Natural Flea Control
Flea control powders, collars and sprays contain highly toxic chemicals, including organophosphates, carbamate compounds and pesticides that are linked to long-term health problems in humans and animals. Fumigation can fill your house with toxic chemicals, and flea and tick products can wash or rub off on your children, your lawn, or any water that your animals play in, such as local lakes, streams, puddles, or lawn sprinklers. These chemicals should be avoided as much as possible to protect your family’s health and the health of our ecosystems.
Even freezing does not destroy fleas, so how can you safely and naturally control fleas for your family and your pets? The most important thing that you can do is to first keep your animals as healthy as possible. A healthy animal does not attract as many fleas and ticks as a pet in poor health. A natural diet will not only help increase your pets’ resistance to fleas and ticks, but will also boost their overall health and happiness.
Natural Flea Control Solutions for Your Pet
Following are some natural flea control steps you can take to avoid placing chemical flea treatments on your pet.
- Add garlic and brewer’s yeast to your pet’s diet. These create an unpleasant skin odor for fleas that is not noticable to humans. In the Spring and Summer, add 25 milligrams of yeast per ten pounds of body weight added to moist food. This will help your pet avoid intestinal gas. Pets that are allergic to yeast can try rice-based B-complex vitamins in their food.
- Give herbal repellents a try. Natural flea control formulas are available pre-mixed, or you can mix your own. Try rubbling ground cloves, eucalyptus oil, or strong wormwood tea into your pet’s fur.
- Try citrus oil. Citrus oil for natural flea control is available at health food stores. You can also make your own by boiling 4 cut lemons in just enough water to cover them. Simmer the lemons for about 45 minutes, cool, and strain. Apply the citrus oil to your pet’s fur while brushing to help all of the oil penetrate to skin. Let your pet dry and then rebrush.
- Rub natural diatomaceous earth into your pet’s fur. Do not use the type that is designed for swimming pools.
- Simply bathing and combing your pet often is a great form of natural flea control. Use a flea comb, and rinse the comb in soapy water while you comb your pet.
Natural Flea Control Solutions for Your Home and Yard
Fleas and ticks live off of your pets most of the time, so controlling your home environment is very important to natural flea control. Following are some natural flea control steps you can take to avoid fumigation and other chemical flea treatments in your home.
- Keep carpeted areas to a minimum. Fleas can’t live in wood or stone floors. If you do have carpeting, vacuum frequently and throw away the bag after every cleaning. Don’t neglect corners and crevices in upholstered furniture.
- Formulations of Boric Acid for natural flea control are commercially available and quite effective. Some companies even offer a year-long guarantee with their product. in addition. Be sure to test an area of your carpet before the application for color fastness and to make sure you are not sensitive to the powder.
- The most natural flea control to use on your yard is a biological control. A small worm or nematode that is a natural predator of flea eggs and larvae can be freeze-dried, reconstituted and then sprayed on your yard to naturally control the flea population. There is a brand called Interrupt that is available from many veterinarians.
Use of Flea and Tick Products on Your Pets
If you must use flea and tick products on your pets, be sure to consult your vetrinarian first, and remember to watch for reactions in both your family and your pets. Look for symptoms such as lethargy and loss of appetite. Small children should probably not be allowed to play with pets wearing flea collars.
After using these products, be sure to dispose of them conscientiously. They are hazardous materials, and should be treated as hazardous waste. For information about where to dispose of these materials in your city, please visit the Earth 911 Directory.