Other OPTIONS for dealing with Fleas

Flea bites are painless & aren’t always itchy, but many pets are allergic to flea saliva and THAT is what can trigger a scratching/biting frenzy that can last as long as a week. Some pets react so violently and scratch so hard that they damage their skin and cause a painful infection.

The holistic approach takes longer but uses less-toxic approaches. Also because their immune system is compromised sick pets tend to have more fleas, which in turn make them sicker & even anemic from blood loss.

Normal grooming by pets will remove most fleas, but since many fleas harbor tape worms ingestion can cause your pets to get worms.

So that said . . . SOLUTIONS . . .

NATURAL repellants- instead of waiting until you pet GETS fleas & then fighting them, keep them off by being pro-active. A supplement called “Body Guard Powder” this repels fleas from inside out. Pets weighing under 20 lbs can have 1 teaspoon twice a day mixed into their food, 20-50 lbs 1.5 teaspoons twice a day, larger pets 1 tablespoon twice a day.

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Repel fleas with a “bad taste” that changes flavor of the pet’s blood like brewer’s yeast. The benefit of brewer’s yeast is it contains B vitamins that can improve the pet’s overall health & make them more resistant to fleas. Some pets are allergic to yeast, so check with a vet BEFORE using it at home.

Fleas don’t like certain “smells” like citrus. So washing floors & baseboards with Lemon Fresh or cleaners that contain citronella are another option. Other herbs that repel fleas include- pennyroyal (mentha pulegium or hedeoma pulegioides), peppermint (mentha piperita), or spearmint (mentha spicata). Make a herbal tea by putting one quarter cub of the dried herb in a quart of hot water & let it steep in a covered pot for 15 minutes. Strain the tea, let it cool & mop it on your floors & baseboards. Another- aromatic cedar is another flea repellant, which is why many pet beds are made with cedar chips.

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Fleas are also attracted to “warmth” and light you can trick them by filling a cake pan (or bowl) with soapy (dish detergent) water and putting under a night-light near where pets sleep. They will leap for it, land in the soapy water & drown.

The safest way is combing fleas out & putting flea into bowl of “soapy water” to drown them. Or if you can- fill a tub or sink with water and put your pet in up to their neck. Fleas will quickly head for dry ground above the pet’s neck & you can pick them off as they appear. To make it even more effective, lather pets neck with flea shampoo containing pyrethrins (a natural insecticide made from chrysanthemums) Lather on for about 10 minutes. When fleas run up pets body they will get trapped in the suds & die. Then rinse your pet thoroughly, this will send the remaining fleas down the drain. While a flea bath kills- it will NOT keep them off your pet for good. So dust or spray your pet with a flea product containing pyrethrins, following instructions on the label.

Dust with food grade diatomaceous earth. Despite its earthly name, this consists of the skeltons of microscopic algae that contain trace minerals. It can help keep your pet’s skin healthy so that it naturally repels fleas. Liberally sprinkle it on your pet once a day during flea season and rub it into the skin (or for cats/ferals or strays- add some catnip to it so cat rolls in it). You can buy this in pet supply stores be sure to buy the kind called amorphous. Another type called glassified is used as a filter in swimming pools and is dangerous for pets.

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There might be a time where you will NEED to go to the VET. A flea drinks 15 times its body weight in blood every day. When your pet has lots of fleas (100’s or more at a time)- they can lose up to a milliliter of blood a day. This may not be a problem for grown, healthy pets, but it can cause anemia in puppies, kittens, older pets those with health issues or compromised immune systems. You an recognize anemia by looking into a pet’s mouth. Gums and tongue should be a healthy “bubble-gum pink” if they are pale or white, the could be losing large amounts of blood and need to see a vet ASAP!!!

To stop the “itchy” feeling for pets with homeopathy, give one to three pellets of the homeopathic remedy- Ctenocephalidae nosode 12X – three times a day for one week.

Run an oatmeal bath, washing pets with oatmeal shampoo is the best way to relieve itching. Be sure to use cool water because warm water makes the itching worse. You can use the oatmeal shampoo once a day for up to 3 or 4 days.

For every adult flea there may be 100s more eggs, larvae & cocoons in the house waiting to take their turn in this vicious cycle. Get rid of them by vacuuming your home once a week. Vacuum furniture, cracks in the baseboards and other dark places where they wait to mature. Throw vacuum cleaner bag out each week (or fill it with a flea killer). If you don’t dispose of the bag ASAP- the eggs in the bags will hatch & you’ll start another battle all over again.

Wash pets bedding or all fabrics they lay on at least once a week because normal washing in hot water and soap will remove flea eggs and larvae. If your pet uses your furniture cover furniture in towels to make it easier to change or wash every day.

You can also “salt” your carpets with a natural substance called borax salts which causes adult fleas to dry out and die. It also kills flea larvae when they eat or inhale the dust. The ingredient you are looking for on the label is sodium polyborate which is found in products such as Rx for fleas. Work the powder deeply into the carpet and leave it in place. Vacuum up the residue. Wear a mask when applying borax salts and DO NOT let pets onto the carpet until you have vacuumed up ALL the excess. Borax salts are very effective, but the benefits are temporary, as soon as you shampoo the rug you will need to powder it again.

Fleas that live in the yard don’t always stay in the yard, since every time your pet goes outside they act like a flea magnet. Fleas can even hop on YOU (or friends) and be carried inside the house. To control fleas in YOUR YARD- use nematodes—these microscopic worms can be obtained from garden supply stores. When mixed in water and sprayed on the yard, they will EAT immature fleas as well as other insects.

Take away their hiding places, outside fleas thrive in moist shaded areas- like tall grass or weeds under trees—keep grass mowed SHORT. Human grade- (NO fragrance, alcohol or other additives) baby oil rubbed into your pet’s skin, might also be a solution to cause fleas to not want to stick around because they can’t breathe in the oily substance & have difficulty moving

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