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Natural Flea Control: How To Get Rid of Fleas Naturally

Natural Flea Control (Yes, it is possible!)

 

How To Get Rid of Fleas Naturally 

Natural Flea Control from Primally Inspired

 

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.

Homemade Flea Powder from Primally Inspired (works on ticks and other bugs, too!)  

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 via Primally Inspired

NATURAL FLEA CONTROL OPTIONS

Natural Flea Control from Primally Inspired 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

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

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.

 

Rosemary Conditioner

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

 

Natural Flea Control from Primally Inspired

Bathing

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. 

 

Cleaning 

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!)

Natural Flea Control from Primally Inspired

 

lovekelly

 

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40 comments

  1. Thanks for this information. We are facing a major flea infestation at the moment, and our poor dog is suffering quite a bit. We’re not completely happy either, and there is a baby on the way. We have to get this cleared out, but don’t want to rush to the toxic chemicals. I’m looking forward to trying these tips, especially the flea powder. Again: thank you!

  2. This is great info. Do you have any advice for dogs with ear infections? Thank you

  3. I saw on the recipe, after eucalyptus oil, don’t use on cats. Do you have a recipe for cats? I plan on trying the recipe for the infestation in our house.

  4. Thank you… so much for posting this natural flea powder… My dogs love you. Do you know what can be used on cats? My mom’s cat has a major flea problem. She has tried just about ever chemical from the vet and over the counter… nothing has worked. It cuts them back but does not get rid of them. Again… thank you for your help.

  5. Vickey Lindemann

    I put garlic in my dogs food that I’ve made for a couple years. No fleas or ticks. Recently I read that garlic is four times more poisonous than onions are for your dogs ( or cats). I understand it can cause different problems. Can you tell me what you know about this information? Concerned about continued use. Thank you.

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Vickey,

      My holistic vet, as well as all the holistic pet care books I’ve read recommend to feed garlic every day for both dogs and cats. I, personally, trust these people and I also feed garlic every day to my dog.

      • Research I did showed that you should be careful with garlic for cats as they process it differently than dogs. Meaning that you should monitor the amount so as not to cause anemia in cats.
        I tried it and the allowed amount did not help the cats get flea free…

  6. I have been using Fleabusters for years. It has always worked well. I actually have a tub of it in my cabinet right now. It takes very little sprinkled on your carpet about once a month to maintain and I do not have to put it on the dogs or the cat as they usually roll around on the floor enough to get it on them. I had them come to my home several years ago when he had a BAD infestation (bad enough you could see the larva on my kids beds where the cats slept). When I asked him how long we had to stay out of the house and when the kids could sleep in their beds again he said it was less toxic than table salt and just leave it for 24 hours and vacuum up. I had to vacuum every day for a week and they were gone completely.

    • Primally Inspired

      Thanks so much for that recommendation, Tammy! I’ve heard nothing but good stuff from Fleabusters, too!

    • Hey Tammy, I also do not like chemicals around our pets. Our vet told us that flea busters is nothing but 20 Mule Team Borax. Not Boraxo, because it has detergent in it, But just 20 Mule Team Borax. We sprinkle it into our carpets and baseboards every six months, You must walk it in for a day or two. This is where the flea company’s use a machine to pounce it into the carpets to reach the jute backing. This cuts the adult fleas and dehydrates the eggs. I vacume as normal. With four cats and a yorki, we have NOT had a flee in at least 20 years. It was the best advice a vet ever gave us!

  7. Thanks for the info! I found it very useful!

  8. laura cote (Schiefelbein)

    I would like to know how much the product cost and if I could have some shipped to me. I give my dogs garlic all the time and that is what my vet has told us todo for there heart but I would like to get away from buying the drops for the flies. Thank you. And may god bless you

    • Laura….You can order DE on line. It’s not expensive at all. Just google Diatomaceous earth and you’ll get several links. They may sell the other stuff you need also

  9. What I’m using this year is diatomaceous earth. Works fantastic and easy. It’s a good excuse to give them a good rub down every month as I sprinkle it on and work the earth into their fur, and they all love it (cats). My dog is a Samoyed so fleas aren’t an issue.

