Fleas and your pets
Fleas are the bane of pets and their owners lives. Each year as it warms up many of us battle with fleas and some struggle to get on top of them. Many owners don’t want to use toxic chemical based flea treatments on their pets. So are looking for alternative natural ways to get rid of fleas.
There is no one sure fire way to get rid of fleas; it has to be a combined effort. Combatting fleas has to be looked at as a holistic approach, and the key to getting on top of them is to break the life cycle and treat the environment they live in. Fleas will lay eggs that fall off your pet, turn into larvae, then hatch before jumping back on to your pet. So just de-fleaing your pet and hoping that will be enough without dealing with the eggs and larvae that are in the surrounding areas just doesn’t work.
Having a happy healthy pet will also help to keep them flea free, so feeding a good diet, exercise and good mental health will all contribute.
Below I have compiled some solutions that you can use to help combat fleas and get your pet flea free and happy again.
One of the biggest controls you can do to combat fleas is cleanliness, keeping your home environment very clean helps to break the life cycle. So washing pets bedding, sanitising and vacuuming play a huge part.
- Wash pets bedding regularly, you can even add things like tea tree essential oils to the wash water. Wash and dry on hot cycle will kill fleas at all life stages. Try to use hot soapy water and wash once a week in the peak season. Roll bedding up before you carry to the washing machine, this will stop fleas, eggs and larvae from dropping off.
- Vacuuming your carpets especially around pets bedding or where they like to sleep. If you have an infestation, then throw away the vacuum bag afterwards, so it doesn’t create a food filled warm environment for the fleas to nurture, grow and then escape.
- Cleaning and mopping floors (all of the above will pick up flea eggs and larvae), also use disinfectant to kill them.
- Washing your pet in a natural flea resistant shampoo or soap.
- Natural flea products – in our Tagiwig range we have Jumpies which is for flea complaints in cats and dogs.
- Flea combing brings normal secretions from oil glands to the skin and discourages fleas, it also get rid of fleas and flea eggs. Have a bowl of hot soapy water on hand to dispose of the fleas quickly. Do daily in an infestation, and reduce to weekly or monthly in the off-peak seasons.
- Having short lawns helps the sun to get through and warm the soil to kill larvae. Also watering areas will help to drown developing fleas.
- Ants love to eat flea larvae and eggs, so if they are outside don’t discourage them.
- Sterilise outdoor sleeping areas, if you have an area where you’re pet sleeps, say a deck or concrete, you can wash down with hot soapy water, cider vinegar or bleach.
- Dry dirt area - wash down or put black plastic over it on a hot sunny day to kill eggs and larvae. Also sprinkle with agricultural lime (super cheap at Farm Source) it helps to dry out and kill the fleas.
- Natural Flea Powder – make it yourself. Combine one part of herbs that are natural flea’s repellents – eucalyptus, rosemary, fennel, yellow dock, wormwood, rue and thyme. Mix together then brush into your pet’s fur. Then place them outside so the fleas jump off out there.
- Natural Skin tonic can act as a flea repellent – cut 1 lemon into thin slices including rind. Cover with 1 litre of boiling water, leave to soak and cool overnight. Use the liquid on your pet to act as a flea repellent.
- Adding additional supplements to your pets diet - brewer’s yeast and garlic added to the diet can help to reduce flea. Use from 1 teaspoon up to 2 tablespoons of brewer’s yeast depending on your pet’s size and ¼ to 1 clove of garlic daily.
- Sprinkle Diatomaceous earth in cracks, crevices and areas where you can’t reach, once or twice a year, it dry’s the fleas out which results in death. (not recommended to use on your pets as the dust is so fine they can breathe it in).
What you are trying to achieve is to break the flea lifecycle by treating your pet and the environment they live in.
Hopefully by using some or all of the above will help to keep your house and pets flea free.
Posted: Wed 11 Mar 2020