How To Get Florida Fleas to Flee - Naturally
By Patricia Stephens, Owner, FloridaPets.net
As guardians of four dogs, we have the dubious honor of being quasi-experts on the topic of fleas. We first moved to Florida in 1983 and immediately developed a flea problem. That was hard to accept after nearly 30 flea-free years in West Virginia.
We proceeded to try all kinds of chemical solutions, with little success. I actually developed a chemical sensitivity from the various concoctions – all-poisonous - and we were left to wonder if we’d be able to stay in Florida.
Over thirty years later, no one has been able to find a flea in our home or on our animals. And we’ve managed to achieve this without using ingredients consisting of 27 unpronounceable letters. Our secret? Simple and non-toxic ingredients safe for pets and peeps. I won't go into detail about what fleas look like or where they come from. (Type "Google.") I assume if you are reading this, you’ve already met Mr. or Ms. Flea. This is just my opinion of how to get rid of fleas if you have them and how to keep them far, far away – the natural way - and save time and money while doing so.
Advertising has trained most people to think outright chemical warfare is necessary to keep their animals and house free of fleas, but that's just not the case. Here are some of our ideas for inexpensive, non-toxic anti-flea concoctions to assist you in dealing with these blood-sucking varmints.
How to make a natural flea shampoo for dogs
Gather the following ingredients:
1 Tbs. colloidal oatmeal (available at most pharmacies)
28 oz. hot water
1 Tbs. aloe vera juice (available in health food stores)
4 oz. pet shampoo (concentrated, biodegradable and hypoallergenic)
2 Tbs. orange peel oil (available in health food stores)
2 Vitamin E tablets (available in any pharmacy)
An empty spray or squirt bottle
Combine the oatmeal and hot water, stir until dissolved. Stir in the aloe vera juice. In a separate container, mix the pet shampoo and orange peel oil. Squeeze in the Vitamin E tablets, stir well, add to the oatmeal mixture. After the entire mixture is combined, pour into a spray or squirt bottle for easy storage and dispensing. This shampoo will not only help ward off fleas, it will re-moisturize your dog’s coat, especially helpful in Florida’s heat.
How to make a natural flea shampoo for cats
Follow the instructions above for making a natural flea shampoo for dogs, except – and this is very important – do not use the orange peel oil if you have a cat. Instead, use ½ tsp. eucalyptus oil and ½ tsp. peppermint oil. Orange peel oil can be harmful to kitty, so substitute with the other two oils and you’ll be fine.
How to make a natural spray repellent
You can use this solution as either a leave-on rinse or an in-between-baths spray. Cut a lemon into quarters and place in a pint jug. Cover the lemon with boiling water and let it steep overnight. The next day, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and you're ready for your dog.
Spray the solution all over your pup, especially behind the ears and around the head. Avoid the eyes. Spray around the base of the tail, but, hey, be careful around the anus too, please! Also, spray under his "armpits."
Bonus Tip: If you want something that also works on ticks, steep two cups of rosemary in two pints of boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid, discard the leaves and add warm water until you have a gallon of mixture. Pour this over your dog until he is saturated, again watching the eyes. Don't rinse. Let him air dry.
How to make a natural flea collar
A flea collar can be made by rubbing a few drops of one of the following into a rope collar or even a doggy bandanna: eucalyptus oil, Tea Tree oil, citronella, lavender or geranium. Don't forget to freshen this once a week, or more if necessary. Note: This is not recommended for cats because they need breakaway collars for safety purposes.
Natural, because you care
Fleas are one of life's pests that seem increasingly resistant to elaborate chemical preparations. But there's no need to expose our companion animals, our children and ourselves to hazardous synthetic potions when there are so many natural ways to keep the flea circus from visiting our little corner of the world.
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