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Does Febreze Kill Fleas? Vet-Reviewed Tips on Safety & Effectiveness

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

Febreze air fresheners

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Disclaimer: The information about these product has been fact-checked by one of our licensed veterinarians, but the purpose of this post is not to diagnose illness or prescribe treatment. The views and opinions expressed are not those of the veterinarian.

Being a pet owner comes with certain hurdles we must face. One of the most annoying and consistent of these hurdles is dealing with fleas. These little pests can leave our pets miserable, our homes infested, and us eaten alive. It’s a never-ending battle to prevent and treat fleas without harming our pets or children inside the home. With people trying their best to avoid  insecticides, the use of household items to kill pests is on the rise. One product people are talking about is Febreze.

Febreze does an amazing job of making your home smell fresh and reviving fabrics, but what about killing fleas? Does Febreze kill fleas? The answer to that question is possibly yes, but there are a few catches. Using Febreze directly on your pet to kill fleas is very dangerous. However, a few sprays of Febreze directly on fabric that you spot a flea on could be a nice-smelling way to deter these little pests. Let’s learn more about Febreze and fleas as well as a few tips if you plan on using this product in your home.

Before We Begin

Febreze should never be used directly on pets and they must not be able to lick it from surfaces. If you suspect your pet has fleas, it is important to contact your veterinarian. Your vet can recommend many flea treatments for your pet that can help you to get rid of flea infestations. If fleas are in your home, it’s important to treat these areas as well and reach out to a pest control specialist for advice if necessary.

a tabby cat scratching its ears
Image Credit: Silarock, Shutterstock

What Is Febreze?

Febreze was first introduced to the US market back in March of 1996. Known as a fabric refresher, Proctor and Gamble have since added over 20 fragrances to the Febreze line and even additional options such as car refreshers, wax melts, and candles. But what’s in Febreze? How does it work?

Instead of eliminating odors, Febreze traps odors and prevents you from smelling them. The water inside the formula causes the odor molecules to begin dissipating. That’s when the active ingredient, beta-cyclodextrin, traps the odor and keeps them from being detected by our nose receptors. In the case of scented Febreze, all you’ll smell is the scent you’ve chosen. The odor will remain trapped until you can thoroughly clean and remove it from the vicinity.

Febreze and Fleas

If you’re unaware, fleas are small parasites that feed on the blood of animals. Unfortunately, not only do these parasites bite animals and cause them to itch, but they can also carry other diseases. This can be a huge issue when it comes to the health of our pets. Thankfully, there are many effective products out there that can help rid our pets and homes of fleas. The most effective products are available from your veterinary clinic.

Febreze isn’t advertised, tested or labeled as a way to prevent or kill fleas. However, certain users, and even a few in the world of pest control, claim Febreze can work against fleas when used in the right way.

white maltese dog taking a bath
Image Credit: Denis Production.com, Shutterstock

Using Febreze to Fight Fleas

How do you use Febreze to battle fleas? That’s a great question. The most important thing to remember is that you should never spray Febreze directly on one of your pets. Instead of directly treating your pets with Febreze, there are a few suggested ways you can put this wonderful-smelling product to use to keep pests at bay. Let’s take a look at those now.

Fighting Fleas on Surfaces

If you want to use Febreze to fight fleas, one of the ways reported is to spray Febreze directly on compatible surfaces where you see a live flea. You shouldn’t be led astray, however. Giving the fleas a good spray of Febreze won’t instantly kill them. Why? Febreze is simply going to fall on the surface. It doesn’t penetrate down into fabrics or surfaces. If the fleas have the opportunity to hide away, you will miss them. You can continue doing this daily or several times per day to help catch all the fleas hiding on your couch, chair, or other surfaces. The dimethicone in Febreze may act to reduce movement of fleas and the alcohol may dry out their exoskeleton.

person cleaning floor
Image Credit: Syda Productions, Shutterstock

Protect Your Home

There are a few pest control professionals out there who feel that Febreze is a great way to protect your home from unwanted pests invading your space. Using Febreze to go around the perimeter of your home is a proposed way to keep fleas, ants, and other pests away from your home.

Final Thoughts

Febreze isn’t intended to fight fleas around your home and its safety and efficacy have not been tested. Febreze will not kill fleas as fast as intended insecticides and other flea products, but it could help you before you can get to your veterinarian for effective proven products. The thing to remember when using Febreze to fight fleas is to avoid spraying it directly on your pets and to ensure that they cannot lick it from any surfaces as it is potentially toxic.

Featured Image Credit: KRoock74, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Melissa Gunter

Authored by

Melissa was born and raised in the mountains of East Tennessee where she spent her time writing in an old notebook and playing outside with her pets. As an avid animal lover, she has brought many into her home over the years. Currently, she is the mom of 5 fur babies. Her 2 cats, Princess and Pepper are total opposites who demand attention. Her dogs Jazzy, Whitey, and Demon are full of spunk and keep the entire family on ...Read more

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