June 20, 2012

Salt Kills Fleas: How I Finally Won my Flea War.

Here in San Antonio, fleas are bad this year.  Very bad.  And it doesn't help that my next door neighbor feeds the feral cats, the wild birds, and the local raccoon family.  I hate to think the number of fleas that hang out in his back yard among the sunflowers. 

So, it's especially bad here at my little casa.  It's very, very bad for my dogs. 

I don't like giving the pups that chemical stuff: Frontline, Advantage, Program, whatever.  Creeps me out to think some chemical is running through their system for three to four weeks that is toxic enough to kill bugs.  Doesn't make sense to me that this doesn't harm the dog.

However, I caved in and bought some Advantage in April because one of my pups is allergic to flea bites and it was the lesser of two evils sort of decision.


So, we fought the bugs as best we could until enough time passed that the product materials and the vet tech said it was okay to try Frontline Plus.  Which we did in May.  It did NOTHING.

Meanwhile, I'm vaccuuming so often that I'm thinking about making an exercise tape: Vacuum-ize Your Pounds Away!  Between this, Dove dishwashing soap, and not letting the dogs roam in the yard (more walks at the park, they're not exactly upset about this), and we're winning flea battles but we're still in a war.

Every time the pups go outside, they come back with fleas.  So frustrating.

I did some research and called around and learned that fleas are becoming immune to this flea med  stuff.  Like they're in league with Big Pharma to market new and more expensive flea meds.   

Something that still does work: Capstar.  A single pill that kills the fleas on the dog but doesn't linger.  Next day, it's not effective any longer.  (Got it pretty reasonably priced on Amazon.)

Again, I hate to use this but the pup with the rash and the misery showing on his little face means I am trying Capstar.

It works.  Dogs are obviously relieved. 

Then I researched online to learn about fleas.  Here's what I did next.

First, I bought insecticide and attached the $11 orange bottle of toxins to the garden hose and sprayed the backyard.  Especially heavy soaking near the Wildlife Refuse next door.

Then, I sprinkled regular table salt throughout the house.  One carton, less than 80 cents.  Carpets, doggie beds, my bed, you get the idea. Stopped vacuuming for a bit.

Eat that salt, flea!  Die Flea Die!! (Manic laughter)

And guess what:  I won the Flea War.  It's been weeks now, and no fleas.  Nothing in the yard.  Nothing in the house.  Nothing on the dogs.

And they don't have chemicals in their system to fight fleas now.  Which means that we're all the better now that I've discovered Salt Kills Fleas

Hope this works for you, too, Dear Reader.  Salt, Vacuum, maybe a Capstar pill if you must, and spray your yard.  Maybe $15.00 and you're there (take that, Big Pharma), add $25 if you use the Capstar pill.


TruXter said...

I live in Houston, not far from you.
I am having the worst time fighting fleas in my house.
I have a cat and he is 100% indoor. The fleas are getting in whatever limited manor they have that is available. My house is flooded with fleas.

There is not 2 minutes that go by without a flea jumping on you. I have tried so many bug bombs, bug sprays and flea repellents. I am certain the fleas have become immune to everything , except combing them straight off my cat and then dropping them into a cup with a mix flea bathsoap and dishsoap (to reduce their chance of struggling out).

My friends on facebook are swearing by Borax. I hope this works and I will give it a try.

I do remember years ago, I cleared the fleas out of my father's house using salt. I sprinkled it and left it for days then came back and vacuumed .

I will try and circle back and update how this was resolved at my house and my mutant fleas, when I get this handled.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi TruXter,
Geez, so sorry to hear that you and your cat are in a Flea War!!

I agree with you, I think that the fleas are becoming immune to the chemical sprays and stuff out there.

I'll be interested to hear how the Borax works for you, and thanks for writing that you'll come back with an update. That's cool of you.

Meanwhile, I was just thinking last night about how we still don't have fleas here. I'm still salting the carpets, and the dogs still are not on any kind of monthly flea med.

So, what we've done is still working here. Thank God!!!!

Good luck and God speed, TruXter!
Thanks for writing,

Leyla said...

Sooooooooooooooooo got rid of fleas in one place. Vacuumed forgot to get rid of the cup for the vacuum and moved into a new place. Used the vacuum and now I have fleas again. I remember using hot shot foggers and salt but I dont remember in what order. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh the torture. I ordered a new vacuum. Im gonna see if salt works.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Leyla,
Sorry to hear you're in a Flea War. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you on the salt -- I went a little nuts tossing that stuff around, but it sure worked for me.

Still is.

I'm hoping that the salt does the job for you too and you can avoid the chemical fogger. Let me know?

Thanks for sharing and good luck!

Leyla said...

Salt does work but the suckers keep coming back. How often do you vacuum? The vacuum cleaner I have takes bags. Those things are not cheap. What exactly did you do?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Leyla,
You're right, it's an ongoing war with those fleas but I'm still happy to report that we're winning over here and the pups aren't filled with chemicals.

I have found that fleas will start to reappear in the yard around 2 months after the spray (see above), so I've just calendared to roam the yard with the sprayer every other month (don't know if this will be needed in the winter here in Texas this year).

I use regular table salt and I do salt the rugs once a month just to be on the safe side. I also keep a salt box near the doggie beds and I toss some fresh salt on there whenever I think about it (so this is a lot).

I let the salt set in the carpet for a day or two (it's invisible), then I vacuum.

I also have a vac with bags, after going thru several bagless ones I checked with a vac repair place and got a stern lecture on how the bag-versions were so much better, and I've been really happy with mine.

I order the bags online and they're much cheaper than in the stores.

As for how often I vacuum, different rooms get different treatment. Bedrooms, office I probably vacuum twice as often as other rooms because the dogs (and humans) are in there the most.

As for cleaning schedule, I'm trying to follow the FlyLady plan (see post on that).

This program is working for us, tho I do have the CapStar emergency supply in the cabinet!

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I could have written this, though not as well :)
I too live in San Antonio - next door to a lovely lady that takes in and feeds every stray imagineable.
Thank you, thank you. I am going to try the salt today! we have been battling this for three months and last night I saw a flea on my toddlers head!!! I've tried spraying the backyard but it hasn't helped. I'm going to try the diatomaceous earth outside and salt inside.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon,
First of all, hey fellow San Antonian! How are you enjoying this snow-warning weather, :-D?

(I'm writing this on 1/4/2013, and it's a cold, grey, winter's day here in the Alamo City.)

Hope the salt works for you -- I had to try different sprays from Home Depot this year, those fleas are really becoming resistant to the chemical stuff. Haven't tried the d-earth outside yet - would really appreciate you letting me know how that works for you.

Meanwhile, thought I'd add this:
I keep a supply of Capstar in the pantry just in case -- I can get it for a pretty reasonable price on Amazon (it's something like 6 tablets for 24 bucks, and the generic is much cheapter) because one of my pups is very allergic to fleas.

Assuming you've got pups (or kitties) in the house, then don't forget that Capstar along with your salt and d-earth! It is a chemical, but it's much less harsh than the monthly stuff -- I only use it in case of a Major Flea Attack, and there's also a bath in Dawn to get rid of fleas on the animals, too....

God bless and Happy 2013!

Anonymous said...

