Does Lime Kill Fleas on Dogs?

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When I was at the local pet supply store, I overheard people chatting about natural home remedies for getting rid of fleas—one of the gals mentioned that she used lime to eliminate fleas in her home.

Since I had never heard of this, I thought I would look into it as a possible solution, especially since I prefer products made with more natural ingredients, especially for my dogs.

However, we all know that natural is not synonymous with safe. And it turns out that using lime to kill fleas may not be the safest choice for your dog.

Related: Does Lysol Kills Fleas?

Does Lime Kill Fleas?

The quick answer is yes; lime kills fleas.

However, it is essential to point out that three primary types of lime are used to eliminate flea infestations: citrus fruit lime, agricultural lime, and hydrated lime.

Both agricultural and hydrated lime kills fleas and are commonly used on lawns and by farmers.

These lime products do not come from the fruit but are produced from limestone, though they are created using different processes.

Agricultural and hydrated lime products are not the same.

Agricultural lime is somewhat safe for use around animals, whereas hydrated lime is caustic and should never be used on or around pets.

Because it is vital to purchase the correct type of lime for your yard, you should know that hydrated lime also goes by the names of calcium hydroxide, quick lime, and slaked lime.

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And agricultural lime, the safer lime, goes by agricultural limestone, ag lime, and garden lime. 

Many pet owners use agricultural lime to manage fleas because it also benefits the health of their yard.

But when it comes to just killing fleas, both citrus lime and agricultural lime eliminate both adult fleas and larvae, which is an excellent start at interrupting the flea lifecycle.

Using Limes on Dogs for Fleas

How Does Lime Kill Fleas?

Agricultural lime and citrus lime kill both fleas and larvae through dehydration.

When the lime comes in contact with the outer shell of the flea, it breaks down the protective coating allowing the flea to dehydrate.

After removing the protective barrier, the flea has no way of retaining moisture and will slowly dehydrate.

In addition to killing fleas, agricultural lime kills other lawn pests, too, like aphids and beetles.

How Long Does it Take for Lime to Kill Fleas

It is important to note that dehydration is a process and does not happen instantaneously.

So, for those battling an active case of fleas, you should know that agricultural lime may take a day or two.

And if you are considering using citrus lime added to your dog’s shampoo, it will kill the fleas quickly since it breaks down the protective barrier and allowing the flea to drown.

Also, citrus lime spray can be used around your home, though it will take a day or so for the fleas to die.

Is Lime Safe for Dogs?

As I mentioned earlier, hydrated lime is not a safe option for dogs; however, agricultural lime is said to be a safer choice, but it is not all that safe either.

Agricultural lime can cause skin and lung irritation until it is fully dissolved into your yard.

The dust from the pellets can cause upper respiratory irritation, and direct skin contact can cause inflammation, itchiness, and redness.

Agricultural lime is less safe for puppies since their lungs and skin are more sensitive.

Citrus lime is not necessarily safe either. According to the ASPCA[1], psoralens and essential oils found in the lime’s rind and the lime plant are toxic when consumed and cause diarrhea and vomiting.

If you consider using fresh lime topically on your dog, remember that flea bites can leave minor open wounds. And we all know how much lime can sting when it comes in contact with an open sore.

So though lime used topically on your dog may not make them sick, neither will it feel good.

How to Use Lime for Fleas

If you are using lime for fleas in your yard, I would use agricultural lime when your dog isn’t home, maybe while at daycare or the groomer.

It is also essential that the lime have the time to dissolve into the soil before you allow your dog back into the yard after treating it.

Are Limes Safe for Dogs

Alternative Options

Because lime, either agricultural or citrus, is not the safest option, I would consider trying something other than lime to get rid of the fleas in your yard, home, and on your dog.

Here are a few alternative solutions you can safely get rid of fleas.

Some excellent home remedies:

  • Steam Vacuuming – Perfect for the home, especially furniture, rugs, and drapes. Steam vacuuming will kill all of the flea life stages, plus it is a safe option to use around both pets and children.
  • Baby Powder – Works at killing fleas on your dog and in your home through suffocation since fleas breathe through their exoskeleton. Best of all, baby powder is a relatively safe method to be used around other pets and children.
  • Salt – Great at killing fleas that are residing in the carpet and rugs. It works best when combined with baking soda.

And if you are looking for a safe, effective store-bought option for the home, Vets Best Flea and Tick Home Spray is made with natural ingredients and works great.

Another option is Adams Flea and Tick Home Spray, which claims to keep your home flea-free for up to 7 months.

To kill fleas residing on your dog, you can use home remedy options like:

  • Coconut oil is my favorite option. Coconut oil is excellent at killing fleas fast when added to shampoo and can help prevent future flea infestations.
  • Essential oils work great when combined with coconut oil. And essential oils can work as a safe repellent too.
  • Epsom Salt Baths is another favorite option and works great at killing fleas and helps soothe any flea bites on your dog.

If your pup is suffering from a serious flea infestation, I would highly recommend using Capstar; it will take care of your dog’s flea problem in as little as 30 minutes. Plus, you don’t need a prescription to get Capstar.

FAQs

Does Lime Kill or Repel Ticks?

Agricultural lime will repel fleas and kill ticks.

Is Lime Bad for Dogs?

It depends on the type of lime; hydrated lime is toxic to dogs, agricultural lime can be safe to be used around dogs when appropriately used, and citrus lime can be safe, but you need to exercise caution since some parts of lime can be toxic.

Does lime kill flea eggs?

Lime does not kill flea eggs, but it does kill adult fleas and larvae.

Can I Use Lime on My Dog?

You can use lime on your dog, but I would not recommend it since it can be pretty uncomfortable for your dog if they have any open flea bites.

Resources

  1. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/lime
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