Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Does Lemon Juice Kill Fleas? Safety Tips, Steps, & Effectiveness

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

freshly squeezed lemon juice in small bowl

If you’re dealing with fleas and want a natural remedy, lemon juice might be just what you need to get things under control. But while lemon juice can be a great way to deter and kill fleas on household objects, you need to use it properly to effectively kill the fleas and avoid harming your pet.

While lemon juice can be extremely effective,1 it’s a bit of a process to get it there. The good news is that we’ll break down everything you need to do to make a household flea spray.

Lemon Juice and Fleas

Fleas hate citrus,2 which makes it the perfect choice to help you get them out of your house. But while lemon juice is a great choice to help deter fleas, if you’re already dealing with an active infestation, we would recommend getting licensed effective products from your veterinarian.

However, people looking for a more natural solution to deter fleas from the home may look to using lemon juice.

close up fleas on cat
Image Credit: KanphotoSS, Shutterstock

Dangers With Lemon Juice and Pets

While it can be a little frustrating going through the steeping and mixing process before using the mixture on your pet, it’s absolutely crucial that you do it. Not only does it add to the potency of the mixture, but it also makes it safer for your pet.

Straight lemon juice can cause an adverse reaction on your pet’s skin, and it can also harm your pet right away. Lemon juice is extremely acidic, and because of this, you need to be careful when using it around or on your pet.

Veterinarian Dr Lorna Whittemore (BVMS) comments that “D-limonene and psoralens contained in lemons are toxic to cats and dogs. They also don’t like the smell and can find it distressing if they can’t move away from it.”

The 6 Steps to Use Lemon Juice to Kill & Repel Fleas

If you’re thinking about using lemon juice to kill and repel fleas, you can’t just spray it right on your dog or cat. You need to prepare the lemon juice into an effective spray, and to do that, you need to follow this guide.

Get three lemons, 3 cups of water, and 1.5 cups of vinegar to get started!

1. Slice Lemons into Thin Slices

Slice your lemons into thin slices and then put the slices into a large pot. Mash the lemons a bit with a fork to start releasing a few of the juices, but don’t pulverize them.

2. Boil Lemons in Water

Once you’ve mashed your lemons a bit, it’s time to add the water and start the boiling process. Add all 3 cups of water to a pot and put a lid on it, then bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the mixture starts to boil, lower the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

boiling lemon slices in water
Image Credit: PAI Fishing, Shutterstock

3. Steep the Lemons

After the 30-minute mark, remove the pot from heat and let the lemons steep in the water for about 8 hours. This will let the lemons break down into the water, which is exactly what you want when you’re making your mixture.

4. Strain the Lemons

Once you’ve finished steeping your lemons, it’s time to strain them out. Strain the lemons out of the lemon water while collecting the water in a bowl. Once you’ve finished straining the mixture, discard the lemons.

lemon juice in a glass bowl
Image Credit: Moving Moment, Shutterstock

5. Add Vinegar

At this point, it’s time to add your vinegar to the lemon water. Once you mix it up, you have your spray and it’s ready to use.

6. Using the Spray

Now that you have your lemon and vinegar spray, all that’s left is for you to use it to start killing and repelling fleas! Don’t spray it directly onto your pet, as lemons are toxic to cats and dogs and could be dangerous if they ingest any, like when they’re licking or grooming themselves. However, it is safe to use on bedding and furniture.

a woman spraying the furnitures at home
Image Credit: leungchopan, Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

Now that you know about how to use lemon juice to kill some fleas, all that’s left is for you to start gathering supplies and head to the kitchen to make it yourself. Whether you’re dealing with an active infestation or you’re trying to use lemon juice to prevent an infestation from taking root in the first place, it can be an excellent natural remedy for you to use around your pets, but not directly on them.

Featured Image Credit: Joshua Resnick, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database