Fleas are an embodiment of discomfort, irritation and annoyance to pets and people. I had a pet and it’s got fleas and those fleas have made a home in my house. They jump on my legs when I walk through the room, they crawl over me when I watch TV and they even bite me in bed. Hey, this can’t go on. I need to act. But how?
If you have a similar situation, getting rid of these pesky little things must be at the top of your priority. Dog-lovers, cat-lovers or fans of any other kind of furry creature, all pet owners know that twinge of panic that happens when a pet stretches his back paw up to scratch behind an ear.
Health Hazards of Flea Bites
- Fleas can cause dangerous anemia in pets.
- Fleas can transmit tapeworms to your pet.
- Fleas can cause an allergic reaction called flea allergy or flea-bite dermatitis: Many dogs and cats are allergic to flea bites. The allergic reaction to these bites can range from mild itchiness to severe hair loss and even respiratory problems.
Effective Home Remedies
1. Mix approximately 2 tablespoons of neem oil and 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 500 ml water. Shake well and long to emulsify the oil. Spray dogs with the mix to deter/kill fleas. You can also spray the walls, carpets and curtains with this mixture so there is no place for fleas to hide. There may be a strong smell of neem in the room after use but airing out the room should sort that out.
2. Salt Water: You can wash your floors and doghouse with salt solution once in every few weeks to keep the fleas from multiplying.
3. Shampoo your dog with any shampoo (dog or human) and lather well. Let the shampoo stay on the dog for 5 minutes. The water and shampoo suffocates the fleas and kills any visible fleas. Repeat 2 times a week if fleas are very bad until they are gone because this method does not kill flea eggs.
4. Lavender is a natural insect repellent & killer. You could use a lavender scented spray or lavender oil and water mixture to keep fleas away.
5. Boil 4-5 lemons in water with a few teaspoons of salt. Once cooled, add vinegar to this and spray the dogs as solidly as they allow, then leave to dry before bathing. Use the peels of the lemons from the pre-soak to put under their bedding to help keep the fleas out.
6. A solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar with a 1/2 cup lemon juice can be sprayed on furniture and the dog kennel making sure that you lift up the cushions and get it into the cracks because the fleas hide there.
7. Add as much apple cider vinegar to the pet’s water as you can without them noticing the taste. It makes the dogs body slightly acidic and the fleas don’t like it.
8. In a small spray bottle, mix 2 capfuls of tea tree oil, 2 capfuls of lemongrass oil and fill it with water. Spay the dogs with it. You will see the fleas dropping dead soon.
9. You can use dry citrus peals, of any kind, break them up and scatter them all over the house and yard over a few days’ time. Take some more citrus peel and put into the blender, filling it with water and making a spray liquid. (You can also boil a pot of water, then turn off heat and put in a whole sliced lemon and cover it. Let it sit overnight to seep.) Bottle it and spray the dogs, (not good to spray cats directly), the carpet, the dogs’ bedding, and the yard where the dogs hang out. Remember to do a test area first as some dogs are allergic to citrus. The fleas hate citrus and disappear within a week. If done in the beginning of summer, it should keep the house in the clear for the year.
10. Boric acid is not poisonous and it is the most economical and effective pest control on earth. It kills everything from ants to termites and everything in between.
11. After vacuuming, sprinkle a 50/50 combination of Borax and regular table salt on your carpets. This also dehydrates fleas and helps prevent their eggs from hatching. Leave on for a few hours and then re-vacuum the area. Make sure you remove and discard your vacuum bag afterward.
12. Garlic: Add a small chopped up clove of garlic to your dog’s food bowl. Alternatively, a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder may be used. The garlic smell that is excreted from your dog’s skin and coat will act as a flea repellent.
As a separate note, in addition to these home remedies, you should also comb your dog’s coat with a flea comb once a day. A flea comb is a comb with very fine teeth which can trap any remaining fleas in your dog’s coat. Have a cup filled with water and dishwashing liquid nearby. If you see any fleas in the flea comb, quickly dunk it into the soapy water so that any fleas in the comb are dead.
No matter what you decide to use, be sure to follow the directions exactly. Here, more is definitely not better. If you do suspect that your pet has fleas, it’s important to get rid of it as soon as possible.