I agree the salt works. The way I did it is slightly different. Vacuum your home (then put bag in freezer or discard). Recipe: 1c table salt, 1c baking soda, 30 drops essential lemon oil. Mix and put into perhaps an old peanut butter jar and punch holes in lid then shake all over the floors and carpets. The salt will kill most of the fleas, but the key to eliminating them is to wear white socks over your pant bottoms and regularly and carefully check them for fleas - remember fleas can be tiny and can resemble a speck of dirt! If in doubt, drown that 'speck of dirt' and once in the water it'll be clear if it's dirt or a flea. Fleas swim and have long legs out back. Dirt simply floats or drops to the bottom. (I drowned the fleas in an old yogurt 500ml plastic container with water and a drop of dish soap. Release the flea UNDER the water or it may jump out again.) When the fleas are almost gone, the last times you'll see them is at night when you use the washroom. The good news is, in about two weeks, the fleas will be almost gone. Also, purposely walk through your whole place twice a day to trigger any remaining eggs to hatch and jump on you. This speeds up getting rid of them. When you launder your clothes & bedding, nothing special is needed except perhaps to extend the washing cycle to the maximum length of time to make sure they are downed if they're in bed clothes or whatever. After 2 weeks, vacuum (then garbage or freeze the bag) and re-apply salt. (I tend to salt thoroughly the first time, but mainly down the middle of the rooms the second time.) After this second two week period, likely all the fleas will be gone, but I still vacuumed and re-applied salt again and left it on for some time. If the fleas get on you, you'll itch like a dog. Just shower with soap and they'll be gone. Fleas travel on people so keep visitors out of your place until the fleas are gone to prevent spreading them. (I am omitting the pet care part since I didn't have a pet (my landlord did). If I had a cat, I wouldn't use the lemon essential oil, just the salt.) I used the salt mixture on carpet, kitchen floor and bathroom tile and my landlords upstairs used it on their wood floors and it didn't seem to harm any surfaces. (Aside, I also tried making a spray out of lemons - wow what a sticky mess, don't do this. It also wasn't very effective. Neither was the light over the bowl of water. The ground cloves may act as deterrent but killing the fleas with salt (and using white socks to find and kill the remainder) is the only real solution for completely eliminating the fleas. Oh and my landlords first had a pesticide sprayed upstairs and one application decreased them, but didn't eliminate them up there.) Feel free to shorten this. Linda in Toronto Canada

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Linda in Toronto,

Thanks for sharing - I didn't shorten a thing! Amazing that you had such a flea problem without having a pet in your home. Wow.

Your addition of lemon sure sounds like it would make a place smell wonderful, but with pups I don't think I should use the lemon oil.

Here at Casa Reba, we're still finding no fleas in the house with the vacuuming and salt - and we're still fighting a Flea War in the back yard what with the neighbor's Wildlife Sanctuary back yard. I kid you not, parts of his yard has wild grass almost knee-high. Flea Heaven.

Dogs have no fleas on them, and I'll post on that soon.

Thanks again for sharing, Linda!!!
God bless,
PS That lemon scent sounds so good, I'm going to go surf now about how to put lemon into my vacuum bag somehow, so I can smell up the place. Maybe I'll have to boil some lemon rinds on the stove. Hmm. Off to research lemons now, don't you just love the web?

Anonymous said...

Okay so I sprinkled salt on my carpet bedding and in car. My genius husband left the windows down, in my neighborhood we have a stray cats. So now I have fleas in my car. driving and slapping your ankles is not safe at all. I'm crossing my fingers that SALT is the key to this flea infestation.
If anyone has a different remedy to kill fleas in vehicles PLEAE POST.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 751am,

Yikes, that sounds terrible -- fleas in the car carpeting! Ewwwwww!!!

I'm thinking that the salt will work, bless your heart!

Thanks for writing and good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am also from San Antonio, we have an I side cat and dog and two outside dogs... we also live beside a drainage area so fequently have squirrels, rats, opossums and skunks that will invade our yard trying to get to the dogs food. Needless to say we do not leave food out more than an hr so dogs don't get to snack later if they don't eat it all when we first take it out. Anyhow, we have hardwood floors and cement in the garage. Could we still use salt with the same result?? I am going to try it out, we get our home treated every 3 moths and use foggers in between treatment but neither have seemed to help... let me know if you have heard of any other treatment options for hardwood. I went out and got the shark vacuum that is supppsed to he good for pets and on hardwood floors... will keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old thread, but wanted to point out to any new readers: you don't need to spray your yard with chemicals to treat outdoors. You can add beneficial nematodes (the kind that works on fleas ) to your soil. They multiply and last longer than most chemical treatments. Best of all, they're completely safe for kids and pets. Most any chemical insecticide is not. They can be found at some garden stores or online.

Jen said...

I Just Read ThIs Last Night ANd Am Going To Try The Salt Today. What About Leather Furniture? Did You Only Treat TheFloors? I Wonder If You Can BuY capstar Locally? I Have BeenGiving My Dog Benadryl For Relief.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Jen,
I'm not sure about salt on leather furniture but I know that I've salted my big, leather recliner and haven't noticed a problem there - and it's an expensive chair, so I assume the leather is quality and serves as hint that salt is fine on leather.

I put salt on the carpets, on the hardwoods, as well as on the pet beds (in my office) as well as on my mattress under the sheets and on the sofa near where the dogs like to lounge in the living room.

No problems with salt anywhere.

As for Capstar, I've found the best prices on Amazon but I've heard you have to be careful that you're getting domestic products and not overseas packaging that isn't safe.

Hope this helps and thanks for writing!

God bless,

Samantha Moreno said...


Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Samantha,
I hate fleas, too. Wish I could report that salt will kill them outside, but I don't know about that ... I never tried it because I assumed the salt would melt with the dew and I wasn't willing to salt the yard on a daily basis.

Anon (see above) suggests nemotodes and I've heard some great things about them, and some sad stories too. From what I gathered, the soil in your yard is important for the successful life of nemotodes in the ground. Too much clay and they won't be able to thrive.

In my despiration to fight fleas, I called around to several kennels and dog trainers here in San Antonio. One had had success with nemotodes; the others were using chemicals.

Hope this helps you in some way.

And, Samantha, thanks for writing!!

God bless,

Lilmama said...

Ok, so I have hard wood floors throughout my house and tile too! It looks like someone dumped jumping pepper all over my floors :/ I'm trying the salt trick now, since I refuse to use chemicals around my kids... Borax doesn't work, so hopefully the salt does! But my question is, how long should I keep the salt on my floors before sweeping/vacuuming and how many times will I have to do this, before seeing any results?? Thank you in advance! :-)

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Lilmama,
Sorry to hear you're in a Flea War. As for how long to keep the salt on the floors, I kept salt around till I knew the fleas were dead. Then I waited a bit and salted again, thinking that there would be (eww, I know) eggs around hatching. It's messy, granted. But the salt was lots easier to deal with than the bugs.

Hope this helps,
and thanks for writing!
God bless,

Anonymous said...

Hi there

I am fighting a losing battle against the fleas. I feel at my wits end. I'm in the uk and live in a shared house. We had the house fumigated by the council but I am still being bitten and have fleas crawling on me when I walk in my bedroom. I have found a flea on me in the car. Noone else in the house ever sees fleas or is bitten but my life is being made miserable with huge it h bites all over my lower legs.

I have bare floor boards and several rugs. I salted the rugs yesterday but fleas are still jumping on me when I walk over them. I a. Going to salt the rest of the floor today .. I really hope it works its so horrible.

Thanks Tracey

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Tracey,
You poor thing - being bitten in your own home, that's terrible. Bless your heart! I really hope the salt does it work - pour that stuff on! And don't forget about Capstar for the pets (if you have them) as well as spraying outside. I had to do the three-way whammy (Capstar, salt, spray) to win the battle. And I have to remember it's a battle in the flea war -- you have to keep salting, etc., or they'll be back. Sneaky things.

God bless,
PS Thanks for writing!!!

Kara Knight said...

Thank you so much for this information. I live in an apartment in Pennsylvania and the fleas got so bad that I had to get rid of my kitten :( but now that we got rid of her, they are worse!! My husband and I can't even be home anymore because they are just everywhere! I am trying the salt as soon as I get home. I vacuum twice a day and it seems to not even work and I have flea bombed my place. We did as instructed and when we returned, we were still picking 10-30 fleas off of our legs. So we are playing this works. Thanks again.

Have a great day and God Bless,
Kara Knight!

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Kara,
I am so sorry to hear that you lost your kitten in the Flea Wars. So sad, I hope she (he?) can return once the fleas are gone....

Good for you on vacuuming a lot. That helped me, too. I sorta got addicted to it, it was something I could DO about this situation, if you know what I mean. Like a weapon, die fleas die!!! LOL

So when I put all that salt all over the place, and had to leave it there in order for it to work, it was difficult to not grab the vacuum and do a quick turn or two. My frenzy to vacuum subsided as the fleas died off, though.

