When your pet has fleas, the itching can make life miserable. Fleas can get on a pet several ways. Most often, you or your pets pick up fleas up outdoors. However, the eggs can lie dormant for months. They may arrive in a piece of secondhand furniture or clothing that you get at a yard sale. You can rely on flea collars and insecticides, but these may be toxic. Here are some tips for getting rid of fleas that allow you to avoid harsh chemicals unless you have a severe infestation.
Up to Scratch: 5 Tips for Getting Rid of Your Pet’s Fleas
Diatomaceous earth is composed of fossilized algae. It is non-toxic. In fact, it’s edible. DE is deadly to fleas. It sticks to insect exoskeletons and dries them out. Use food grade DE to combat fleas. Sprinkle some around doors and windows to keep fleas out. You can also use DE to give your pet a dry shampoo by working a little of the powder into the fur. Wear a face mask while you apply the DE because the dust can irritate your lungs. Once it settles, it’s entirely safe.
Plant a Flea Barrier
There are several plants that you can grow near doors and windows to repel fleas. Lemon grass, lemon balm and catnip are three examples. Others include sage, basil, rosemary and mint.
DIY Flea Collar
Turn an ordinary cloth pet collar into a flea collar. Add a few drops of cedar or lavender oil to three to five tablespoons of water. Soak the collar in this mixture. Allow it to dry completely.
Make Your Own Flea Repellent
Mix a solution of cedar oil, lavender oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Pour it into a spray bottle. You can spray this on furniture, upholstery and carpet. It’s also safe and effective to spray the mixture directly on your pet’s coat.
If you have a severe flea infestation, you may need to call in a pest control company like Colonial Pest Control Inc. You will have some preparations to make. Strip bed linens. Wash them along with pet bedding and all of your clothing to destroy flea eggs. Thoroughly vacuum for fleas, clean floors and wipe down other surfaces. You and your pets will need to leave the house for several hours to give the pest control company time to treat your home.
You can usually get rid of fleas on your pet without resorting to toxic insecticides. You still need to follow the same cleaning steps a pest control firm requires before using natural and non-toxic methods to eradicate a flea infestation.