Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summer time (singing) is here and so are the fleas. I do not use Advantage, Frontline or any over the counter or traditional vet prescribed flea control on my cats or dogs any more. These products are toxic and pets build up an immunity that renders them useless. Natural products are safer, more cost effective and everyone wins!
I have used brewers yeast w/ garlic tablets and lavender essential oil. (do not use lavender on cats) All of these work. The first step in flea control is a healthy pet which starts with their diet. Fleas will infest a sick animal as I sadly witnessed first hand. My household is flea-free and I live in Southern California. My favorite product is flea treats, a B vitamin complex, specially formulated for dogs and cats. They’re flavored with real liver–my dogs love them. I have to crush up in my cat’s food. When you keep Flea Treats in your pet’s system, after about 10 to 20 days, the vitamins cause your pet to develop a natural repellent.
From the EPA:
U.S. and Canada to Increase Scrutiny of Flea and Tick Pet Products
Release date: 04/16/2009
(Washington, DC – April 16, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is intensifying its evaluation of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for pets due to recent increases in the number of reported incidents. Adverse reactions reported range from mild effects such as skin irritation to more serious effects such as seizures and, in some cases, the death of pets. . . . Incidents with flea and tick products can involve the use of spot-on treatments, sprays, collars and shampoos. However, the majority of the incidents reported to EPA are related to flea and tick treatments with EPA-registered spot-on products. (to read the complete EPA news release, click here)
Source: Vital Animal, Will Falconer, DVM, certified holistic vet.
THE SIGNS OF FLEAS:
- Your pet is scratching a lot or is loosing patches of fur.
- There is pepper-like debris in his fur.
- His skin is red or sore, or there is a scabby rash.
- He has been getting tape-worms.
Natural Flea Control Alternatives
1. Rosemary Flea Dip
Steep two cups of fresh rosemary in boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid, discard the leaves and add up to a gallon of warm water depending on the size of your dog. Wait until it cools but is still warm and pour over your dog until he’s soaked. Allow your dog to dry naturally. Works especially well on hot summer days.
Take the pet’s collar or bandana and put on a few drops of eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil , citronella, lavender, or geranium. This will need to be done weekly. Note: Dilute is the key to using essential oils on animals. Therapeutic 100% pure is best. Be very careful when applying essential oils directly on pet, this is a highly concentrated form of herbs. There is controversy whether cats can use lavender. Check with holistic vet.
3. Brewer’s Yeast & Garlic
You can find tablets at most pet stores. They are for dogs and cats and the dosage is by weight. Liver flavored and most of my pets eat them as a treat. If not I mix it in their food. Or you can sprinkle a TBSP of brewers yeast on your pet’s food each day. Dogs over 50 lbs. can have up to 2 tsp of garlic a day (1-2 cloves), and smaller dogs can have 1/4 to 1/2 tsp (1/4 clove) a day. Garlic can be a problem for cats so don’t give them too much. Brewer’s yeast & garlic changes the flavor of your pet’s blood. (I now give my dogs straight garlic. They do not like the taste, so I put a clove in a piece of hotdog).
A spoonful of this added to your dog’s water makes their skin more acidic and not-at-all tasty to fleas. If apple cider vinegar is not your dog’s cup of tea, you can dilute it 50/50 with water, pour into a spray bottle and use as a repellent. Cider vinegar in the drinking water (1 tsp per pint of water), or in the food (half to one teaspoon depends on the dog’s size). Raw vinegar is healthier!
5. Lemon Spray Repellent
Cut a lemon into quarters, 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 generally (be careful of his eyes), around the base of the tail, and under your dog’s legs.
7. Flea Comb
After your pet is dry, use a flea comb that is specifically designed to remove fleas. Use the comb all over their skin.
Aromatherapy oils cedarwood, eucalyptus, terebinth, lemon, rosemary, lavender and mint can be diluted in water and brushed or massaged into the fur. You can use the same diluted spray in your home as you do on your pet. Dilute 10 drops of your chosen essential oil (lavender, rosemary, and peppermint are highly recommended) with a bottle full of water.
9. Pet Protector disc is aluminum ‘charged’ with electromagnetic & scalar waves using Lenz Law principle to repel fleas and ticks. These waves create a protective, bio-resonance field, driving away parasites and preventing new ones from being hosted by your pet. (I researched scalar waves and they are very beneficial). By frequently exposing yourself to the Scalar Wave Energy, you build stronger healthier cells, enhance immune system, and much more. Scalar waves are safe and beneficial for animals.
- Bathing alone is ineffective for flea control. Bathing will kill the fleas on your dog or cat, but will not stop them from getting back on your pet. Bath your dog every week or every other week in the summer time. Bathing more than once a week dries out their skin.
- When bathing dog, put a ring of shampoo (what ever you use) around the dog’s neck before getting the dog wet. This will prevent fleas from climbing to dog’s head.
- Cedar beds make effective repellents, as long as covers are washed routinely.
- Vacuum regularly and empty bags if you do not have a bagless vacuum. Fleas can live in the bags.
- Flea trap-put soapy water in a shallow bowl/cake pan under a night-light by Fido’s bed (make sure Fido or Kitty will not drink it). Fleas jump at light, fall in water, kills them dead.
- Borax laundry cleaner for carpets. Break up clumps, sprinkle all over carpets, area rugs and furniture. Sweep into carpet, leave for 1-2 weeks, the longer the better. Do not vacuum. This is the hard part. I sweep my carpet during this time. The Borax suffocates the fleas and kills the eggs as well. Most applications are good for a year.
- Salt, regular table salt and baking soda can be used in the same manner as Borax. Borax is the best.
You must treat your yard as well. I do not like to use pesticides or insecticides. Even if your pets are indoor pets, fleas can still come into your home via you or other humans.
Let’s start with the outdoor environment first. If your animals spend a fair amount of time in a grassy yard, there is a biological control that can be used to prey on the flea larvae in the soil. A nematode, which is a tiny worm, is applied via lawn sprayer, and, within 24 hours, brings about a 90% decrease in the number of flea larvae.
Nematodes have no adverse affect on anything but the pest, and they have the side benefit of helping in the garden against cutworms and grubs. As with all biological controls, the predators need to be reintroduced periodically, because they eat all the prey species and die off for lack of food. Follow the label instructions, which usually recommend wetting the soil well before application, to give the nematodes a good start.
Source: Vital Animal
Natural Insect Deterrent Recipe
- 1 cup baby shampoo
- 1 cup lemon dish soap
- 1 cup lemon ammonia
- zest of 1 lemon
Mix all the ingredients into a 20-gallon hose-end sprayer. Soak down the entire yard, including trees, bushes, and all ground areas. You can also mix one ounce of orange oil with one gallon of water. Mix in a hose-end sprayer and saturate the yard. This concoction kills most insects.
Source: The Holistic Cat by Jennifer A. Coscia
- Weekly Wag: Brewers Yeast Supplement – Touch of Home Pet Care
- Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo – Touch of Home Pet Care
- Non-toxic Flea and Tick Control – Alternatives 4 Animal Health
- Natural Flea Remedies – Earth Clinic
- Eliminate Fleas Without Poisons – Whole Dog Journal
- The Most Efficient Home Remedies for Killing Fleas – Naturally Complementary
- Flea Control: A Guide to Controlling These Buggers Naturally! – Greeniacs