Homemade Flea & Tick Shampoo

Fleas and ticks feed off the blood of warm-blooded mammals, including pets. When pets spend time outdoors, fleas and ticks can quickly collect on their coat. This leaves the pet with multiple bites and increases the odds of a flea infestation in your home. Ticks, on the other hand, dig their way into the skin of both pets and humans, and can carry Lyme disease as well as a host of other diseases. This makes it important to create a safe shampoo that will prevent your pet from being attacked by either blood-sucking insect.

Puppy in foam bath
credit: Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Making the Shampoo

Mix your homemade shampoo in a large bottle with a lid. Pour 1 qt. of water into the bottle, along with 1 cup of white vinegar, and 1 cup of liquid dish soap. The vinegar will kill fleas and ticks on contact and prevent future infestations. The vinegar emits a strong odor and taste to the fleas and ticks and works as the perfect repellent. The dish soap will give the shampoo a lathering quality, and will also smother fleas or ticks currently on your pet's coat.

Using the Shampoo

To use the shampoo, place the pet in the bathtub, and wet the pet's coat with warm water. Squirt the shampoo into the palm of your hand, and lather onto the pet's coat. Stay away from sensitive areas of the face (nose, eyes, mouth), as well as the genitals. After working into a lather, let sit for five minutes when possible, then rinse the pet with warm water. Bathe the pet every one to two weeks.

Preventative Measures

Create a spray-on solution by pouring 3 cups of water and 1 cup of white vinegar into a spray bottle. Between shampoos, spray this directly onto the pet's coat, again staying away from sensitive areas. Also spray this solution around the home and yard, which will repel the ticks and fleas not only from your pet, but also from your home and surrounding lawn.