Fleas!.....How to kill those pesky buggers..
With two dogs and one cat it’s not hard to get fleas in the house. It’s happened to us and we had to take action or get eaten out of house and home. Bonnie and TF noticed it about the same time. TF called the boys from “Splat Pest Control” and had them come out and spray the yard and house for fleas. We washed the dogs with flea shampoo and dipped the cat, not an easy chore, into a solution of flea killer and water. I decided to do some investigating on my own and traveled the Internet reading about natural ways to kill fleas. Here are some of the things I learned.
1) 20 Mule Team Borax is a dandy at killing fleas. You can find it in your laundry section at the grocery store. What you do is vacuum your carpets thoroughly and sprinkle it on your carpet and sweep it in with a broom. Give it about 3 to 4 days to do its magic and then vacuum it up. Make sure that you throw the vaccumn cleaner bag away immediately after vaccumning or the fleas will escape and come back out if you don't. I also found out that borax will kill ants, roaches, and termites. Make sure that you put it in little nooks and crannies where the pests can hide. I sprinkled it behind the piano, under the stove and refrigerator, under the kitchen sink and elsewhere. Caution: Borax can be irritating to the eyes, skin and lungs. (It did not bother me.) I also read that you can dust your house once a year to keep fleas out. Do not use the borax on your yard or houseplants.
2) Fleas don’t like the smell of Eucalyptus leaves. You can buy them at a craft store and put them under the sofa, into cabinets in the kitchen or in places that are hard to reach. I also put them in closets and in my food storage areas. They are harmless to humans but unpleasant to those pesky creatures.
3) An inexpensive way to rid your yard of fleas is to sprinkle DE (diatomaceous Earth) all over the yard. I found an 8 pound bag at a feed store for $ 11.00. I read that you want the regular strength and not the “pool” strength that is used in swimming pools.
4) Putting cedar chips along your fence line will keep the fleas from other people’s yards out of your yard. The fleas don’t like the smell of cedar. Another thing I read is that you can buy pet bedding with cedar chips in it. I’ll have to check that out.
5) Someone mentioned that planting tansy (an herb) around the dog’s pens kept the problem in check. It is safe and will keep fleas of your children if they play in the back yard.
6) Set a flea trap. At night you put a dinner plate on the floor (preferably in the room with the worst flea problem) and put a couple of drops 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 they sink and drown. I tried this one and it worked. I was amazed at the number of fleas on the plate in the morning.
7) To keep fleas off of pets or kids when they are outside, slice a lemon or lime (peals and all) into two cups of water. Heat the water to boiling and let sit overnight, Sponge the child or pet in the morning with the lemon scented water, and let it dry. It will soothe the skin, smell really nice, and keep the fleas off for about ½ a day. Note: During this ordeal, I had to baby sit for my grand daughter. I cut a lemon in half and spread it all over her body and it kept the fleas off of her. It did work and I was pleased. One article I read suggested putting this, lemon water, in a spray bottle and it suggested “misting” your pet with it.
8) One of the best things that I read was to feed brewers yeast and garlic to the animals. I had some brewers yeast and some garlic capsules so I decided to give it a try. I put it in their food in the morning and they gobbled it up without even knowing that they were eating it. The fleas do not like the smell that is emitted from their skin and they will not bit them. I have noticed that neither dog is scratching so it must be working. I will feed this to them from now on….. When I was at the feed store, yesterday, I saw a bottle of brewers yeast and garlic, capsules on the shelf so I asked the lady about them. She said that it was a very good flea deterrent.
9) After giving your dog a bath, make a final rinse with Tea Tree Essential Oil or Lavender Essential oil
10) A flea collar can be made by rubbing a few drops of one of the following into an ordinary webbing or rope collar or even a doggy bandana: Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Citronella Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, or Geranium Essential Oil. Add your oil to the collar weekly.
11) Wash dog bedding in Hot water. You can add Eucalyptus Essential Oil to the final rinse to kill fleas and dust mites.
As you can see I learned a lot about how to get rid of fleas and keep your house, yard and pet pest free. One of the main things that I learned to do, for best results, was that you have to treat your house, yard and the animal all at the same time.
Now, for something a little off the subject: Here is an article I read about keeping mold out of your house. If you live in a moist environment or you have seen some mold growing in your house, I think you will find this article interesting.
Have a good weekend everyone. PS. Felicia got a contract on her house. Keep your fingers crossed that everything will work out…..If it does work out, she will be moving by the end of the month.