Natural Flea Treatments| Does Salt Kill Fleas?

Salt as a Natural Method of Flea Control

Conventional flea control treatments are effective, but not everyone wants to use them.  You may feel that you don’t want to use chemicals on your pet or you may baulk at the cost.  Whatever the reason, many people are keen to try natural methods of getting rid of fleas.  One such natural flea remedy is salt.

Can salt kill fleas, or should you save it for your food?

This post is about:

  • How salt can kill fleas
  • How to use salt to get rid of fleas
  • The pros and cons of using salt in flea control

How Salt Kills Fleas

Salt is a natural dehydrating agent and it is said to kill fleas by desiccation, ie it dries out the bodies of the adult fleas and breaks down the cell walls of the immature stages of the flea.

You should only use salt around your home, never directly on your pet.

How to Use Salt to Get Rid of Fleas

You don’t need a particular kind of salt to kill fleas, ordinary table salt or sea salt is fine.  However, if you do choose to use it, try to refine it into a powder.  You can do this in a food blender.  Once you have your powder:

  • Sprinkle it over your carpet in a thin, even layer;
  • Work it into the carpet by brushing;
  • Leave it for at least 12 hours, no more than 48 hours;
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly remove the salt;
  • Empty your vacuum cleaner, seal the bag and dispose of it outdoors.
The Advantages of Using Salt to Get Rid of Fleas
The use of salt for flea control offers some advantages:
  • It’s cheap.
  • It’s natural.
  • It can be effective on fleas in the environment.
  • The method used, ie vacuuming, is an effective tool in managing a flea infestation whether you use salt or not.

The Disadvantages of Using Salt to Control Fleas

Whilst salt offers a few attractive benefits for your flea control regime, it does have some drawbacks.

  • It treats only the environment, not your pet.  For a flea treatment to be effective it needs to target all stages of the flea life cycle on your animal and in the home.
  • Salt can be messy to use, particularly if your home is damp or humid, as it will attract moisture and could leave you with a sticky carpet.
  • This is a time consuming method as you will need to wait for up to two days to remove the salt.
  • You will need to keep your pets away from the areas you are treating, or they could lick up the salt and make themselves ill.
  • If you plan to use salt on a regular basis you should check that your vacuum cleaner can cope.  Salt may clog and damage its filter or attack any metallic parts.


  • Salt can kill fleas in your home
  • Salt cannot be used directly on your pets, so it is a complementary method of flea control.  You will need to treat your animals separately.
  • It is likely that it is the regular vacuum cleaning of your home that is effective in getting rid of fleas in your home, rather than the salt.
  • As long as you exercise care in keeping your pets away from the salt, it is not going to do any harm.







6 thoughts on “Natural Flea Treatments| Does Salt Kill Fleas?

    • Hi layla – it does sound like a weird idea, but it’s a favourite natural flea treatment. Mix the salt with baking soda (equal amounts) for even better results.

    • Thanks Mike – something changed behind the scenes! Trying to figure it out, used to need to add that “break” thing, now it seems I don’t. Just need an extra couple of hours in the day to sort it out…

  1. Feel free to shorten this. Salt does work. I didn’t find that grinding the salt was necessary. I was in a basement apartment and I didn’t have a problem leaving down the salt for a couple of weeks at a time. This is what worked for me:
    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.) Carefully check your white socks before you leave for work so you aren’t spreading fleas. As soon as you come home, immediately put on the socks. Wear socks to bed. Check before you get into bed. Check every time you use the washroom through the day. When the fleas are almost gone, the last times you’ll see them is at night when you use the washroom. You get the idea, check regularly. 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 drowned if they’re in bed clothes or whatever. After 2 weeks, vacuum (then garbage or freeze the bag) and re-apply salt. (I salted thoroughly the first time including under furniture and by baseboards and in closets, 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’d still vacuum and re-apply salt again and leave 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. People can look that part up online or visit your vet if there’s a pet involved. 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.)

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