Fleas in the home are not only a bother to your dog or cat but also a threat to human health.

Here is a method of killing fleas in carpeted homes that is ages old but mostly forgotten.  One application lasts up to 5 years! 


Get a box of 20 mule team Borax from the detergent section from your grocery store.  Get a coffee can with a plastic lid and put holes in the lid as if it were a giant salt shaker.  Fill the can with the Borax and sprinkle it on all the carpeted areas of your home, under couches, under the cushions of couches and chairs, around planters and in closets.  It should look like a light snow has fallen.  Next, get on your hands and knees and use your hands in a sweeping motion to try to get the borax deep into the carpet.  You can also use a push broom or similar to do the same.  Then, simply vacuum it up.  I used to recommend adding a box of ARM and HAMMER BAKING SODA to the mix. This is an option that may indeed make the Borax more effective and also help clean and de-odorize the insulation under the carpeting.  There is no specific amount however.  Just add a box (any size) of baking soda to a box of Borax. Optional but it might be more effective…

No matter how "good" your vacuum cleaner is – the finer powder will indeed stay behind.  Some people say to leave it for a few hours or even a day but you don’t have to do that.  If you worked it in deep enough it will stay.  

Borax or sodium borate is a mineral in salt form.  It is very safe – some consider it safer than table salt.  It is even sometimes used as a texturing agent in cooking.  Boric acid is used to flush the eye for certain infections.  Safe, naturally occurring and non toxic – a perfect combination for flea control.

How does it work? 

This is the same formulation that FLEABUSTERS used before Advantage and Frontline came about.  It causes desiccation of insects via ingestion.  Small insects or their larvae crawl through the powder and get the chemical on their legs and antennae.  Insects of all types are constantly cleaning their antennae’s and legs.  The insect then cleans itself and ingests the chemical which then causes the insect to dehydrate as the salt of borax requires 11 times more water to stabilize water equilibrium than table salt.   There simply is not enough water available fast enough so the insect dehydrates and will perish.

This is about the only way available to kill both flea larvae and pupae – without the use of manmade and much more harsh chemicals.

After about 2 to 3 weeks of application – especially if you had a large population of fleas in the various stages of growth in the treated household – there will be a major "hatch out" as fleas of all stages try to escape the dehydrating effect of the Borax treatment.  This is a good time to spray flea spray throughout the area to kill this "last stand" of the fleas in your home.  Any pyrethrum based spray will work or put a dose of Frontline or Advantage on you pet(s) at this time. This is also the time where most people will claim that "oh, Borax made it worse not better…"    no worries – please – all of the fleas in your home are doing everything they can as they try to escape the effect of salts in your home.  In another week there will be no fleas nor roaches, etc in the areas you spread the powder.