Salt does work -- but remember, especially in an apartment where you may have a neighbor with an infestation, you have to keep this up. Salt is a battle that you have to wage periodically, and when you have shared walls, then --- well, good thing salt is cheap!

I will say an extra prayer that you and the Hub find some fast relief from this mess.

God bless - and thanks for writing!!!

Cheryl said...

I to am trying the salt treatment I live in Indiana and the fleas are awful this year just like the last two years and our house is terrible with them. I went through the house earlier today and went nuts with the salt and I plan to vacuum tomorrow I even doused the chairs, couch, & mattresses. We had some Lime from a project that the Landlord did at the house trying to dry out the crawlspace after a leak, that my husband spread over the backyard today as he read that that will kill fleas as well. Just don't spread heavy they suggest putting in a seeder or fertilizer and going over the entire yard. I read that Rock Salt work in the yard and will not kill the grass like some other items it is supposed to kill the fleas like regular salt does in the house. I didn't have any rock salt on hand which is why we used the lime I also went through and cleaned and bleached everything in our house. We have two adult dogs and until Tuesday we had a 10-week old Boxer puppy who passed away on us. The vet determined it to be a heart defect that her brother and sister also got all three puppies died under different owners care within days of each other. We are going Saturday to look at another set of Boxer puppies but they aren't going to be ready for about a month or so they are just about three weeks old. We want to make sure that the fleas are completely under control before bringing another baby home even though the fleas didn't hurt her I do not want to take a chance of using the sprays and chemicals around the puppy that I have used in the past.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Cheryl,
I"m so sorry to hear about your puppy, my condolences to you! So sad that all the siblings had a heart defect. Poor little things, and bless your heart for going out and getting another puppy right away! Good for you!

As for the salt, a couple of things. Don't vacuum until you think the fleas are gone. The salt isn't that easy to see, and it needs to be in the carpet, on the floors, etc for awhile in order to work. And then, ewww, you need to do the salt flurry again to get the eggs that are going to hatch in a bit. I know, icky.

So, I understand the Love of the Vacuum, but I learned to hold back on the Hoover until the fleas were gone. Vacuum too soon, and you get rid of the salt that's helping you.

As for the rock salt outside, I have no idea about that. Will the crystals be too big to work? Dunno.

Same thing for the lime, new to me. Fingers crossed that it works!

Final thing -- Capstar from Amazon. I couldn't find a cheaper price than Amazon and one pill per dog worked for me. Thing is, I had to give in and give the pups the Capstar at the same time as the Salt Treatment and spraying the yard in order to win my Flea Fight.
Didn't want to dose the pups with chemicals, but Capstar didn't seem to impact them and it sure helped get those fleas.

God bless you and yours (especially that new baby puppy!), hope this helps,


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice on salt. I feel creeped out with all the fleas, I don't have a pet inside, but I do have a dog outside and we've been giving her flea baths and spraying her kennel with pesticides and seems like shes gotten releif, but all the fleas from her have gone into the yard and we didn't know it until we wore khakis and I swear there were at least ove 60 fleas on us and we were carrying them in the house the whole time. I can't sleep at night. I vacumed everywhere today and used salt. I would like to be able to cook out today, but can't, i'm so sick of fleas!!!!!!!!!!
thank for the advice all, from Bristol, Va

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 940 am,
Really hope that the salt works for you! Reading your message, I wasn't sure if you had treated your entire yard with stuff. I had to do this in order to Win the Battle, all on the same day: salted the entire interior of the house, sprayed the yard with stuff from Lowes, and Capstar to the pups. I was confused by your description of spraying your dog's kennel -- does this include your entire yard too? If not, then you might want to consider getting one of those garden-hose bottles at Lowes or Home Depot and spraying the entire yard with icky flea-killing chemicals.

I hated doing the chemical thing, but lesser of two evils was how I ended up looking at things ....

Hope all this helps - and God bless!


Jessica Richie said...

We live in Corpus and are new to Texas and all of its pests. We had an indoor cat and somehow she got fleas. We have tried borax, natural flea sprays and vacuuming. I got a Capstar for my cat. Finally we decided to let our cat go, so we took her to the Humane Society. Last Wednesday when I found fleas in my bed, I had a nervous breakdown and decided to let the apartment complex have our apartment bombed. I have two small children and bombing wasn't something I wanted to do, but I gave in. Desperation will do that to you. Here we are, 4 days later and the new eggs are hatching and I'm slowly losing my sanity. I'm making everyone wear socks to keep them from biting our feet. I can't remember the last time I slept a full night. I've lost 15 pounds since this fiasco started. Today I was reading about using table salt so I sent my husband to get several containers of it. We are planning to sprinkle it everywhere and have it sit for a couple of days. I am PRAYING that this works. I vacuum every day, sometimes twice a day. I have hit rock bottom, if the salt doesn't work, I don't know what else to do.

Veniethe Flores said...

Hi there! I live in California in a small complex we had a cat but the house wasn't really infested. My husband had the great idea of buying two more cats they were just 8 weeks old but infested with fleas!!! So I used to get flea bites but not very often and now I can't walk without worrying that I will get bit. We got rid of the cats but the fleas still around we bought several stuff to get rid of them but doesn't work. I already have scars because the itchy is really bad. I'm trying salt but I don't know how much I need to use, please give me an idea & also how often should I apply salt. Fleas are more in the living room but when I sweep the floor I can see them JUMPING. Please tell me how much salt I need to use. THANK YOU

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Jessica,
First of all, welcome to Texas and especially to Corpus Christi - one of my favorite getaway spots!

So sad to hear that you took your cat to the Humane Society. SAD!!!

As for the salt, use a lot and leave it there for a bit. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, please resist the urge to vacuum for awhile. Let the salt have time to do its work. A couple of days, that may not be enough. Leave it there till the fleas are gone. Let the absence of fleas be the sign that you can vacuum. And salt is cheap, so go crazy with that stuff. It cannot hurt anyone to have lot of salt on the carpets, right?

Hang in there -- and one other thing I'm wondering about ... I had my Flea Battle in a house with a Wildlife Refuge Yard next door, big problem, but I'm wondering if you've got a similar flea-source in a neighboring apartment?

God bless,
and thanks so much for writing!

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Veniethe,
What a wonderful name! So sad to hear that you had to get rid of your pets because of the fleas. Sad!

As for how much salt, and how often to apply it ... I went to the local grocery and went nutzo buying lots of the cheap store-brand salt at something like 80 cents a container. Still have 2 or 3 containers in the garage on a shelf ("weapons storage", LOL).

Then I salted A LOT. One whole container in my bedroom, another whole container in my office - two places where the dogs spend lots of time - and another whole container in the living room (where we all watch TV in the evenings). Hallway, kitchen, dining room, etc. ...every room got lots of salt but I went sprinkle happy in those places where I knew fleas were hanging out a lot.

Then I left the salt till I didn't notice fleas any longer.

This was done ON THE SAME DAY that I gave Capstar to the pups and sprayed the yard with Yucky Chemicals From Lowes.

I did NOT VACUUM till I thought the fleas were dead.

Then I vacuumed while listening to a lot of Aerosmith, making sure to treat my vacuum bags like they were radioactive as I replaced bags during the process.

Finally, I RESALTED. Yepper. Because fleas lay eggs and they hatch a few weeks after they have been laid. Gross, isn't it?

So, yes, I lived with salt for awhile. But it was better than fleas by a long shot.

God bless and fingers crossed this works for you, too!


Anonymous said...

Hi I live in the UK,
I have a flea problem, I treated my two dogs with frontline that worked brilliant, but I can't get rid of the fleas from my home! im getting bitten left right and centre, ive used every spray and powder from stores but nothing seems to work! I havnt tryed salt as of yet, just wondering if it really does work?? And any other advice would be much appreciated and if you could tell me if dish soap with water sprayed over carpets work aswell?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 723 pm,
Wow - hello to you in the UK from me, here in San Antonio, Texas! I love how the internet allows people from different parts of the world to communicate. So cool.

