Using baby powder to kill fleas is a method that has been talked about forever. If you’re unlucky enough to have fleas in your home, there’s a good chance someone will recommend it!
But does it even work? Read this guide to find out.
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Does Baby Powder Kill Fleas?
Having fleas in your home can be a traumatic and often costly experience. Not only can fleas infest your pets, furniture and carpets, but they can be a problem for humans as well. Fleas carry and transmit a number of dangerous diseases, and they are known to transmit tapeworms and even cause severe allergic reactions. Not only that, but a female flea is capable of laying up to 50 eggs a day, so a few fleas can quickly swell to biblical proportions.
Many people (while understanding the severity of a flea issue and what attracts them) are reluctant to resort to aggressive measures. No one likes the thought of using harsh chemicals around people and pets, so it’s not uncommon for someone to search the internet for more natural and chemical-free ways to deal with a flea problem.
One method that’s sure to come up in a search is the use of baby powder. But does baby powder kill fleas effectively?
The answer is yes. However, using baby powder is not a magic bullet that will kill all of the fleas in one go. There are quite a few steps involved, and you’re going to need to have plenty of patience and perseverance.
Dogs are the pets that are usually discussed in articles about baby powder and fleas, but they are not the only household members that can suffer from fleas. Cats, pet rabbits, guinea pigs and even people are all potential victims.
Quick Note: It’s worth pointing out that even though smaller animals can become infested with fleas, using the baby powder method is not recommended. A veterinarian will be able to give you the best treatment plan for all of your more delicate pets.
How It Works
From here on out, when we talk about using baby powder to kill fleas, we will be talking about treating dogs or areas of your home. As mentioned above, baby powder is not safe to use on smaller pets.
If your dog has fleas, and you are looking for an all-natural way to kill them, then baby powder may be able to do the trick. Just remember that baby powder is for killing fleas and not for repelling them. A dedicated flea repellent is something that you would need to discuss with your dog’s veterinarian.
You’re probably wondering how something as gentle as baby powder could kill fleas. It’s the baby powder’s ability to suffocate the fleas that does the trick, not actual chemicals in the powder. While baby powder will usually kill all of the living fleas in about 15 to 20 minutes, eggs and pupae won’t be harmed at all. You will have to re-treat your dog in a month or so to kill all of the newly hatched fleas.
Using the baby powder method only takes a few steps, and it’s relatively easy to do. You’ll need talcum-free baby powder, a flea comb, some gloves and a towel. Find a convenient spot outside and put down the towel. Stand your dog on the towel and gently rub small handfuls of baby powder into the fur and skin.
Once you’ve covered all areas, except the nose, mouth and eyes, wait about ten minutes for the magic to happen. Next, take your flea comb and carefully brush your dog’s fur. You should be able to see dead fleas in the comb and on the towel. Shake the dead fleas into the trash and throw the towel into the laundry.
Give your dog a good bath to rinse out any fleas that were not removed with the comb. You’ll need to do all of this again in a month, but you should notice a big difference in the amount of fleas on your dog.
While using baby powder to kill fleas is an effective all-natural alternative to chemical-based treatments, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely safe. For one thing, many baby powders contain an ingredient called talcum. Being directly exposed to talcum is known to cause breathing problems, lung damage, and even cancer, so make sure that you choose a non-talc based baby powder.
Thankfully most baby powders are talcum-free these days, but it’s always best to carefully read the label.
Even if you choose a baby powder that’s talcum-free, there are still some things to consider. It’s not safe for your dog to directly breathe in the baby powder, and dogs should never be allowed to lick or eat it. Extra care should be used when treating your dog with baby powder, and you’ll need to do it outside in the fresh air.
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t use baby powder to kill fleas on cats and other small animals, and care should be used if you’re treating your home with it. If you are using it on furniture, rugs or other areas of your home, be especially careful that your pets don’t get into it. Let the baby powder sit for the required amount of time and then carefully vacuum it up. Any powder licked from paws or fur could cause a severe reaction.
Should You Use It?
If you want to use baby powder for killing fleas in a more animal-friendly way, then it’s perfectly fine to do so. Just be aware of the safety precautions that go along with implementing this method.
However, there are a few other things that you can try in place of baby powder if you’re concerned.
You could try using something like diatomaceous earth. This is a powdery substance that is made up of tiny, marine animal fossils, and it’s completely non-toxic. Diatomaceous earth kills fleas by dehydrating them, but it won’t harm your dog (unless they somehow inhale a lot of it). It’s even safe to sprinkle around your home. Try mixing diatomaceous earth with neem powder for a very effective treatment.
Oil, such as coconut oil, can be added to your dog’s shampoo to kill fleas, but like baby powder, this probably won’t work the first time. In our opinion, it’s best to not pin your hopes on one treatment. If you are set on using something natural, then we suggest using a combination of the above treatments.
So, should you use baby powder to kill fleas on your dog? It’s a good place to start if you want to avoid chemical treatments. However, you need to be very careful if you decide to go this route. Our advice is to use baby powder in conjunction with other methods, and it’s always recommended that you discuss do-it-yourself treatments with your veterinarian before trying them.
As for fleas in your home, you could certainly give baby powder a try, but the safest bet is to call a pest control company. Even if you decide not to go with the chemical treatments they may suggest, at least you’ll be aware of the scope of your issue.
Baby powder will kill fleas, but you need to use it correctly (and safely). But as long as you do, you’ll certainly see the benefits.
If you have a baby powder trick for fleas that you’d like to share, get in touch! We’re always open to hearing about new DIY pest control methods that people are trying.