The Internet abounds with ideas DIY flea control in your home without the help of a pest control professional. We do not discount any of these ideas, nor your do-it-yourself ethic.
Here they are, in quick succession, a host of ideas and tips for DIY flea control.
Boric Acid Method
Boric acid has proven very effective at controlling cockroaches, sugar ants, and other household insects and does the same for fleas. Go to your hardware store and you will notice that many common insecticides list boric acid as the main ingredient. It acts as a desiccant or a dehydrating agent which causes severe dehydration in fleas which will kill them.
Find an old plastic container and poke holes in the lid to create a shaker. Fill it with boric acid from the hardware store and mark it carefully.
Boric acid, more or less, works like salt when it comes to eliminating fleas. s due to which they are killed. You need to sprinkle boric acid wherever you doubt there may be fleas, their larvae or eggs.
Vacuum the carpets, upholstery etc. where you want to sprinkle boric acid and remove all the random objects like bags, toys, shoes, etc. Sprinkle the boric acid powder in thin layers. For this, shake the container and apply a little powder on the area like on the carpet. Now take a soft brush and work the acid into the carpet pile. For upholstery, you can use a hand brush and work down into the gaps. Remember, boric acid can discolor fabrics. So, test it before you apply this remedy. Don’t forget to sprinkle the furniture.
Leave for 12-48 hours. Now vacuum all the areas and surfaces treated with boric acid. Keep on vacuuming regularly. As you have worked the acid down into the carpets and upholstery, it will continue to kill the fleas. After a month or so, you can wash your carpets, upholstery etc.
The Salt Method
Here’s a surprise. You can use salt, ordinary table salt, in the same way that you use boric acid. Salt will also dehydrate insects – and the mighty flea – if they get a lethal dose of it. Follow the same steps listed up for cleaning, shaking, and vacuuming your home repeatedly over time.
A Dab of Dawn’ll Do You
Dishwashing liquid soap, and more specifically, the brand Dawn Simply Clean, is recommended for a safe, non-toxic soap for bathing your dog or cat to repel fleas. However, it can also be used to catch and kill the little buggers, too!
Here’s how to create a flea trap that can clean up your entire house of fleas.
Fill a plate or bowl (or several of each) with warm water and a capful of dishwashing liquid. Place them about your house, in the middle of the rooms, during the night. Then place a tea candle next to the bowl (in it if floating) or in the plate of shallow water. Light the candle and leave them overnight. The fleas will be attracted to the light and get caught in the high viscosity of the soapy liquid. If your flea problem is bad, you should do this for 3-4 nights in a row.
Warning: As you are using fire at night when applying this home remedy to trap fleas, you should be extra cautious. You might want to stay awake until the candles burn out. Also, do not let your pets and children roam freely when you have laid a trap with soapy water and lit candles in the middle of each room.
DIY Flea Control Herbal Sprays
If the idea of a flea bomb loaded with chemicals to eliminate fleas from your house makes you squeamish, then consider trying this herbal spray instead. It uses the key non-toxic ingredients of ingredients vinegar, lemon juice and witch hazel.
We have two recipes for the DIY flea control spray. The first is simple and effective, the second may be best for essential oil connoisseurs.
Collect the ingredients and purchase an ordinary home and garden sprayer at your hardware store.
1 gallon of vinegar to ½ gallon of water
16 oz. of lemon juice
8 oz. of witch hazel
Mix the ingredients together and fill the garden sprayer with the concoction
6 thinly sliced lemons
a handful of chopped rosemary leaves
3-4 drops of geranium essential oil
Add all to a gallon of boiling water and let cool overnight. Strain in the morning and fill the garden sprayer.
Next, you must prepare the room. Collect everything that cannot be vacuumed and wash it at the hottest setting of your washer. This kills even the larvae and eggs of fleas.
Now vacuum properly. Vacuum each corner, upholstery as well as services with the help of various vacuum attachments. Use a fresh vacuum bag. This ensures unrestricted air flow. Debris that collects from earlier vacuuming may hamper smooth air flow.
Use a heavy spray to cover your carpets, furniture, pet bedding, window sills, floors, every nook and corner of your house.
Do this daily for at least 2-7 days depending upon how bad flea infestation is in your home.
When fleas become less noticeable, you may then repeat every 3-4 days and thereafter once a week throughout the flea season.
Rosemary, Citronella, Pennyroyal, and Horse Apples
If you are herablistically inclined, here are a couple more DIY flea control recipes to try:
Dust your home with osemary herbal flea powder (not for use in cat households)
Using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, grind together equal parts of rosemary, rue, wormwood, fennel, and peppermint.
Mop Your Floors with Citronella Mix
To gallon of warm water add citronella oil- 20 drops, tea tree oil- 10 drops, lemongrass oil- 10 drops, and geranium oil- 5 drops.
While pennyroyal and horse apples have traditionally been used for insect repellents, we don’t really recommend them. Pennyroyal can be dangerous to your pets if ingested and horse apples… well, does anyone know where to get horse apples in Florida? If you can get your hands on a bushel, slice them up and drop the slices all over your house. (See what we mean? Not so practical!)
Use Diatomaceous Earth to Control Fleas
Now, what is this Diatomaceous Earth (DE)? It is the microscopic remains of fossilized algae, diatoms. It is a very fine powder, just like flour. Diatoms are the type of algae that can be found in freshwater as well as in saltwater. But how does this Diatomaceous Earth kill fleas?The cell walls of Diatom are made of silica which in turn is a component of glass. The exoskeleton or the hard shell of fleas or such other insects are vulnerable to the sharp edges of microscopic diatoms. The silica shards in DE cut through the hard shell of fleas and dry them out. This leads to the death of fleas as well as of their larvae. What is more important is that DE is non-toxic to human beings and animals. But the only one which belongs to food grade category and not the one used for pool filtration systems.
Here are the steps that you should follow to use Diatomaceous earth to kill fleas.
Brush off all your carpets and vacuum thoroughly. Wash off everything that you can’t vacuum, with hot water in your washer.
Now wherever you think the fleas or their larvae might hide, sprinkle the DE in thin layers. You can safely sprinkle DE on your carpets, pet beddings etc.
Leave the Diatomaceous earth in all these places for about 12-48 hours. While fleas start dying 4-6 hours after you treat your home with DE, it’s still better to leave the DE on for longer.
Now vacuum away all the powder and remember to discard the vacuum bag.
You may even use this Diatomaceous earth in your yard but this requires a large quantity of the powder.
Precaution: Always buy the food grade DE. While this Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, it is still a fine powder that may get messy and irritate your eyes or throat. So, it is best to wear a face mask while working with any such fine talc-like powder. Don’t ever buy DE used for pool filtration systems as they are hazardous when breathed in. Diatomaceous Earth, however, is not so effective in humid environments and also when it is wet. Use it in dry form only. Try to avoid DE from coming into contact with the skin of your pets as this may dry out their skin.
Ready for some professional help?
If you are not a die-hard chemist, chef, or herbalist, you may wish to call a professional pest control company like Heath Pest Control. We will discuss your non-toxic options for getting rid of fleas in your home. Just give us a call today.