Fleas are a nuisance to your pets, home and even members of your family. The bugs are small, adapt to the environment they are in and become immune to commercial flea solutions. Fleas have a lifespan of approximately 90 days and can lay as many as 60 eggs in one day. There are a variety of homemade remedies for killing fleas, including using Pine-Sol, a commercial cleaner, and vinegar. One is not safe to use around your pets and one is.
Vinegar does kill fleas on contact and the chemical is safe to use on your pets. Vinegar drowns fleas and keeps them away from areas treated with the chemical. Mix 1/4 gallon of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and 3/4 gallon of warm water in a bucket then transfer it to a spray bottle. Spray the solution directly on your pet and areas around your pet — including carpets and bedding.
Vinegar and Immune Systems
Vinegar also strengthens your pet's immune system. Give your pet 1 tsp. of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar daily in his drinking water. Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is available at grocery and discount stores as well as online.
Pine-Sol is another chemical that kills fleas on contact, but it is dangerous to spray it around and directly on your pet. Also, the chemical does not prevent fleas from re-infesting areas and it doesn't kill all of the fleas nor their eggs.
The chemical contains phenol, an ingredient that can cause serious liver damage as well as respiratory and kidney problems.
Other Phenol-Based Cleaners and Solutions
Do not spray or apply any other phenol-based cleaner or solution near or on your pet. Even if the phenol-based cleaner or solution is diluted, over time the chemical will make your pet sick. Phenol-based cleaners and solutions include bathroom and household detergents/cleaners, acne medications, baking powder, sugar substitutes and mouthwash.
Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.