Using Table Salt to Kill Fleas

A pile of spilled salt on a wooden table from a shaker that is over turned.
  • 0-1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-35
What You'll Need
Large shaker container of table salt
5-lb. bag of table salt to refill it
Vacuum cleaner with replaceable bags
Broom and dustpan

A house infested with fleas is uncomfortable and unhealthy for everyone who lives there, not just for your pets. The good news is that an ingredient found in nearly every kitchen in North America will eliminate these annoying insect pests. Table salt is effective against fleas because it alters the pH balance of the fluid that carries nutrients and oxygen through their bodies. Follow these tips to apply a salt pesticide treatment to your home and pets to kill fleas.

Step 1 - Identify the Areas of Flea Infestation

A dog scratching from fleas

Find out exactly where the fleas have infested your home. Check under tables, beds, sofas, and even the sofa cushions. Check your pet's bed and other bedding in the house. Check around doorways and window ledges both indoors and outside. Fleas seek refuge in soft fabrics including carpet and you may not be able to see them. They can even lay eggs in the cracks of wood flooring that go dormant during the cold months and pop up when the warmer spring weather comes so treat all areas. Check your dog, cat, or other fur-bearing pet for evidence of fleas.

Step 2 - Apply Table Salt to Flea-Infested Areas

Using the table salt sprinkler, shake the salt all over the areas that are harboring fleas. Put it in a thick layer at the top and bottom of wall baseboards, under tables, chairs, beds, sofa, and even under the sofa cushions. The salt will not harm the upholstery if it remains dry.

Remove all infested bedding and sprinkle mattresses and bed frames with the table salt as well. Wash and machine dry the bedding of pets and family members. Do not hang it out to dry as you may bring in more fleas with it. Leave the dry salt where you sprinkled it overnight, or for eight or more hours undisturbed.

Step 3 - Treat Your Pet to a Warm Salt Bath or Salt Rub

A dog and a cat in a bathtub

Mix up a strong solution of 1 part salt and 10 parts water to bathe your pet. Soak your pet thoroughly, but avoid getting the salt water in their eyes and ears. Rinse off with warm clear water, then with cool water. For a heavy infestation, rub dry salt into your pet's fur and leave it on for two hours. Brush your pet well to remove the salt traces, then rinse its fur well with warm water.

If the fleas are persistent, repeat the salt rub treatment in 10 days.

Step 4 - Vacuum Up the Salt and Sweep it Away

Vacuum up all the salt you can see and reach, and use a flexible broom with a dustpan to get the rest. Mop up floor areas to remove any salty grit where people or pets may walk. Remove the vacuum bag and dispose of it immediately in the trash. Outdoors, you can sweep up the salt or leave it to be washed away by the next rainfall.

Table salt is a non-chemical, non-toxic pesticide that can be used safely indoors to combat fleas. It will not harm pets' skin or their paws, and will not damage upholstery or carpets in its dry crystalline state.