Does alcohol kill fleas? Does your pet have a problem with fleas? If they do, you know how much of a headache it can be to remove those pests and give your pet some relief. One common myth is that alcohol is an effective way to kill fleas.
But does alcohol kill fleas? In short, yes alcohol kills fleas. But unlike other flea treatments, you can’t apply alcohol to your pet’s fur and skin. If you do, it can cause serious health consequences.
So, although you can’t rub alcohol on your pet’s skin, you can use it in other ways to make killing fleas easier. Let’s go through how to use alcohol to help kill fleas and keep your pet healthy.
Reason Why You Can’t Use Alcohol on Your Pet’s Skin
Although fine to use in small amounts, rubbing alcohol can be toxic in large amounts. Pet’s can absorb alcohol through their skin, so if you apply too much, it will poison your pet.
The most common signs of rubbing alcohol poisoning mimic the same signs as drinking too much alcohol, even in pets. The big difference is the severity. Rubbing alcohol is almost two times as toxic as the stuff we drink, so symptoms come on faster.
The symptoms include:
- Stomach pain
- Low body temperature
- Rapid heart rate
- Slowed breathing
Overall, it’s fine to use a small amount of alcohol on a cotton pad or cloth to sanitize a wound your pet may have suffered. Aside from that, you should only use rubbing alcohol sparingly, and not when you’re trying to kill fleas.
What Can Alcohol Do to Fight Fleas?
Although you can’t apply rubbing alcohol topically to kill fleas, you can use it in other ways to help control your pet’s flea issues. Here are some ways you can use rubbing alcohol in your home to kill and prevent flea infestations.
If you’re considering other home remedies, including removing fleas by hand, rubbing alcohol can come in handy. The most common way to remove fleas by hand is with a tool called a “flea comb.”
Flea combs have small metal teeth that remove fleas from your pet’s fur. When you’re using a flea comb, rubbing alcohol is an effective way to kill and remove fleas from the comb.
To do so, fill a small container with enough rubbing alcohol to submerge the comb. Fill another small container with water and dish soap. Run the comb through your pet’s fur. Once you notice any fleas, dip the comb in the rubbing alcohol.
This will remove the fleas and kill them once they touch the alcohol. Then, rinse the comb in soapy water to remove any alcohol. Repeat the process until you run through your pet’s entire body.
If too many fleas end up in the alcohol, flush it down the toilet and add fresh rubbing alcohol. This method is best when you do it in conjunction with another flea treatment, like an oral or topical medication.
Once fleas attach themselves to your pet, they can easily infest your home. If you notice fleas on your pet, it likely means your home has an infestation, too. Fleas commonly infest soft, fabric items, such as:
- Floor cracks
For hard surfaces, like floors, using rubbing alcohol is an effective way to kill fleas. First, create a mixture of 50% rubbing alcohol, 40% water, and 10% dish soap. Then, using a spray bottle, spray the floors and let them rest for at least one minute.
Finally, mop up the remaining moisture with a rag. Using rubbing alcohol on fabric surfaces is a harder task. You can’t spray it on couches or beds directly, otherwise, it’ll leave a wet mark.
Instead, the best way to use rubbing alcohol to clean fabrics is with a carpet cleaner. Carpet cleaners spray a cleaning compound into the fabric and then use powerful suction to remove most of the liquid as well as any debris, including fleas and their eggs.
To use a carpet cleaner with rubbing alcohol, fill the cleaning solution tank with a mixture of 50% rubbing alcohol, 40% water, and 10% vinegar. Vinegar and rubbing alcohol work together to create a powerful cleaner with antiseptic qualities.
Once you’ve created a mixture with that concentration, you can use the carpet cleaner as the instructions indicate. If it has a handheld brush, you can use this method on other fabric items, like furniture, beds, and drapes.
Related: Can Fleas Live in Human Hair?
Flea Prevention Tips For Pets
Preventing fleas is the best way to ensure you never need to kill fleas with rubbing alcohol. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but here are some tips you can follow to help prevent flea infestations before they start.
1. Treat Fleas on Your Pet Year Round
Since alcohol isn’t a safe way to treat fleas living on your pet, you need an effective way to treat fleas that live on your pet. The best way to do this is to use preventative treatments year-round to help prevent an infestation of fleas at the source—your pet.
Always remember to purchase flea products suited to your pet. Flea prevention products for dogs may not work on cats, and vice versa. Topical creams and oral flea prevention treatments are the most popular and effective.
To use these products, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In some cases, these are monthly treatments. For others, you have to complete the treatment twice a year.
Other effective measures include:
- Topical sprays
- Topical powders
The key to preventing fleas is to use these products regularly. Once you choose a flea prevention method that works, stick with it and always follow guidelines from the product.
Related: Best Flea and Tick Collars For Dogs.
2. Groom Regularly
Giving your pet regular baths and brushing regularly can help you prevent flea infestations in two ways. First, it can help you identify flea infestations early. The earlier you detect fleas, the easier it is to get rid of them.
The second way grooming helps is by removing fleas before they have the chance to reproduce. Regular brushing and baths help remove fleas from your pet even without special tools or treatments.
You should brush your dog every two or three days and bathe them at least four times a year. For cats, you should brush at least two times a week and give them a bath twice a year.
3. Clean Your Home Every Week
Dust, fur, and other debris are a way for fleas and their larvae to invade your home. Once inside your home, they live off of dried skin and blood that falls in soft fabric areas.
So cleaning your home is an effective way to prevent a flea infestation. One of the simplest ways to prevent fleas is to vacuum often.
Vacuuming will such up most of the fleas in your carpet, as well as almost all the larvae. By cleaning, you can prevent fleas from reproducing, which is the main cause of an outbreak.
Related: Will Groomers Take Dogs with Fleas?
Conclusion For “Does Alcohol Kill Fleas”
So, does rubbing alcohol kill fleas? Yes, but you don’t want to use it directly on your pet’s skin or fur. Rubbing alcohol can be toxic to animals if you apply too much.
Instead, rubbing alcohol is an effective cleaner you can use to disinfect your home. It also works on contact to kill fleas in your fabric items, like beds, couches, and drapes.
Aside from that, you can use it to rinse and sanitize your flea comb. So, if you think your pet has a flea problem, it’s a good idea to have some rubbing alcohol on hand. Just don’t apply it directly to their skin.
If you find this guide, “Does Alcohol Kill Fleas,” helpful, you can check out other We Love Doodles’ guides:
For more solutions on getting rid of fleas, you can learn more by watching “10 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Fleas” down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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