Many pets are harmed each year from store-bought flea treatments. And often dog flea pesticides get mixed up with cats, causing harm in cats, or worse, death. Often it’s best to seek the advice of a veterinarian and buy prescription-based flea treatments and pet bath products for bad flea infestations in the home. But many people are hesitant to buy these expensive products, and aren’t certain if they’re much safer than the grocery store brands.
There may also be concerns about using pesticides in a home with a pregnant mom or really young children. Yet if you’ve seen fleas on your pets, it’s important to deal with them quickly. While a few flea bites don’t cause problems, eventually your pet or your family could end up with a really bad skin infection caused by flea bites.
Most pet lovers seek out natural flea treatments to not only banish them from their pets, but to also repel fleas in the future. These treatments must also include application inside your home, and in your garden, so you can stop the endless cycle of flea infestation.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the safest and most natural flea remedies for your pets and your home. Not only is it safe to use around pets, but it’s also safe to actually use on them too.
Have you ever picked fleas off your pet and dropped them into water to kill them? They can’t swim, so they quickly drown. The process happens much quicker when they’re dropped into vinegar. For this reason, ACV is both effective when used in a spray on your pets, and as a spray to use on the floors and outdoor spaces of your home. The acid also works to destroy the fleas.
The ACV also serves a dual purpose. It can also naturally repel fleas. They instinctively run from acidic products. That means if they try to hop onto your pet for a ride, and your pet smells like ACV, they’ll soon hop off and try to find another host. If you’ve used ACV on your floors and in your gardens, the fleas will head for the neighbour’s yard instead. And that’s if the acidity from the vinegar hasn’t already killed them.
It’ll take a bit of work, but if you follow these steps, soon your home and pets will be flea-free.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is made from one of the most commonest fruits in the world—apples. It’s made a similar way that other types of vinegar are made too. It can also be called ACV, and has an amber or yellowy colour to it.
Normally, ACV is used to make salad dressings, sauces, and chutneys, but is also used in food canning too. ACV also has many health benefits. People simply take a spoonful of the vinegar each morning to help manage digestive issues. It can also be used to replace hair conditioners and can actually make hair feel soft and silky.
This type of vinegar is made by squeezing out ripe apples. The liquid is then mixed with bacteria and yeast, which begins an alcoholic fermentation process. The alcoholic apple cider can be enyoyed at this point, or it can undergo one more fermentation process that removes the alcohol. The alcohol is converted to vinegar by the addition of acetobacter, which is an acid-forming bacteria. This is what gives it a sour taste.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe to Use on or Around Pets?
Apple cider vinegar is best watered down and made into a solution that can be used to spray on your dogs or cats. But you don’t want to dip your entire pet in apple cider vinegar. The level of acid is quite potent, and while it doesn’t burn, it can dry out the skin of pets, just like it can in humans.
The vinegar can also sting humans’ and pets’ eyes. When you apply it to their fur you’ll want to avoid spraying it near their bottoms, around eyes, ears, or nose or mouth. You may wish to cover their face with your hand as you spray on tops of their heads, all around their necks, down their backs, legs, tail, and belly.
Once the vinegar dries on their fur, you won’t smell the vinegary smell. And if the pet licks or cleans their fur, they won’t be harmed in any way.
If you’re using the vinegar to spray the floors or the concrete of your garden, you can pour it straight from the bottle into the spray bottle. You should label your bottles—one for pets and one for your home.
How to Use ACV on Pets & Around the Home?
If you mix the vinegar into a 1 to 1 solution—1 part ACV, 1 part water, and pour it into a spray bottle, you can use it for everything from spraying onto the fur and back necks of your pets where fleas like to hide, to the corners of your home, and outdoors.
Can an Effective ACV Recipe Be Made for Pets?
You can make an effective ACV flea spray for pets, or for your home. With the addition of essential oils, you’re increasing the potency and effectiveness of a natural flea treatment.
This spray also smells good with the addition of the essential oils. Most people don’t mind the smell of vinegar, and once it’s dry it’s smell does dissipate. But for those who find it really offensive, the essential oils serve a dual purpose in that they make your home and garden smell really good!
Ingredients List for ACV Flea Spray with Essential Oil
Collect together the following ingredients to make your ACV flea spray.
- 2 cups/250 ml of apple cider vinegar.
- 8 to 10 drops of one of these essential oils that are safe to use on or around pets: lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, thyme, or rosemary.
- 2 cups/250 ml tap water.
- Large plastic spray bottle.
Method to Make ACV Flea Spray with Essential Oil
Follow these steps to make your ACV flea spray with essential oil.
- Pour all liquids into the large plastic spray bottle.