    A local spa/retreat which is a farm in the country with lots of animals was where I heard it from.

    Works on ticks too. My smaller cat always had a tick a day. None since I switched to diatomaceous earth.

  10. some very fine info. as an addition, here is very simple way of ridding home of fleas.

    this procedure only kills adult fleas, your way has advantages of killing larva.

    places a small bowl, 6 to 8 inches in dia. fill 1/2 full with water, put a few drops of liquid soap and stir to mix well.

    to side of a room where fleas are. hang a small light bulb above bowl, turn light on at night and turn off any other lights in room before retiring.

    fleas are attracted to light and will try to jump up to it. they will fall into water and drown.

    in morning, turn off light, empty water and fleas each morning and refill bowl with soapy water. repeat again each evening before retiring.

  11. I am curious, when you vacuum, do you change your bag after every vacuum when battling fleas? I do not have a bagless vacuum and do not want to blow through that many bags, but also wondering if I am not helping the problem by using the same bag over and over again while trying to rid my home of fleas? Thanks for your help!

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Missy! I have a bagless, so this is not an issue for me. I’ve been told to throw the bag away after each vacuum, BUT here’s what doesn’t make sense to me: If I am vacuuming up all that DE, the DE will be in the bag thus killing the fleas, eggs, larvae, etc. Right?? Fleas don’t stand a chance with all that DE! So even though I’ve been told to throw out the bag with each vacuum, that doesn’t quite seem necessary to me. That’s just my personal take, though – all the experts say to throw out the bag.

  12. One of these calls for garlic and brewer’s yeast. I just recently heard that garlic is toxic to a dog and will cause kidney failure. Have you ever heard of this?

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Mimi! Thank you for bringing this up! Yes, the AVMA is against feeding dogs garlic, however holistic vets see much success and many benefits from feeding dogs a small amount of garlic daily. The primary reason AVMA is against feeding garlic is that it contains thiosulphate, which in VERY large doses can cause hemolytic anemia, liver damage and death. However, garlic only contains very small traces of thiosulphate and a dog would have to consume HUGE (like huge, huge, huge!) quantities daily for any negative effects.

  13. I love your recipe/instructions for natural flea control. My question is where do I find the lid you show on the mason jar to be able to shake out on the dogs? I like that lid and haven’t been able to find them anywhere.

    • Kelly from Primally Inspired

      Linda, do you have a Christmas Tree Shops near you? That’s where I got mine! They have a lot of mason jar accessories and these lids are one of them! Hope you can find them! Another good idea if you can’t find them is to reuse a Parmesan Cheese container 🙂

    • I use an empty spaghetti cheese container, ie:Parmason Cheese.. I remove the label and put what is in it, for me that is Diatomaceous Earth.

  14. Does anyone have a natural repellent for bed bugs? Please share, thanks Jan

    • take a spray bottle mix water and a few drops of tea tree oil and spray yourself. I spray myself and my bed every night to keep any fleas from biting since I sleep with 5 Yorkies. It is a natural repellent.

  15. Use bugRIGHT. It is safe around children and pets and kills all crawling insects. BugRIGHT is available in Oklahoma,Texas,Kansas and Texas.

  16. Thanks SOOO much for the flea recipe and the notes! I LOVE sites like this and you are doing GOOD in the world by sharing this for free.

    God Bless You

    -Mike

    • Kelly from Primally Inspired

      Thanks for such an encouraging and nice comment, Mike! Means a lot to me!

      • I’ve allowed the flea infestation to take over. My poor dog is miserable and our cat keeps getting worms. Such a nasty cycle!!! The problem is I start the treatment, and then stop. It’s not just treating the pets, but having to turn the house upside down. I’m going to give it a good 4 weeks of daily vacuuming and dusting the powder on my pets. It has to work!!! I even got beneficial nematodes for the yard, but I don’t think they did much.

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