Kill Fleas on Your Pets With Dish Soap

Even if you do everything right, there is still a chance that your pet may come home with fleas. The good news is that you probably have something to help you get rid of them: dish soap.

All you have to do is prepare a regular dog bath, but use dish soap instead of foam shampoo. Soap destroys flea exoskeletons by drowning and killing them in minutes . Removing them all can take a long time to clean, but a flea comb can help you find and dispose of carcasses. Once you’re done, you can give your pet a good bath with good shampoo to keep their skin from drying out.

However, for the sake of clarity, dish soap does not prevent or repel fleas, which means that you also need to thoroughly wash your home to prevent them from returning. “Since only a small percentage of fleas live on a pet at any given time, fleas from the environment will simply jump back and restart the infestation cycle,” says veterinarian Jennifer Coates. Also, veterinarians do not recommend washing pets with dish soap on a regular basis, as it can irritate their skin.

Also, if your pet’s flea problem is really serious, you should probably call your veterinarian. If you’re just being careful about spotting a couple of fleas, this is a cheap first step to nip the problem in the bud.

This story was originally published in August 2013 and was updated on November 23, 2020 to update the outdated links and edit the text to match the current Lifehacker style.

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