Can Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Fleas?Faizan Khan
Whenever you see your dog constantly scratching itself and being irritated more than usual, there’s one thing that definitely comes to mind, and that’s fleas.
Now, you probably don’t care about how it got there or the diseases it causes at first. But fleas are one of the hardest pests to get rid of. You just want them gone.
Although you’ll find various ways and methods used in the removal of fleas, two primary questions come to mind.
- Is the solution effective long-term?
- What are the drawbacks of using the said method?
Once you’ve got these down, the only thing left to do is follow through with them to rid yourself of these nasty parasites.
While working with fleas in particular, which usually latch on to your pets’ skin, it’s necessary to be very careful what you apply on their coats. As part of the second question, many chemical treatments can inflict pain on your pet or wear down their coats in the long term.
Commercial-grade 3% hydrogen peroxide is one disinfectant that comes to mind. We’re sure that you’ve heard stories about hydrogen peroxide’s unmatched prowess in getting rid of every bad thing, from stains to lethal bacteria!
Although not directly applicable to the fur, it can be used on washing bedding to kill flea eggs or on pet laundry to remove blood specks from flea bites. Killing the eggs can reduce their population and bring their spread to a stagnant halt.
The Severity of Fleas Poses a Serious Problem!
Fleas are the most commonly found external parasites that can be found on your animals. More active in the warmer months, they can still pose a threat in winters using their ability to reproduce and continue their life cycles indoors.
They latch onto animals to feed on their blood and lay eggs. The eggs don’t stick and, as a result, fall off into bedding or around the house wherever the animal goes.
A single female can lay up to 20 to 50 eggs a day, according to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program.
The most efficient way to fight off the infestation is through disrupting their life cycles and bringing their populations to a standstill. If left untreated for long, fleas can rapidly multiply and cause great harm to your dog.
Parasites such as tapeworms can be transmitted through fleas if your pet ingests one. If humans come into close contact and are infected with fleas, you can observe red, itchy bumps all over your body—remnants of flea bite marks.
They Latch Onto Your Pets!
The most common animal for fleas to latch onto is dogs. This is because, unlike cats, dogs like to play outside frequently and may catch fleas from the grass or dirt.
As they come inside the house or wander around, they are unknowingly spreading flea eggs all over the place. In the case the dog isn’t washed regularly, the population will grow immensely in a matter of days.
Fleas can make dogs repeatedly scratch themselves to get rid of them.
This continuous scratching can lead to hair loss and reddened skin. You’ll find patches of their fur gone or left on the floor, and your dog might not be as active or playful during this time as his skin will be extremely irritated due to the flea infestation.
As stated above, tapeworms are also a significant concern when dealing with fleas. Tapeworms are initially inside the fleas and get transferred to your pet if they ingest the flea. Since they are classified as parasites, they feed your animal to grow. Moreover, the larger they get, the more nutrition they steal from their host.
Flea bite anemia is another medical issue related to fleas. Fleas suck blood in order to survive. When this drops the red blood cell count below a certain threshold, it is called flea bite anemia.
This can result in major weakness and weight loss over time. If left untreated, it can turn fatal, which is why you should always be on the lookout for fleas.
Some Serious Problems Fleas Causes in Humans!
Every time someone mentions fleas, our minds go straight to our dogs or cats. But what most people don’t realize is that fleas can negatively impact humans as well.
Flea infestations, if left untreated and their population left to rise, can be a serious health hazard to your home.
Considering how mobile fleas are, they can easily attach themselves to humans that come into contact with flea-ridden animals and feed on their blood.
Although humans have a more developed immune system and are able to fight off several infections passed on by fleas, certain diseases such as plague and cat fever can still harm you.
The worrying part is that fleas can live up to 135 to 185 days on human skin if they feed on human blood for a mere 15 minutes every day.
They also lay their eggs in exposed parts of our skin like our toes, heel of the foot, etc. These eggs are dropped around the house while we walk, making it harder to get rid of them in the future.
But when things get tough, hydrogen peroxide comes in as your savior!
How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Fleas?
