Got Fleas? Non-Toxic Solutions – Part 1
Non-Toxic Flea Control
There are plenty of flea control products in the market today, but unknown to majority of pet owners is that most of the products are harmful to both the pet and the people around them. It’s a good thing there are ways to control these pests without poisoning pets, people, plants and environment. Here are some steps you can take:
- Stop the flea population from growing. The backyard is one place where fleas thrive. There’s a natural way to eradicate fleas; apply nematodes to your lawn via a sprayer. A nematode is a tiny worm that preys on flea larvae. This biological type of pest control has no adverse effects. Once the entire flea population is gone, the nematodes will naturally die from lack of food. It is recommended to wet the soil prior to application to give the nematodes a good start.
- Be sure to keep your pets healthy. What they put in their mouths is important in flea control. Flaxseed oil, available in most health food stores, is a good way to maintain your pet’s healthy skin. You can also buy whole flaxseeds, grind them, and add to food. Vitamin C and B-complex are also important to keep your pet healthy. Nutritional yeast adds B vitamins to your pet’s diet. As with all parasites, the healthier the animal, the less attractive it is to the flea. To repel fleas, very small amounts of garlic may be added to food (from one small to several large cloves of garlic daily, depending on the weight of the animal) Even easier are treats containing garlic and yeast.
- If your pet already has fleas, use a fine-toothed comb. When combing your pet, keep a bowl of soapy water nearby. Dip the comb in the water after each sweep through your pet. Once you’re done, put the water into a container and freeze it to kill the fleas.
- Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a powder you can rub onto your pet and sprinkle on bedding and carpets to kill existing fleas. Sprinkle the powder on your pets and on your carpets. The silicon-based microskeletons of tiny dead critters rub the exoskeletons of the fleas and go into their respiratory holes, blocking and damaging them, so the fleas can’t breathe. It also works by damaging the exoskeletons so that they lose water and die of dehydration. If you also sprinkle a little on food, this also works on worms in the digestive tract.
- During flea season, vacuum the rugs and furniture often. Flea eggs are gathered by vacuuming but they will still hatch in the bag. The bag must be sealed immediately and thrown away or frozen. Also, wash your pet’s bed covers at least once a week.
- There are gentle herbal shampoos specially formulated for flea control which can be used as often as once per week. (Shampooing too often will dry out your pet’s skin.) Anything that makes lather will drown fleas if you leave the lather on for three to five minutes. So you don’t need to use a toxic shampoo! When shampooing your pet, it is best to use warm water and start with a rich lather around the animal’s neck. That way, fleas can’t go up the face.
- Herbs that repel fleas are St. John’s Wort, rue, neem, basil. Use these externally. External applications of the essential oils of rose geranium, eucalyptus and tea tree may be sprayed on the fur and bedding of dogs, but not cats.
- If you want to give your pet herbs in their food to help repel fleas, the result may be that their little bodies will start to eliminate parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, heartworms, tapeworms, etc. One way the dead parasites will exit the body will be by way of the kidneys and bladder, so these must be kept in good working order with fluid flowing freely. For this purpose, Hulda Clark recommends that you feed your pet parsley water for a week before starting a parasite program. Just cook a bunch in a quart of water for three minutes and throw away the wet parsley. Pour the resulting parsley water into ice cube trays and freeze, then store in zip-lock bags in the freezer. Thaw out a few cubes each day and feed to your pet, who will probably come to love it.
- Once your pet has had his parsley water for a week, you can start feeding him (green) black walnut hulls, which repels fleas due to the tannic acid juglone. This is available in liquid tincture or capsule form. Be sure it is pale green, not black, to be sure the hulls were harvested at the right time. Be sure to give only the minimum effective dose of black walnut since too high a dose is toxic. The strong tannins and alkaloid ingredients in black walnut can cause vomiting, diarrhea and gastritis. Cats should get 1/2 to 1 drop, twice a week, depending on size. For dogs, start with one drop each day. Work up to 2 drops a day if the dog weighs twice as much as a cat, and so forth for larger dogs. If a dog weighs ten times as much as a cat, work up to 10 drops. Your pet may vomit or have diarrhea with worms in it. If so, disinfect the mess before cleaning it up. You can pour salt and iodine on it and let stand for 5 minutes. Wash your hands carefully, preferably with food-grade alcohol, and scrub your nails.
- As part of an overall parasite-ridding program, you can add the smallest pinch possible of wormwood and clove to dry food, after your pet has had walnut for a week.
These are just some of the methods of non-toxic flea control. Pesticides commonly used by humans may be hazardous to pets. With these methods you can be sure that you are not adding a toxic load to your beloved dog or cat.
Want to see some more? Here’s Part 2.
reprinted from Non Toxic Living website