Does Vinegar Kill Fleas?

If your pets or your house is infested with fleas, you’re probably desperate to find a solution to combat the invasion. There is a wide range of flea controlling products available on the market but finding one which is safe to use for your pet or family is the concern. Flea sprays and flea bombs may help to put things in order quickly but they are poisonous chemical products that may affect the environment and the well-being of your pets or your family if they come into contact with them.

If you really want a non-toxic natural remedy to treat fleas, we recommend that you try vinegar. Perhaps you’re wondering, “Does vinegar really kill fleas?” Many may doubt whether this common liquid which is found in almost every kitchen or pantry can really put an end to a flea’s life. Let’s find out together.

Vinegar properties

Vinegar has been in use for thousands of years thanks to its various health benefits. The liquid is not simply a combination of acetic acid and water but contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber and other beneficial compounds depending on the source of the materials or the organic substances that have been used to create the vinegar.

Products which are high in sugar such as fruit, rice, or barley are ideal materials to use to produce vinegar which is beneficial to our well-being in so many ways. It helps to control blood glucose levels that are typically a problem for diabetes patients. Vinegar is also effective in controlling high cholesterol, helping with weight loss, promoting heart health or preventing infections.

Now we come back to our question, “Does vinegar kill fleas?” What are the properties of vinegar that enable it to repel fleas? The answer is its acidic nature.  Some argue that vinegar just repels fleas rather than kills them due the unpleasant smell that fleas can hardly stand. Others state that vinegar does kill fleas if the insects come into contact with the liquid because of the fact that the acidity of the vinegar causes the exoskeletons of the pests to become corroded or dehydrated, causing them to die.

Put simply, vinegar does kill fleas in these ways, or at the very least it makes the habitat no longer favorable for them to survive in. This means that the answer to the question, “Does vinegar kill fleas?” is “Yes!” Now that we know this, let’s find out how we can use vinegar to fight against fleas.

Vinegar could be utilized in many ways to treat fleas and we will go through those methods one by one.


The formula for a spray bottle mixture to treat fleas is one part of vinegar mixed with one part of water. Therefore, if you have a bottle, fill it halfway with vinegar and then to the top with water. Among all the different types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar is your best choice. Now that you have the mixture, spray it on the flea-infested areas of your home such as carpets, rugs, under sofas or on pet bedding. It can be sprayed onto your pets’ fur as well. Those fleas coming into contact with the vinegar will be killed while others will be repelled by the smell.

Mixing with pet water

Does vinegar kill fleas

You may know that fleas feed on your pets’ blood, and that is the reason why they stay as parasites on the host’s body. If we can make the host’s blood no longer edible for fleas, they will have no reason to cling to the pet. Vinegar will help out here. By simply adding some vinegar to your pets’ drinking water their blood will become more acidic and fleas will not want to feast on it. 

Of course, if your pets realize that the water tastes strongly of vinegar, they will not want to drink it. Thus, you need to be careful to add just a little bit of vinegar into the drinking water so that they won’t notice anything strange. Obviously, the vinegar in the drinking water will not kill the fleas, but it will keep them away from your pets. A word of warning though- do not try this method for cats as the water will be too acidic for them.

Soaking in vinegar

Should you have carpets, rugs, or bedding which are infested with fleas, soak them in water mixed with vinegar and all fleas and their off-spring will be killed. It may take a few hours for the mixture to take effect so make sure you allow sufficient time for the items to soak in the vinegar mixture.

Pet bathing with vinegar

There are flea shampoo products that are effective for controlling fleas on your pets’ bodies. However, a cheaper method is to try bathing your pets with vinegar. Wet their fur, shampoo their body, adding some vinegar to the shampoo. Rub it all over their body so that the fur is well coated. Allow the mixture to stay on your pet for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Does vinegar kill fleas

 Alternatively, you may choose to bath your pets with shampoo and then add some vinegar to the rinse water. A vinegar rinse is effective in repelling fleas as the smell is so unpleasant for them. You should do this on a regular basis until no more fleas are noticed on the pets. One thing to note here is that some cats and dogs have more sensitive skin and may be allergic to the vinegar. Do look out for this. If your pets are allergic to vinegar, you will have to find other natural remedies such as tea tree oil. Although the answer to the question, “Does vinegar kill fleas?” is “Yes”, we are obviously not going to use this method if it’s harming our pets.

All things being taken into consideration, vinegar has been proven to be a cheap natural and effective remedy to treat fleas. You may still be wondering “Does vinegar kill fleas?” but you can be assured that once vinegar had been applied to control fleas, the results will be positive. To recap: as we’ve seen, there are many ways you can use vinegar to combat fleas. Spray a mixture of vinegar and water onto flea-infested places; add a few drops of vinegar to your pet’s drinking water; soak bedding, carpets and rugs in vinegar; bath the pets troubled by fleas with vinegar or rinse their fur with the liquid to repel the parasites.

Whichever method you use remember to keep a close watch on your pet for any adverse reactions. If your pets show any type of sensitivity to the acidity of the vinegar, look for other ways to get rid of the fleas. There are many other natural non-toxic ingredients you can use instead of vinegar.

The key here is not to always be needing to kill fleas but to make your pets and environment one that fleas don’t like to be in. Fleas will not want to live in a clean and tidy place with few undisturbed places to hide and to breed. Fleas like to live in unmowed grass, among uncleared fallen leaves or in wet stacks of firewood. Indoors, they like dark, dirty, undisturbed spaces. When pets hang out in those places, fleas jump up to stick onto this host’s body and travel here and there in your house. Therefore, try stop the source of fleas by cleaning up your living environment regularly and also cleaning the flea transporter – your pet.

Thanks for reading!

Richard Clayton

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