Now, about those English Fleas.

Anon, the salt worked for me. Still does. See above for details -- I had success with a three-way whammy all at the same time (Capstar for pups, sprayed the yard, and salted the interior of the house all on the same day). Left the salt - ordinary table salt, a lot of it - in the carpets, on the dog beds, on the mattress underneath the mattress cover, on the sofas and chairs in the living room, etc. until the fleas were gone.

Then I vacuumed like a Mad Woman.

Then I re-salted. There's that yucky problem of fleas laying eggs and I wanted to make sure I had salt there all ready for them. Ick.

This worked for me. It's a battle, not a war, so I keep up with the yard spray and I have salt at the ready in case I need it.

I have no idea about the dishsoap and water sprayed on the carpets. I've heard that Dawn dishwashing soap (the blue kind) works to kill fleas on pets, but I haven't tried it.

Thanks again for writing, British Anonymous - hope this works for you!

God bless,

Anne B said...

I live in Missouri and am also dealing with a huge flea infestation. We do have a houseful of cats and 2 dogs. The dogs go outside regularly and roam the countryside.. so its difficult to control the outside. We have tried most of the chemical flea things.. with little or no success At this time am trying the salt in the carpets, vacuuming the hardwood floors and mopping with floor cleaner. Fleas will die in soapy water, which is what I dip my flea comb into after each use on my pets. I also have refurbished my rainbow vacuum cleaner, I know they are expensive, but they use a water container to collect the dirt, I have been putting a few drops of Dawn in the water with each vac and it kills the fleas as you vacuum them up. I have seen some refurb rainbows on ebay if anyone is interested. I plan on getting rid of all my carpet as soon as i can afford to get hardwood thruout my home.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about sprinkling salt on carpets for fleas... We have a 2 1/2 year old, will he still be able to go play in the room with the salted carpeting as that room is his play room or will he get " salted" ? We've been going throug a flea infestation for 2 months now, it's just horrible ! We've fogged, fumigated, sprayed, did the water with the light at night thing, we vacuum every day, several times a day, and are still getting bit..... We capstarred he dog and 3 cats, applied flea control to them and its just not working :(

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon,
In answer to your question about salt on the tot, I think that the answer is "yes," if you salt the carpet as much as I did, then salt is going to get on your feet, the pup's paws, the tot's toes, etc. Don't know how this is a problem, the salt might sting little eyes but shouldn't hurt skin -- your call there. I'm not qualified on medical stuff.

As for solving the flea infestation, please read above (I'm on deadline and have to write fast) ... I won my war by doing lots of stuff all on the same day, including blasting the yard with chemicals, Capstar to the pups, and salting heavily thru out the house. No vacuum until the fleas went away.

Hope this helps and you win your War!

God bless,

Anonymous said...

I have tried the d-earth and I was stupid enough to order a lot of it and all it did was create the worst mess all over my house and I mean top to bottom. I still have a bunch of the crap left just here in a big container. It is worthless and I wasted my money.

I am going to try the salt. I have lost one cat to flea anemia and I have another one that is in big trouble and no matter what I do I cannot kill the fleas. I cant afford to take my cat to the vet either. I have been searching to find how to help her here at home.

As for outside, I am not sure what product to buy. I already bought something and I forget what it was but it did not work. I have poured hundreds of dollars into this fight and I have dying cats.

OH And all the vets keep telling me is to use Revolution, Advantage and Frontline and I have and I mean to tell you that is a lot of money that I dont even have and the crap does not work!!!!

This has been surreal!!!

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon,
Like you, I bought some d-earth but I feel very, very lucky this morning to have never opened that package, after reading about your nightmare with it. Poor you, Anon!

Don't know what to tell you about products that work outdoors, I got stuff in the bottles that attach to the hose for the yard, and that lasts a few weeks before you have to "water" the yard again with it. I also called to local shelters, rescues, etc. to learn what was working for them.

And I will be including your cats in my prayers - I understand being on a budget with a sick pet. Gut-wrenching.

On the positive side of that, I have discovered many great and wonderful things on the web that have helped my pups much more than the vet's pills and potions ever did.

For instance, Osteo-Pet pills have given my dogs a new life without joint pain and are GOOD for them, unlike the pain pills the vet recommends which cause liver cancer. (I think I'll post on this.)

Regarding your cats, please surf around online and read some forums, see what you can find. Dogs and cats aren't the same, obviously, but my web reading has given me results that now it doesn't matter if I won the lottery, I'd still do what I am doing now - and check the web for advice on things - before going to the vet.

One last thing: there is a new flea product that has only been on the market in the US a few months tho they've had it in Europe for years.

It's a flea collar that dispenses its chemical though the collar to the pet's skin slowly over a six month period instead of the flea med liquids that you put on their backs which is absorbed into the pet's glands and dispersed throughout their bodies over a 30 day period. Much safer for the pets and much more effective against the fleas

Work a shot for your baby kitty if the Capstar doesn't work for him/her, maybe? Just a thought for you to investigate online re how this all works for kitties.

God bless you and your pet!

Barbara Sargent said...

Thank you for all your posts. I am infested with fleas here in Massachusetts and my poor cats have been miserable. I was forced to use Frontline, tho, like you, I prefer not to use chemicals. I have also been spraying chemicals around the house as instructed by the vet. He tells me it will take three months to eradicate them! Three months! I don't know how I will surivive! You see, I am being bitten more than my lovely animals. I have three other people that live here and no one gets bitten but me. It has gotten so bad that I had to buy a rain suit to wear in the house with rubber garden glove to prevent the constant biting. I am so hoping the salt - and some prayers - will work. I have just sprinkled my entire house and bedroom mattress...I sure hope this works. Thank you for all the advice.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Barbara,
So sorry to hear that you (and your cats) are fighting fleas up there in Massachusetts! You know, it took a couple of weeks but it dang shorter than three months to get the fleas outta here with the 3 Way Whammy I described earlier (see post and comments) so I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and yours.

Also, I still love Capstar tho we haven't used it in a while ... but as I described above, there is a new kind of flea fighter that is a flea collar made with a new technology (see my comment above) that people are loving (at least the folk that I know). It was around in Europe for awhile before we got it okayed by the FDA here, but it's available nationally here and maybe that would be something you and your cats might find helpful.

Also, and you may think this is zany, but if I were in your spot I would start eating raw garlic. Yep, you heard me right.

I'd make a big bunch of garlic bread, using real butter (organic too) and crush 2 or 3 garlic cloves in there, eat that up with some pasta or something.

Garlic not only is an antibiotic, etc., so it's good for what ails you, it's also a bug deterrent ... yes, they will smell the garlic on your skin.

Icky, sure. But in the Flea Wars, sometimes things get ooky.

Plus, if you're like me, the garlic will do nice stuff like clear out your sinuses and give you more pep in your step.

I'm rambling now.

God bless and thanks for reading and for writing!

Barbara Sargent said...

Thanks for your response. So far I have had no fleas this morning after "a-salting" my house yesterday. Was able to get a few hours sleep last night. I am hopeful for the first time. Will keep you posted. Thanks for the advice on the flea collar. Cannot let this happen again!! Preventive action and plenty of salt from now on. Note for people with inside cats, just because they don't go out does not mean they can't get fleas. Even if you have had indoor cats for years and never had fleas, the risk is not worth the misery.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Barbara,
Great news that you've had a morning without fleas - that's wonderful! And it's also nice that you managed some flea-free shuteye, too.

Thanks for keeping me (and others reading here) posted on your Flea War. I'm so, so happy that the Salt Strategy is working for you!

God bless,

Mattycatman said...

Hi I have had cats for year's and never had a problem . Then two days ago my kitten had them .
So I laid out a dinner plate and filled up to the brim with water and washing up liquid and stuck a candle in the middle

. A few hours later I checked to find 8 drowned fleas. You can replace candle with a desktop light shining into the plate ( the light/ heat attarcts fleas) next step I did was to wash all bedding sofa covers in a 50c plus wash. Then I poured salt all over my carpets and sofa. ( I hoovered under the sofa pillows and nooks and crannys) I hope this should help.

