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The best pet-safe flea sprays for your home

Here’s how to get rid of fleas in your home using our top-recommended flea repelling products.

Updated August 23, 2021

Created By

Emily Johnson,
Samoyed getting a flea spray treatment

The best flea and tick repellent products

The best flea and tick repellent products, reviewed

What we love: The oils used in this Pet Naturals of Vermont Flea+Tick Spray have been used for centuries by the indigenous people of the Amazon forests. We love that it’s free of any drugs with synthetic chemicals (it even boasts the National Animal Supplement Council seal), making it safe to use on both dogs and cats of all ages.

What customers say: Even with only 300+ reviews on Amazon, customers love the results they’ve seen from this spray. Some used it prior to taking their dogs on walks to prevent fleas and ticks hitching a ride, while others sprayed it on furniture as an added layer of protection against the little pests. It was noted that customers needed to reapply frequently (every one to two days) to keep up the potency.

Ingredients: Lemongrass oil, cinnamon oil, sesame oil, and castor oil.

What we love: Not only is this Tropiclean Flea & Tick Spray a strong repellent (up to two weeks versus only a few days), it actually kills the pests on contact. Plus, it doesn’t just attack fleas and ticks — you can add larvae, eggs, and mosquitos to the list, too. The lemongrass and sesame oils contribute to this product’s delicious scent and they’re the driving ingredients for long-lasting repellent effects.

What customers say: A lot of customers say this spray really does its job to repel fleas and ticks, plus it enhances their monthly flea and tick spot-treatments, too. Although it’s deemed pet-safe, be careful that smaller dogs don’t lick or ingest too much.

Ingredients: Clove oil, lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil, cinnamon oil, sesame seed oil, sodium lauryl sulfate (natural), water, xanthan gum, and glycerin.

What we love: This Tropiclean Flea and Tick Spray is easy to use and kills pests on contact, plus repels them for up to two weeks. The spray works by attaching to your garden hose and is powerful enough to cover your entire yard (up to 5,000 square feet). We also love that it not only kills and repels fleas and ticks, but it protects against mosquitos, spiders, and more, too. It’s safe to use around both dogs and cats that are 12 months and older — now you can worry less about what’s crawling through the grass and actually enjoy your yard with your pets.

What customers say: A lot of customers are reporting the considerable difference in fleas, mosquitos, and ticks in their yards after spraying them down with this yard spray. Many used it as an extra precaution on top of a monthly flea and tick treatment, especially during pest-heavy months.

Ingredients: Clove oil, lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil, cinnamon oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, water, isopropyl alcohol, and glycerin.

All-around home pest protection

This super simple, long-lasting spray can be applied to your carpets, rugs, furniture, bedding, wood, and ceramic surfaces to protect against pests. It is packed with a combination of ingredients and EPA-registered to kill fleas, ticks, bed bugs, dust mites, and more on contact.

What we love: This Advantage Flea & Tick Upholstery Spray is a great product to add to your pest prevention program. We love that it is safe to use on virtually any surface in your home and will continue to work for up to two weeks. An important note is this can’t be used on pets, and you must keep children and pets away from the sprayed areas until they are completely dry.

What customers say: Customers were very happy with how effective this product has been. Nobody wants pesky mosquitoes, fleas, or ticks to follow them or their pets into the house and this house spray has done the trick for a lot of buyers — which has given it a 4.3-star rating on Amazon and a wide range of happy customer reviews.

Ingredients: Sumithrin, 264 insecticide synergist, and Imidacloprid.

Why these products?

Some of you may be wondering — why did we only pick these three brands to spotlight?

Most of the products (like Pet Naturals and Tropiclean) have natural oil ingredients that aren’t toxic to our furbabies. Advantage has also had a good track record with their products.

Here at betterpet, our vets avoid recommending Adams products because etofenprox (the active ingredient) is a pyrethroid derivative that is toxic to cats. This also goes for Sentry and Vet-Kem, both of which also have the active ingredient of permethrin. Another to avoid is Vet’s Best flea products. They contain peppermint oil, which is toxic. This is a controversial topic, and although many products have a very low concentration, we’d rather be safe than sorry and avoid recommending any products that contain this potentially toxic substance.

How to shop for or choose a flea spray

There are a variety of things to consider when choosing the best flea spray. You should consider:

  • Whether chemical, natural ingredients, or a combination of both suits your needs
  • If the ingredients are safe around cats
  • The insect type you’re trying to kill/repel
  • The different types of applications out there
  • How long they take to kick in
  • How often you need to use them

👉 Always read the product label carefully to check if it best fits your situation, and make sure you apply it as safely as possible.

Some people are nervous about the idea of using a chemical-based flea spray, especially on their pet. Fair enough, because certain harsh chemicals (like imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen) have been known to cause serious health problems in animals. Even if you don’t have pets, people can be sensitive to chemicals, so it’s important to pay special attention to specific ingredients when shopping around, especially if you have small children at home.

The good news is there is another option: natural sprays. These are designed to kill and repel insects on contact. Natural sprays are intended to be used around the home on things like bedding, carpets, upholstery, and in the yard. Unfortunately, natural sprays aren’t always as effective in getting rid of fleas as their chemical counterparts can be. Of the four products we mentioned above, the Pet Naturals and Tropiclean options have the most natural ingredients.

Flea repellents versus flea killers

When it comes to having pets, it’s best to have a pest control plan in place before you have a problem arise. Flea repellents are great to have to help prevent a pest infestation — if your pet already has fleas, however, purchasing only a flea repellent product is not going to solve your problem. An existing flea problem must be treated with a product that kills fleas, not one that simply repels them.

You can combine several products to keep your house and your pet’s fur clean. Here are some steps to help get your pest plan in place:

  1. Use a flea and tick home spray. Simply spray it inside and outside your house on places where fleas are most likely to inhabit, such as furniture, carpeting, baseboards, and pet bedding to prevent infestations. Before shopping, take a look at the recommended products in this article for ideas.
  2. Purchase a flea collar. Flea collars provide an easy way to deliver the active ingredients needed to kill or repel fleas. These collars slowly release active ingredients over your pet’s body, and fleas are killed when they come into contact with them. This continues until the collar needs to be replaced (anywhere from one to seven months, depending on the brand).
  3. Use a monthly flea treatment. Once your puppy or kitten is old enough, it’s important to start using a monthly flea prevention medication to help ensure that they won’t be affected by fleas or ticks in the future. Many of the preventative treatments available are effective against both fleas and ticks.
  4. Have flea shampoo on hand. In the case that your pet has fleas, it’s great to have a flea shampoo ready when needed. A flea shampoo, or “flea bath,” kills eggs and larvae, as well as adult fleas, and should help completely get rid of your pet’s flea infestation. It’s important to note that flea shampoos can wash away topical flea treatments, so always wait a few days after application before bathing your pup.

FAQs

Do pest sprays for dogs work on ticks?

All of the products recommended above also help kill and repel ticks. Be sure to check the ingredients and labels of any flea repellents to see if they also repel other pests, such as ticks, bed bugs, or mosquitos.

Do flea and tick sprays work on cats?

There are several topical cat-safe flea control products on the market. It’s very important to avoid using products labeled for dogs on cats. (These can lead to a deadly allergic reaction and an emergency vet visit.) If possible, avoid flea dips, sprays, powders, or collars. If you choose to use such products, do your homework and discuss with your vet. It’s important to be absolutely sure that the ingredients used are safe for cats.

How long until fleas go away?

Depending on the product used and level of infestation, it can range from 24 hours up to several months. Often, it can take three to four months to get rid of an infestation in your home, but fleas on your pets should die within the first 18 to 24 hours.

What chemicals kill fleas and their eggs?

Insecticides containing adulticide, such as permethrin, kill fleas, and insect growth regulators, such as methoprene or pyriproxyfen, kill flea eggs.

Does vacuuming help after using a flea spray?

It’s recommended to vacuum prior to using a flea spray in your house and again the next day. Continue to vacuum twice a week for the next two weeks to help prevent reinfestation.