Does drinking apple cider vinegar really repel fleas?

What about spraying it on yourself (or your pets)?

For example, as far as ingestion goes:


Other natural repellents include ... unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. ... The dosage of apple cider vinegar is about one teaspoon daily in the pet's drinking water. Apple cider vinegar helps strengthen the immune system.


Apple Cider Vinegar makes the skin taste acidic to fleas, so don’t substitute any other vinegar. Depending on the size of your water bowl, add one tablespoon per cup of water. Don’t stop if your pet gives you “that look.” Animals adapt. If they refuse to drink the water, you can mix a 50/50 solution in a spray bottle and put it directly on your pet.


... you could reduce your vulnerability by heavy ingestion of apple cider vinegar, a natural flea repellent.

And topical application, there are zillions of claims:


Applying diluted apple cider vinegar to your pet's skin can make your dog seem unsavory to fleas and ticks. You can rub a bit of it into your dog's fur or dilute ACV with water in a sprayer and spray your pet whenever he or she is going outside (cover their eyes!). Alternately or in addition, adding a splash of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to your dog's water bowl can act as a flea repellant as well while also improving your pet's overall health.

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/23-research-backed-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar.html (ironically, but not unexpected, the citation given for this "research backed" claim wasn't related to fleas at all):

ACV is a great remedy for repelling fleas from your dog’s skin. It’s totally safe to use so you don’t have to worry about your pet getting sick if he or she starts licking the wet fur afterwards. It works on pets the same way that it works on humans, reestablishing the proper acid mantle of the skin to repel microbes and other pests.

And so on, all from fairly dubious (to me) sites. I wasn't able to find much in the way of actual evidence due to internet pollution making it virtually impossible to find out anything real about apple cider vinegar.

I did find one counter claim:


Myth: Spray your dog or cat with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and baking soda.

Mostly False: Vinegar, or acetic acid, in high enough levels to actually be toxic to fleas, would be harmfully acidic to the skin. With repeated and long-term applications, even moreso. Baking soda has no known effects on fleas.

While I tend to believe that, being an apple cider vinegar naysayer myself, it also did not cite any sources.

So, does drinking and/or spraying apple cider vinegar on yourself (or your pets) actually do anything? Is there any actual evidence either way?

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .