Does Salt Kill Fleas?

​​Will Salt Kill Fleas?

Fleas are unwelcome visitors in any home. These bloodsucking parasites will happily feed on both human and animal blood, leaving you itchy, sore, and covered in little bites.

If you start to see signs of fleas in the house, it is imperative to attend to the problem before it becomes a full-blown infestation.

There are multiple choices on the market to help you kill fleas, but unfortunately, many of these use chemicals which can pose risks to your and your pets’ health.

Luckily, your household cupboards can hold the answer to destroying fleas without the use of dangerous pesticides. In this article, we look at the use of salt to effectively kill fleas.

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does salt kill fleas

Cat Flea - CC Image courtesy of Clay Nichols

Does Salt Kill Fleas?

Salt is well known for its ability to absorb moisture and incite thirst. Although fleas have quite tough outer bodies, they also have many little breathing holes which are susceptible to the loss of moisture.

It is for this reason that fleas thrive in areas which have a humid environment. If humidity levels go much lower than 50%, fleas dry out and die.

If you have a flea infestation in your home, normal table salt is very effective at drying them out by rapidly pulling moisture from their tiny bodies.

The fleas are unable to replace this hydration fast enough, thus quickly die. Therefore salt is a great remedy for use in carpets and about the home to kill fleas.

The trouble with this method is that the vast majority of adult fleas reside upon their host for the duration of their adult lives, unless they become dislodged, or their host dies.

So, if you want to get at the primary population of fleas, you will need to treat any pets in the home as a priority.

The best way to do this with salt is to give your pet a salt bath. Mix one part salt to ten parts water in a large tub, sink, or your own bath. Gently lower your pet into the water up to their armpits and give them a thorough rub down with the salty water.

It’s a good idea to pour the water over their head and neck to target the fleas there, but be careful not to get any into their eyes, ears or nose. Once you are done, brush them through and rinse well to avoid any skin irritation.

If your pet has any open wounds, do not give them a salt bath until these are healed.

Will Salt Kill Flea Eggs?

Adult fleas are the ones which make you and your pet itch, but they are only one part of the problem. In order to completely eradicate fleas from your home and your pet, you need to tackle them at all stages of their life cycle.

Not many people know that fleas spend the majority of their life cycle away from their host and on the ground. In fact, fleas spend as much as 95% of their life cycle in the pre-adult development stages.

The flea life cycle consists of four individual stages: egg, larvae, pupae and adult flea. If any one of these stages is overlooked, your flea problem will soon be back. Adult fleas only lay their eggs upon a host.

They do not lay eggs on the ground, or in your carpets. The eggs are sticky when they are first laid, but quickly dry out and fall to the floor wherever the host goes.

A study found that almost all flea eggs had fallen from the host animal within 24 hours of being laid among the fur. The irritation from adult flea bites encourages your pet to scratch themselves, which can shorten the time it takes for flea eggs to be dislodged.

Once they have fallen, the flea eggs will settle deep into the fibers of your carpets, where they will stay until they develop and hatch into adult fleas. Using salt in your carpets will dry out the flea eggs.

This prevents them from developing into larvae, pupae and—eventually—adult fleas. The dehydrating effect mimics that of low humidity environments which are not hospitable to fleas, thus halting an infestation in its tracks.

How to Use Salt Against Fleas Effectively

Because salt attracts moisture, it is advised not to leave it in situ in the home for too long, especially if you live in a humid state. After all, nobody wants a soggy, salty carpet.

It is also a good idea to check with your carpet supplier before using a salt treatment, just in case it could damage the carpet. Using salt is safe for children and pets, so you do not need to worry about having them around when you use this method.

Below is our step-by-step method for using salt against fleas:

  1. Get some highly refined salt. It can be table salt or sea salt, but it must be a very finely ground powder, almost like sugar. Make sure this is in a shaker, ready to evenly distribute across the carpet.

  2. Move all your furniture to the edges of the room you are treating. This is so you can access the dark, sheltered areas underneath where fleas like to hide out.

  3. Take your vacuum and thoroughly clean the entire area. This is to remove some of the easily accessed fleas and eggs before you get started.

  4. Take your shaker and carefully distribute the salt evenly all over the carpet. It is best to start from the doorway and make your way into and across the room. This prevents any fleas from escaping.

  5. Take a stiff hand brush or a broom and work the salt into the carpet fibers so it has the best chance of reaching the eggs and larvae within it.

  6. Leave the salt where it is for about 48 hours. If you have a serious flea problem, you may want to leave the salt in the carpet for a little longer.

  7. Take your vacuum and go over the entire area multiple times, to ensure you have removed the salt and all the dead fleas and eggs that come with it.

  8. Take your vacuum bag outside to dispose of it. This is because there is a small risk that some living fleas could escape the vacuum back into your house.

  9. Repeat this process once a week until all the fleas are gone. It may take a few treatments to get rid of them all.

Summary

While it may take a little more time than spraying pesticide all over your carpet, you can rest easy knowing you and your pet are safe from potentially dangerous chemicals.

Salt is also a cheap and readily available solution in most household cupboards, making it a convenient option when faced with a flea menace.

We hope that you have found our tips on how to kill fleas with salt useful. Salt is certainly a great choice for those of us who prefer to use safe and natural methods to fight pests.

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