All pet owners have to deal with fleas at one point or another. While many turn to chemical remedies, toxic flea shampoos and even dish detergents and sprays, they may not understand why these so called solutions don’t work long-term.
The main issue with these is that they often make cats very sick and caused liver problems, kidney diseases, and immune disorders, not to mention long-term nerve damage. Chemical flea control is based on nerve gases. By destroying the nervous system of the flea through the chemicals, the flea is unable to live. These chemicals do not discriminate between insect nervous systems and human or animal ones. There are solutions to flea pest control that are long lasting, effective, and safe for you, your family, your home and your pet. If you take this 5-step flea remedy approach, you can limit the possibility of fleas on your pets. (Note – some of these links may be affiliate links which help support this blog. It does not alter the price.)
Avalon Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner is a natural bathing solution that worked well for me – better than the blue dish-soap or flea collars, powders, soaps, or even the oily nerve chemical stuff you put behind their neck. The best part is that, after using it once per week for a couple of weeks, the cats and dog would beg to have a bath when I got the bottle out or when I washed my hair with it. And the fleas were gone; even the one I saw jump on one cat quickly jumped off.
For carpets and bedding there is a two-part treatment. First, make a carpet powder of 4-cups baking soda, ¼-cup salt, ¼-cup diatomaceous earth (DE), and ten drops each essential oils of lavender, lemon geranium (citronella), and marigold. Optionally, you can also add rosemary, eucalyptus, and/or any citrus oil such as lime, orange, or lemon. (Baking soda, salt, and DE will not only pull dirt and smells from carpeting, but also dehydrate fleas, their larva, and eggs. NOTE – Look for food grade DE when using in areas where pets and children would have access. Thanks Nellie for the reminder in the comment section!
The essential oils are all either poisonous to insects or repel them. (However, all are harmless to pets and humans except for the salt. ) Allow the powder to rest on the carpeting for at least an hour (or up to 3 days) – but do not let your cats or dogs walk on it, as excess salt can cause kidney problems. Simply vacuum it up. Feel free to shake it onto pet bedding and allow the bed to set a while; always shake it out before the pet uses it.
Hardwood, Tile, and Linoleum
For hard surfaces, take an equal mixture of white or apple cider vinegar and water. (NOTE:Add equal amounts distilled/deionized/RO (or nikkon pHi-mag) water and vinegar. The chlorine and other chemicals found in unfiltered or carbon filtered water can ruin the essential oils and even make the mixture spoil or smell bad. The purer the water is, the longer your mixture will last before going rancid or spoiling.) Put one drop of each essential oils per cup of the mixture. Use the same essential oils as above. Do not allow the mixture to set around, mix only enough to use each week. Put in a spray bottle and spray surfaces as you wipe them, especially floors. Feel free to use it as an air freshener and spray on couches, pet bedding, and in between vacuuming on carpeting and rugs. As a preventative measure, feel free to also spray on entry mats and outdoor entry ways, cement or wood.
NEVER SPRAY DIRECTLY ON YOUR PETS! Although non-toxic, it will make them throw up if they lick it off their fur. Allow all surfaces to dry before using them.
Lawn and Garden
For flower beds, buy DE to sprinkle around the foundation and under large shrubbery. DE has sharp spines that dig into the shells of fleas and other insects and kill them through dehydration. (It is also effective against all other insects such as ants, spiders, and termites. Plant your garden with marigold, lavender, rosemary, and lemon geranium (citronella), especially along property lines, beneath trees -birds, chipmunks, squirrels and other wild animals carry fleas- along fence lines, and around the home.
Lavender and marigold kill fleas and their larva while rosemary and lemon geranium deter them. For lawns, purchase beneficial nematodes. These must be applied to lawns in the fall in a particular way. They will rid your lawn of fleas, their eggs, and larva, along with all other harmful insects such as ants and lawn pests. Beneficial nematodes prey on other insects in the lawn if pesticides and chemical fertilizers are not used on it.
Crawl Spaces and Crevices
Close up basement access and crawl spaces. Make sure all animals have been evacuated. Apply DE to these spaces, along with salt. Make sure the attic and any pier and beam foundations are impenetrable by rodents and other critters. The DE and the salt will prevent any fleas or other insects, their larva, and their eggs are dried up and deter any others from entering the home.
Feel free to add the essential oils mentioned above, or even ground, dried marigold plants and flowers from your garden. Marigolds contain a chemical that stops the life cycle of fleas and other insects. It prevents them from reproducing.
While chemical solutions may seem cheap at first, they can cost hefty vet bills from the medical problems they cause over time. Additionally, pests like fleas become immune to pesticides over time, necessitating the use of more and more to keep them at bay. These natural methods are both preventative and instant. Insects like fleas cannot become immune to the glass-like shards of DE or the drying effects of salt and baking soda.
The insecticidal properties of vinegar and essential oils and plants act differently than chemical insecticides. As a bonus, they are healthier for our homes and families. Plus, they leave our homes clean and smelling fresh. There is no need to worry about having to protect your skin from them or worry about the essential oils hurting lungs or eyes.