Fleas are tiny creatures, usually less than 3/16 of an inch long. These pesky parasites are very active and roam freely on their host’s body; Also, fleas can survive for weeks without eating. They spend much of their time outside of the animal, hiding in cracks, carpets, napping carpets, in the ground or in the grass.
Studies have shown that 5% of the fleas that infest your home are adults while the other 95% contain flea eggs (50%), larvae (35%), and pupae (10%). Many traditional pesticides are used to eradicate these pests – they only kill adult fleas and leave 95 percent of the flea problem untreated, causing re-infestation.
Natural ways to get rid of fleas
Fortunately, there are many natural ways to treat your pets and your home for these blood-sucking parasites without putting their health or your family’s health at risk.
Many of these easy-to-follow techniques and means are simple to make and only require common ingredients that you can find in your kitchen.
Start these treatments before flea season and use them regularly before resorting to flea medication.
Fleas tend to feed on weak or malnourished animals. High quality dog food will make your pet healthier and less attractive to fleas and all types of parasites.
One effective way to prevent parasites from settling on your four-legged friend is to rub brewer’s yeast into your pet’s fur. Yeast can also be added to a pet’s bowl. Mixing yeast with your dog’s food is believed to be effective at repelling fleas.
Small doses of garlic can help fight fleas. Garlic has antimicrobial properties that can reduce the risk of bacterial and fungal infections, and makes the puppy’s blood inedible to the fleas.
Include a minimal amount of garlic powder in your pet’s food (no more than a pinch) daily to repel insects of all kinds. Don’t give your pet garlic if they’re anemic – it can thin the blood.
2. Natural flea repellent for dogs
Not only are these remedies a natural, lower-cost alternative to topical flea treatments, they’re also easy to feel at home.
Essential oils are pure plant distillates and extracts that are obtained from flowers, leaves, stems, berries, bark, resins or roots of plants. These oils have long been used in traditional medicine and aromatherapy for humans and animals.
Since our dogs have a much more sensitive sense of smell than we do, be careful when using oils on animals. A good rule is that if it smells too strong for you, it is too strong for the animal and should be diluted with a carrier oil or water. This goes for any recipe that contains oils.
You can either add the following recipe to 8 ounces. (240 ml) of a natural shampoo to make a flea repellent shampoo or to 2 ounces. a base oil to make an oil blend.
- 2 drops of citronella
- 1-2 drops of lemon
- 1-2 drops of clary sage
- 2-3 drops of peppermint
Apply a few drops of the oil mixture to your dog’s neck, back, chest, legs, and tail. You can also put a few drops on your dog’s cotton collar or headscarf to create an aromatic flea collar. This recipe can be used for any dog of age. However, ask a doctor if your pet is very young, very old, or has sensitive skin.
Garlic flea protection spray for your home & gardena
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Tablespoons of vegetable oil
- litre water
- 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap
Mix the garlic and vegetable oil and leave to soak overnight. Strain and add to the water together with the liquid soap. Spray regularly.
Chamomile flea spray
- 1 tablespoon. Dried chamomile
- 1 tablespoon. Dried valerian
- 1 tablespoon. Dried licorice
- 1/2 C. witch hazel
Prepare an infusion of the herbs by boiling 2 cups of water and adding the herbs to the water.
Let the herbs steep until the water is cold. Mix the infusion with the witch hazel. Spray your dog with this solution daily during the flea season.
Lemon rinse after bath
You can use lemon juice and water in equal amounts. (Concentrated real lemon juice or freshly squeezed lemons).
Bathe your pet in a mild shampoo and rinse them off with the lemon mixture. Reapply once a month during the flea season (mid to late summer).
Fleas can multiply outside of the animal. As long as the female manages to get fresh blood, the eggs can be laid anywhere and eventually hatched under favorable conditions. Therefore, even if you manage to successfully remove fleas from your dog, there is a good chance that there are still some lurking around your house. Apart from that, the following are tips to get rid of the fleas in your home completely.
Fleas spend most of their time napping your carpet. You can remove up to 50% of the flea eggs in one go with a vacuum. Pay attention to any areas your pets sleep in and make sure to clean under couches, chairs, and other furniture.
Remember to seal and remove vacuum bags after a cleaning session. Vacuum every week throughout the year, then vacuum daily in late summer and early fall when flea populations increase.
In addition to vacuuming regularly, you can use safe and highly effective common ingredients in your carpets – like salt, borax, mothballs, and diatomaceous earth – to remove even more fleas.
Wash your mattress and blankets
Wash your mattress, carpets and curtains, all linens, toys, pillows and blankets for your pup. It’s even better to dry clean them. Wash everything at a temperature of at least 50 degrees Celsius (the higher the better, since fleas are very persistent).
Are Natural Solutions Effective Enough to Treat Fleas Completely?
For light or mild infestations, using natural flea repellants will certainly help get rid of fleas without the need for topical treatments. For a severe infestation, however, it would be crucial to opt for flea products.
A very healthy pet with a good diet is unlikely to get fleas. The best way to prevent fleas is to boost your fur friend’s immune system through diet, exercise, and holistic treatment.
Written by: Walter Perez, the owner of blothatdog.com.