If you have pets that are allowed outdoors, you are at risk of a flea infestation in your home. Flea control products usually contain harmful insecticides that are dangerous to you and your family as well as your pets. Fortunately, you do not need to use hazardous chemicals to keep your living space flea-free. A combination of everyday household products -- baking soda and regular table salt -- is remarkably effective. This mixture works by dehydrating fleas and their eggs, which interrupts the pests' life cycle. It is a safe, effective, nontoxic way to get rid of fleas naturally.
Bathe your flea-infested pet before you treat your home with the baking soda and salt mixture. A specialized flea shampoo is not required. Any pet shampoo will do, since the soapy lather is enough to kill most fleas on contact. Wash your pet with the shampoo, beginning at the neck, working your way to the tail. Keep the lather on your pet for a few minutes before rinsing. Thoroughly rinse off the shampoo. You will cleanse away dead fleas as you rinse. Rub or pat dry with a clean towel, preferably an old one that you can discard after using. With a flea comb, remove any fleas that may remain on your pet.
Mix equal portions of baking soda and salt. A reasonable starting batch is 1 cup of each. Mix subsequent batches as needed, enough to coat your upholstered furnishings and floor surfaces.
Sprinkle the mixture lightly over rugs, carpets, bare floors, pillows and fabric upholstery. Remove couch cushions and sprinkle those separately from the couch. Leave the mixture on these surfaces for several hours or overnight. Keep your pet away from treated surfaces during this process -- or even in a separate room.
Vacuum all the treated surfaces. Using a broom, sweep the bare floors. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag and dustpan contents in a garbage bag, sealing it with twist ties.
Replace rugs, pillows and sofa cushions. Be aware that flea eggs may be lurking deep in the carpet fibers, which can create a future problem. Vacuum your home frequently and repeat the baking soda and salt treatment about every other day, or as required. Keep fleas from invading your home by keeping your pet indoors or using nontoxic, preventative flea control products.
Launder your pet's bedding in a hot wash cycle and dry it in the dryer on a high temperature setting. Laundering your pet's bedding will help keep your pet free of fleas. Repeat on a weekly basis.