Last Updated on February 10, 2022 by Grow with Bovees
Fleas are tiny, annoying pests that are often found on pets or in gardens. Fleas tend to thrive best in areas of shade and a good amount of moisture.
Dark and moist places are the perfect conditions for the female flea to lay eggs.
They can ruin your plants as well as cause little irritating itchy spots on your skin.
If you have an infestation of these pesky bugs, you might want to find a good and safe way to get rid of them. And remember, you need to be thorough, as you also want to get rid of their eggs, or else you will have the same problem again after a while.
In this article we will go through some facts regarding the question “does bleach kill fleas?” – Is it effective? What should you be aware of? And how should you go about it?
But first, let us answer the question at hand. Does bleach kill fleas? The answer is yes. Bleach — aka sodium hypochlorite — is absolutely able to kill adult fleas, and it is also great to use when wanting to kill flea eggs and prevent pest proliferation.
Before starting to wash everything with bleach, be sure that you are in fact dealing with an infestation of fleas.
Your pet constantly scratching its body is one obvious sign that it might be carrying fleas.
A flea’s body is a reddish-brown color, and you will find that it is about 1/8 inch long. They are jumping insects, and thus able to leap from your pet to surrounding furniture.
You can also look out for flea feces — which is otherwise known as flea dirt. Flea dirt resembles ground black pepper.
If you feel that you are suffering from small skin irritations due to an insect bite, consider that it may be Flea Allergy Dermatitis — FAD — caused by flea bites. This is caused by the flea’s saliva under your skin.
Be Cautious When Using Bleach To Kill Fleas
Now that you have confirmed that you are indeed dealing with a flea-infested environment, and you choose to use bleach as your weapon to get rid of them, let us advise you to be very cautious when using bleach. Here is why!
Bleach is quite a toxic product, and you should refrain from using it on dogs or other pets. And when using it, make sure that the areas where you use it are well ventilated and blocked off from pets and children.
A dog can be negatively affected by bleach even if he just breathes it in and ingestion of bleach will cause him to become severely ill, with symptoms starting to appear just a few minutes after ingestion. This even happens when you make use of a diluted solution.
Health problems that pets may experience after bleach ingestion may include vomiting, skin irritation or redness of the skin that is in contact with the bleach, pawing at the mouth and excessive drooling.
I advise you to never use bleach to kill fleas on a dog or pet. Rather make use of a flea collar, they are made to repel fleas on dogs.
Using Bleach On Flea Infestation & Hidden Flea Eggs
If you choose to use bleach as a method of flea control, follow these simple steps.
- Close off the area of your home that you are planning on disinfecting for a few hours. This is to prevent pets and children from unknowingly coming into contact with the bleach.
- Make sure that the area is well ventilated. Turning on vents can also help to get rid of the fumes that are let off by bleach.
- Use protective gear, such as a mask, gloves, long sleeved shirt and eye protection when handling the bleach.
- Put together the bleach solution in a spray bottle. You can use 1 cup of bleach for every gallon of water.
- Spray the affected areas with the bleach solution. Pay special attention to dark hidden corners and cracks.
- For infested clothes or linen, wash them with hot water and clorox bleach.
There are a few home remedies that you can try to use if you do not wish to make use of a toxic substance such as bleach. These include:
Salt & Vinegar
Sprinkling salt to kill fleas is an effective and organic pest control solution. Even though there are no harmful fumes let off by salt, you may still want to keep your pets and children away from the area that is being treated.
Vinegar is also useful. Although it will not kill the critters, it is a great deterrent for fleas that will minimize flea activity.
Rosemary is another awesome flea deterrent.
This is a safe and effective method to use to kill fleas if you have kids and pets in your home.
Baby Powder & Diatomaceous Earth
Using baby powder to kill fleas is relatively safe for kids and pets. It kills fleas by suffocating them.
To kill fleas without toxic exposure, one can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth onto their bedding and surrounding carpets.
Using Bleach For Fleas in Your Garden
Using bleach to kill fleas in your garden or on your pet makes no difference. Bleach — due to the presence of the chemical chlorine — is still a toxic product and should be used with caution, and it is, all in all, not a good idea to use it in your garden.
I would be exaggerating if I said that bleach will kill your entire yard or garden. There are a few factors that should be considered when using bleach to kill fleas in your garden. These factors include:
I advise against using undiluted bleach on your plants. A strong solution of chlorine may cause harm to your plants, causing them to become brown and start wilting at the leaves or flower buds.
Large amounts of pure bleach in the soil cause it to become unsustainable for plant growth. It also increases the soil pH, which, as a result, leaves the soil stripped of all essential nutrients and minerals.
Great amounts of chlorine also cause your plants growth to stunt
Bottom line, if you want to get rid of fleas on your plants with bleach, always dilute it properly. Most plants will be able to handle it, depending on the amount you intend to use.
The Amount You Use
If you use large amounts of concentrated bleach on your plants, they are most likely going to suffer from long-term damage or, even worse, die.
Control the amount and the strength of bleach that you use. Smaller plants can not handle the amount that bigger plants can.
Frequency of Bleach Usage
Only use a bleach solution if you really have to. The exposure of bleach to your plants or lawn every day, for example, can quickly cause chlorine toxicity, which will damage your plants.
Alternatives to Killing Fleas in Your Garden
Using bleach to get rid of a flea infestation in your garden is not the only way. Continue on for some organic methods to get rid of these pesky critters.
Find And Fix Leaking Pipes
As mentioned above, fleas thrive in moist areas. Have a plumber come around to check out your pipes and have him fix anything that is leaking.
The smell of a leaking sewage pipe may also attract animals that may carry fleas, such as raccoons and skunks.
Mow the Lawn And Get Rid of Trash
Having said that fleas love shady areas, it is important that you trim your lawn on a regular basis in order to have a flea-free yard. You should make it a habit to trim your lawn every second week or so — depending on how fast it grows.
An overgrown yard creates an ideal environment for fleas and other kinds of pests.
Any dirt or trash lying around your yard, generally attracts bothersome pests and other random critters. This includes fleas.
Get rid of any junk that occupies your yard. Whether it be scrap rotten wood, old furniture or other kinds of rubbish lying around.
Shoo! Away Strange Host Animals or Flea Carriers
Fleas need a host animal to survive. Prevent them from settling in your home or yard, by driving away animals that may carry them.
Animals that could be hosts for fleas and other disease-causing pests include raccoons, squirrels, deer, skunks and stray cats or dogs.
Introduce A Predator Into Your Garden
A quick and organic way to get rid of fleas in your yard is to scatter flea-eating nematode worms. Not only do these beneficial nematodes feed on fleas, but they are also great at aerating your garden soil.
As you have read in the above information, the answer to “does bleach kill fleas?”, is, yes, one is able to kill fleas with bleach.
But, even though it is an effective flea killer, it is not the safest way to rid your house or garden of a flea or pest infestation as it is a toxic chemical.
It is highly poisonous to dogs and other pets as well as most plants.
I would say, rather stay away from using this chemical detergent and go for one of the more organic ways. This way, you do not run the risk of causing illness to pets and children or killing your plants in the process.
One can naturally also opt for commercial insect killers — or more specifically, commercial flea killers — instead of using bleach on insects or making use of a professional pest control company.
If you must use a solution of color safe bleach, be sure to dilute it properly and strictly take all precautionary measures in the process of disinfection.