Many pet owners have an issue with fleas because flea bites can irritate and leave red and sometimes itchy spots on their pets. They can also cause diseases such as tapeworms, cat scratch fever, and flea allergy dermatitis.
There are many ways to kill these insects, and using salt is one of them. But is salt really effective in killing fleas? Read on as we’ll explore how table salt can be used to get rid of these bothersome bugs.
Is Salt Effective Against Fleas?
Salt is a natural remedy that can kill fleas, and it does so by dehydrating their bodies. This happens when salt penetrates the fleas’ strong exoskeleton and draws water from them; hence, drying them up. In addition, salt has a crystalline structure, which makes it extremely abrasive; it’s an excellent tool for flea management.
Before going into the nitty-gritty of using salt in flea control, let’s check the symptoms of a flea infestation and fleas’ life cycle, which determines when salt can be effective.
Flea Infestation Symptoms
Flea bites may cause dogs to lose their hair and scratch so hard that their skin gets inflamed. Fleas can also spread illnesses through their bites.
In addition, itchy and unpleasant skin lesions or tiny welts can affect humans. These lesions are commonly found on the lower legs and ankles, where fleas attack people. However, these symptoms don’t appear until 12 hours to a day after a flea bites a person.
So, if your pet is scratching more than normal or if you detect itchy spots on your skin or the skin of a family member, you might have a flea infestation. Another indicator is if you notice dried blood particles in your pet’s bedding or on your clothes or blankets.
Knowing the Life Cycle of Fleas
As soon as your dog is infested with fleas, it’s likely that there are many more and that they’ve already laid eggs. Understanding the fleas’ life cycle and treating them when they’re most vulnerable are the keys to getting rid of an infestation.
An average of 10 to 50 flea eggs a day are laid by adult fleas that latch on to your pet, and these eggs can either remain on your pet or fall to the floor and furnishings. Note that a salt treatment won’t harm the fleas at this stage since the egg protects them. The problem starts only when the eggs hatch.
After the hatching, which can take anywhere from 1 to 10 days, fleas go through a larval stage. They remain in this stage for about 5 to 14 days before becoming adult fleas. Note that they’re most susceptible in this period, so it’s ideal to use salt at the larval stage.
However, it’s challenging to tell which stage the fleas are at. As a result, the most effective strategy for eliminating newly emerging larvae is to use numerous periodic salt treatments.
Eventually, the larvae spin a cocoon to protect themselves from the elements until they’re ready to emerge as adult fleas. They’re difficult to destroy at this stage because their cocoons are impenetrable. However, once they emerge as adults fleas, salt treatment is highly effective against them.
Fleas may be found in a variety of places around your house and property. They frequently hide in areas such as rugs, carpets, gaps in the floor, the edges of pet beds, under furniture, between sofa cushions, or in crevices of other pieces of furniture.
In addition, they hide in locations where pets or other animals normally repose. These might include shaded spaces beneath the porch, beside a pet’s favorite shrub, or within a doghouse. Finally, note that they’re excellent at lurking, which is inconvenient since these pest populations may quickly become out of control.
How to Get Rid of Fleas With Salt
Salt is a natural, harmless flea home remedy that may be used on pets, carpets, floor tiles, sofas, wooden floors, and more. Let’s walk you through how to use salt in each of these situations.
Treating Your Pet
Salt is effective against fleas, but too much of a good thing can be dangerous! It could be harmful to your dog’s health if it consumes excessive quantities of salt. For example, it can cause increased thirst and urination, and in severe cases, sodium ion overdose. Therefore, always be mindful of any potential hazards. Now, how do we use salt safely?
- Prepare a place or container for your pet to be dipped
- A solution of one cup of salt to 33 oz (1L) of warm water should be prepared after that. Unless you have a very little pet, you’ll most likely need to repeat this several times to fully wet the fur
- Before you pour it on your pet, carefully check for any scrapes or raw places on its skin since you don’t want to cause any pain or irritation. To ensure that its coat is completely wet, pour from its neck down to its tail
- Wrap your pet in a towel (if it’s tiny enough), or just use it to absorb the majority of the remaining water before allowing its coat to air dry. The salt must dry before it can be effective, so leave it on for a couple of hours
- After leaving the dried salt residue on your pet for a couple of hours, we recommend giving it a simple water rinse. Salt can dehydrate your pet’s skin, so don’t keep it on for too long
Treating Your Carpet
If you want to break the flea’s life cycle in your home, you must first treat your carpets. The first step is to make a sturdy handcrafted shaker out of a plastic container with a lid. Make holes in the top that are large enough to sprinkle salt over your carpet. Then, fill the bottle with salt and start shaking to coat the entire carpet with a fine layer.
