Natural Flea Control
Flea Removal Challenge
Frugal Pet Healthcare
I was wondering if there are any home remedies to get rid of fleas. I live in town and the house next door is about three feet from my house. They had extremely bad fleas and their yard is full of them. Anytime we go outside, if we are in that yard, we bring fleas into my home. I have two indoor cats and a toddler so I do not want to have to spray my house anymore than necessary.
The answer is eucalyptus leaves. You can get them at any craft store. For some reason the fleas don't like the smell of it. I used this for many years when I lived in California. I had a dog and 2 cats and a toddler! Safe for the kids and the environment.
Borax is great for fleas. It is not toxic and you can sprinkle it on your carpet. Let it sit for a few days and then vacuum it up. You can sprinkle it around the fence of your yard too. I understand that using Skin So Soft from Avon on the animals' coats will repel fleas and mosquitoes. It is also good for the kids skin but just make sure you get the original from Avon.
An inexpensive way to rid your yard of fleas is to sprinkle DE (diatomaceous Earth) all over the yard. Use food grade DE that's available in health food stores.
Putting cedar chips along your fence line will keep the fleas from other people's yards out of your yard, as cedar repels fleas.
I worked with a man who had bird dogs and his wife was a student in plant sciences. They found that planting tansy (an herb) around the dogs' pens kept the problem in check. Their children played in the same yard as the dogs. And they were not bitten at all. Maybe this would be a safe and effective way for the woman with the neighboring flea problem. And not be harmful to her child.
I read this in a Mother Earth News Magazine about 15 years ago and it works great. At night you put a dinner plate on the floor (preferably in the room with the worst flea problem) and put a drop of dish soap in some water on the plate. Put a lamp on the floor next to the plate. The fleas are attracted to the light and jump on the plate. Without the dish soap the water surface tension is enough that they can jump off but with the soap the sink and drown. If this is done for several nights eventually all the fleas will be gone unless more are brought in.
Fleas are dangerous pests. They continue sucking blood even when full, because their larva feed on the blood that they pass with their stool. Fleas carry tapeworms, and a bad infestation can cause serious loss of blood. Puppies and kittens can die from flea caused anemia.
Any insecticide you use will be absorbed through your skin and the animal's skin, and be breathed by you, the kids, and the animal. Our San Diego fleas are resistant to most insecticides. The ones that work are either really strong or act as hormones, with unknown long term effects on people. The borax/repellent approach described here is much safer.
The following has worked for us for the past 10 years, and we have three large outdoor dogs and an outdoor cat.
Lemon grass (also called citronella, available from Asian markets) would probably work even better. I use commercial citronella based insect repellents to keep off ticks, mosquitoes, and other biters when hiking. It seems to work as good as DEET, but is safe and smells nice. It only lasts about 2 hours. A weak solution of eucalyptus oil and/or pennyroyal oil also works, but may irritate the skin.
We have found that outside fleas get on the dogs and cats, come into the house on them, jump off and die. We have almost no fleas in the house or yard (we do not spread poisons on our yard), and we take our dogs hiking once or twice a week.
A dust treatment once a year works for us but we treated twice the first year.
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