Brewer's Yeast As A Means Of Flea Control

Do any of y’all use this on your pets?

See if I’ve got the mechanism right:

  1. Owner sprinkles yeast on dog
  2. Flea comes along and ingests yeast
  3. Flea explodes

If this is right, what happens if the pet ingests the flea which has ingested the yeast? Doesn’t the pet get tapeworm from eating the flea? And if so, haven’t you just traded one problem for another?

Also, what about the digestive tract of the pet? Can it withstand the effects of consuming the yeast?

A friend of mine does this and believes he has the perfect of method of flea control. I’m skeptical. How about y’all?



The major problem with the theory is the assumption that fleas would consume the yeast. They eat nothing in their lifetime other than blood, so that scotches the theory.

Most folk who believe that brewers’ yeast works as a flea preventative believe that the host’s consumption somehow changes the chemistry of the host to disuade the flea from biting.

The problem with that theory is that studies have found no evidence of brewers’ yeast working any better than the untreated controls, and since dogs don’t buy into the “placebo effect”, its useless.

At least the yeast usually doesn’t adversely effect dogs.

Well, I’ve heard of brewer’s yeast used for health reasons, but not so much for flea prevention. I know that garlic tablets/powder are sold to help prevent fleas. I am guessing that the theory behind this is, since fleas find a host in part by the carbon dioxide exhaled, the garlic (breath) might help to mask that. That’s my WAG, at any rate.

The above site gives some good information, even though I’m not a particular fan of Pet Smart.

As far anecdotal evidence, our dog is mostly an indoor dog, so we’re able to police his potential contacts with fleas. He’s been around other dogs with fleas (friends bringing their dogs with them to visit, etc.), and I just give him a flea bath after they’ve left. I also don’t allow the dogs inside the house (feel badly about that), because I’m concerned about the little buggers hopping off and laying eggs. Giving a flea bath is much less involved than bombing the entire house. If you aren’t worried about all natural repellants, while working at a petstore, I received the best feedback on Advantage type products.

::trying not to laugh::
You don’t put the Brewer’s Yeast on the dog, you put it in the dog.

We always gave our dog the tablets with her food. She loved them. Two tablets, once a day, and she never had fleas. It’s supposed to make their skin taste bad to the fleas.

Sorta seemed like an old wive’s tale remedy, but it sure worked for our dog. She played with the neighbor’s dog all the time, and he ALWAYS had fleas. We never did.

:smiley: :laughing, and proud of it:

Yeah, I kinda figured I had the method of administration wrong after Ms. Lois answered the OP. Oh, well. Now I’m a little less ignorant than before. Shoulda quizzed my friend a bit more before I posted. Thanks :wink:


Yeast also is credited with the ability of keeping pest birds from nesting in the manes of horses.
“Yeast is yeast, pest is pest, and never the mane shall tweet!”

Garlic “masking the odor” of CO2 to fleas and mosquitoes won’t help, since their CO2 detectors aren’t jammed by odors. It is a chemical reception that scent particles won’t effect. Fleas also find their hosts by sensing the body heat, and garlic/yeast won’t affect that either.

Finally, its more likely that the flea bath’s given to your dogs were more effective at preventing flea infestation than the garlic. The dogs probably liked the flavor of the tablets, my dog would have.

Fleas only spend 10% of their time on the dog, so the friends’ pets probably didn’t bring many to “seed” your environment. My dog lived her whole life virtually flealess, once I got her home turf flea-free.

With the new Frontline & Advantage products, its not hard to keep them off too.

Sorry, I just had this mental image of someone crushing up the tablets, sprinkling it on their dog, and then sitting back and waiting for the fleas to eat it.
I wasn’t laughing at you. Really.


The people I know who use Brewer’s Yeast to control fleas, also have pets who are sweet-tempered and who don’t mind taking pills or eating it when mixed into their food. They, too, noticed a drop in the flea population.

We never presented it as a “pill,” like a pill from the vet’s office.
We just dropped it in her food bowl each morning when we fed her and she gobbled it up with her food.
She always ate dry food, so either she didn’t even notice it, or she liked it. They smell very yeasty (big surprise!), so maybe she thought it was some sort of bread-like treat.

Well, you know I thought the yeast came in these little packets, not in tablet form, hence the original post/mistake of pouring the stuff all over the animal. :wink: I also got to thinking that this stuff might make the poor pet smell like a beer, but whatta I know! :smiley:



You didn’t say anything about the exploding fleas! :smiley:

I figured that might also make for a great mental image, especially when you add in the tiny little pops after which they come hurtling off the dog! :smiley:


Well, yeah, after the fleas eat the yeast, you have to scoop up all the little exploded flea carcasses. :snort:

Anyway, yes, you can buy Brewer’s Yeast tablets in the grocery store or drug store, in the vitamin aisle. I think you get 500 in a big bottle for maybe $5 or $6.

With all due respect for Ms. Lois’s first post, (that they don’t seem to work) they worked for us. Our dog never had fleas, but our next-door neighbor’s dog did. They were always taking him to get dipped, and had their house bombed many times. This was back in the 70s and early 80s, before the newer products like Frontline came out. I don’t know how well they work. I have cats now, and keep them indoors, and don’t have a flea problem.