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Homemade Flea Dip for Dogs and Cats

Homemade Flea Dip for Dogs and Cats

flea dip

When it comes to protecting your pets from fleas or ridding a current infestation, it might help for you to try a flea dip on your pet.

Homemade flea dips are an inexpensive and safe alternative to cheap over-the-counter products that would have you dipping your pet in chemicals. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to make your own safe, effective flea dip.

If you are looking for a homemade flea dip that will not only repel and kill fleas, but will also protect your furry family member from dangerous chemicals and pesticides, consider picking up a few lemons the next time you are at the grocery. Lemon is a natural repellant to fleas and contains a chemical, called limonene that kills fleas on contact.


To make this homemade flea dip:

  1. Bring a large saucepan full of water to a boil.
  2. Cut up 1-2 lemons into slices or rinds and add them to the hot water.
  3. Turn off your stove and allow the pot to sit overnight and steep like tea.
  4. In the morning, pour the water in the pot into a container such as a pitcher, large cups or even a spray bottle.
  5. Saturate your pet thoroughly with you homemade flea dip and allow him to air-dry.

Before the application of the homemade flea dip, use a mild, natural flea shampoo on your pet. This will help provide a base to the flea dip and kill many of the fleas or impair them before you start the flea dip application.

Make sure that you apply the lemon flea dip all over, including the belly, the tail and their “armpits” since these are two areas where fleas love to hang out. However, take special precaution around their head as lemon is likely to burn if you spray it anywhere near their eyes or if they have irritated ears or other ear problems.

Allow the lemon mixture to dry and do not rinse out. Doing this will repel fleas and kill existing bugs. Feel free to apply this mixture as often as needed.

Just a note of caution: lemon juice may stain your furniture or cause light spots so you may want to keep your pet on a tiled area until he’s dry.

36 Responses to “Homemade Flea Dip for Dogs and Cats”
  1. Lynda Helms says:

    After buying all the OTC expensive chemical flea killers, I tried this lemon mixture on my 2 King Charles Spaniels and black Lab.On contact, it killed the fleas on the Cavaliers. One of the Cavies has a flea allergy so vital to kill all the fleas.Now just need to know how long this will last. By the way, it was not sticky or bad smelling. Thank you for the remedy!

    • Bonnie says:

      Hi Lynda…just a word from experience. We adults can bring fleas into the house on our shoes, sox, or pantlegs every time we walk through grass and then into the house. The pesty critters are outside in the grass in the summer. The hotter the summer, the worse the flea population. Once in the house, they will get shaken off etc while you walk around. They will find a warm body, usually a pet that is close to the floor. They jump on, where they propagate. The eggs are “scratched” off and they fall to the floor where the cycle begins again, creating an infestation. No matter how hard to try and rid your pet, he will get them again and again. I suggest you remove your pets for 4 hrs and “bomb” or “fog” your home with the commercial products made to kill insects, including fleas. Then, when you bring them back in, do your flea control thing BEFORE they are allowed to ramble throughout the house. You will have better luck. God bless.

  2. Lynda Helms says:

    Well, can’t say too much about this now-just dipped them yesterday and today one of them is covered up with fleas.This just does not last.These pups stay in the house except for outside for the potty.

  3. nancy says:

    I just made it. Hope it work’s

  4. Renee says:

    how would this work using it in the yard? I have a puppy that only goes out to potty & play for short amounts of time. I flea bathe him and comb him out and still comes in covered with fleas. I have use the diatmacous earth (spelling wrong) all over my yard then my husband used the yard fogger and that help a great deal. I love the ideas of using all natural products when possible.

  5. ashley says:

    Making it right now hope it works

  6. Trini says:

    In response to Linda Helms mess. I would try the homemade application daily till I see the issue solved or i see some discomfort in my pet and I would also apply the homemade solution outside in the area where your pets pick up the pests or have the area treated professionally. Just my thoughts.

  7. Luz says:

    Won’t it sting if they have sensitive, itchy bites?

  8. Eddie says:

    @Luz: I read about this on a different site, and it says that it actually helps to sooth the bites. I’m making it now and I really hope it works :)

  9. Kimi says:

    Do you rinse out the flea shampoo before lemon use, or do you let the shampoo and lemon dry together?

    • Dave Mohn says:

      Rinse soap out thoroughly it will cause skin irritation in both humans and animals.

  10. Bob says:

    We have 4 small dogs and they never had fleas before, But we moved from MT last year to OR and now they have fleas all the time, I hope this lemon bath works nothing else seems to be working except the high cost flea powders and spray and they only work for a short time. The lemon water seems to work for a short time a few days and they are back.

  11. tim says:

    i tried a little bit stronger formula and it worked better than any OTC flee shampoo iv used don’t no how long it will work but im sold

  12. Brandy says:

    I just made it up, i hope it works. This year is bad with fleas, all my dogs do is itch it seems like.