Next, use a broom to brush salt into the carpet or pet bedding; make sure to get it in there. For the next 12 hours, you’ll leave the salt on the carpet (preferably 24 hours). Then, remove the salt by vacuuming it. Alternatively, you can leave the salt for up to four weeks if the room is infrequently used.
You can also repeat the procedure several times, but allow 2 weeks between treatments.
Treating Your Floor Tiles
Put 3 cups of salt in a pail of water and spread the mix on the tiles with a mop. When the water dries, you may detect tiny salt particles on the floor, but they’ll act as a deterrent and kill any new fleas that weren’t killed by the mopping (they might have jumped away).
We’d also want to point out that any soap may kill the flea problem, so as long as you wash your floors regularly, you shouldn’t need to use salt to cure your tiles.
Treating Your Sofas
This procedure is almost comparable to the one used to clean your carpets. Just make sure you prepare ahead of time how you’ll vacuum up all the salt (before you start pouring it everywhere), or else cleaning up will be a hassle.
Treatment of Wooden Floors
If you find fleas leaping around on your wooden floors where your pet bedding is, you could have several generations of fleas hidden where the planks meet, especially if there’s any gap between them.
With this in mind, your primary aim is to drop some salt grains into these joints, which is as simple as sprinkling the floor with salt and moving it around with a delicate brush. You can also leave it this way because there’s no damage in the salt being where it is, but feel free to vacuum it up after a few weeks.
How Long Does It Truly Take to Work?
Since those fleas die by becoming dehydrated, their death won’t happen instantly. So this procedure will take some time, and various factors will impact how quickly it works.
If the flea is completely covered with salt, it’ll die within an hour; however, it may take many hours if it’s only in touch with the salt grains. With this in mind, our objective while using salt for fleas is to always leave a residue of it behind so that fleas can come in contact with it.
Other Effective Methods for Killing Fleas
To control fleas, salt isn’t your only home flea remedy option. Instead, consider combining the salt treatment with one of the following solutions to get rid of the flea problem altogether.
- Make your own citrus flea spray by boiling a lemon in a pot of water and letting the citrus solution sit overnight.
- Mix hazel with water and other ingredients to make a herbal flea spray
- Combine baking soda with salt and evenly apply the mix on the carpet. Baking soda makes a lethal combination with salt to kill fleas
- Spearmint, lavender, and chrysanthemums are all effective flea repelling plants
- Diatomaceous earth, which is a fine powder that’s known to be a potent natural flea repellent
- Dish soap, such as Dawn Dish, may indeed be used to keep fleas at bay
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Safe to Use Salt to Fight Fleas?
Yes. It’s one of the safest ways to get rid of a flea infestation. Rather than having a pest control firm come in and deploy a chemical bomb, you can rest assured that your family and pets will be safe from any fumes or potential ingestion. But, of course, it’s critical to leave the salted area alone while it takes effect.
How Long Should the Salt Be Left?
You may leave the salt on the carpet and furnishings for 12 to 48 hours. However, keeping your pet and family out of salt-dusted rooms for two days may be more difficult. So, the ideal strategy would be to salt the high-traffic areas before going to bed and vacuum them in the morning.
If you reside in a very humid environment, make sure the salt doesn’t remain in the furniture or carpet for an extended period. Otherwise, you can end up with a dripping, sticky mess.
Can Seawater Kill Fleas?
Yes, a swim in the sea can eliminate fleas. This is because the sea contains sea salt, so it’ll dry the fleas. However, make sure not to overdo it to prevent your pet’s skin irritation.
Does Bathing Your Dog Regularly Help to Get Rid of Fleas?
Yes, you have to maintain a consistent pet treatment; it’s beneficial to repeatedly bathe your dog with anti-flea shampoo to get rid of any fleas that may have been introduced to your canine. Also, you can use a flea comb that can remove fleas from your pet’s fur, but make sure to dip the comb in soapy water to kill the captured insects throughout the process.
Fleas are every dog’s nightmare. These small pests prey on the blood of both dogs and people, causing discomfort and infections if left untreated. Fortunately, there’s a natural technique to get rid of fleas: salt. We’ve established that salt is an excellent, safe, and natural flea remedy. So, you can use it to treat your pet and different areas in your house.
However, keep in mind that professional flea control is another control method if all else fails!