Flea bites can cause agonizing itching for dogs. Certain dogs may develop allergies to fleas, and the parasites can carry a bacterium that can cause arthritis and other health problems in both dogs and humans. Over its life cycle a single flea can produce 2,000 eggs over a course of 50 days, making it imperative that dog owners remove them from the home. A bleach dilution can be an effective tool in cleaning your house and killing fleas and other parasites.
Does bleach kill fleas?
Bleach (brand name Clorox) does kill fleas, and it can be used in the home when diluted with water. If you do end up with a flea infestation in your home, you'll want to launder the dog's bedding and toys and vacuum carpets (sprinkling baking soda first will make this even more effective). Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag outside after use or the fleas will just escape back into the house.
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Though undiluted bleach is toxic to dogs, it is a powerful disinfectant that may also be used to clean a dog's home or living environment. A bleach dilution of one part bleach and 10 parts water can be used to kill fleas.
Will bleach kill flea eggs?
In addition to killing adult fleas, bleach is also effective in killing flea eggs, flea larvae, and pupae. The trick is getting the bleach into all the places the eggs may be located, including crevices, upholstery, baseboards, etc. The process is the same as that used to kill adult fleas. Be as thorough as possible. If any eggs survive, the infestation will return shortly.
How to get rid of fleas with bleach
- Step 1: Prepare the diluted solution of bleach: one part bleach and 10 parts water.
- Step 2: Protect yourself with gloves and even a mask. Make sure the area you're cleaning has plenty of ventilation.
- Step 3: Test the bleach solution, or homemade flea spray, on a hard-to-see area if you have wooden furniture or flooring and on other surfaces that could get discolored by bleach. Use a spray bottle and spray the diluted bleach solution around the house, particularly areas that are dark or moist.
- Step 4: Wash clothing, human bedding, and pet bedding in hot water. Only add bleach to laundry that is white.
- Step 5: After a few hours, thoroughly wash everything you sprayed with bleach with soapy water. Do not let any pets or children near those places for at least the next three to five hours.
Can bleach kill ringworm?
Just as bleach can get rid of fleas and their eggs, it can be used to kill ringworm in your home environment (but not on your dog.) Ringworm is a fungus that leads to crusty bald patches on a dog's coat. The fungus is capable of spreading from dogs to cats or even to pet owners if precautions are not taken. Although the unsightly infection can be cured by anti-fungal and topical shampoos or ointments prescribed by a licensed veterinarian, you may need to take charge in the home to prevent the infection from spreading further.
How to use bleach to prevent fleas in your home
In certain climates, dogs may need to be on flea prevention year-round. This can keep fleas and their eggs off your dog and out of your house in the first place. In some circumstances, homeowners" may need to hire professional pest control. Also, food grade diatomaceous earth can be used for flea control in the yard.
General cleanliness can also go a long way toward flea control in your home. A pet's bedding should be washed once a week, and bleach can be added to the laundry detergent in small amounts. If the bleach leaves a residual smell after the bedding has been washed, the bedding should be set out to air dry. Should the bedding still smell or appear dirty even after a wash, it should be thrown away and replaced with new items.
Is bleach safe for dogs?
As with any household cleaning product, it is important to keep bleach out of the reach of curious canine noses. Undiluted bleach can cause health problems in dogs, such as:
- Chemical burns
- Loss of appetite
Skin exposure can cause irritation and bleaching of the coat. Respiratory and ocular irritation can occur if your dog breathes in bleach.
If your dog's skin is accidentally exposed to bleach, you can give them a bath with a mild hand dishwashing detergent followed by a thorough rinse. Still, they should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. In the event of ingestion, seek emergency veterinary care.
The bottom line
Bleach is effective in killing fleas and flea eggs in your home. It also kills ringworm in your home environment. Bleach is toxic to dogs and should only be used in the home in a diluted form. It's important to use the diluted solution of bleach to clean all areas where fleas and their eggs may be located in order to eliminate the infestation.