Does Salt Kill Fleas?

There are many ways to kill fleas, but most people would like a cheap, natural alternative to the pesticides most commonly used to treat flea infestations. Salt is one of those alternatives.

Using Salt to Kill Fleas

To use salt to get rid of fleas, vacuum your carpet thoroughly and then liberally sprinkle salt on it. When the fleas eat the salt, it dehydrates them and kills them. If you leave the salt in the carpet for up to a day, most of the fleas will consume salt, getting rid of active fleas in your carpet.

Vacuum the carpet again and throw the bag away in an airtight bag that you immediately place outside. Flea larvae can live for an entire year without hatching in your vacuum cleaner, so you don't want to give those new fleas the opportunity to hatch.

Keep your pets out of the room with the salt in it as your dogs might also want to consume some of the salt. Don't leave the salt on the carpet longer than two days as it will absorb the moisture from your carpet and start to dry it out as well.

Baking soda also works in this same manner to kill fleas in your carpet.

Disadvantages of Using Salt

While salt will kill live fleas, it doesn't do anything to flea larvae, which can live in your carpet for up to a year without feeding. Fleas lay 15 to 20 eggs per day, which hatch into larvae in anywhere from two days to two weeks, depending on the weather and food conditions. These larvae cannot be easily seen and may hide anywhere—grass, carpet, clothing, furniture and bedding.

The larvae develop during several weeks or months before finally weaving cocoons that eventually hatch into adult fleas. If you don't effectively get rid of the larvae in your house and yard, you will have a flea problem again in a few months.

To remedy this, you may need to find another product that also kills flea larvae, or you must continue to reapply the salt at regular intervals to kill the fleas as they hatch.

If you have a yard, consider treatment of the yard as well. There are many pesticides available to kill pests in your yard, or you could try the salt treatment, though it will not be as effective outside where there is much more moisture and chance for other insects and animals to eat it.

Finally, you will also have to keep the fleas off your pets either with flea preventative or regular flea baths. Use the flea comb to remove flea eggs and larvae from your pets after the flea bath, since the shampoo won't kill the eggs.

There are many ways to kill fleas, and many people have had success with the salt treatment. Just remember that the salt will do nothing for the flea larvae, so vacuum frequently and reapply when it starts to get warmer to kill fleas as they hatch.