If this dosnt I will buy lots more salt and cover the place in a snow like layer of salt!! There seems to be different advice on how long to leave before vacuuming, some say a 1day other's 4 days?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Mattycatman,
Thanks for sharing your trick with the candle/light - hadn't heard that one before!

In answer to your question about how long to leave the salt on the carpets, etc., I didn't set a number of days for myself. I left the salt there until there was no more evidence of fleas.

Then I vacuumed like a Mad Woman to get all the salt (and presumably dead fleas, ew), being very careful in the disposal of that stuff.

Then I re-salted and lived with the salt for awhile, to make sure that the flea eggs that would be hatching would be wiped out with the salt.

Yepper, where there are fleas there are eggs.

It's a horror story.

Here's hoping you've won your Flea War soon,
God bless (and thanks so much for writing!),

Anonymous said...

Are you using regular salt or the iodized kind? A lady told me iodized but it seems like everyone is using regular table salt. Is it a difference?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anonymous,
What a great question! I checked my Salt Stash and it's iodized, but that wasn't a conscious decision on my part. I just bought the store brand that was cheapest on the salt aisle!

Hope this helps answer your question,
God bless,

Anonymous said...

alwe had them in the garage so bad you couldn't go out there. I sprinkled 2 boxes of salt out there & it seems to be working. Still a few. I'm keeping the salt down. I may sweep it out in a couple days & add fresh. I'm doing the water & light thing too out there also. But in the house is another story. We have humidity here Mo & sprinkling it in the house was pretty bad. It made the floor feel wet. I swept it up next day & on non carpeted floors it turned into salt droplets. It still worked better than chemicals.

Joyce said...

Hi Reba,
I live in Lincolnton, NC and I have more of a flea problem on my dog than in the house, which I have seen some fleas in the house. I know that there are more in the house than I have seen. I'm going to try the salt as soon as I can get to the store to buy a bunch. My question is: I have a bagless vacuum cleaner. Is this better than a vacuum that has a bag or which vacuum is better. I moved in with my son after my husband passed away in July. My son has a vacuum that uses bags. I was just wondering which vacuum would be better in your opinion. Thank you. I never knew that salt would kill fleas.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Joyce,
Hope you're having a great weekend over there in North Carolina!

As for your question about vacuum cleaners, I've had both but I'm really happy with my bag version, not only because I think it works better but because a local vacuum repairman told me that bag-versions are better built and work better/last longer than the bagless. For whatever that's worth.

In my flea war, I used bags. Lots of them, and treated them like nuclear waste after every vacuuming (sealed them in a plastic trash bag and put that in the trash can back on the alley immediately).

One thing about the pup - Capstar worked great for my dogs, but FYI there is a new kind of flea collar available in the US now (it's been sold in Europe for awhile). It lasts for around 6 month and slowly disperses the flea killing chemicals over that time, instead of the flea stuff that gets squirted on the dog's back and then is stored in its glands for a 30 day period.

These flea collars are supposed to work great and be lots safer than the other flea stuff at the vets - plus they WORK.

At least, that's what I'm hearing. Just sharing, something for you to investigate if you're interested.

Thanks so much for writing and good luck with your Flea War!

God bless,

Anonymous said...

Did you grind the salt down or leave it as is?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 248,
I left it as it is ... just shook it onto the carpets, rugs, dog beds, etc. right from the salt container.

Easy Peasy.

Hope this works for you!
God bless (and thanks for taking the time to write!),

Leyla said...

Hello its Leyla again. Ahhhhhhhhhh they are back. How long did you let the salt stay on your carpets and bed.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Leyla,
Oh MY! So sorry to hear that they are back. Ewww.

Here's the thing. They lay eggs. Disgusting, isn't it? Salt will kill them this round, too. At least, it works for me. It's a war, like WW2...there's battles to be fought periodically. But you will win!

So, in answer to your question: I put down a lot of salt all over the house and left it there till no fleas were there. Then I vacuumed all that up and re-salted again.

Left that salt there for awhile.

I know, I know ... but I'd rather deal with salt than fleas and I was creeped out that there were flea eggs that escaped the vacuum which would hatch.

Eww. Eww. Eww.

Also, I kept up with the Home Depot chemical spray on the yard and I didn't take the pups anywhere that I thought they might pick up fleas. No dog park. No hiking trails.

That's it. This summer, nary a flea. It's been so wonderful.

Hope this helps and God bless!
Thanks for writing, too!

tjordanmsw said...

Diatomaceous Earth, Food Grade, is great. It is like eating glass for these fleas. But you must vacuum it up after a few days because it is hard on dogs' and people's lungs. So if you can leave for a while, then return and vaccuum, it will work great. Must be food grade though.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi TJordanMSW,
Thanks so much for taking the time to write and share! I never used diatomaceous earth because the salt worked for me, plus salt was cheaper and there wasn't the worry with salt about breathing in the stuff (for humans or pups). Scary!

Glad it worked for you - Fleas are such horrible things. Eww Eww Eww

God bless, and thanks again for sharing!

TruXter said...

The way i cleared them was with Comfortis.
I gave it to my cat and let him just walk around the house being bait.

The borax did nothing to remove the fleas.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this blog, I am at a war with fleas on my dog as well. So far we have been lucky that they have not been biting us, but she is so bad with them right now. I have been trying the salt and have also read about a combination of baking soda and salt, so needless to say my carpets all have salt and baking soda on them right now. I swept in into the carpet to get deep down. How long do you wait until you vacuum? I keep reading different things?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 310 pm,
Thanks for writing! In answer to your question, I'm not sure about the baking soda addition because I've only used salt, lots of it. Plus Capstar for the dogs and spraying the yard with the bottled insectide that goes on the hose (from Home Depot).

Did all this on the same day. Then waited until there were no fleas in the house and then vacuumed. Then salted everything again, because there will be eggs hatching. Eww, I know, but I wasn't secure thinking that the vaccuum got the eggs and I wanted no more fleas.

I was happy to live with salt in the carpets for awhile, along with on the dog beds, on the sofa, etc., because it was better than having fleas around.

How fast can you vaccuum up the salt? I don't know because I let it stay there until I felt safe to vaccuum up the second salt round.

Hope this helps! and I hope you win your Flea War!

God bless,

Unknown said...

Hi Reba!

My dogs have always been outdoor dogs but at night we bring them in. Unfortunately on our part we didn't think,duh fleas!" since we bathe them regularly etc etc. However recently found a flea on my bed and in my car. This infestation must be bad! I've been scouring the Internet for remedies and yours seems like my best bet. Starting on the flea hunt tomorrow, I cannot stand these nasty pests!

Thanks for the advice, will follow up :)
P.s what brand is your backyard spray?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Back Atcha, Unknown!

Sorry to hear about your flea fight, and so happy to hear that you bring your pups in at night. I know they love you for it!

Can't wait to hear back on how things worked for you ... and in answer to your question, I use the blue bottle (Cutter) these days but I've used the orange bottle in the past.

What I do at the store is (1) see which bottle seems to be selling best in my neck of the woods and (2) ask the sales clerk which one works best for our area. Seems that some of these things work better in some terrains than others, on some bugs than others, you get the idea. For me, the blue bottle is doing just fine - oh! and another thing, I check (3) the ease with which the bottle spray gizmo can be turned on and off. Had an orange bottle go wonky on me and sprayed myself in the face once. YUCK!!!!

Hope this helps and God bless!

David said...

hiI'm from Toledo Ohio I'm not sure if anybody still read this or not but my daughter got sent home from school two weeks ago because she had fleas in her hair and ever since then I've been trying these chemicals and I have 2 indoor cats. So how we got fleas ( no clue) how it got to the point where I had enough and we 2 days ago started living in a hotel because they were so bad I couldn't sleep at all. So I am out of ideas and I am going to try the salt things does anybody else know of any other think things to try and work to kill the fleas besides salt

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi David,
So sorry to learn that your family has been rousted from your home and into a hotel by those terrible fleas! That's terrible!

