Natural Flea Control (Yes, it is possible!)
How To Get Rid of Fleas Naturally
In THIS post, I told you about how we recently moved into a flea ridden house and how I got rid of that flea infestation naturally, with ZERO toxic chemicals. In that post I gave you my homemade flea powder recipe, which I now swear by because it worked really well at getting rid of our infestation. You can read that post HERE.
But today, I’m going to give you all the natural flea control options I learned about during my research. When I realized I had a pretty major flea problem on my hands, I read a few holistic pet books and spoke with a holistic vet and learned that there are actually a few effective natural flea control options without using toxic chemicals that holistic vets recommend. And today I’m going to share all I learned with you.
But before I begin, it’s important to understand the life cycle of a flea, so you are clear on why most natural flea control options do not get rid of a flea infestation immediately.
My flea infestation took a whole 4 weeks (which I learned is typical) to get rid of! But I was able to keep Bently comfortable with my natural remedies during those 4 weeks. Plus I was thrilled to not have to use toxic chemicals on him that can be harmful to both him and us.
UNDERSTANDING A FLEA’S LIFE CYCLE
Adult fleas can live to about 3 months. During that time, they are constantly laying tiny white eggs on your pet that look like dandruff. Flea eggs hatch into larvae that live in carpets, floors, rugs, sand, blankets, etc. These tiny larvae cannot jump yet or move very much so they live off the black specks of dried blood that fall off, along with the flea eggs, when your pet scratches or moves.
After a week or two, the larvae go into a cocoon stage (pupae) and then a week or two later, they hatch out as small fleas that feast on your pet. Then they start that whole process again. During active flea season (the warm months), that entire cycle is only 2 weeks.
So no matter how many adult fleas you kill, numerous eggs and future fleas are developing at the same time!
CLEANING IS A NATURAL FLEA CONTROL!
The good news is that cleaning greatly cuts down on the number of adult fleas that will make it to your pet. Washing pet bedding (or your bedding because we all know your pet sleeps with you 😉 ) at least once a week will kill all life cycles of a flea. The vacuum will be your best friend at helping get rid of eggs, fleas, larvae and pupae.
You must commit to vacuuming and cleaning floors at least once a week (but more is better!) if you have a flea infestation.
The eggs, larvae and pupae will be most concentrated where your pet sleeps, so focus your efforts on those areas, especially. Every single night for 4 weeks in a row, we vacuumed Bently’s pet bedding, our sofa and the spots where he “hangs” out. We normally don’t vacuum nearly that much, so it was a small inconvenience. But I believe the daily vacuuming and the homemade flea powder played equally important roles at getting rid of our pretty major flea infestation.
NATURAL FLEA CONTROL OPTIONS
Holistic vets agree that the best approach to natural flea control is to start with the most natural, non-toxic options and only resort to stronger measures if reasonable control is not achieved. Toxic chemical flea treatments should only be used as a last resort, when other methods have failed. The methods below are ones that were recommended to me by holistic vets during my research for getting rid of fleas naturally:
Homemade Flea Powder
I have personal success with THIS homemade flea powder recipe. It worked for a pretty major flea infestation in our home and on our dog. I applied it on my dog, Bently, every other day until I saw no more fleas and was confident they were out of our home (this took 4 weeks). I also used the powder around my house during the flea infestation. You can find that recipe HERE.
Garlic and Brewer’s (or Nutritional) Yeast
Adding fresh, raw garlic and nutritional yeast to your dog’s food helps to repel fleas, mosquitos and other insects. The recommended servings are 1/4 to 1 clove of fresh raw garlic and/or and 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of yeast per feeding. Amounts vary according to your pet’s size. I add 1 clove of garlic to Bently’s diet each day. He is extremely picky and doesn’t like the yeast (no matter how hard I tried to hide it!), although I’ve heard most dogs actually enjoy it. It’s important to note that fresh garlic and yeast does not work for killing fleas, it’s only a measure to use for added defense against fleas.
Fleabusters is a company that can either come to your home and put a special natural powder into your carpeting and cracks of your house or you can order the powder and do it yourself (Find it HERE). FleaBusters also has an outdoor service. Although I have no personal experience with FleaBusters, I’ve heard great reviews and results for this company and product.
Buck Mountain Parasite Dust
If you don’t want to make my Homemade Flea Powder, try this Parasite Dust (You can find it HERE). The formula is what I based my homemade flea powder from. Just a note -Making it yourself is much more cost effective, especially if you have a flea infestation because you’ll need to use a lot of it.
Flea Free is a flower essence that has a great track record with holistic vets for repelling fleas. All you do is put a few drops in the your pet’s water bowl. You can find it HERE.
Lemon Skin Tonic
This lemon skin tonic is a source of natural flea-killing substances that some holistic vets say works amazingly well for flea repellent (and a great natural treatment for mange!). Thinly slice a whole lemon, including the peel. Add it to 1 pint of near boiling water and let it steep overnight. The next day, sponge the solution onto your pets skin and let it dry. You can use this daily for severe problems, weekly or monthly.
This herbal tea makes an excellent conditioner that helps repel fleas. Just combine 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary) in 1 pint of boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain. When it’s cooled to body temperature, pour it over your pet after the final rinse in the bath. Rub it in and towel dry, without rinsing.
OTHER TIPS FOR NATURAL FLEA CONTROL
Bathing plays a major role in getting rid of fleas. It’s one of the safest and most effective ways to kill fleas since fleas and all life stages will drown in water. Please note that bathing can dry the skin, so be sure to use a natural shampoo that will not strip all the oils from the hair. Avoid shampoos that have chemical medication or synthetic insecticides. I use THIS natural shampoo and add in a few drops of Eucalyptus oil (a natural insect repellent).
To be sure to kill the fleas in the bath, leave the shampoo on your pet for 5 minutes, or as long as your pet will allow. Thoroughly rinse.
Vacuum your house and wash your pet’s bedding at least once a week. Dry your pet’s bedding on maximum heat to ensure fleas are killed.
Mow and water your lawn regularly.
Short grass allows the sunlight to expose and warm the soil, which will kill larvae. Watering also drowns fleas and all developing fleas.
Sterilize outdoor sleeping spots.
If your pet likes to hang out at a particular spot or if he/she sleeps outside, occasionally cover the area with a black plastic tarp on an especially hot, sunny day. The heat that builds up under the tarp will kill fleas and larvae.
Use a flea comb to trap and kill fleas that are on your pet.
Most pet stores will carry a special, inexpensive flea comb (like THIS) that will trap the fleas so you can kill them. I made sure to have a cup of soapy water nearby when I was combing that I put the fleas that I trapped into. I then flushed the soapy flea water down the toilet. Make a habit of flea combing your pet, either daily, weekly, or monthly (depending on your flea situation). I combed Bently daily for 4 weeks in a row when we had the flea infestation. Now, I do it just once a week until the weather gets cooler.
Well, that’s everything I learned guys! I hope you learned some good tips to get rid of fleas without the use of chemicals. And if you have any other ideas or know of any other natural remedies that worked, please leave a comment down below! And I hope you all and your pet’s enjoy a flea-free summer 🙂 xoxo, Kelly (&Bently!)
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