Vinegar is a popular household cleaning agent because it is environmentally friendly, inexpensive, and effective at cleaning many surfaces. But does mopping with vinegar kill fleas?
The short answer is yes, mopping with vinegar can kill fleas. Vinegar is an acidic substance, and when used as a cleaner, it can disrupt the pH balance of flea eggs and larvae, causing them to die.
In this article, we will discuss using vinegar to kill fleas and how to prevent the development of future infestations.
What Are Fleas, And How Do They Get In Your House?
Fleas are small, wingless, blood-sucking parasites that live on mammals for the vast majority of their life cycles. These pests feed on humans and animals alike and can cause extreme irritation through biting, in some cases containing an itchy bite site, severe reactions, and even potential allergic reactions to flea saliva.
Fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Flea eggs are passed from the animal into the environment, where they hatch into a mass of tiny worm-like larvae. These larvae feed on organic debris found in carpet fibers and develop into little white worm-like creatures called pinworms. As these grow and develop, they move through several stages before developing into adult fleas. The adults then emerge, feed, and reproduce the entire cycle starts over again.
Fleas are primarily carried into the environment by pets such as dogs and cats; however, once inside, these pests can colonize carpets and fabrics where they breed and lay eggs to continue their life cycle. Carpeted areas of the home are at high risk for infestation, with multiple eggs, larvae, and adult fleas often present in carpet fibers.
How To Kill Fleas:
1. Vacuum regularly – Flea eggs and larvae can be vacuumed up quickly; however, whilst these stages are small, they have a high chance of re-hatching in your home, especially if conditions are favorable.
2. Steam clean carpets – Carpet steam cleaning can kill adult fleas and their eggs; however, the process doesn’t eradicate all life stages, so it is only helpful for a short-term cleanup option.
3. Use chemical flea sprays – Flea spray is an effective way to kill adult fleas but leaves a chemical residue on the carpet, so it should not be used if pets or children use the room.
4. Try Mopping with vinegar – Mopping with white vinegar can kill fleas, their larvae, and eggs. Vinegar is also very easy to make at home and is safe for pets, children, and the environment.
What Is White Vinegar?
White vinegar is a colorless, odorless liquid made at home through the fermentation of foods such as sugar or starch. While it has many uses in cleaning around the house, one of its main applications is for killing fleas. This method works well but should only be used in rooms or areas with no direct contact with pets as the vinegar smells and can be harmful if ingested.
Is Vinegar Effective In Treating A Flea Infestation?
Vinegar is the most effective treatment for fleas if it is used correctly. If you have a flea infestation in your home, you will notice that the adult fleas will start to die within an hour of applying vinegar.
What concentration of vinegar is best to kill fleas?
The most effective concentration of vinegar to kill 99% of adult fleas is a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar. Some people recommend a higher concentration of vinegar, such as 70% or even 100%. However, I have found that a 50-50 mix is effective in eradicating adult fleas, and it will not damage the carpet.
What kind of vinegar should you use?
I have found that the best vinegar to kill fleas is white vinegar. You can use apple cider vinegar, or even apple cider vinegar with the mother in it, but white vinegar seems to work best for me.
To save you some time here are some of the best vinegar to kill fleas you can use right away:
- Harris Cleaning Vinegar, Eucalyptus
- Calyptus 45% Pure Super Concentrated Vinegar
- Energen 30% Concentrated Vinegar Gallon
What Does Mopping With Vinegar Do?
Flea eggs and larvae are very susceptible to changes in the pH level of their environment. So when you mop with vinegar, it can disrupt their delicate chemical balance and cause them to die.
How To Mop With Vinegar For Fleas On Carpet?
Step 1 – Preparation:
1. Fill a bucket or long bowl with white vinegar and water at a ratio of 1 part vinegar to ten parts water. Soak a sponge, mop, or cloth in the solution and leave to soak while you prepare the room for cleaning.