  13. janett says:

    This is great I hate putting chemicals and posions in and on my dogs. Thank You!!!

  14. carolynn says:

    Tried Adams shampoo on my 3 cats…. cats were still scratching that night with fleas.
    re shampooed lightly from shoulders up… killed many more that the first bath missed.
    next day they are still scratching the white sheet they lay on is covered with the flea droppings.
    I am going to try this lemon remedy today.

  15. Mary says:

    Hey Lynda did you also take every effort to remove the fleas that may be in your home? You should use a carpet solution such as Borax and then as soon as you vacuum it, empty the bag so that fleas can’t escape. Also if you dog has a dog bed or anything fluffy that they lie on often, make sure you give it the same treatment or else the fleas will never go away. And Renee, the citrusy smell will work to repel fleas so it will last for some time outside but you will most like need to make another batch and place it in a spray bottle so that you can respray him every couple of days to keep the lemon mixture working.

  16. Jim McRae says:

    This is an interesting use for d-limonene. I am planning to try it as the solution for neem oil. I will use a good insecticidal soap as an emulsifier. The combination of d-limonene, neem oil and insecticidal soap should do the job. We have free range farm dogs and will put this to a good test.

  17. annie says:

    We are just getting this concoction ready to use in the morning. I also hope it works. We spent 130.00 on Advantage for our Beagle,and 110.00 for our ShihPoo. It didn’t do a thing, so I am definitely looking for something less expensive.

  18. Kandi says:

    After I bath my dog in this stuff should I blow dry his coat or would it be best to let him air dry

  19. Alicia Moore says:

    I already washed 2 out of the 5 dogs I have and it seem to be working. I just hope my other 3 dogs go a little bit better at getting sprayed with the flea dip then the first 2.

  20. Jonathan says:

    Hope this works I have a 6 yr old Boxer that is covered!

  21. Linda F. says:

    Going to make this tonight. My two yorkies have fleas. Lucky me!! Hope this works. I will let you know.

  22. Donna says:

    I have 1 TeaCup Chiwawa 4years this May 2 Cats Pee-Wee is a Tabby she’ll be 5years cume May and Lil-Black-Kitty I think she’s about 9or10months old she was about 9weeks old when we found her none of them go out lil-Bitt is paper trained I open my front door a flea gets on her my landlord well not exterminate the front yard. my apartment I started using 20mule Borax Laundry booster.works grate but you can not put it on Dogs or CATS I’LL GIVE THIS A TRY ON ALL 3 AND I’LL MAKE A SPRAY BOTTLE FULL I WILL USE

  23. Anita Boyle says:

    I just made this solution, I hope it will work. I have bathed my Shi Tzu twice this week and have only found around 10 fleas on her but 1 is too many. I’ll let you know how it does.

  24. Myakia52 says:

    I am going to make this and put in a spray bottle and use accordingly…Treating the yard, would be easy, do a double dose of lemon in the water, using a sprayer apply to everything in the yard and around the house. Going to give a try and will let you all know how it worked.

  25. JUNE says:

    I know it would be a lot better than spraying my cats with chemical every other day like I did last year. so yes I am going to try this recipe. Last year I did not feel comfortable using chemical but the fleas were so bad last year I had no other choice. Cant wait to try this recipe. thank you so much

  26. Janet says:

    I have used Dawn Dishwashing Liquid and it works, but only to kill the fleas. You might try taking them to their groomer because they have something they put in the flea dip that gets rid of the fleas. It is best if nothing works, take them to their veterinarian for a solution.

  27. ed says:

    I found that a 50/50 mix of bleach & water sprayed on the fleas breeding grounds. ie: dirt areas) when ground is wet/damp from rain is very effective. I think because when ground is wet the spray leaches into the surrounding areas and penetrates to all the flea eggs. and is not just soaked up by dry ground. try this it works. but NEVER spray bleach or any other poison on your pet. And take care NOT to breathe the fumes or let your pets breathe them either.

  28. Dave says:

    Could just mix ready made lemon juice from a bottle with water instead of using fresh lemons?

    • Amy Lester says:

      The reason for using the whole lemon and not concentrate is because of the oils that are released from the lemon peel.Im pretty sure that the residue the oil will leave helps to kill & repel the fleas. Im going to try this 2day, I have a yellow lab/pit mix, he looks like a yellow lab w a gradual fade to creamy white, sooo the fleas are REALLY attracted.

  29. Amy Lester says:

    Im going to try this 2day. I have a yellow lab/pit mix, he looks like a yellow lab w a gradual fade to creamy white, sooo the fleas are REALLY attracted. Going to try Murphy’s oil soap on the old hardwood floors.

  30. Sarah says:

    Could lemon essential oil work (diluted in water)???

  31. Sherry says:

    Would using bottled juice work as well.

  32. Kathy says:

    Is it possible to use lime as well as the lemons?

  33. Patti says:

    I’ve used Apple Cider Vinegar and it has worked. Just stinky

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