The salt worked for me (together with Capstar on the dogs and spraying the yard - see above for details) and salt has worked for other people, too (see the comments).

It's important (at least it was for me) to do all these things - salt, Capstar, yard spray - at the same time, i.e., the same afternoon.

It's a battle. Those darn fleas want to come back. I have to maintain my vigilance here, but we don't have a flea problem any longer.

I feel your pain, which is why I wrote this post -- because I found something that WORKED and I wanted to share it with other people because it might help them too.

Good luck to you and yours and God bless!!!

Anonymous said...

A great this. we just had to re home our two ragdoll cats as they were riddled with fleas constantly. we have used sprays and hoovered but fleas still here, even one landed on kid dinner plate. called pest control but still thriving. ystdy i left nowhere unturned. hoovered everywhere with hoover tube especially carpet edge by beds. also sprayed again and applied bag aftet bag of salt and out flea traps out. also had a torch as when u shine in them they jump so must have killed 50 by hand also. only one in trap this morning. Oh that dog is deflead regularly too. As were off to jamaica to get married in ten days and my mothers moving in i hope the salt works. thanks all. craig murphy, isle of man.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Craig,
Sorry to hear that you had to give your cats away because of fleas - and happy to hear that you're off to get married! A wedding in Jamaica sounds beautiful!

Thanks for writing, and I hope that the salt/spray/Capstar all on the same day works for you and yours! (Could not tell from reading your comment if you had done all of this on the same day, but that has been key for me in keeping the fleas at bay.)

God bless and Congratulations on your Wedding!

Kira Geier said...

I just wanted to add that a solution of one part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water really do repel fleas. I sprayed it all over my furniture and the cat. I just salted my carpet yesterday and bathed my cat with flea shampoo (since I didn't have any capstar, and was desperate to get the fleas off her) They were falling off and dying after her bath. Today I still saw a few fleas and a lot of flea dirt, but then I sprayed her with the acv solution and I can't find any fleas on her now. I know that doesn't mean they are totally gone, but I'm hoping they are on their way out. I think I might get capstar if I need to. I'm leaving the salt in the carpet as long as we can stand it, hopefully a week or two. This war started 4 months ago when I found a flea on our totally indoor cat. I guess they came in on our shoes. I went to pet smart and they said all I needed was frontline and that would take care of everything. I put it on her, and it seemed to help at first, I certainly saw fleas falling off her and dying, but it didn't kill all of them or even remotely solve the problem. We tried DE, and it was just too dusty to sweep into the carpet, so when I read about the salt working for you I thought, I've got to try it. It's so simple, cheap and doesn't involve chemicals. Thanks for sharing your battle stories with us.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Kira!

Wow, another great reason to have ACV in the house! I LOVE that stuff!!! For instance, I take it daily as a probiotic and just yesterday, I used some to make homemade poppy seed dressing. ACV Rules!

Good luck with your Flea War -- and I know what you mean about living with the salt and fighting the urge to clean everything up. It's hard. Did want to share with you that I re-salted to get rid of the flea eggs that would be hatching (eww, right?) in case you might want to do a second salting, just in case.

Flea eggs. It's something your mother never tells you about. LOL

Thanks so much for writing and God bless!

Anonymous said...

Hi all. I hate fleas we have no pets but the women who lived here before had and left us with fleas bless my daughter she had 1 in her hair my son was bitten too as was i. I cant sleep at night they are always on my mind i am going crazy. We moved in under a week ago so boxes everywhere i just wanted to know hoovering salting and anything else i try can we really get rid of fleas???? Washing bedding everyday as well :-( im in the uk too. Sorry to go on i just have to get it of my mind.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 836am,
So sorry to hear that you've moved into a new place only to discover a big flea problem! Kinda takes away from the thrill of a new home - but hopefully not for long! Since you don't have pets, there's no Capstar issue for you. Sounds like you're doing what you can with salting everything down really well. One thing about the salt and the vacuuming -- I was successful by dumping lots of salt down and leaving it there until no more fleas were jumping or biting or otherwise making themselves known. Then I vacuumed like a Mad Woman ... and after that, I salted again and left the salt there. Because there eggs there, as yucky as it is to think about eggs sticking around after all this has been done.

I know it's troubling to leave salt down for awhile, but it worked for me.

Don't know that you're NOT doing this, just thought I'd share because I wasn't clear from your note on how often (or not) you're using your Hoover.

Hope this helps!

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your reply . I been hoovering every day but shall i leave the salt longer? I also have flooring down stairs will salt work on that too? Thank you kelly

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Kelly,
First of all, I just love how you use the word "hoovering" for what we in Texas call "vacuuming." Just so British. Cool -- like when I heard a neighbor who had just moved here ask me for a "torch." Fun how words work, and yes, I admit that this is geeky. LOL

Now, about your question. Stop that vacuuming, Kelly!!! Salt the floors, salt the carpets, heck -- I even salted the sofa and the mattresses (and then put sheets over the salted mattress). I went nuts with salt ... and then I left it there until I had no evidence of fleas any longer.

Yes, this is frustrating because I understand that nagging nudge to get up and clean up everything, but I think the longer that I left the salt there, but better it worked at getting rid of the pests.

And yep, I did it all again after I did vacuum (hoover, hee hee, I love that) everything up. Salted all over the place again, and left it there for say another week or so just to make sure that any eggs that hatched got caught by the salt, too.

Hope this helps!

Let me know?

God bless,

Anonymous said...

Hi Reba,
thank you for replying to me again. Lol at the hoovering part :) yes words can be funny.
Anyway i have one bite on my foot tonight and its made me sad again i am going to salt the carpets and leave them like you said for a while i just dont know should i do it on the hard floor too?
thank you kelly

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Kelly,
As for salt on the hard floor, yepper - I would salt anywhere that the fleas might be. I salted the carpets, the floors, the dog beds, the mattress, the sofa, etc. and left it there for awhile. Didn't go barefoot! LOL I don't know that the fleas will hang out on hard floors when there's carpet around, but in my frenzy I just tossed salt onto every nook and cranny I could find.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you over here in Texas!

I'm optimistic you'll have this Flea Battle behind you soon,

God bless,

Anonymous said...

I have been fighting these nasty fleas for months adopted a shelter cat to keep my cat company after he lost his brother.

Had the place sprayed three times. Finally got rid of all ky furniture and had the carpet ripped out and hauled away and got the place fogged twice. Thought they were finally gone, then bam! Bit twice this morning in the kitchen while making coffee. So discouraged and at the end of my rope. My cat is on advantage ii and he seems okay but the fleas really go after me. Gonna try the salt tomorrow and pray for a miracle. Hope it doesn't ruin my hardwood floors. I'm at at wits end. :(

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 1137pm,
Wow, that's terrible that you've had to go to the lengths of pulling up the carpet in your Flea War. Silver lining, if you got hardwood floors. I prefer to live without carpets, truth be told -- hardwoods with rugs here and there are so much nice IMHO plus easier to keep clean (esp with pups)!

That rabbit trail aside, I'm hopeful that the salt will do the trick. Two helpful hints, from my experience. Fleas lay eggs, so that may explain their mysterious return. I would salt A LOT everywhere, and the floors will be fine FYI, and I mean everywhere. The sofa, the bed mattresses, under the beds, wherever the kitties sleep, you get the idea. You cannot go too crazy with the salt.

Leave the salt until no evidence of fleas. Sweep, vaccuum (aka "hoover" - nod to Kelly in previous comment here), and then salt again. That second salting is important to make sure you get them all, including any eggs that are out there. Ewww, I know.

Oh, and spray that yard too. I got the bottle that attaches to the garden hose at the local Big Box hardware store (Home Depot) and it was inexpensive and worked well.

Hope this all helps, hope I'm not being too redundant here with what has already been typed up above. So want to help you, particularly someone who adopted from a shelter (both my babies came from shelters, and my two kitties did too).

