the flea season.

Dish Soap

  • Add a few drops of dish soap to a wide, low bowl of warm water. Set the water under a lamp or nightlight during the night and leave it until the morning. Fleas are attracted to the light and jump toward it, fall in the water and die. Use this method nightly to continuously kill fleas. It works best if the light is set up in an area with a high flea population, like near the pet's bed.


  • Sprinkle either boric acid or borax on the carpet, along floor boards and in pet bedding. Leave it overnight to kill the fleas. Vacuum the borax the next day and repeat the sprinkling regularly, preferably once a week. Borax only works if allowed to break up the life cycle of each new batch of fleas. Test borax on a hidden piece of carpet before applying, as it sometimes fades carpet. It also wears on the fibers of some carpets when used regularly.


  • Sprinkle table salt over the carpet and leave it overnight. Vacuum up the next day. Use it every night to combat a flea infestation, or mix it with borax and diatomaceaous earth. Salt is not as effective on its own, but works to handle a small amount of fleas and is cost effective. It works by drying out the fleas and their eggs.

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