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Does dawn kill fleas in flea trap?

The Dawn Dish soap causes a chemical reaction when it's combined with water, and that allows it to shed oil and grease and create a sort of surfactant that penetrates the exoskeleton that allows fleas to stay afloat.

September 20, 2023

3 min read time

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Dawn dish soap


Hello, dear readers! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re dealing with a pesky flea problem and looking for an effective yet budget-friendly solution.

You’ve probably heard of DIY flea traps, and maybe even the use of Dawn dish soap as a key ingredient.

But does it really work?

Let’s dive in and find out!

What Are Flea Traps?

Flea traps are simple devices designed to lure and capture fleas.

They usually consist of a light source and a sticky surface or liquid to trap the fleas.

The idea is to attract fleas towards the trap and prevent them from escaping, thus reducing the flea population in your home.

Why Dawn Dish Soap?

Dawn dish soap has gained popularity as a flea-killing agent in DIY traps.

It’s affordable, easily accessible, and considered safe for pets and humans. But does Dawn really kill fleas? Let’s explore the science behind it.

The Science Behind It

Dawn dish soap contains surfactants that break down the flea’s exoskeleton, making it easier for the water to penetrate and drown the flea.

However, the effectiveness can vary depending on various factors like concentration and contact time.

Experiments and Studies

While there are no scientific studies exclusively focused on Dawn’s flea-killing properties, anecdotal evidence and testimonials suggest that it can be effective when used correctly.

Always remember, your mileage may vary.

Pros and Cons of Using Dawn in Flea Traps


  • Affordable
  • Easily available
  • Generally safe for pets and humans


  • Not a long-term solution
  • Effectiveness can vary

Alternatives to Dawn for Flea Traps

If you’re not convinced about using Dawn, there are other substances you can try, such as:

  • Vinegar
  • Essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus
  • Commercial flea-killing solutions

How to Make Your Own Flea Trap with Dawn

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to making your own flea trap using Dawn dish soap:

  1. Gather Supplies: A shallow dish, Dawn dish soap, and a light source.
  2. Prepare the Dish: Fill the dish with water and add a few drops of Dawn.
  3. Set Up the Light: Position the light source above the dish.
  4. Place the Trap: Put the trap in a flea-infested area.
  5. Check Regularly: Empty and refill the trap as needed.

Safety Precautions

When using Dawn in flea traps, make sure to:

  • Keep it out of reach of children and pets
  • Avoid ingesting or getting it in your eyes


So, does Dawn kill fleas in flea traps?

The answer is a cautious yes, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

If you’re dealing with a severe infestation, it’s always best to consult a professional. Happy flea hunting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use any dish soap?
A: While other dish soaps may work, Dawn is most commonly recommended due to its safety and effectiveness.

Q: Is it safe for my pets?
A: Generally, yes. But always take precautions to keep the trap away from pets.

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