Fleas are an all-too-common fact of life in cat households when the weather warms. One of the first steps to keeping the fleas off your cat is to rid your home of fleas–in carpeting, upholstery, and other places the small fleas hide. While there are chemical treatments, it is healthiest for both you and your cat to control the flea population as naturally as possible.
One of the easiest ways to control fleas is to vacuum–and vacuum often. We try to vacuum daily during the height of flea season, removing both fleas and flea eggs. Vacuum not only the carpet and rugs but also upholstery, paying special care to really vacuum your cat’s favorite sleeping spots.
After vacuuming, either change the vacuum bag and get it into the trash outside of the house or, if using a bagless vacuum, empty the canister and be sure to get that trash out of the house as well. (You don’t want the fleas hopping back out and into the house!)
Another very low cost way to control fleas in your home is to wash your cat’s beds every week (and even more frequently during a real flea outbreak). We add apple cider vinegar to the rinse whenever we wash pet bedding; it discourages fleas.
If you don’t have children in your home, you can also attract and kill fleas naturally using a small lamp and a pan of water. (This method also doesn’t work if you can’t close off the room from your pets at night.)
Place a small table lamp on the floor. Partially fill a shallow pan with water and just a few drops of dishwashing liquid; swish the liquid in the water. Place the pan adjacent to the lamp. At night, turn on the lamp and close the door so your cat and any other pets won’t have access to the room. How does this work? The lamp’s heat attracts the fleas, they’ll fall into the slightly soapy water, and drown.
Another natural way to kill fleas in your home is with banana peels. (Yes, you read that right!) Banana peels tossed on the floor will kill fleas; the potassium in the bananas does the trick. Once the peels turn black, toss them out and start all over!