Natural Flea Control
Natural Flea Control
Fleas in the home and on pets occurs in seasons and cycles, depending on your geographical location. Controlling the flea life cycle in a home where pets are a part of the family can be achieved without the use of poison and toxic insecticides.
Most veterinary strength and over the counter flea control products contain harmful ingredients.
Organophosphates & Carbamates are insecticides which affect fleas and parasites by preventing the natural degradation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at neural junctions. The result is persistent neural stimulation, respiratory paralysis (due to muscle exhaustion), convulsions and death. Unfortunately, the same mechanism can also result in toxicity and death to animals. Since these insecticides can be absorbed through the skin they are dangerous to pets and pet owners.
Organophosphates & Carbamates are known to cause massive cell death in the kidneys, lungs, thymus, and heart. They are also known carcinogens.
In humans they can cause parkinson’s like symptoms which can be irreversible or permanent.
Below are several proven methods for controlling the flea population on your pets and in your home safely.
Safer Flea Control Options
Brewers or Nutritional Yeast – Fleas and other biting insects have an aversion to thiamine which is excreted by the skin and they dislike the taste of it in your body.
1 tsp. for cats and smaller dogs, 2 tsp. for medium-sized dogs and up to a tablespoon for large dogs.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth – Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the fossilized remains of microscopic one-celled plants (phytoplankton) called diatoms that lived in oceans and lakes.
It is used as a dessicant. When diatomaceous earth comes in contact with the insects, the sharp edges lacerate the bugs waxy exoskeleton and then the powdery diatomaceous earth absorbs the body fluids causing death from dehydration.
Use diatomaceous earth on your carpeting to kill fleas, sprinkle on with a shaker bottle (like an old parmesan cheese container) and let sit overnight. Vacuum thoroughly. This can be applied twice a year with long lasting effectiveness.
Herbal Flea Powder:
Make a natural flea powder by pulverizing as many of the following herbs in a food processor or coffee grinder:
Add an equal part of diatomaceous earth and apply to pets once a week or more if your infestation problem is severe. Brush out any excess powder.
Diatomaceous earth contains 15 trace minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc iron, phosphorous, selenium, etc. Including DE in your pets diet can also eliminate internal parasites. It is also a powerful detoxifier.
Daily recommended food grade diatomaceous earth feeding rates:
Kittens – 1/2 teaspoon
Cats – 1 teaspoon
Puppies – 1/2 to 1 tsp.
Dogs under 35 lbs. – 1 teaspoon
Dogs over 35 lbs. – 1 tablespoon
Dogs over 100 lbs. – 2 tablespoons
Borax, Boric Acid and Baking Soda – All powerful pet and child-safe dessicants that can be applied to carpeting, brushed into carpet fibers with a broom, left overnight and vacuumed thoroughly. This can be applied twice a year. You may consider adding 25 drops of one or several of the flea controlling essential oils listed below to your shaker. Mix two cups of borax, boric acid or baking soda with 25 drops of pure essential oil.
Herbs – Botanicals which repel fleas are peppermint, eucalyptus, citrus peel, bay leaf, marjoram, eucalyptus and rosemary.
Rosemary Flea Dip:
Steep two cups of fresh rosemary in boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and add up to a gallon of warm water depending on the size of your dog. Wait until it cooled but still a bit warm and pour over your dog until their coat is soaked. Allow your dog to air dry.
Lemon Spray Repellent:
Cut a lemon into many squares, cover with boiling water and let it steep overnight. In the morning, spray all over your dog, especially behind the ears and around the head avoiding the eyes, around the base of the tail, and underbelly.
Essential Oils – Essential oils are distilled from the bark, buds, skins, flowers, fruits, seeds, nuts, roots, stems or leaves of a plant.
They contain in high concentration all of the botanical chemical constituents of the plant, such as terpenes, phenols, and ketones.
Essential oils should never be used ‘neat’ or undiluted on pets. Some essential oils are toxic to pets and should never be used. Cats are very sensitive to essential oils and should only be applied when infestation is extreme. Citrus oils should never be used on cats. Cats lack several enzymes necessary for the metabolism of essential oil constituents that they ingest while grooming. A cat-safe alternative would be the application of the botanicals listed below in their hydrosol form. Hydrosol, hydrolat or floral water contains all the water-soluble extracts from the plant, and also has therapeutic properties, like the essential oil does.
Essential oils which repel fleas are Neem, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Citronella, Lavender, Basil, Sage, Lemongrass and Lemon Balm.
Flea and Tick Spritzer:
1 pint of distilled
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vodka
4-6 drops of aloe, glycerine, lecithin or castille soap as an emulsifier
20 drops of several essential oils listed above
Add the water, vinegar, vodka and emulsifier to a spray bottle. Shake well. Then add 20 drops of several essential oils listed above. Spray pets daily, avoiding eyes and mouth. A light misting will apply enough diluted essential oil to repel fleas.
Flea and Tick Shampoo:
Mix 1/2 cup shampoo and 20 drops of several essential oils listed above.
Bathe weekly during high infestation season. Try to leave the shampoo on as long as your dog will permit. Rinse thoroughly.
Other effective means of flea control:
Regular grooming and flea combing – Drown any fleas you find in a bowl of dishsoap and water.
Nematodes – Small worms which feed off of fleas, flea eggs and flea larvae. These nematodes live in the soil and can be spread in yards and gardens. They can be mail ordered readily online thru garden supply vendors.
Frequent vacuuming – Empty bagless vacuum cleaners or change vacuum bags and place the bag/contents of vacuum outside so that fleas do not continue to breed and reproduce inside the bag and reinfest the home.
Laundering bedding – I buy fleece remnants at the fabric stores very inexpensively and always have a supply of clean bedding I can change out frequently. Launder pet blankets and bedding often.
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