Hydrogen peroxide is a very powerful oxidant and can be extremely toxic if not used correctly. Food-grade 3% hydrogen peroxide is considered safer as it is manufactured specifically for human use.
Even then, there are ways it is used to counteract flea infestations and can be detrimental to your dog’s health if you use it without being aware of its mechanism.
Hydrogen peroxide performs the same action on parasitic cells as it does on our blood cells. It is used to destroy old or worn-out cells. In the same way, hydrogen peroxide eats away at the outer shell covering flea cells. After the flea’s shell is damaged, it will eventually dehydrate and die out.
Another way hydrogen peroxide kills fleas is if it is ingested. Being highly toxic to parasites and hosts alike, it will kill the flea from the inside.
Flea infestations can be a major irritant to your animals and cause detrimental effects to their health. Many flea shampoos or chemical treatments have proven useless or have short-lived effects. 3% hydrogen peroxide might prove to be more useful for you in ridding your pet of these parasites.
The ingredient used for this method is very simple and easily available in your local supermarkets.
All you need is a spray bottle, or tub depending on the severity of the infestation, and a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Once you mix it with water, your solution is ready to use.
How to Use
If the infestation has spread all over the body, place the animal in a large tub of water that they feel comfortable in. Rinse him with warm water first. Then, pour the peroxide directly on their fur slowly.
Let the water plus hydrogen peroxide solution sit for a minute before rinsing your pet and draining the water.
For less severe infestations, simply fill up a spray bottle with water, 1 cup peroxide, and three tablespoons of dish soap. Spray your pet every alternate day to remove any existing fleas and kill the eggs they laid. This should keep your animal healthy and free of parasites.
Points to Consider – Pros and Cons
Since even the 3% solution can be harmful to their fur coats if applied directly, it needs to be diluted beforehand.
An important factor to remember is you shouldn’t pour it on any spot which is dry as that will cause irritation, and your dog may feel a burning sensation.
As we mentioned above, there are two key components when dealing with fleas. The first was killing existing fleas to prevent them from sucking blood and transmitting diseases.
The second was the removal of the eggs they lay which further increased their population. The latter can be dealt with by washing your dog’s bedding and carpets around the house daily.
You only need a single key ingredient to make this method work properly. That’s a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
This is one of the reasons this treatment is so quick but efficient.
How to Use
To remove flea eggs from carpets, spray a fifty-fifty solution of water and hydrogen peroxide to prevent further infestation.
For laundry and washable bedding, use a concoction with one part laundry detergent with one part peroxide to cleanse your sheets, covers, and clothes of these pests.
Points to Consider – Pros and Cons
While applying this method, remember that these chemicals can cause fading in vibrant colored clothes. Too concentrated of a mixture or overuse of this method can lead to the wear and tear of clothes and lower durability over time.
Outdoor Flea Removal
A lot of people may prefer stopping the problem from the root, which means removing fleas from their gardens or lawns where their animals like to play.
The above solutions are good for when fleas have already spread, but what about taking precautions beforehand? A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution may just be your answer.
Peroxide is a common insecticide used in gardens and other agricultural sites. Not only does it kill fleas due to its toxic nature, but it can also eradicate other pests from your foliage as well.
For this technique to work to its fullest potential, all you need is a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Mix it with a little water, and there you have it, your personal flea removal concoction.
How to Use
You can use the same method used for carpets. A fifty-fifty mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water should do the trick and rid your garden of any insects hiding behind the undergrowth.
Points to Consider – Pros and Cons
Before going all out and spraying it all over your garden, test it out on a few plants. This is important because not all plants react the same way to chemicals, and hydrogen peroxide, being a powerful oxidant, might do more harm than good for you.
It is also necessary to keep in mind that it will kill any insect that comes into contact with it. That includes insects beneficial for your garden, which promote growth and hinder the growth of other pests such as ladybugs. Using hydrogen peroxide on a daily basis would not be recommended, especially if you have not come into contact with any fleas yet.
How to Know if a Flea Bit You? – Signs and Symptoms
Throughout the article, we’ve highly emphasized knowing when to resort to using 3% hydrogen peroxide, given its strong nature. Excessive or unnecessary use can lead to damaged or botched skin patches.
Signs of fleas on your animals can show as repeated scratching and reddened skins, as mentioned in the beginning.
Symptoms of flea bites on humans promptly after being bitten include red spots with a halo, massive itching around that spot, rashes, and the formation of swelling or blisters in that area.
In this case, someone suffers allergic reactions after being bitten by fleas. They may suffer difficulty in breathing, swelling up of the oral area (lips and tongue), dizziness, nausea, and chest pain.
If left untreated or depending on the circumstances and number of bites, these conditions can quickly spiral out of hand and may be fatal in some cases.
This is why taking precautions against fleas is necessary, and an increase in population should not be allowed.
We cannot stress enough how crucial it is to handle and use hydrogen peroxide carefully. It is a toxic compound with many negative effects on your body should it come into contact with it. That is why utmost care should be taken.
Some common safety measures to be followed are:
- Ensure eyewash stations are present nearby
- Use splash goggles and gloves at all times
- Approved vapor respirator to air out any toxic fumes
In this case, a person is exposed to hydrogen peroxide or comes into contact with it. The following steps should be taken:
- Inhalation: The availability of fresh air to be ingested is important. This will help air out the toxic fumes and clear their respiratory passageways. If the person has difficulty breathing, administer oxygen. If breathing is absent, start artificial respiration and seek professional medical help immediately.
- Eye Contact: Remove any contact lenses or glasses. Flush eyes with fresh, clean water until the burning sensation lessens or stops. Seek medical attention afterward.
- Exposed Skin: Wash the affected part with plenty of running water. Remove any contaminated clothing. Apply skin burn creams for immediate relief of burning sensation. In case of severe exposure, use disinfectant soaps and seek medical help as soon as possible.
- Ingestion: In case of hydrogen peroxide ingested, do not induce vomiting. Rather loosen clothing and seek professional medical attention. Do not come into contact with the affected person’s mouth or try to give anything orally as traces of chemicals may be present.
Why Hydrogen Peroxide as a Solution to Fleas?
You’ll find various home remedies and homeopathic mixtures to try online. Adverts may also contain several products which ensure the removal of fleas and no follow-up infestations.
The issue with most of these solutions is they have very short-lived effects. Fleas reproduce exponentially in a very short period; hence short-term solutions are next to useless.
Products such as coconut oils, essential oils, or anti-flea shampoo, etc., also take a very long time to apply and have detailed procedures on how to apply them.
Considering the fact fleas are usually latched onto our pets, making them go through the entire process every day can be time-consuming and frustrating for both you and the animal.
With hydrogen peroxide, things are made easy as you simply need to mix it with the water you use to wash your pets. No special requirements or prerequisites are needed and can be done in your normal routine, considering you take good care of your animal’s hygiene.
Not only this, but hydrogen peroxide also takes care of flea eggs as well while shampoos only kill existing fleas on your animals. With a simple spray on your carpets and covers and washing your animals frequently, fleas will become a thing of the past for you, and you can remain stress-free about what your pets are dragging back into the house.
Is It Safe To Use Hydrogen Peroxide For Fleas? – The Suitable yet Effective Solution
Hydrogen peroxide is a single compound that has been deeply studied and researched to make all its properties and reactions known.
This is why it can be mixed with water to be used safely compared to other solutions, which comprise a mixture of chemicals that react differently to each animal.
It should still be kept in mind that hydrogen peroxide is a toxic compound, and household use should be monitored.
A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is recommended for all your household needs. This concentration has been studied by researchers and deemed safe, due to which it is produced commercially.
Always follow instructions, take the required safety precautions, and do not experiment to achieve the best results.
Some may see hydrogen peroxide as a one-for-all solution, but you should always remember that every mechanism has its drawbacks which can prove to do more harm than good if you’re not careful.
For flea removal, though, it is a great option and can help destroy flea infestations without causing too much fuss.
It is also a great option for many other parasites and has several other beneficial uses, which you can read about on our site.
Get your very own set of hydrogen peroxide bottles today for a simpler approach to these big problems.