Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > General > Does Lemon Juice Kill Fleas? Vet-Reviewed Effectiveness & Alternatives

Does Lemon Juice Kill Fleas? Vet-Reviewed Effectiveness & Alternatives


Vet approved

Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

Veterinarian, BVSc MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Fleas are a pet owner’s worst nightmare. Not only are they difficult to eliminate, but they’re pretty gross, too. If you suspect your pet may have fleas, you’re probably searching high and low for anything in the house that might get rid of them. In your research, you may have stumbled across claims that lemon juice can kill fleas, and now you’re wondering how true that is.

While lemon juice cannot kill fleas, it can be useful as a deterrent. Read on to learn more.


Can Lemon Juice Kill Fleas?

Unfortunately, lemon juice itself is not known for its flea-killing qualities. Fleas have a tough exoskeleton that allows them to withstand acidic substances like lemon juice. However, because of its acidic nature, it can work to repel fleas to some extent.

However, although lemon juice is pretty safe to use around your pets, many cats and dogs really dislike the smell. So at the same time you’re repelling fleas with your spray bottle full of lemon juice solution, you might also be repelling your pets!

Baking Soda Lemon
Image Credit: otoHelin, Shutterstock


Home Remedies for Dealing With Fleas

If you are looking for some more natural methods to deal with fleas in your home, especially if it’s a bit of an emergency,  you can try some of the suggestions below:

1. Bathe Your Pet

Using lukewarm water and mild soap can remove fleas from your pet’s coat and skin.

If you plan on using a flea shampoo, speak with your vet first. Not all shampoos are created equal, and some can strip the oils from your pet’s fur and harm their skin.

Note: It is okay to skip this step if you know bathing your pet will cause too much stress.

It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're looking for the perfect pet shampoo. The Hepper Pet Shampoo products are a great place to start because of their all-natural, pet-safe formula that is pH balanced for your pet's skin. Made with soothing ingredients like oatmeal and aloe vera, these shampoos are also free of phthalates, sulfates, dyes, and soaps. Both options will leave your pet clean, moisturized, and smelling like a day at the spa!

Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right option for your pet’s next bath!

Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo (Aloe and Cucumber Scent) Hepper No Rinse Shampoo
Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo
Natural Ingredients
Natural Ingredients:
Natural Ingredients:
Made in USA
Made in USA:
Made in USA:
Safe for cats & dogs
Safe for cats & dogs:
Safe for cats & dogs:
Soothes dry skin
Soothes dry skin:
Soothes dry skin:
Waterless, no rinsing required
Waterless, no rinsing required:
Waterless, no rinsing required:

At Pet Keen, we've admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

2. Use a Flea Comb

Comb your pet’s fur with a flea comb. These combs are designed to trap fleas while allowing your pet’s coat to go through the bristles. If you dip the comb in a mixture of water and dish soap, it can help you catch the insects and prevent them from jumping away, but don’t use dish soap directly on your pet. If you see fleas on the comb, dunk it into hot, soapy water to kill them.

dog being examine for fleas with the flea comb
Image Credit: thka, Shutterstock

3. Disinfect Your Space

Your vacuum cleaner will be your best friend at this stage, but make sure you’re disposing of the bag as soon as you’re finished. When you’re done vacuuming, take your machine outside and empty the contents into another bag before disposing of it. Be sure to pay particular attention to dark, warm nooks and crannies, and once you’ve finished with the carpets, go ahead and do them again – often vacuuming will bring fleas and eggs to the surface, and going back over it can really help. If you have some baking soda in the cupboard, brush this into the carpets, rugs, and corners before doing a second vacuum.

If you're trying to find an enzyme cleaner that does it all, we highly recommend our favorite cleaner, the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...
  • FRESH, NATURAL ODOR - Our unique formulation doesn't rely on dangerous or unpleasant chemical...

It permanently removes the very worst stains and smells you can imagine and makes clean up a breeze. There's even a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Click here to order a bottle today.

At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool cat company!

4. Launder Everything

Fleas, their eggs, and larvae can be found everywhere in your home after a bad infestation. The best way to eliminate the flea in all its life stages is to launder everything – linens, bedding, towels, drapery, clothing, pet beds, etc. Use a hot water cycle in your washer and the highest dryer temperature possible to ensure the job is done.

woman doing laundry in a washing machine
Image Credit: Opat Suvi, Shutterstock


Effective Elimination of Fleas

The above methods can be useful in a pinch, but you will likely still have a bit of a flea problem. Eggs and larvae are pretty resilient and difficult to eradicate completely using these methods, and most natural remedies that are strong enough to eradicate them in the environment will pose a risk to your pets.

If you find yourself up against a severe infestation, or the fleas just keep coming back, we recommend talking to your vet about the best ways to get rid of fleas on your pet and in your home. The most effective flea treatments are available only with a veterinary prescription. Here are some recommended flea & tick treatments for dogs as well as options formulated for cats.

Once you have good control of the problem, you may find that some of the more natural products are enough to keep the situation under control.


Final Thoughts

While you can potentially repel fleas with lemon juice, it’s not dependable for controlling or killing an infestation. If your pet has fleas, you’ll need to use a combination of methods to get rid of the ones on your pet, and remove the infestation from your home. Time is of the essence when you’re dealing with fleas, so the sooner you can kill them, the sooner you can switch to prevention mode.

Featured Image Credit: Andy M., Pixbay

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets