My dog had fleas. There, I said it. They say the first step to recovery is acknowledgement that you have a problem. My problem is I loathe the thoughts of bugs in my house, or on my dog. Extremely loathe. As in I cried for a straight hour when I found a small black speck on the back of my precious pooch several weeks ago. While I am anal about flea medication being routinely administered to my dog, recently getting married blinded my brain to the fact he was due for his medicine. That plus him flirting with the Pomeranian next to him at the groomers created the perfect storm for a brief case of fleas. One vet visit and a deep Dawn bath made for a healthy and flea free pooch, but the next task was far more monstrous to me: “How was I going to make sure there aren’t any in my home?” Fleas love to live in fabric and carpet, and have varying life stages that can make them hard to remove from a home.

A quick call to my southern mama gave me the answer, and it was such a good one I wanted to pass it on to share the secret. Everyone knows that giving a dog a bath in Dawn dish soap will get the fleas off of one’s precious puppy. For reasons unknown to me, the bugs despise the soap and it stops them in their tracks. What I did not know is this same soap is the perfect thing to get rid of fleas in your home as well. What you will need is this:

  • A dinner plate (paper is fine)
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Water
  • A candle that can stand up on its own

In each room that you feel fleas may have possible permeated, take one plate and place it in a centrally located place in the room. Fill almost to the brim with water, and add dawn dish soap enough to color water and mix with your fingers until soap is fully incorporated into the water. Then place a candle in the center of the plate, and light it. Allow to sit for several hours in darkness or in as low of light as is allowed. An electric tea light would also work if sat on a tin can in order for it to not get wet.

The reason it works is this: Fleas are attracted to the light source and will attempt to jump as close to it as they can. When they do jump, they will fall into the water and drown in the dish soap mixture. This is a great diy to not only get rid of fleas or make sure there are none in your home, but also to judge the severity of an infestation in order to see if professionals should be brought in. If done over several days throughout the home with no dead critters found in a watery grave, you should have decent assurance that your flea problem is no more. This worked beautifully for me, giving me piece of mind that my family was safe and that my poor dog would not have to deal with this again.