- Select one type of essential oil (lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, thyme, or rosemary) and add your drops to the liquid.
- Twist the sprayer attachment to the bottle.
- Give the bottle a good shake to ensure that the solution is thoroughly mixed.
- It’s now ready to use.
- Store in a cupboard.
- Remember to shake the bottle before each use.
Where to Spray ACV Flea Spray with Essential Oil
Once your ACV with essential oils have been mixed up, it’s ready to use. Follow these steps to prepare.
- Remove your dog’s or cat’s collar.
- Place the collars in the sink or put newspaper under them.
- Take your bottle of ACV & essential oil and unlock the sprayer.
- Completely spray your pets’ collars with the solution.
- Wait for the collars to dry.
- Put the collars back on your pets.
- This recipe is only for your pet’s collars and is not to be sprayed directly onto your pet.
Other Ways to Use ACV in the Home
Once you start using ACV in your home, you’ll find many other uses for it too. Besides using it to kill and repel fleas, it will help to make dogs smell better, particularly if you haven’t had a chance to give them a bath recently.
Lemon can also be added to the ACV, which can be used to spray on your dogs. Do not use this on cats, as they won’t like the taste. Dogs don’t mind the taste and don’t clean themselves several times a day like cats do.
You can also use one or both of the ACV sprays listed above, outdoors. Be sure to thoroughly wash down your garden, grass, paths, and patio spaces with a garden hose first. This should eliminate any live fleas and their eggs. Then you can spray around the spaces that your pet commonly plays in, including around garden chairs and grass. This will help to repel any fleas that may not have been washed away when you cleaned the region.
You can also use the ACV spray with essential oil, or an ACV spray with lemon in your outdoor spaces.
Other Tips to Help Get Rid of Fleas
Some people have found that once their pets have had a flea bath that all that’s needed is to apply some apple cider vinegar to the back of the pet’s neck. You can use a cotton puff to do this. Simply pour the ACV and water mixture onto the cotton ball and apply directly to the back of your pet’s neck. Repeat this application every morning.
It’s also important to treat your home for fleas too. You can use a pure ACV to spray around the baseboards of your home.
It’s also safe to spray ACV on your furniture. You can even spray it onto upholstered fabric without worrying that the ACV will damage it. The ACV will also freshen up your home, particularly regions where your pet hangs out.
ACV can also be used to wash the floors of your home. Vacuum them first, then use your ACV spray to fully spray the floor, then use a damp cloth to mop it up. Not only will your floors be clean, but they’ll also be flea-free and the vinegar will help to repel any stray fleas that you may have missed.
If you’re letting your pets outside, first spray them with your ACV and water mixture.
Precautions & Warnings When Using ACV Flea Sprays
Follow these precautions and your pets and family will stay safe while you do your natural flea treatments for home and pets.
- Don’t pour ACV into your pet’s water. They won’t like the taste and it will just turn them off from drinking water from that dish and location.
- Protect their eyes, ears, nose, and mouth when spraying it on their fur.
- Only use equal parts of vinegar and water, and spray lightly on their coats.
- If adding essential oils to the ACV, only spray these directly on their collars, not on their fur. Remove the collars first.
- Never apply essential oils or ACV directly to a pet without diluting it first.
- Use only pet-friendly essential oils.
- Never use tea tree oil on a pet as it’s poisonous to both dogs and cats.
- If your pet suffers any foaming at the mouth, discontinue use and take them to a vet. You’ll have to wash the oils off their fur too.
- Store your ACV and essential oils in a top cupboard away from the curious eyes of pets or children.
- Be sure your essential oils and ACV bottles have been tightly closed so the contents last longer.
- Don’t store your essential oils or ACV in direct sunlight or near heat as the contents of the bottles can deteriorate.
Final Thoughts on Natural Flea Repellants
Getting rid of fleas is a multi-process effort. Besides using ACV spray for pets, and pure ACV for cleaning your floors and spraying outdoor spaces, you’ll also need to vacuum your home on a regular basis. Your pets’ bedding and blankets should be laundered on a regular basis too.
To help control flea infestations in the grass and dirt of your home, you should regularly water all your outdoor spaces. If you have water restrictions where you live, consider saving some of your bath water, and use it to pour on your concrete patio. If you’ve used a natural soap, it should be safe to pour on your grass and plant beds too.
It can be frustrating to think that you’ve rid your home of fleas, then the eggs that remain hatch and you have to worry about it all over again. The good news is that ACV also kills the eggs.
With a bit of effort for the first few weeks of warm weather this year, you’ll be able to prevent your pets from suffering a flea infestation. You’ll also be able to rest and relax, while you watch your happy pets frolic around your flea-free yard and home.