FLEA'S: How To Safely Get Rid Of Them

You're not the only one who's enjoying the warmer weather, so are the fleas that are on the lawn, at the park and maybe in your house. That's why you want to make sure your pets – both dogs and cats – are protected.

Flea and tick collars along with flea products are not only toxic to your pet, they also expose YOU to pesticides when you play with your dog or cat.

From collars to sprays to topical solutions, Americans spend millions of dollars on flea-control products every year and unwittingly poison themselves and their animal companions. There are safer, more environmentally friendly ways to protect your furry friends and yourself from these pesky insects.

                             About The Enemy 


For millions of pets and people, the tiny flea is a remorseless enemy. The flea is a small, brown, wingless insect that uses specialized mouth parts to pierce the skin and siphon blood.

When a flea bites your dog, it injects a small amount of saliva into the skin to prevent blood coagulation. Some animals may have fleas without showing discomfort, but an unfortunate number of dogs become sensitized to this saliva.

In highly allergic animals, the bite of a single flea can cause severe itching and scratching. Fleas cause the most common skin disease of dogs – flea allergy dermatitis.
  • Hartz Victims Read comments from VICTIMS using flea collars and products
Las Vegas plus other desert states have seen an increase in the incidence of fleas. Other parts of the country and abroad have more severe problems with infestations. 

Fleas are most well-known for spreading tapeworm to pets. The discomfort of a flea bite causes the pet to turn and chew at an area and, if they accidentally consume the fleas, the pets can take in the tapeworm eggs that the fleas carry.

The adult fleas hopping around on your pet and in your house are only about 1% of the entire flea population in your home environment. So this means that for every flea you see, there are actually at least 99 more in one or another stage of development lurking around the house or yard.

Considering an adult flea can live up to 60-100 days, a single flea could lay upwards of 2000 eggs in her lifetime. And even if only half of those go on to reproduce - you get the picture - lots and lots of fleas!

Flea larvae emerge from the eggs within 1 to 10 days, although if conditions are not ideal, the egg can remain in the environment much longer waiting for the right “moment” to hatch.

Fleas Spread Disease 


One more detail about our foe the flea - they can spread disease and tapeworms.

An important fact about fleas is that they prefer weaker, less healthy hosts and very young puppies and kittens with undeveloped immune systems. Knowing this, we can arm our pets for flea resistance by boosting their health and immunity. If you have a flea problem, this is the first place to start.

There are many topical sprays & shampoos out there touting their effectiveness at killing or deterring fleas. Many of them contain chemicals and pesticides that are not conducive to building your companion’s immune system.

Cats, in particular, are susceptible to the toxic nature of many of these products because they are constantly grooming themselves and ingesting whatever they have been sprayed with.

Flea collars (especially on cats), can cause severe deep wounds around the neck with open sores, bleeding and painful blisters. Inhaling the fumes from the toxic flea collar can cause nausea, loss of appetite, lethargy and dizziness. See complete list below of the health risks for your pet.


Diet for Your Pet

Diet is the foundation of health. Nothing you give your dog or cat can do as much good for their health and immunity as a proper diet.

At the minimum this means top quality processed foods that do not contain fillers, chemical preservatives, or food coloring's. Click here to find out about the "shocking ingredients" that's put into pet food.

Supplementing your pets diet can also help. Essential Fatty Acids will help build the immune system and boost the health of the skin and coat. Digestive Enzymes & Probiotics will help him get the most nutrition from his food and aid the digestive process.

I highly recommend Nupro Health Nuggets for Dogs and Cats. It is a superior supplement that provides the raw vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino and fatty acids that are lacking in commercially processed foods. Nupro was designed to boost your pets typical diet with whole, fresh and nutrient-rich ingredients.

Garlic (very small amounts for cats) and B vitamins tend to make the animal less tasty to fleas, so many guardians supplement with garlic & brewers yeast, (a good source of vitamin B1), during flea season to help their companions ward off attacks.

Keep in mind that some animals are allergic to brewers yeast, so watch closely the first week or so to make sure the itching doesn’t get worse.

NATURAL TREATMENTS

Neem Oil Products

Also recommended is Neem Oil products or Flea Away for dogs and cats, and essential oils for dogs.


Always dilute Neem Oil or Essential Oil with a carrier oil or water.

Actually, Neem Oil can be used as a substitute for expensive "miracle" beauty potions for humans which are full of toxins. Neem oil sprays and shampoos not only help repel fleas, they also help sooth and heal irritated skin for our pets and our self.

Neem oil also kills parasites and "bugs" on plants. This essential oil blend is another good repellent for use on dogs. You can put a drop on their collar and dilute it into a spray to mist your dog.

Combining a little neem oil spray with your flea combing is a great way to both spread the neem oil throughout the animal’s coat as well as giving you extra help with catching the fleas. Pay particular attention to the neck and chest on cats and the top of the hips/base of the tail and under the legs and belly on dogs.

When using any product like these with a strong odor, just keep in mind that your dog or cat has a much stronger sense of smell than you do, (as do the fleas), so don’t overdo it. Cats especially seem to be sensitive, so use sparingly.

