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Can I Kill Fleas with Baking Soda?

Pile of baking soda on a distressed wood surface next to a wooden spoon full of baking soda

Baking soda is a staple in many homes and can be found in everything from laundry detergents to pet sprays. But is it safe to use it around pets? The short answer is yes. The long answer is that there are pros and cons to using baking soda for flea control in your cat or dog’s home.

Baking soda is a handy household staple that you probably use every day without even thinking about it. It can be used to clean almost anything from your floors to your teeth, and it’s even been used as a natural remedy for everything from acne to athlete’s foot.

While its usefulness might seem endless, there’s one less-than-admirable trait of baking soda that we should all be wary of: fleas. Unfortunately, these pesky bloodsuckers are ever so attracted to the chemical odor of baking soda.

Fleas can make life extremely uncomfortable for your pets, you, and your family. They can cause allergic itchy rashes and leave their droppings, not to mention their unsightliness that will make your skin crawl. So how can you kill fleas with baking soda? Here are some effective ways that you can rid your home of these annoying pests.

Can you kill fleas with salt and baking soda? Check out our post “Killing fleas with salt and baking soda” to learn more.

How Does Baking Soda Kill Fleas

Baking soda, like vinegar, has developed into miracle cures, cleansers, and now flea killers or repellents. People reach for baking soda now to clean appliances, stains on clothing, absorb odors, and a lot more

It is no surprise that baking soda is now being marketed as a flea killer. The good news is that it does kill fleas and it is easy to use. The first thing that you need to know when using this cooking product as a flea killer is that it only works if it is still active.

If it is not active, then you will be wasting your time. To test if it is active or not, you turn to that other miracle food product – vinegar. Add a few drops of vinegar to a little baking soda.

If it bubbles right away and then continues on bubbling, then the baking soda is ready to kill fleas. However, if the bubbling is slow to appear, move slowly or there is no reaction at all, then toss the baking soda away.

It is no good and won’t help you clear out that flea infestation. The reason why people turn to baking soda to kill fleas is that it is very effective and thorough. This ingredient does not just kill adult fleas, but it also kills their eggs and larvae.

That is something you need to take place if you want to get rid of all the fleas in your home. If you do not kill the eggs or larvae, then you are setting your pets and your family up for another infestation a few days, weeks or months later.

Baking soda takes care of that future problem before it becomes a problem. How baking soda does it is by dehydrating the fleas, their eggs, and larvae. That is it. You are drying the fleas out silently.

The drawback to using baking soda to kill fleas is that it takes a few hours to one day to kill them. You have to be patient and know that the substance is working while you sleep.

The key is to buy more baking soda than you need. You will need to sprinkle it in a large area to make sure no flea escapes. This will take a little time to do right. Just make sure you cover your rooms completely to catch any fleas trying to escape.

How to Make Baking Soda More Potent

Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, isolated on a white background

There are different ingredients you can use that make baking soda more powerful in this task. Just follow the instructions and you should be able to kill fleas and clear your house of those creatures.

1. Add some salt

Step 1: Buy more than enough salt and baking soda

Step 2: Mix the two ingredients together in a bowl or large pot, or you can sprinkle them separately. Place the mixture in a large shaker bottle and get ready for action.

Step 3: Sprinkle everything. You want the baking soda and salt to get deep into the pile of your carpet, plus the little nooks, crannies, and cracks in your flooring and rooms. Make sure to sprinkle the furniture, mattress, and box springs in each room. be liberal in sprinkling.

Step 4: Take a broom or brush and evenly spread the mixture out so that every inch of what you sprinkled is covered

Step 5: Go do something else. You have to wait at least 24 hours before the fleas, etc., are killed.

Step 6: After the 24 hours is over, vacuum every place you spread this mixture. This should also pick up the eggs and larvae that were not killed, as well as the adult fleas.

Step 7: Repeat this process every few days or months to make sure your home is free of fleas, etc.

A word of caution. This mixture and another one are safe to use on your pets. But you must make sure they do not have any open wounds or sores first. You do not want to put your pet in pain while trying to help them.

Also, while sprinkling your home, it may be best to keep your pets restricted or outside while you work and wait.

2. Add some vinegar

Bragg brand Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Combining the two miracle cures is a sure-fire way of killing and repelling fleas. Fleas do not like the odor vinegar has so this is a good combination to use in your home.