God bless - and Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Hello! Has anyone mentioned nematodes for the yard? Everything I have read online says they work and are the best natural pest control ever. I have yet to come across a negative review. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that salt is a corrosive and if you apply it to your yard it will kill you grass and plants. Thank you for having this blog Reba.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 734,
Thanks for the thanks! And thanks for pointing out that salt is bad for the yard ... good thing for people to know.

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving weekend,

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 725,

I hope someone out there has a good nematode report (or two) ... I investigated nematodes when I called around to the local kennels, dog hotels, etc. and only one of them (out near Boerne for those that know the area) had a success story about them. One person told me that they were hard to get going in the San Antonio ground ... I don't know much more than that. I went with the spray from Home Depot because that was what these folk were telling me worked for them. And it's worked for me (spray the yard, Capstar the dogs, salt the house).

I would love to use nematodes instead of the chemicals, tho.

Thanks again for writing and God bless!!

Anonymous said...

get a flea collar that also kills eggs and put it in your vacuum bag and you wont have to throw them out so often.

Anonymous said...

Hi Reba! I have been reading these posts and feeling hopeful! Thank you so much for taking your time to help us desperate flea destroyers! My cat has fleas. She is an indoor cat who I treated with frontline because we also have a dog. I thought the dog could bring them in to her. Fast forward to October. I wanted to save money, so I asked vet if I could stop treating cat for the Winter. She said yes. I still treated the dog in Oct. I watched a friends dog and you guessed it...the dog had fleas and gave them to my cat!!! We went away to visit family for Thanksgiving, but no one would watch my cat because it had fleas! I didn't blame them! So, I had to board the poor kitty. We gave her a capstar before putting her in the kennel, flea combed her really good. Capstar worked awesome. She had three live fleas and it killed them fast! That stuff is awesome! We've been home a few days now and I don't see any evidence of fleas or flea dirt on the cat. The dog never got fleas. Thank you, Lord!!! My question to you is: do you think my flea situation is over? We turned the heat way down when we left and since the fleas didn't have anything to feast on while we were away my hope is this is over, but I still feel like they are lurking everywhere. My other question is did your dogs try to eat the salt? Our dog is not yet one and she eats everything! I'm afraid if I salt she will have a feast! Is it safe for the kitty too if she licks it? I am so stressed...I even dream of fleas!!! I keep praying the dog stays flea free! Every time the animals scratch I flinch. I feel like a prisoner in the home. I have kids and I worry them seeing me so stressed is not good for them.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 122 pm

Thanks for the tip about adding the collar into the vacuum bag. Great idea!

Hey, and thanks for taking the time to write and share this with everyone, too!

God bless,

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 425 pm,

Wow, cats and dogs and kids. And fleas. Geez Louise, you've had a full house! :-D

I wish I could guarantee that your flea fight is over, but I can't. For me, because I hate fleas SO MUCH, I tend to assume the worst and salt periodically even when I haven't seen anything. It's cheap and it makes me feel proactive, don't know it it's necessary or not.

I do know that fleas lay eggs (eww) so maybe another round of salt wouldn't hurt your situation?

As for your dogs eating the salt, well, my pups have never gone near the salt. I checked before I salted everywhere just in case and salt isn't supposed to be a problem for dogs ....

I sure hope that you've won your Flea War!!! Let me know what happens?

God bless,

Anonymous said...

Hi Reba,

Yes, Dog, Cat, Kids and fleas!!! The kids always wanted more pets, but I draw the line with fleas as pets!! : ) Trying to keep a sense of humor is hard. The problem with cats and fleas are cats go everywhere! They climb on things, they get into drawers, closets, go into every room. So, I feel like they are still everywhere.

I have kept the cat out of the kids and my bedroom. She cries most of the night because she is used to sleeping with us. Breaks my heart. I just couldn't keep up the constant vacumming and laundry with her still coming into those rooms with us.

We have a carpeted attic that is basically storage. Toys, more toys,clothes,etc are up there. The cat loved to go up there and hang out alone away from the dog. I haven't even treated that area yet because it's big and filled with so much stuff. There is no heat up there, so I pray the fleas would die at some point from the cold and no one to feast on. That door has been closed since I knew we had fleas.

The kids are stuffed animal fans and they have so many I fear fleas are in them. I removed most of them to the attic, but worry if fleas are up there they are making new homes in the stuffed animals.

I usually have my Christmas tree up by now, but don't want to put it up yet for fear if fleas are around they'd get into all the Christmas stuff. I'm driving my hubby nuts with all my fear, but these fleas have made me insane!
Kids are begging to get our tree up. I just treated the cat with another round of Frontline tonight. Hopefully, soon the flea nightmare will be resolved between salt and lots of prayer. Thanks for your help!

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 949,

Well, I hate to write this, but golly gosh -- having read about your attic and feeling SO SORRY FOR YOUR CAT, well ... I think you gotta salt that attic ASAP. Send hub up there, hee hee, and let him go nuts with the salt.

Maybe I'm being overcautious in my thinking, but I think what helped me was that I went crazy with salt. Salted everywhere and used a lot of it.

And you didn't mention your yard, did you? I sprayed the yard with the chemical stuff from Home Depot aon the same day that I gave Capstar to the pups and salted like a crazy person in the house.

If you haven't sprayed that yard, then I'd vote that you do that, too.

Just feeling your pain and understanding just what you mean about being fearful that they're there ... somewhere ... waiting. Ewwwwwwwww

I'll say a little prayer for you and your family tonight, let me know what happens. Please let the kitty sleep with his humans soon! Poor little guy!

Merry Christmas and God bless,

Anonymous said...

Dear Reba,

You are a big encouragement. I feel badly for the kitty,too. I promise she is being well loved, even though she is not in the bedrooms right now. She is always in someone's arms being loved and cuddled. Even the dog gives her love. Our pup is not afraid of fleas : )

The cat has the run of the rest of the house. We will have her back in the bedrooms soon, I promise.

We haven't treated the yard because we are in the cold weather months where I live. It is snowing here now.

When Spring comes, we will treat the yard. I will start the process of the attic, too. Though I dread it. Stuff is all over the floors, since it's just storage up there. It certainly will help me get rid of some things! Though the kids will protest getting rid of toys!

The one hope I have is frontline did it's job and stopped fleas from producing eggs. After my friends dog came down with fleas, I immediately treated the cat in early November.

Frontline says it breaks the flea life cycle. Killing eggs, larvae and fleas within 12 hours of contact with pet.

Not sure if I believe all this since three fleas were on the cat at end of November. I will never know how long my friends dog had fleas. I watch the dog all the time. She is with us more than at her own home.

Let's just say I really want to believe Frontline's promises! I really don't want to spend Christmas with fleas : )

Have a Merry Christmas!

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon 1217,

Glad to hear that the cat's getting lots of snuggles and stuff! And thanks for writing that I was encouraging, that made my day!

Just wanted to ask one question real quick: why not just send the hubby up into the attic with a couple of salt cylinders and let him go crazy shaking salt all over the place, without unpacking or rearranging stuff? I know this sounds lazy, but that's what I would do... LOL

And I wanted to share with you about a new kind of flea collar that is supposed to be great - and better than Frontline b/c of the way that it introduces the toxin into the animal plus how much more effective it is on fleas.

They've been sold for years in Europe but just got to the US in the past year or so.

It's called Seresto and it's made for cats and dogs. They are sold on Amazon and the folk at my favorite pet supply store here in SA report that lots of folk love these things. They last 8 months.

God bless!! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Hiya me again Kelly we salted the carpets up stairs and left for a week then hoovered but we went a whole week down stairs without seeing any then bam 5 more so had to use spray and hoover every day this is day 3 without seeing any or without getting bitten. im so stressed :( and before christmas i do not want to be hoovering and spraying christmas day. i just have one question i can not find a answer too. can you help? if a flea bites a human can they lay egss? or does it have to be a animal? thanks kelly

Anonymous said...

