Friday, October 13, 2006

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.


At 8:40 AM, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

The dogs have ingested so much garlic that now they bark in Italian...did't know they were that smart.

At 3:31 AM, Anonymous Merle said...

Hi Lucy ~ Lots of info there for people with pets. Thanks for your comments on The Deck of Cards, I don't know the origin but whoever figured it all out was smart, So many Scripture mentions, and all the almanac details. Clever.
Take care, Lucy, Cheers, Merle.

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Leslie said...

We don't have any pets, but the last tenants above us (the trash throwing people) had a dog, so we got a few fleas down in our apartment. I found a Glade carpet powder that said it killed fleas and also smelled nice, so used it and vacuumed it up. It worked! Maybe it has the same chemical as the Borax you suggested.

About my license, I moved to Tulsa at 14 years old and never had a TX license, so asking for a renewal on a lost one wouldn't work. The whole system across the state was down yesterday--computer probs--so I couldn't get it. I'll try again another day.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Fred said...

It's funny...we don't get fleas like I though we would. The cats stay indoors, so they're generally okay.

But, we take Copper outdoors all the time, and he doesn't seem to pick them up. He does have a flea collar, but my experience with them isn't very good.

I love the flea trap idea. I've never heard of that one -- it may come in handy someday.

Have a great weekend!

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

I don't know know if I would want to eat off that dinner plate after it was used as a flea trap. Thankfully we haven't had fleas with our dog. Not that we've seen anyway.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger NoSurfGirl said...

Oooh... thanks for the advice. one of my worst fears is having an insect infestation in the house, and having to use harmful chemicals to get rid of them.

A note about diatemacious earth-- don't get any in your eye.


At 7:50 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

TF - as long as it works, I don't care if they start talking in Italian.

merle - thanks for stopping by.

leslie - Good luck getting your drivers liscense. I hope you have to stand in too long of a line down at the DMV. I'm going to look for that Glade carpet powder.

fred - I would think that Florida would have a problem with fleas, being hot and moist down there. The flea trap idea does work. Last night TF and I found some cedar chips at Wal-Mart and we are going to spread them out in the yard. I also saw a doggie bed at the grocery store, of all places, that has cedar chip in it. I am putting up a fight on several fronts here. BTW: Bonnie got to go to Mt. Rushmore a couple of weeks ago and she loved it.

Big Dave - You are lucky to live in a climate where you get more freezing weather. Fleas will die off in an area where they have a certain number of freezing days. We don't get enough freezing weather down here to kill of the fleas off. Oh well! BTW: That dinner plate goes in the dishwasher and it gets scalded.

nosurfgirl - Thanks for the tip.

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

leslie - I meant DON'T have to stand in a long line. Sorry.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Drywall Mom said...

You know mom, if you would have bought the name brand instead of the off brand that kills fleas, you wouldn't have had to do all that work.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Congratulations to Felicia.

Yes, fleas can be a problem. I too used to use Borax. Now that Astro is gone, we do not have this worry.

Now, if you have a remedy for getting rid of ants in the summer, I am all ears!

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Jen - I don't think that is the reason. It doesn't matter now, it's done.

barbara - The dogs are now outside dogs, but the cat will continue to be a problem. I can get her to eat the brewers yeast, but she won't touch the garlic. I am going to try the cintrinola on the collar as well as Frontline. I'm sure you still miss Astro.

At 12:19 AM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Very i9nteresting info. I had heard of a few of these remedies and even tried the brewers yeast, but my dog was huge and it didn't seem to do much for him.
I just have two little Yorkies now and have been using Advantage. I hate to use that sort of thing, but without it they have an awful time.

At 6:58 AM, Blogger Merle said...

Hello Lucy ~ Thank you for your comments. Glad you enjoyed Children
learn what they live. I think the best way to teach them is by example. Take
care Lucy, Cheers, Merle.

At 7:43 AM, Blogger DayByDay4-2Day said...

I agree on how hurrible they can be. I tried that borox thing before, but with out luck.

The garlic thing also works if you live in a masquito area.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Drywall Mom said...

Mom, trust me, if you would have bought the right stuff they would not have been on the pets in the first place so. So, in the future, put the right stuff on them. There are some things that you can't go cheap on. This is one of them.

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

wow this is good to know, I have tried everything to get rid of fleas in our yard, but being in the country it is difficult.

I will try to garlic and brewers yeast thing.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

WE don't have dogs and cats as pets any longer but we did have dogs before. Maybe fleas are still there I don't know but don't think I've got them. Your #7 is interesting though. I may not fleas inside my home but can't keep my grandsons safe outside where you see dogs and cats strolling on the streets. Anyway, I've copied your tips in my notepad for future use.
Thanks a lot for sharing this.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Interesting. I remember hearing of boric acid for roaches, and something about yeast mixed with grape jelly that causes their stomachs to explode... or am I confused? Anyway, I knew nothing of natural ways to eliminate fleas. I must admit, I'm still sticking to good ole fashioned carcinogenic poison.

Good article on mold. I suffered from it recently and have it again in my airconditioner!!!

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

mountain mama - the brewers yeast and garlic mix is working wonders on my two dogs.

merle - thanks for stopping by.

daybyday4 2day - I do live in a misquito area and I am glad to hear that it works on them too. Thanks for the tip.

drywall mom - the brewers yeast and garlic are working. Now I will have to buy the Advantage or Front line for Bubba.

live, love and laugh - try it and let me know if it works on you dogs.

friday's child - if you don't have dogs and cats you probably don't have to worry about fleas.

saurkraut - here is a boric acid ant bait that works: 1 teaspoon refined sugar, 1/3rd teaspoon boric acid, a few drops of water. Put the mixture in bottle caps or you could use the lids on the gallon milk or water jugs and set it out for the ants. I have also heard of mixing the boric acid with peanut butter and doing the same thing.

It was a good article on mold and I think I have the mold growing in my air conditioner too. I noticed it on the air conditioner vents in my daughters bathroom the other day. I suppose I'll have to get it cleaned out.....Just one more thing to deal with. The humidity in our area is conducive to this type of thing.....

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Lisa M. said...

We don't fleas here, so it has never been a problem, but I loved your suggestions and ideas! Thank you for the informatiion.

At 3:58 AM, Blogger Lavender Dawn said...

thanks for the tips!

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Loni said...

I love all your ideas here! We have 3 dogs and 2 cats and we have had a HORRIBLE time this past year with fleas. You gave me lots more ideas!

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with all but the garlic. Garlic is not good for dogs to ingest its like onions they lack the enzymes to digest the oils in veggies like that. I found the borax very useful as well as the lemons.Also cedar is not good for dogs as well, they are sensitive to it and makes it hard for them to breathe.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Иван Ратницкий said...

In my case i read at first this article, then a few blogs, like this, and after all work take a desigion. So last one is - vacuum cleaner.

At 5:27 AM, Anonymous Louis Martin said...

Pest Control Fleas
Thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information,Please keep updating.

At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

Great article. Getting rid of fleas is a tough process. Especially if you let it get out of control.


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