Budget Friendly Ways To Kill Fleas (That Actually Work)

Many pet owners have experienced the battle of fleas once the warm weather has arrived. It seems like the hotter the summer, the more tedious the fleas are. Killing fleas can be a hectic chore, and it can also cost a fortune trying out different methods until you find one that works. 

Now I want to start off by letting you guys know I am not affiliated with any product I mention in this post. I am sharing these tips with you because I have dealt with flea infestations before and know how irritating it can be. Everything that I talk about today has been based on my own experience dealing with fleas. 

If you ever google "How to get rid of fleas" you will find countless solutions and if you're not sure which one to go for you will end up wasting so much money trying to find the right solution. Trying out the wrong methods also gives the fleas in your home more time to multiply. Yuck! Today I am going to point you in the right direction so you can get get rid of those pests once and for all.

If you find yourself with a flea problem, top up your drink and sit back, this is a longer post but it's filled with some very helpful information. 

Treat your pet:
The first thing you need to do when you notice fleas is go to the vet and get some flea treatment for your pet. Your pet is the host that these fleas are feeding off so in order to cut off their food supply your pet needs to be treated. Now I know you're probably thinking "this article says budget friendly" and flea drops from the vet are pretty expensive. I'm recommending you do this step first for a few reasons. The first is that you will spend way too much in the long run on cheaper alternatives that do not work. The second and main reason is that you simply will not get rid of the problem without treating you pet. 

Pet stores and department stores also carry flea drop treatments at a much lower cost, but trust me when I tell you they do not work. The sales associate will try to tell you that they worked on their pets, but that is what they have to tell you in order to make a sale. Not only that, the cheaper brands are a lot more toxic to your pets and could make them very sick. 

Unfortunately fleas don't always wait until payday to invade your home. Nah, they do that whenever they please. If cost is your issue at the time, follow my next steps to keep the fleas at a minimum until you have enough money for the flea drops. 

After you get your pet treated for fleas it takes approximately 24 hours for the flea drops to take full effect. This is great because now your furry friend is protected, but your problem isn't over yet. They may leave your pet alone but they've taken over your home, leaving your ankles as their main source for food. A flea can also live off it's own sheddings, but it prefers to eat blood. Gross, right? 

So, you might be wondering what to do next. Living with fleas is simply a nightmare so you want to kill them as quickly and efficiently as possible. I have been through the loops trying out different methods to kill fleas. The following tips are going to help you win the battle against fleas and take your house back. 

It's time to dust off your vacuum because you're going to need it. Fleas like to make homes in baseboards and other hidden areas. If you want to make it hard for them to survive you will need to vacuum everywhere in your home, and at least once a day (if you have time to do it twice a day, even better!) Make sure you move furnature and other objects you may keep on the ground. You never know where these little bastards are hiding. 

In order for this to work you will need to empty your vacuum outside of the house right away after vacuuming. Fleas are fast little creatures, so if you don't empty your vacuum right away then it gives them a chance to escape and lay more eggs in your house. What I do is sweep the floor before I vacuum to pick up anything that can not go in the green bin (compost), then once I vacuum I empty the contents outdoors in my green bin. To be extra safe I usually spray my vacuum canister with flea spray or sprinkle in diatomaceous earth powder (which I will tell you about in a moment) to kill any fleas that could still be hiding in there. 

DIY Flea Traps:
This is an easy and very effective trick to kill fleas. Oh, and it costs next to nothing. Bonus! All you will need are the following items:
  • Dawn dish soap (the blue kind)
  • Water
  • Shallow plate or dish
  • Desk lamp 
Take your plate and pour a generous amount of soap on your plate, add water and carefully stir until you have a thick blue liquid. Think of it as 1 part soap to 2 parts water, the amount you use will depend on the size of the dish you choose. Place your mixture on the floor in a dark room and turn the lamp on beside the plate. The bendable lamps work best, but as long as you're able to get some light on the plate it will work. This trap works best in the evening when the sun goes down, but if you have thick curtains you may be able to do it during the day as well. 

The picture above shows the set up for these traps. I don't have a bendable lamp, so I had to use a basic table lamp. I took the shade off to get more light. The picture below shows how many fleas the trap caught in one room overnight. 

If your flea infestation is pretty bad, chances are it will take a week or two to get things under control. You can make the same concoction and keep it in small dishes in areas where you sit frequently. If any fleas bother you pick them off and put them in the soap water. Soap water traps the fleas and once they get in they are unable to get back out. 