We've had great luck outdoors using nematodes from Arbico. They offer two kinds for fleas, one for soil that is sandy or has been previously disturbed, one for packed soil (like clay). At first you had to buy large amounts but now they offer smaller quantities. Since fast delivery is mandatory, shipping costs can be high, so going in with friends/neighbors is advisable for the budget conscious. Arbico is great about helping you decide what to buy. Make sure to schedule delivery for a day/time you can grab the package and toss it in the refrigerator, and follow the instructions exactly! If you let the soil dry out part way through the season, you may need to re-apply. In areas that never experience a hard freeze, more frequent application may be necessary. Here in the mid-Atlantic area, we've only had to do it once a year. It has made a WORLD of difference. We were astonished! Also, insect larvae usually expire at temperatures around 108 F, and adults at around 120 F (which is why people throughout the South don't all have flea infested cars, I reckon . . . though I once knew someone with a cockroach problem, yuck). Freezing kills some - but apparently not all - larvae too, say if you have a fancy pillow that cannot be washed. As for inside - yes, lots of vacuuming is necessary, but that alone won't do it. You have to do at least one initial extreme cleaning of every area where your pets have gone, which is especially difficult with cats since they are smaller and they CLIMB. Every single thing has to be moved/removed, then you have to get busy with a mop and scrub brush - I mean to the point of using cotton swabs or toothpicks to clean out little cracks, taking fronts off control panels, cleaning out folds in paper, cloth, and plastic, moving heavy furniture (e.g., filing cabinets) to get to the gunk that has accumulated near their edges. Since eggs are shed by the thousands, it doesn't take that long to end up with millions of future fleas. For a long time I thought vacuuming was the ultimate, but over time a film builds up on things and the only way to remove it is by good old fashioned friction, aka elbow grease.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Kelly,
So sorry to hear that you are still fighting fleas! Hang it there, you will win!!!

As for fleas and humans, I know that fleas can bite humans but I don't know about fleas laying eggs on humans. Never heard of this happening. Ewwwww, that is creepy to think about, right?

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon,
Thanks so much for the info on nematodes, that's wonderful!

So great of you to write and share this, really appreciated.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

I moved into an apartment in June 2013 and never had any fleas, brought a stray cat home in August... never saw a single flea for the first month i had her. Then a creepy neighbor brought over cat toys (that his outside cats played with) and what do you know? I have been dealing with an infestation like you couldnt imagine. I tried and tried gettingthem off her, but early December i gave her to a friend after I was positive her poor body was flea free. I had to get her out of this hell hole. I have tried EVERYTHING, my God. I am desperate. It is driving me mad. Every morning, I wake up with between 30-40 new bites all over my body. I cant sleep. Im terrified to even sleep in my own bed or sit on my own couch.. I hope this salt works. Because I am ready to jusy abandon my apartment and everything in it & start over... these fleas are relentless & I am exhausted trying to contain them....

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anonymous 257am,

First of all, I am so sorry to hear that you have had to give away your pet because of fleas! So sad, and how sacrificial of you to put your kitty in a place where she would be safe from those bugs.

Now, how to get you safe? The salt has worked for me and others, but I think for me at least it was the Three Point Attack that got rid of them: the salt (everywhere!) and the dogs getting Capstar (no need for you here) and then spraying the evil flea-killing chemicals in the yard periodically.

I'm wondering if there are fleas near you. In the yard, in the apartment next door?

I know that my next door neighbor's uncut back yard with Sunflowers blooming in it 6 feet tall - a real Wildlife Mecca - was a problem for me. Fleas apparently don't bother the neighbor (or raccoons, or possums, etc. - you get the idea).

So, spraying the yard with the stuff from Home Depot was important in my flea war.

Since you live in an apartment, I don't know that you have the same solution.

However, your landlord should be helpful here -- check with local laws on the warranty of habitability because this may be of help to you. I can't give you legal advice here, but I can suggest you check around where you're at ... because if you live in an apartment then the landlord should be helping you win the flea war here.

Keep us posted!

Praying for you and God bless (oh, and thanks so much for writing, too),

Anonymous said...

hi reba

i live in the uk i have a house cat and have been suffering with flea issue for weeks. i think i know where the flees are coming from (work) ive been bitten sooo much. ive tried so many things for my cat unfortunately he has a flea allergy so his skin is all split and cut open so i cant use normal spot on treatments. (the last time i used it, it didnt work anyways) ive just read your blog about the using salt so im going out to buy 6 yes 6 tubs of salt.:) lets hope it works. im also going to use a 24hr flea tablet to kill the ones on him. fingers crossed salt works i NEED THEM GONE!!!

sher stamant said...

Stumbled upon this old article and I've had flea j festation twice in my life. Once has a kid we had multiple animals and once as an adult when my husband and I bought our first home. The previous owner had pets so we moved in and I soon realized we had a flea infestation. What I've learned about fleas from having many pets. Some years are going to be "flea years." Which means fleas will be worse that year: long drought and dry weather usually the factor. The best way to get rid of a flea infestation is spend the next 48hrs non-stop doing this. Start washing all bedding, clothing in the wash on hottest cycle possible with a capful bleach every load. Place clothes bedding in garbage bags and seal until 48hr treatment window is complete. By borax and "salt" down all carpet and let sit. Take boiling hot water (get pots going on stove) along with dish soap and bleach and mop all tile, hardwood floors. Changing water with each room and pour old water down toilette (not in yard). Same time wipe corners and edges along walls where flea tend to thrive. Leave pets outside blocking off rooms with carpet. If whole house is carpet leave them outside or end pets to groomers and let them keep them over night. If not, bath pets and keep them in scrubbed kitchen or a tiles bathroom. It's a two front attack, once the kitchen is scrubbed and pets are scrubbed, it's be a flea free zone. Next hit the yard. Go buy bottle of Pert Shampoo (dandruff shampoo) pour entire shampoo around on patio. Take broom and water and scrub down patio. After that go back into the house and vacuum carpet at end of 48hours. THROW OUT vacuum. Flea eggs and larva can live in vacuum and it better to just throw it out and get another one. Also at the end of the 48hrs, after you have vacuumed call in carpet cleaner and get carpets scrubbed. In 10days bath dogs again (remaining hatch eggs will jump on pets) and your house should be free of all fleas. I've had to do this twice in my life and went without sleep for 48hours, but results are worth it. Also while you work wear long white socks that are wet and fill with the pert shampoo. It kills them instantly and keeps you from tracking fleas from one room to another. Hope that helps everyone!

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Sher,
Thanks for taking the time to write all this! It's way different that what I've done with the salt (and Capstar) but any way to get rid of fleas is a welcomed one!

Nitin Gohil said...

Hey, Nice post, It take a great efforts to pin down every detail in such a concise way.

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Unknown said...

The only things that I have found that kills fleas lately is the salt number one on the hit list then blue Dawn dish washing soap can use that on animals and white vinegar and blue dawn dish soap in a spray bottle and sprayed generously (altho salt seems to work the greatest). I used to be able to use Avons skin so soft but that doesn't seem to work as well especially since they added more chemicals to it.

snoopygirl49 said...

I used the collar that was suppose to be good for 8 months and within 10 days my dog had 7 fleas. I am starting the salt method and hope for the best.

Robin Rutledge said...

I just received a new fold out couch from a friend. No animals in the house at this time so they had to come from the couch. I started noticing them jumping on me a couple days ago. Well as of right now the couch is folded out I have put salt in and out of all the the cracks under and on the mattress and on both sides of the cushions of course. So far I am already seeing fleas dying!! Yeepee!! I don't have carpet except for in our halfway leading to the bedroom and in our bedroom. I am sure they have made their way in their too. I have a one year old granddaughter here at the moment. Keeping an eye on her so she stays away from the couch. I haven't put the salt down on the carpet yet, but she isn't walking yet and I sure won't let her crawl on the carpet once I put salt on it. How long is this process going to take? Should I vacuum the couch today before I fold it up?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Robin,
Glad to hear the salt is working! Hooray! As for how long the process takes, and when to vacuum up the salt ... well, I would tend to leave salt out there for awhile, just to make sure that any eggs that might hatch would be dealt with, as well ... eww, I know. Up to you, though. You could always put more salt down later if the fleas popped up again. So happy this helped you!!!