2. Vacuum the entire carpeted area to pick up flea eggs, larvae, and adult fleas.
Step 2 – Cleaning:
1. Use the mop solution you prepared earlier to wipe the floor where it is safe for pets or humans to walk on, working out from the walls into center of the room. Work back and forth across the entire carpeted area until all the carpet is wet and saturated with the solution.
2. Leave to stand for 30 minutes – After mop drying, use a squeegee or clean cloth to wipe away excess vinegar solution; this will leave any active flea eggs soaked and unable to survive in room conditions.
3. Vacuum the entire area once more, making sure that all areas that have been mopped have been vacuumed again.
Step 3 – Deterrent:
To help deter fleas from returning to the room, add a few drops of citrus essential oils such as lemongrass, lemon, or orange oil to your mop water solution; this has the added benefit of leaving a pleasant scent in the room after drying.
How Long Before You See Results?
When the acetic acid kills a flea in vinegar, it stops working immediately; however, for eggs and larvae, it is needed to dry out, so they cannot survive in room conditions. You will need to recheck everywhere at least twice – once after leaving for 30 minutes and after vacuum drying.
How Often Should You Mop With Vinegar?
Flea infestations require a multipronged approach; however, regular mopping is an easy and effective way to reduce flea numbers in your home. If used regularly every few weeks, the number of fleas in your home will start to decrease significantly.
Call the professionals:
While mopping with vinegar is a good method of flea control, it will not eradicate an infestation in one clean-up session; however, it can create effective pest control and removal conditions as by professional steam cleaning.
How Do You Know If Your Pet Has Caught Fleas From Your Home?
When you start to notice small black flecks or spots on your pet’s skin and hair, these are usually flea droppings. These can be found in areas where there is dense fur, such as around the stomach, tail base, neck, and under ears. You may also start to see red irritation that cannot be attributed to another cause, such as an allergy. While this can be difficult to tell apart from an allergy, the presence of fleas in your home is a likely source of pet skin irritation and should be addressed by regular cleaning or pest control services.
How Can You Spot The Signs Of A Flea Infestation?
If you have pets that spend a lot of time outside or if there is a flea problem in your neighborhood, it can be difficult to know whether or not your pets have fallen victim to an infestation.
As well as a physical check for any signs of irritation from fleas you should also regularly inspect areas where your pet spends a lot of time, such as their bedding, sleeping area and any toys they leave around the house. Look for:
- Flea droppings – small black flecks that can be found on areas where they have been laying eggs, such as furniture and pet bedding; these are usually near or in corners of a room or dark places out of direct sunlight. Flea eggs look like small dark spots on fabrics and hair.
- Dead fleas – while you may find it strange to look for dead pests in your home, they are usually found in pet bedding and on the floor near where pets spend most of their time; flea numbers tend to be highest in these areas because this is where they lay most of their eggs.
- Flea larvae – these are tiny worm-like insects that look very different from adult fleas but still feed on the blood of your pet and can be found in the same areas as adults; however, they are more likely to be found around feeding surfaces such as carpets, bedding, and pet toys.
- Flea dirt – while this is not actually a sign of fleas themselves, it can be an indication that there are many flea eggs in your home; it looks like brown, flakey dirt and is usually found around the tummy, neck, or base of tails. It contains dried blood from the fleas that have been feeding.
So, Does Mopping With Vinegar Kill Fleas?
Yes, mopping with vinegar to kill fleas does work, but you need to be patient and follow the instructions carefully. It also requires a lot of cleaning, such as mopping or vacuuming all surfaces in the home and pet bedding at least once – preferably twice as well as leaving them to air for 30 minutes before rechecking. Some people find that the flea problems return if they stop using vinegar to mop and vacuum regularly.
Mopping with vinegar is a well-known flea home remedy, but it is not guaranteed to work for everyone and is more hard work than some other remedies; however, it can be effective with the right amount of effort.