Home flea remedies - the natural way to stop fleas invading your home and outside surrounds
Anyone who owns a cat or a dog knows that fleas can be real pests as well as carrying diseases that are harmful to pets and humans alike.
Whilst there are many over the counter flea protection products available, e.g., tablets, spot-ons and shampoos, owners are becoming increasing aware of the dangerous side effects of these medications.
If you are not worried about them, you should be, because these chemicals can cause not only skin issues but cancer, liver disease.
In fact in many cases, flea and tick preventives can be more dangerous to your pet than the parasites themselves!
As a matter of interest, the next time you are in your grocery store or local hardware outlet, make a note of how many different products are on the shelves to kill fleas. Most will contain toxic chemicals in one form or another which are harmful to both pets and people.
This page of our website focuses on using nature and natural products to help stop fleas biting our pets and us.
Here's a list of some very effective home remedies for stoping fleas in their tracks:
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
If used on a regular basis ACV is a safe, effective and natural remedy for getting rid of fleas on your dog.
Ideally, choose an apple cider which contains the "mother" (core of the apple) and then dilute it half and half with water. If you cant find ACV in your local stores you can substitute white vinegar and use the same 50/50 mix.
Tips on aplication of ACV
Always dilute ACV half and half with water - it can then be used as
- A full body spray before letting your dog outside or going for a walk. Please note, it is important to shield your pet's eyes from any spray.
- Drops in your dog's drinking water.
- One teaspoon given orally each day daily, either directly from a teaspoon or a syringe.
African daisy flowers
African daisy flower powder (pyrethrum) is a relatively safe and moderately effective treatment for getting rid of fleas. The idea is to sprinkle the powder on your carpets and rugs and then work it through with a broom, concentrating in areas where your pet likes to frequent and sleep. Leave it for three days and then vacuum, if your infestation is bad, repeat the process. Don't put African daisy flower powder directly on your pets.
Boracic acid sometimes referred to boric acid is a naturally occurring chemical. Its been used for 100's of years in the Middle East and China as:
- An antiseptic.
- A cleaning agent.
- A food preservative.
- A pesticide.
Boracic acid is a white crystalline powder and non toxic to people and pets. As a flea and insect repellant it is perfect for sprinkling on carpets, and furniture. Its particularly ideal for putting under fridges and along the base of boards and dark areas where fleas and other pests like to hide.
Cedar wood chips and oil
Cedar wood chips placed in mulch outdoor and strategically placed indoors will act as a repellant to fleas too. Ideally place chips under furniture or near doors ways leading in and out of the house.
Cedar wood oil is used by a lot of pest control professionals as a safe and chemical free spray. The oil also comes in various forms which are intended for domestic usage.
Some pets can be allergic to cedar wood products and if this is your dog then obviously this option isn't for you.
Diatomaceous earth (human grade)
Diatomaceous earth is formed from algae with siliceous shells. When extracted the algae are already dead, but their shells remain. Whilst, these shells are razor sharp they are too small to have any harmful effect on pets or humans, but they are deadly to fleas and other household pests like bed bugs and gnats.
Instead of poisoning fleas and other bugs diatomaceous earth actually cuts into their exoskeleton (their hard outer shell) and sucks the water out their bodies. Since all creatures need water to survive, they die after a pretty short amount of time.
Citronella, Lavender and Lemon grass oils are part of the "essential oils" family and all can be used in a highly diluted form as an effective flea repellant spray. The suggested dilution is one drop of oil to 25 mls of water.
The sprays will also have a calming and soothing effect on your pets, which is an excellent way of getting them to settle and relax after being traumatised by flea bites.
Rosie my Maltese/Shih Tzu cross is a very emotional little dog and I have had great success calming her down by using an essential oils collar medallion which I clip to her collar. I rescued Rosie and her litter sister Molly over three years ago. Rosie still remembers her past and Molly has forgotten.
Eucalyptus leaves work particularly well at keeping fleas away. Most health stores sell them, or alternatively you could try buying online.
Fleas hate the smell of eucalyptus, so go ahead and plant out a few seedlings in your garden/yard. The "silver dollar" variety is particularly suited to growing indoors, so if you have the space, try placing two or three small pot plants in rooms where your pets like to mooch or sleep.
Flea traps are a very economical and easy way to catch fleas. You probably have everything you need with items you most likely already have on hand - here's your list . . .
- A night light
- A shallow pan like a pie pan.
- Soapy water made with dish soap.
Prior to going to bed, sort out an area where your pet spends a lot of its time and where fleas are most likely to be found hanging out. Then plug the night light into an outlet and place the pan of soapy water beneath it.
During the night, the warmth radiated by the night light with attract fleas and they will jump toward it. When they do, they will land in the pan below and the soapy water will kill them. Come morning you should be able to gauge the extent of your flea problem simply by the number of fleas floating in the pan.
Garlic and yeast tablets
When it comes to flea control, garlic and yeast tablets can be beneficial to cats and dogs in veterinary recommended doses. Once pets have digested the tablets the smell of their skin becomes unpalatable to fleas. If you haven't tried this remedy before, to be on the safe side, check this one out with your vet first.
Herbal shampoos, conditioners and sprays
Bath your pets with an herbal shampoo and conditioner, then finish off with an herbal spray is a very effective way of keeping your pets free of fleas the natural way.
The key to success with herbal shampoo is working it up a soapy-like lather, and then leaving it for at least five minutes before rinsing it off. It takes this long to kill fleas, larvae and eggs.
Its a good opportunity for you to give your pet a relaxing massage while waiting for the shampoo to work its magic.
Cut a few lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a spray bottle of water. Use one cup of lemon juice to three cups of water. This is very effective as an outside repellant. It is not recommended for use inside because lemon juice can stain fabric and woodwork.
Pennyroyal plants are poisonous to humans and animals, although some cultures do use the leaves sparingly as a herb in cooking. There are two varieties of pennyroyal plants and both have a very strong fragrance similar to spearmint.
Leaves from the plants both fresh and dried are especially noted for repelling fleas and other insects. When treating flea infestations, the plant's essential oil should never be used directly on humans or pets; this is due to its toxicity, even at extremely low levels.
Mix about 500 ml of rosemary leaves into a couple of pints of boiling water and let them steep for a while. Once the mixture is cool stir it up and use a siv to separate the leaves from the liquid.
Then soak your cat or dog in the mixture for four or five minutes. Your pet will probably get of a bit surprised and may hide away for awhile, especially if it’s a cat, but if it could speak, it would definitely thank you for getting rid of its fleas.
Table salt and baking soda
Instead of buying expensive and chemical carpet powders, you can make your own inexpensive, non-toxic and effective carpet powder at home, which is harmless to pets and kids.
Mix thoroughly, equal parts of table salt and baking soda in a container and then shake the mixture on to your carpets, rugs and even wooden floors. Work it in well carpet with a broom or your feet and let it sit for at least three or four hours (overnight is preferable) and then vacuum it up.
The salt will desiccate the fleas and larvae and kill them. The baking soda will break down the protective covering of the eggs and cocoons and kill them as well.
Turn your vacuum cleaner into a flea killing machine and vacuum, vacuum and vacuum. To be on the safe side I recommend that you put an Only Natural herbal flea and tick repellent dog collar in the vacuum cleaner bag. When full make sure you tape the bag up tightly and dispose of it off your property.
What ever home remedies you choose to keep fleas and ticks at bay it is very much a personal choice. The most important priority being you sort out the ones which appeal to you and then implement a safe on-going system which works for your dog, your kids and yourself.