If you're wondering if using blue Dawn is necessary, yes and no. Other dish detergents will work, just not as effectively. Throughout my experience I've noticed fleas seem to be more attracted to the blue stuff. You'll trap a lot more going blue. 

Wash Everything:
You will need to wash all of your exposed fabrics because fleas also like to make themselves at home in them. All of your bedding, throw blankets that you keep on the couch, curtains, ect. Check everything!

Last summer I thought I was doing everything right, but the fleas just kept coming back. When I did some investigating I found that there was a disturbing amount of fleas making home in a rolled up yoga mat. That goes to show that they could be anywhere.

DIY Flea Spray (Yes, this one actually works):
Normally when I hear of an all natural flea remedy I don't want to bother because the majority of them don't work. I was told once that keeping lemon slices in a dish of water on the floor wards off fleas. Let me tell you that was some serious bull$%!t! I'm trying to kill them, not slightly annoy them with an aroma they dislike. Chemicals kill, and that's what we're aiming to do when fleas take over our homes. 

While battling these fleas we need to first make sure we're not harming ourselves or our furry friends. A flea spray is effective, but it's not a one time and you're done situation. You may have to do a full spray of your home 2 or 3 times before the problem has cleared up. If you have an outdoor pet, or somewhere you can take them for a couple hours than a chemical spray might be a simple solution for you. It gives you time to air out your home, let it dry, and give your floors a good cleaning before coming back inside. 

I have an indoor cat, which makes a chemical flea spray a little harder to work with. Luckily I found a recipe for a flea spray that actually works. You will need:
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
Mix all the ingredients together until they dissolve then pour the liquid into a spray bottle. It is a good idea to get a bottle that has a mist option (or a light spray) so you don't drench your target area. This spray is much safer to use on your furnature, and safer for your lungs as well. 

Diatomaceous Earth:
I have such a love-hate relationship with this product. I hate it because it creates a huge mess on my floors (which I have to leave there for a few days) but I love it because it works everytime. 

Diatomaceous earth is a natural sedimentary rock that can be easily crumbled. It kills fleas by cracking open their outer shell. This product is easy to find at places such as your local pet store and Amazon. Make sure you buy "food grade" because that is the natural kind that doesn't have any additives. It is completely safe for you and your pets. 

This product is easy to use. Just sprinkle it on the ground then use a broom to dust it into the floor, giving extra care to your baseboards and making sure you push some under your furnature. 

It doesn't have to be perfectly even. As you can tell by the picture this product makes a huge mess. They recommend leaving it on your floor for anywhere between 3 days and 1 week to make sure it thoroughly does it's job. If vacuuming daily isn't doing the trick, this will. It is a more effective option than flea spray because those bastards jump. With spray there's a good chance you could miss some fleas, but with diatomaceous earth they will just end up jumping into the powder and meeting their doom. 

From my own experience I prefer to use diatomaceous earth on the floors and the homemade flea spray on my furnature. The powder is a nightmare to clean off furnature.

Since this treatment covers the entire floor I like to put down cardboard or newspaper in areas where my cats likes to hang out. That way I have a better chance at keeping the powder out of her fur. It's safe if she gets a bit in her fur, but it's so messy. 

Other Tips:
  • Act as soon as you spot a flea on your pet. These pests multiply quickly. Every day that you let the problem sit it gets 100 times worse. 
  • Keep your home on the cool side. Fleas thrive in hot humid conditions. Summer heat waves are the prime time for flea's to take over. Keeps fans and air conditioning on if you have the option. 
  • Dab a bit of apple cider vinegar on your flea bites to soothe the irritation.
  • Cut your grass regularly. Fleas love long grass. 
  • Fine tooth combs (flea combs) are a great investment. Running one through your pet can tell you if there is a flea problem on your hands. They are also great way to keep fleas down until you are able to get flea drops. Give your pet a thorough combing, dunking all the fleas in soap water. (Hot water will kill them quicker)
  • Giving your pet a bath with blue dawn is another way to kill fleas that are currently on your pet. This is a safer route for dog owners considering most cat owners will be facing death (or much worse) if they try to bathe their cat. Once you give your pet flea drops wait at least 48 hours before giving them a bath so you don't wash any of the flea treatment away.

I wish you luck on your battle against the flea infestation. If you follow these tips within a few days you'll win the war and have your home back. 

Until next time, good luck!


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