So you’ve got fleas in your house, and you’re miserable. Those flea bites are incredibly itchy and take forever to heal. You’re perturbed with everyone and everything.
So far, you have resisted calling the exterminator because you know the treatment is probably pretty toxic. You’re wondering if less toxic remedies really work.
The answer is yes! You can get rid of fleas using organic, non-toxic remedies.
Take these steps to get rid of fleas:
1. Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Apply diatomaceous earth in dry weather to outdoor areas using a dusting machine. This will kill the fleas in the yard. Treat the entire area thoroughly. Wear a dust mask when applying since breathing the DE dust can be harmful to your lungs. Use only natural diatomaceous earth that contains less than 1% crystalline silica dioxide. Never use swimming pool DE.
What is diatomaceous earth (DE)?
DE is a white powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. When a bug with an exoskeleton (think flea, ant, roach, bed bug) comes into contact with DE, it sort of works under the shell, punctures the body, and the bug dies.
Sounds good, right?
Fortunately, it does not have the same effect on mammals. DE is totally non-toxic. There is no buildup of tolerance like poisons because the killing method is physical, not chemical.
Remember to keep the DE dry and although you can eat food-grade DE and rub it on your skin, do not inhale DE because the silica is bad for your lungs. (source:http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth)
2. Dust Your Pet’s Sleeping Quarters
Dust your pet’s sleeping area with DE being careful to avoid breathing the dust. If your cat sleeps around, you will be dusting a lot of areas.
3. Apply Nematodes (don’t skip this step)
Apply beneficial nematodes to your lawn. Look for a brand called NemAttack or ask your local natural gardening store for what they recommend to combat fleas. You’ll need to do two applications 7-10 days apart in the early morning or pre-dusk when the sun’s rays are gentler. Nematodes can be added to your lawn using a watering can or hose end sprayer. Follow the directions on the label.
What are beneficial nematodes?
They are microscopic roundworms that occur naturally in soil and can be used to control a variety of pests including fleas. You probably don’t want to know the details about how they work.
You’ll be pleased with the end result.
4. Bathe Your Pet
Bathe your pet with mild herbal shampoos looking for orange oil or tea tree oil as ingredients.
Not brave enough to give your cat a bath even after watching at least 10 videos on how to do this safely?
Opt for rubbing the cat’s fur with a lemon grass, cinnamon, sesame and castor oil spray.
5. Comb or Brush Your Pet
Comb or brush your pet. It will help remove the fleas and relax you both.
6. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum
Start vacuuming daily and don’t stop for a month (fleas have a fairly lengthy life cycle). Vacuum pet’s sleeping areas, carpet and basically anywhere where flea eggs could have fallen off.
To ensure that the fleas do not hatch inside your vacuum cleaner, vacuum up some DE or take the bag to the garbage immediately.
What are the best ways to treat flea bites?
Here are the most effective:
- Soothe bite with moistened green tea bag 2-3 times a day. While odd-sounding, you’ll find this works well.
- Apply lavender essential oil in a carrier oil (coconut oil works well) to the bite. The lavender oil takes the sting out and so the bite will heal more quickly and you might get a reprieve from the itching.
- Apply tea tree lotion to a water proof band-aid and leave in place. Change the band-aid once or twice a day.
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If you have ants, check out Six Organic Pest Remedies for Ants That Work.
The Organic Manual: Natural Organic Gardening and Living For Your Family, Plants and Pets by Howard Garrett