Can Peroxide Kill Fleas?

By Gryphon Adams

Hydrogen peroxide may kill fleas by drowning them or damaging the protective layer that keeps their bodies from dehydrating, but it can irritate skin and may discolor a pet's fur. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a gentler alternative to commercial flea products. Hydrogen peroxide's safest role in your battle against fleas is for washing bedding. Killing their eggs reduces the flea population. Using hydrogen peroxide in your dog laundry helps to remove odors and blood specks from flea bites, too.

Know the Enemy

Fleas hop on and off your pets, so to get rid of them, you need to disrupt their life cycle. Fleas get on pets to feed on blood and lay eggs but the eggs fall off, often in bedding. One female lays 20 to 50 eggs a day, according to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program. Unless you fight the population explosion, your home and pets become a flea metropolis.

Win the Habitat Battle

Wash bedding every week in hot water with 1 cup or more of hydrogen peroxide to kill fleas and their eggs. Baking soda dehydrates fleas, killing them. Use it on materials that aren't machine washable, including carpet, rugs and cushions. Sprinkle it generously on the surface. Wait at least 30 minutes and vacuum up the baking soda. Change the vacuum bag or empty the vacuum chamber immediately to dispose of flea eggs. To fight fleas outdoors, run a water sprinkler regularly. Fleas live in the dust. If you use pesticides, never use them when your pets are in the yard.

De-flea the Dog

Try USDA-certified diatomaceous earth for safe flea control. At a microscopic level, it has sharp edges. It sticks to fleas and kills them. It's nontoxic, and unlike hydrogen peroxide there's no risk of bleaching. Suppliers that carry feed or garden products sell diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle it outdoors in your dog's favorite areas. Bathe your dog weekly especially in warm weather and use a flea comb to remove fleas. Follow your veterinarian's advice concerning spot-on flea treatments, flea dips or oral products for flea control.