If you are a pet owner there is a possibility you have dealt with fleas. Those pesky little insects can be annoying. If not treated they can cause illnesses such as tapeworms, which might be life threatening to your adorable pet.
Although there are a lot of chemical medications, you can still opt for natural methods of getting rid of the pests since chemicals tend to be dangerous. Besides, we all know that natural things are always the best. Here is a list of some home remedies that could come in handy when it’s time to say goodbye to fleas.
1. Feed Garlic to Your Pet
Garlic is a common food ingredient that can be found almost anywhere. Adding garlic to your pet’s food helps in repelling fleas. You have to peel the outer part of the garlic clove to get the moist part before feeding it to your pet. There are different ways you can use to ensure the pet takes the garlic by;
- Feed the pet with a raw clove directly to its mouth, pets are easily attracted to foods with a strong smell.
- Disguise the garlic clove to confuse the pet by mixing it up with a piece of meat. This works best if the pet has refused to take the garlic in its original form.
- Completely grind or grate the cloves into the pet’s food and mix it up to ensure the pet does not detect the presence of the garlic.
- If your pet does not want the cloves, give it garlic tablets, they are not easily noticeable and can blend perfectly with your pet’s favorite meal.
It is always advisable to add the garlic immediately you notice your pet has fleas since garlic is most effective after a week or two. The more you feed your pet with garlic, the higher possibility of making its blood repellent to fleas.
Check the weight of your pet to decide what amount of clove is suitable for them. If your pet weighs more than 30 lbs feed it at least two cloves every day and if it’s less than 30lbs one clove is enough.
When your pet stops scratching vigorously, it means fleas have started disappearing and you can now reduce the amount of garlic cloves you feed your pet.
2. Pet Environmental Control
Preventing the infestation of fleas is better than waiting for them to fully attack your pets. There are several ways you can use to control or reduce fleas from spreading in your home.
- Vacuum your house – Always remember to vacuum your house everyday especially cushions, carpets, any cracks on the floor and the basement. It is one of the best environmental control methods as it kills fleas in all stages i.e. the eggs, larvae and adults.
- Steam areas where pets sleep-Use soap and hot steam especially on carpets or fluffy mats where pets love to stay.
- Wash bedding – Ensure both your bedding and that of the pets are washed after at least every 3 weeks with hot, soapy water. In case of a severe infestation burn the old beddings and replace them with new fresh ones.
- Flea comb – Use a flea comb on the tail and neck of your pet because this is where fleas love the most.
- If your pets don’t need to go outside for a walk, try to let them stay indoors and away from neighboring pets. It helps reduce the possibility of getting fleas from outside.
3. Grooming Your Pet Regularly
It is important to groom your pets regularly to prevent re-infestation of fleas. Some of the grooming tips you could use are;
- Use a shampoo or dip- When you bathe your pet find a shampoo or dip that is uniquely formulated for flea infestation. After washing your pet, dry it and use a flea comb to remove the fleas. A good example for cats is a single-row flea comb and for dogs a double-row flea comb. As you comb part the hair carefully to reach any fleas that may be hiding underneath the fur.
- Dispose fleas in hot soapy water- Discard the fleas to ensure they are completely dead to prevent them from re-infesting.
4. Use a Herbal Flea Collar
A herbal flea collar may not completely protect your pet from fleas, but it will definitely help flea infestation that’s not yet severe. You should however be careful not to use a highly diluted solution as it may harm your pets’ skin. Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin or fur.
When mixing the herbal flea collar stay away from lavender, eucalyptus and geranium. According to WebMD, some of these herbs may cause severe diseases to cats and in worst cases death. opt for essential oils that are low risk like; rosemary, thyme, peppermint, cedarwood and lemongrass. They are not expensive and will only cost you between $10 and $20.
Below are simple ways to make a natural herbal flea collar;
- Take two lemons and squeeze them by hand or an electric blender.
- You can buy a collar cloth from any pet store and soak it in the blended or crushed juice for five minutes.
- Take a paper towel and place the soaked collar for a few minutes to get rid of the extra juice.
- Put the soaked collar around your pets’ neck for about an hour and ensure the pet does not have a negative reaction.
- The size of the pets’ collar and neck determines how often you will have to repeat the process.
Note that essential oils easily disseminate, therefore you have to soak the collar on the lemon juice after every two weeks or anytime you see fleas on your pet. A collar can dry really fast and you need to have a backup. Having two flea collars will come in handy.
5. Diatomaceous Earth
It is one of the cheapest and effective ways to keep your pets free of fleas. The fact that it’s made from marine life and crushed fossils makes it non-toxic. It has the appearance of broken glass as it is crushed to form a fine powder. Although it is extremely deadly to insects, it is perfectly harmless to animals.
To use a diatomaceous earth rub it on your pet, its bedding and anywhere else it loves to sleep or rest.
Once females lay eggs, they roll to the floor, bedding or furniture and hatch after 14 days. To get those fleas out of your home, get a vacuum and start cleaning the house.
7. Flea Traps
Flea traps work but only in specific areas like the lounge. They are helpful if you want to save a couple of bucks and protect your pets from fleas. They come in different types;
- Electric traps- It is made of a sticky surface that’s placed in a small housing which fleas land on and get stuck. Are wondering how this trap will lure fleas? Simple, their warmth and light attracts fleas to them. It is therefore advisable to use them in dark areas. Some have a certain odor which also lures the fleas.
- Light bulb and water traps- You can easily make this trap at home. Fleas have a natural affinity towards light. You can suspend either a lamp or bulb on a dish or bowl full of hot, soapy water. Once the fleas see this light they will definitely move towards its direction and in the process end up inside the bowl. They will drown and die.
How to Make a Homemade Flea Trap?
While these two methods can be efficient, if you want to get a little crafty how about follow these simple steps that will only cost you some few batteries and candles.
- Get a bowl, fill it with a mixture of water and two tablespoons of dawn dish soap which is really great in killing fleas.
- Take the mixture and place a single battery that’s operated by a light candle inside. For positive results place it in areas where fleas are highly concentrated. It is a simple craft that will take less than 60 seconds and give you impressive results.
- To make sure fleas are lured to the trap, use this method in darkness when you have gone to bed and all the lights are off.
Note that using tea light candles instead of battery LED operated ones can pose as a fire hazard. It is however a suggestion and you can use what you find best but risk harming your pets.
You should carefully watch your pet for any signs of fleas like scratching vigorously and consistently, hair loss, pale gums or red patches on the skin. When you notice this, it’s time to use this home remedies to get rid of the fleas before they cause a major outbreak.
If the homemade flea control methods don’t seem to work and the fleas have taken over your pets’ body and house, feel free to contact any pest controlling services.