Many cats do not like to be sprayed, so spray a small amount of Neem Protect Spray onto a cloth and wipe it on lightly or it can be sprayed onto your palms and  massaged over your pets exterior, and all the while, your pet is loving it AND being treated for those nasty fleas.


Essential Oils and the Risks


There are a few natural oils that are safe to use on dogs to repel fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. According to the Partnership for Animal Welfare, lavender oil will repel all three types bugs and can be used in the same fashion as a spot-on treatment. Geranium and peppermint oil can be used to repel mosquitoes and ticks, but they don’t really work for fleas.

Lemongrass is good for ticks and fleas, but not mosquitoes. Other essential oils that seem to be “flea repellent” are cedar, tea tree,citronella, eucalyptus and pennyroyal, (the last two are toxic to cats).

ALL essential oils must be diluted with a "carrier" oil or water. Carrier oils that are good to mix with essential oils are olive oil, coconut oil (when cold it becomes solid) and jojoba oil.

It is not recommend to use essential oils on cats. One more precaution about using essential oils – they can interfere with the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies, so don’t use them if you are treating your pet with homeopathy products. It must be diluted if you use it on your dog. Use 6 drops of orange essential oil to a gallon of warm water and rinse well.

"Flea Away" is a specialized diatomaceous earth that is safe for use on dogs and cats as well as around the home. It kills fleas by dehydrating them – which is not only non-toxic to pets, humans and the environment, and fleas cannot develop an immunity to it as they do to all other pesticides over time.

If your pet has fleas, you can use this soothing homeopathic remedy.  It will help the infestation and redness which your pet will most likely refrain from his frantic scratching bouts.

Flea Away is an all Natural Flea Repellent for Dogs and Cats that also comes in chewable tablets which is also a dietary supplement.

Bathing your pet is an excellent way to kill fleas. Use a neem shampoo or an oatmeal shampoo if your pet as irritated skin. I have found Dawn dish washing soap is effective in ridding your pet of fleas. You can also add a drop or two of essential oils to the oatmeal shampoo to make it more “flea unfriendly”.

Leave the lather on your pet for a few minutes to help smother any persistent fleas, and then RINSE WELL. Soap residue can dry the skin and make the itchiness worse. You can follow with Doc Acerman’s Orange Cream Conditioner to help prevent dry skin as well.

The House Environment 

You cannot rid your companion of fleas by treating your pet alone, (unless you are willing to resort to pesticides). Most of the population lives and develops in your house and yard, not on your pet. Treating the environment is essential if you want to win this war.

Furniture, Carpets and Flooring

Flea Away, discussed above, can be used on carpeting, on the pet’s bedding, on furniture and on hard floors. It is a very fine powder similar in consistency to talcum powder, so it gets into cracks and crevices on hard wood and linoleum floors easily.

It acts more quickly than boric acid products – a difference in the flea population can be noticeable in 24 - 48 hours. 

Diatomaceous earth, however, does not last as long as the boric acid products. Monthly applications are recommended, especially during the height of flea season.

Bedding

Don’t forget the sleeping quarters! Wash your pet’s bedding in hot, soapy water at least weekly. You can even add one or two drops of essential oils or Bite This! to the water for extra flea-zapping power. Sprinkle a little Flea Away onto DRY bedding and work it in to help kill the little pests while your companion sleeps.

Your Yard


Last, but certainly not least, treat the yard. Remember that the larvae don’t like light – so rake up any leaves and keep the grass cut. Watering can help drown the larvae as well.

A majority of the fleas and larvae will be within 50 feet of your companion’s favorite spot to rest, so focus on those areas. Flea Away can be sprayed onto the grass with a hose sprayer to kill fleas in the yard. Application must be repeated after rain or watering.

Beneficial Nematodes are another way to control fleas in the yard. Beneficial nematodes are a flea parasite, (mother nature always has a balancing mechanism). They are tiny little bugs that prey on both adult fleas and larvae. They can be applied with a hose sprayer or, on a smaller yard, with a watering can. 

Some garden centers and nurseries carry them or can order them for you, as well as some of the “natural” pet stores. An internet search will provide more sources than you can sort through.

Keep the treatment up for several months after you stop seeing fleas. If you stop flea treatment as soon as you stop seeing fleas, you may miss flea eggs or newly hatched fleas, and they’ll return triumphantly to cause even more problems.

Using natural methods is a bit more work than dropping a spot of pesticides on their back, but in the long run your pet and your environment will be healthier for your efforts.

Remember -- keeping your pet’s immune system healthy and strong is the best way to help him fight off parasites as well as disease. A high quality, species appropriate diet is the foundation upon which your pet’s good health and long life must be built.

References: 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Pesticides: Health and Safety,” 9 May 2012.
F. Beugnet et al., “Comparative Efficacy on Dogs of a Single Topical Treatment with the Pioneer Fipronil/(S)-Methoprene and an Oral Treatment with Spinosad against Ctenocephalides felis,”Parasite, 18(2011): 325-31


Just saw this post on Facebook...

Brittany Gosselin
To all my friends with dogs and cats, a few days ago my Aunt bought this natural flea spray and used it on her 2 dogs and cat, within 2 days they have all 3 passed away 😨please don't buy this brand! So sorry Aunt Nancy and tell the kids for me too ☹️💚