Can Dish Soap Kill Fleas?

Given all of the recent controversy over popular brand-name flea treatment and prevention products containing toxic ingredients, many people have begun to use all-natural solutions to eradicate these blood-sucking parasites from their home. The fact is that you never know exactly what’s inside a chemical-based flea product. If it’s formulated to kill fleas, chances are it has some pretty nasty stuff inside — stuff that may cause illness to you and/or your family.

If you’re looking for a safe and effective solution to kill fleas, you should consider using dish soap. Granted, some dish soaps also contain various chemicals, but exposure to these chemicals is much safer than those found in common flea treatment and prevention products. And best of all, a medium-sized bottle of dish soap should only cost you a couple bucks, making this an inexpensive solution to your flea problem.

So, can dish soap really kill fleas? The short answer is yes, dish soap can kill fleas, aphids and other small insects, although not in the manner you may think. While Advantage, FrontLine Plus, Advantix and similar products use a special formula of chemicals to kill and/or break the flea’s life cycle, dish soap works by smothering fleas to death. A typical flea can escape a glass of water by jumping out (fleas have incredible leg power). However, fleas are unable to escape the thick, sticky substance that’s comprised of dish soap.

“Soaps… kill insects by disrupting the exoskeleton and breaking down cell membranes. Soaps generally work best against small soft bodied insects such as aphids, scale crawlers, meatybugs, and young caterpillars as well as spider mites.”

To kill fleas with soap, however, you must first catch them. Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy task given the flea’s uncanny ability to escape danger. With that said, pet owners can often pick fleas off their dogs and cats using a flea comb. Simply run the comb through your pet’s fur and transfer any fleas you come across into a cup of soapy water.

Another safe and effective solution to kill fleas involves an application of half table salt and half baking soda. We’ve discussed this method before on our blog here at FleaBitesonHuman.com, but it basically revolves around the use of table salt and baking soda. When these two items are mixed together and spread throughout the home (or other areas with fleas), it creates a highly effective solution that’s sure to kill fleas.

Jan 6, 2015 @ 11:30

2 Comments

  1. Paul Haugland

    I have done it with my three dogs, works great on the ones on them at the time

  2. Louis Davis

    be aware this must not be used as a regular shampoo, only once during an unexpected outbreak of fleas. If used regularly, it will damage the dog’s skin and coat because it is a detergent and therefore harsh and the wrong pH for dog washing.

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