Step 1: Mix 8 ounces of vinegar, 1.2 tsp of baking soda, 4 ounces of water, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix the dry ingredients first, then slowly add the liquid ingredients. There will be a small reaction but that is okay.

Step 2: Place the mixture in a spray bottle and spray down your pets. Keep in mind the word of warning mentioned above. Do not spray their faces or genitals.

Step 3: You can use the mixture on items in your home if you are careful. Because of the vinegar, this mixture should not take as long as baking soda and salt take to kill and repel fleas.

3. Add some Borax

Box of Borax Detergent Booster

When you mix salt, baking soda, and Borax together, you have a flea-killing machine. Borax literally rips the fleas apart, so it is a very effective agent to use. The recipe for this combination is simple.

All you have to do is mix 1/2 cup of borax with 1/4 cup of salt and 1 cup of baking soda. Mix well and place the combination in a shaker bottle. Then as you did with salt and baking soda, shake the mixture all over your carpets, floors, mattresses, box springs, and furniture. Make sure to get the cracks, etc., at the same time.

The next step would be to wait for a few hours and then vacuum every place you sprinkled this combination. You can design your own schedule for when you will reapply this combination. Some people recommend a few days to get newly hatched eggs, but you be the judge on how often you use it.

How to Use Baking Soda on Your Dog & Other Pets

Girl petting a golden retriever on a living room floor with parents watching in the background

Here are the instructions for this method. They are not original with us but are the best you can use:

  1. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with 1 1/2 cups of water.
  2. Thoroughly wet your pet’s coat with warm water.
  3. Soak the shampoo into the fur but avoid using it on the face.
  4. Let it sit for a minute and then rinse out with water.
  5. Your pet’s coat should now be clean, shiny, and odor-free.

It must be said that this is not the best remedy to use on your pets. Use it as a last resort and if you do not have any other remedies on hand. You do have to be careful when using home remedies because they can be toxic to your pets.

Do some research first before applying any home remedy and be careful, not everyone knows or tells the truth about how it will affect your pets.

Prevention is Worth More Than the Cure

Person spraying a lawn with a pump sprayer

When you take the right preventive methods, you should not have to use baking soda that often. There are many preventive methods you can use to keep your pets and home free from fleas.

Those preventive methods are applied to your yard, basement, and crawl spaces. They can be effective in keeping fleas off your pets and away from your home.

All you have to do is use them correctly, so your home and family are free from fleas.

Some Baking Soda and Fleas FAQs

Close up illustration of a flea

1. Can I use baking soda to kill fleas on my dog?

This is okay to do but be forewarned this is not as effective a method as other anti-flea remedies. Also, when your dog moves, the baking soda can fall off rendering it useless.

2. Does Baking Soda Kill or Repel Ticks?

Unfortunately, this miracle cure has limitations. It is good at killing fleas, but it has no effect on ticks. you would have to use a more potent product to get rid of those creatures.

3. Is Baking Soda Bad for Dogs?

When used externally and in moderate amounts, it is safe for dogs. However, you cannot let your dog consume any baking soda as it is toxic to them and can create some health issues for him or her.

Glass bowl of baking soda

4. Does Baking Soda Kill Flea Larvae and Eggs?

This is a very thorough flea-killing agent when used correctly. Unlike many home remedies, you can use, baking soda does the complete job of killing fleas. It kills adult fleas, their eggs, and larvae.

5. Is baking soda safe to use in my home?

Yes, when used correctly, it is very safe to use. There are no harmful chemicals involved and you can spread this product liberally without worry. Just do not let your pets consume any.

6. What alternatives to baking soda and salt can I use?

There are many different alternatives, you can use and are widely available. Here are a few of them:

  1. Herbal Options- You can use different herbs like rosemary and plants that repel fleas. Just make sure to use them correctly.
  2. Essential Oils- There are many good ones you can use and they are safe to use around your pets. However, be careful as not every essential oil will work, and some are toxic to your pets.
  3. Traditional Methods- These include flea combs, flea shampoos, flea collars, and so on. These are very effective in keeping fleas away from your pets. They are also very safe to use.
  4. Ointments And Prescription Products- These will come from your vet, and they will guide you in how to apply them and where. Follow all instructions carefully to make sure your pet gets the right treatment.
  5. Use A Professional- This is a good option when you have a large infestation, and you can’t get rid of them all. You may have to leave your home for a few days but it is worth it, so your pets and your family are not bothered by fleas. The drawback is that professionals can be expensive as will the stay at a hotel or friend’s house.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.