Does Bleach Kill Fleas on Dogs?

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All dog parents know that fleas are bad, but many may not know that fleas are a pain to eliminate from our dogs and home.

Fleas are challenging to eradicate because they can get into the small crevices in our home and hide out to appear later.

Additionally, not all products kill all of the life stages of fleas.

This ultimately means that even if you eliminate all of the adult fleas, you will still get a re-infestation later after the larvae and eggs mature.

However, the good news is that there are products that kill all flea life stages, and bleach happens to be one of them.

Bleach is effective for killing fleas as well as disinfecting our homes.

Many pet parents who have dealt with fleas work to sanitize their home after an infestation, so it may seem like a good choice since it does two jobs at the same time.

But, though it is a convenient choice, is bleach a safe option for killing fleas?

Does Bleach Kill Fleas?

Bleach is effective at killing fleas in all of their life stages due to its high toxicity level.

On the positive side, bleach kills the eggs and larvae, so it not just breaks the lifecycle but eliminates it, reducing the chance of a reinfestation.

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Though bleach may be effective at killing fleas quickly in your home, it does not act as a repellent.

How Does Bleach Kill Fleas?

Bleach is a very toxic product that kills most bugs. If a flea ingests bleach the toxicity level of the bleach will cause the flea to die quickly.

Specifically, bleach is primarily sodium hypochlorite, an oxidizing and corrosive substance[1]. It can also produce chlorine gas.

Non-chlorine bleach contains substances like hydrogen peroxide that can dehydrate fleas by corroding their outer layer of protection.

Does bleach kill fleas on dogs how to use safely

How to Use Bleach for Fleas

If you choose to use bleach as a defense against fleas, you must use extreme caution since bleach is not just toxic to fleas but can also cause serious harm to pets and children.

Bleach should never be used on dogs, even if you dilute it; it is a toxic chemical that causes significant skin and lung irritation[2].

Plus, the fumes can even affect a dog’s eyes.

If you choose to use bleach to kill fleas in your home then follow these steps:

  1. Clear and block off the area of your home you are treating so that pets and children can not access the area
  2. Open any windows in the area and turn on any exhaust fans to help reduce the fumes in your home.
  3. Put on gloves, a mask, eye protection, and preferably long sleeves, in case the solution comes back on you.
  4. Create a diluted solution of bleach and water: 1 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water.
  5. Put the solution in a spray bottle.
  6. Spray the areas of your home that are safe to apply a bleach solution, spend extra care on crevices such as around baseboards and cracks
  7. Give the bleach a few hours to set in, then go back and rinse the area down with water.

Remember, if you use bleach on a fabric surface, it may affect the color or erode the material, so use caution when spraying.

Also, if you do not treat all areas of your home, you will get fleas again.

Cautions

Bleach is a toxic product and can affect your dog just by breathing it in, so you must keep your dog from going into the areas you are treating with bleach.

Additionally, if your dog ingests bleach, it can cause your dog to become sick[3]. The effects of bleach, even when diluted, will start to appear within minutes of your dog coming in contact with it.

Some of the symptoms you may see include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Skin irritation and redness where the bleach came in contact
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Vomiting
Vets Best Flea Tick Home Spray helps control indoor fleas in the winter

Alternatives

Not only can bleach be harmful to those living in the home, but it can damage furniture, rugs, and carpet.

And though bleach is effective at killing fleas, there are much safer options available.

For home remedies, you can try:

  • Steam Vacuuming – Kills all life stages of the fleas and is a safe method to use around pets and children.
  • Baby Powder – Kills adult fleas through suffocation and is relatively safe around pets and children.
  • Salt – Kills adult fleas; though you need to keep pets and kids out of the treated area, there are no fumes to worry about.

But if you would prefer to use commercial products, there are numerous options available such as Vets Best Flea and Tick Home Spray, made with natural ingredients.

Or try Adams Flea and Tick Home Spray, which is said to protect your home for up to 7 months.

To kill fleas on your dog, since you need to treat both your home and dog to ensure all fleas are gone, you can use home remedy options like:

  • Coconut oil can be used orally or topically.
  • Essential oils can be mixed with coconut oil and used topically to enhance the coconut oil’s effectiveness.
  • Baby powder works equally well on dogs as it does in your home.
  • Epsom salt baths will help kill the fleas and also help soothe your dog’s skin.

And try using oral medication such as Capstar, which starts killing fleas in just 30 minutes. Capstar does not require a prescription, but it also is not a repellent either.

If you want both a non-prescription flea treatment and repellent you could try Frontline Plus, Seresto, or Advantix II.

Conclusion

Though bleach kills fleas, it is not the safest option.

I put safety first when considering remedies for my dogs and home, and the bottom line is that I don’t recommend using bleach to get rid of fleas.

Plus, since there are so many safer options available, I don’t see the need to use something that has a higher chance of harming my dogs.

FAQs

Will Bleach Water Kill Flea Eggs?

Yes it will, but it is not the safest option.

What Cleaning Products Kill Fleas?

Pine-Sol, Dawn dish soap, bleach, and Lysol all kill fleas.

Can I Put Bleach on My Dog to Kill Fleas?

No, bleach is not safe to use on your dog.

The fumes can cause nasal irritation, ingestion can cause your dog to become sick, and if it contacts your dog your dog’s skin, it causes severe skin irritation.

Resources

  1. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Sodium-hypochlorite
  2. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/toxicology/household-hazards/chlorine-bleaches
  3. https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/poisoning-toxicity/bleach-poisoning-pets-what-you-should-know
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