What Kills Fleas On Contact?

Several substances out there can kill fleas. Some of these flea killers are natural. Some are homemade. Whereas, other flea killers are made from toxic chemicals.

But whether natural or chemical, only a few of these substances can instantly kill fleas on direct contact. In this article, we’ll focus on those instant and direct-impact flea killers.

What Can Kill Fleas Instantly?

what kill fleas on contact

It’s true; fleas are very difficult to eliminate. This is because structurally, they have hard and tough exo-skins. Likewise, they have flat bodies that allow them to hide and sift through the fur and skin of their hosts.

For those reasons, most of the effective flea treatment out there has to come in contact with their skin before they can work well. Some of these flea killers are natural like diatomaceous earth, essential oil like cedarwood oil, tea tree oil, and others.

Other flea killers that leverage on contact include several permethrin-based pesticides out there. If you look to spend no or little money, some of your household agents can work just as fine. Good ones are bleach, baking soda, dishwashing soaps, Epsom salt, and boric acid.

With that said, let’s look at these substances and how you can use them in detail.

What Natural Substances Kill Fleas on Contact?

If you ask us, natural flea controls are the safest because of two major reasons. For one, they lack the dangerous chemicals that can irritate your eyes, skin, and nose.

Then again, natural flea controls can penetrate deep into common flea hiding spots like rugs, fabric folds, and carpets. So, let’s look at some of them, how they work and how to use them to kill fleas on contact.

1) Diatomaceous Earth.

If you have been dealing with pests for quite some time now, then diatomaceous earth should no longer be new to you. However, if this is your first time hearing it, diatomaceous earth is simply an antiseptic powder made from sand.

Because of its dehydrating ability, diatomaceous earth is often used to kill pests like ticks, fleas, grubs, and others. To use it, sprinkle it where needed. Oftentimes, many people consider sprinkling it on rugs, beddings, and garden soil. And even on furniture.

After application, allow the treated sand to sit in for a few hours. Then, you can vacuum the surfaces if the flea infestation is indoors. In your garden or lawn, you can just leave it there for extra nutrients.

However, diatomaceous earth is a very fine powder. As such, you should wear protective nose masks during application. This will help prevent the irritation of your lungs and wind pipes.

2) Thyme Oil.

thyme oil can kill fleas on contact

Thyme oil, like many of the other oils on this list, is an essential oil. But unlike most oils, thyme oil is a scientifically proven flea killer.

One specific example of such proofs happened in 2017 and was documented in the National Library of Medicine. According to the researchers, thyme oil can kill more fleas than most of the permethrin-based flea killers out there.

So, you should consider using thyme oil to kill fleas. However, the recipe for using thyme oil depends on what surface it needs to be applied.

For instance, undiluted thyme oil should not be applied directly on your skin or that of your pets. To use it, you need to mix the thyme oil with a carrier oil like jojoba oil. Then, you can rub the mixture directly to kill fleas.

If the application surface is on carpets, rugs, beddings, and furniture, mix the thyme oil with water. Bottle up the mixture in a spray can. Then, apply as needed.

3) Myrtle Oil.

Kill fleas on contact

Like the thyme essential oil, myrtle oil also kills more fleas than permethrin. To use it, mix a few drops of myrtle oil with about 120 ml of vinegar or water.

Bottle up the mixture in a spray can. Then, you can apply it on pets and on surfaces as needed.

4) Cedarwood Oil.

.Cedarwood oil is another scientifically proven essential oil that kills fleas on contact. It is especially recommended for cats when diluted with other carrier oils like jojoba oil.

To use it, bathe your cats or other pets like dogs inside a pool of water mixed with dilute cedarwood oil. After the bath, you can also add one or two drops of cedarwood oil to the cat’s leash and collar.

This is because like most essential oil, cedarwood oil has a very potent scent. This smell can help to repel adult fleas. That way, you can avert future flea problems.

Other essential oils that work this way include lavender oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil and peppermint oil.

What Home-remedies Kill Fleas on Contact?

1) Bleach.

The antiseptic property in bleach is owed to a compound called sodium hypochlorite. This substance, when dissolved in water, forms acid. It is this acid that seeps into the fleas and burns them from the inside out.

Then again, the acid so formed can react with the flea exo-skins to liberate a gas. This gas can also kill fleas in confined spaces. To human and pet skins, this acid can also be corrosive.

So, to make a safe bleach recipe, follow these steps:

  1. Wear hand gloves and mix one part bleach with 10 parts water.  Bottle this up in a spray can.
  2. Vacuum the floor. This will help you to remove dirt and some flea eggs.
  3. Then, spray the bleach solution on carpets, rugs, and furniture.
  4. You should note that it is safer not to use bleach on your skin or that of your pets.

2) Borax or Boric Acid.

While bleach is good for killing adult fleas on non-living surfaces, boric acid is especially potent on baby fleas. Although when used in the right amount, boric acid can also kill adult fleas.

It does this by burning its exo-skin. Likewise, if a flea consumes boric acid, it dies by poisoning. However, since adult fleas feed on blood, it’s almost impossible for them to ingest boric acid.

So, that’s why boric acid is more potent against baby larvae who can ingest the acid while scavenging for non-blood food. To make a boric acid recipe, follow these steps in tandem:

  1. Mix boric acid with water. Likewise, you can increase the potency with salt.
  2. Bottle this mixture in a spray can.
  3. Vacuum your house.
  4. Apply the boric acid spray as needed.
  5. You may need to re-apply if the infestation is large.

3) Alcohol.

Alcohol is a flea killer and it is most active when rubbed directly on the flea. To do this, you can dip the flea in an alcohol solution.

This alcohol solution contains a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water. Combined, these two substances penetrate the exo-skins of the fleas and kill them from inside out.

Likewise, you can spray the alcohol on beddings, furniture, carpets, floorboards and other flea-infested areas.

4) Salt and Baking soda.

Baking soda is one of the best household agents that you can kill fleas with. Not only that, it also kills flea eggs and flea larvae. And it does this by dehydrating them.

To make it more potent, you need to mix it with salt. The salt reacts as an abrasive that peels off the exo-skins of the fleas. This creates a chance for the baking powder to dry up the flea; hence death.

FAQs on What Kills Fleas on Contact.

  • Is it safe to kill fleas with bare hands? 

Oftentimes, many people do kill fleas with their bare hands and feet. In some cases, some even say that hand squishing is one of the easiest ways to kill fleas on contact.

Well… that’s true. However, you see; fleas are pathogen carriers as much as they are parasites. One of these pathogens is bacteria called Rickettsia Typhi.

So, anytime you squish an infected flea, this pathogen will linger on your finger. Unfortunately, if you rub your eyes or any exposed wound on your body with the infected finger, you stand the chance of being infected.

  • What kills fleas on contact in cats?

Throughout this article, we mentioned both natural and home-made substances that can kill fleas on contact. However, most of the homemade ones are not suitable for puppies, human skins and cats.

Instead, natural essential oils like myrtle oil and cedarwood oil work well to kill fleas on cats and puppies. However, you should remember to always dilute the oils in carrier oils like jojoba oil. This is very important!

  • Can you put boric acid on your pets (dogs and cats) for fleas?

Well… no! It’s unsafe. However, you can spray boric acid on every clothing and every surface your pets come in contact with. The boric acid will help kill the fleas on these surfaces.

Final Words.

So far, we’ve mentioned that there are a lot of substances that can kill fleas on contact. Some of these substances are natural products like diatomaceous earth, salt, and essential oils like myrtle oil.

Likewise, you can opt-in for homemade flea killers like alcohol and boric acid. Just make sure to take the necessary precautions while using any.


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