The Blog

Natural Flea Control For Your Pets

Posted by Gail Kavanagh on 5/10/2013 to Healing
Ctenocephalides canis and Ctenocephalides felis are two uninvited guests that like to make themselves at home on our dogs and cats - and because we love our pets, we shudder at the thought of dowsing them in potentially harmful chemicals to kill those pesky fleas. But there is a better way, if we take a holistic approach.

Set aside one day on a sunny weekend to put in place procedures that will protect your home, yard and pets from fleas in a simple, natural way.

First, put the pets outside and tackle your living areas. Dust and clean thoroughly, gather up fluffy toys and other looses items, sweep the floors, and vacuum the carpets and rugs thoroughly. If your vacuum cleaner has poor suction, hire a stronger one. You want to clean all larvae and existing fleas out of their hiding places.

Pay special attention to areas where pet hairs have accumulated, and behind heaters, under sofas and down the backs of chairs. When you have finished vacuuming, place the bag in a plastic garbage bag and seal tightly, or empty the contents of a bagless vacuum cleaner into a garbage bag and seal. Place the garbage bag in the trash.

If you have wooden floors, take a bucket of soapy water with a few drops of eucalyptus or tea tree oil added to it, and wash the areas where your pet sleeps. Add eucalyptus or tea tree oil to the washing machine and thoroughly wash all pets? bedding, cushion covers, removable upholstery covers and any other soft furnishings that may be harboring fleas. Hang the items in the sun to dry.

Before you replace the carpets use a safe, natural borax compound like Rx for Fleas Plus, from Fleabusters, or Flea Away Diatomaceous earth, to dust around those areas that harbor fleas, such as around the heater, along skirting boards and between the floorboards of wooden floors.

It is important that you keep up this routine of thorough vacuuming and dusting with borax because fleas lay their eggs in cracks and crevices.

Move outside now, and bathe your pets using a natural flea control shampoo. You can make your own by adding a few drops of citrus oil and a few drops of tea tree oil to simple baby shampoo. Lather the dog thoroughly and if possible, leave the lather on for a few minutes to drown the pests. If your dog has very long hair, consider clipping it short to better seek and destroy fleas.

Comb your pet thoroughly with a flea comb to remove the fleas and their eggs before you let it back in the house.

Cats are very sensitive to some oils like tea tree, so it is best to simply shampoo your cat thoroughly with a plain shampoo, and comb out the fleas and eggs.

Keep the flea comb and shampoo handy for a once a week treatment, but the best way to tackle your pet?s problem is from the inside out. Add garlic and brewer?s yeast to your dog?s diet ? this adds an odor to the dog?s skin that fleas hate, but which you won?t be able to detect. You can crush a tablet of brewer?s yeast and a clove of garlic and add it to the food bowl.

Take care with your cat, as garlic is considered toxic to them. A fresh, wholesome diet that includes vegetables and sweet, soft fleshed fruits (which cats love) will go a long to help guard against further infestations.

Healthy animals are better able to repel fleas, so it is worth the extra expense of a good brand of pet food in the long run. Add fresh cooked vegetables chopped into their everyday diet. If you are having stew or casserole for dinner, set some aside for your pet.

Now you can send you pet back inside and tackle the yard. Fleas piggy back their way around by hopping on the nearest dog or human, so you need to guard your yard as well.

First sweep thoroughly around porch and outdoor living areas, and scatter some more borax compound or Diatomaceous earth in nooks and crannies. Place all sweepings into a plastic garbage bag and seal tightly.

Next check your fences ? animals wandering in and out will offload more unwanted visitors than themselves, so make sure your property is secure. While you may love having birds in your backyard, discourage them from building nests. Bird fleas can be very hard to eradicate. If you have a problem with other pests, such as mice, tackle this head on, as this will be another way for fleas to get into your house.

Keep your lawn neatly trimmed, and don?t let rubbish build up anywhere. Grow pennyroyal, as it is known to repel fleas. The newest method of outside flea control is nematodes, tiny worms that eat flea larvae. You can buy nematodes from garden and pet stores, and you don?t need many to start with, as they multiply rapidly.

Finally, dispose of the plastic bags full of vacuum dust and sweepings.

Now you have fired the first salvo in your war against fleas, you need to keep up regular patrols. None of the methods outlined above are a quick fix like many of the chemical products on the market, but they are an effective, and safe way to keep your pets flea free and happy.