Pet owners have some unique challenges that need to be overcome. Preventing or getting rid of fleas is just one of them. It’s a creepy feeling to feel those tiny little things all over you when you simply want to curl up and enjoy a movie with the family. It’s a common problem, but one that can be dealt with with a just a little perseverance.
Most people will run to the store searching for a solution or even to their veterinarian. While a vet visit could be warranted if there are serious health problems to be cared for, in most cases it isn’t needed. And you probably want to steer clear of most of the products found at the local supermarket.
In fact, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) published research showing just how dangerous a simple flea collar can be (further below you’ll find a safe, natural flea collar you can make at home). They’re working to get dangerous chemicals commonly found in pet products banned – particularly those found in pet powders and pet collars.
So just what can you do to get rid of these creepy, annoying little pests without resorting to toxin-filled products you don’t want in your home or around your family?
The main thing that most experts recommend is something that will require you to put in some time each and everyday. But this is your pet we’re talking about, so think of it as more bonding time! You should try to comb them daily with fine-toothed flea comb. Just boil a pot of water and add some fresh lemon to it. Let it cool completely, or at least to a nice warm comfortable temperature. Then dip your comb in it and comb it through their hair.
Why lemon water? Lemons contain limonene. This is a natural chemical that’s completely safe for us and our pets, but it kills fleas and helps repel them for the near future.
The second thing that’s always recommend is, again, something that will take a little time each day. But it can really help in controlling fleas. That is vacuuming. Vacuuming the floor, your pet’s bed, the couch or anywhere else that he likes to hang out. The two important things here are 1.) consistency and 2.) that you empty your vacuum after each session and get those peskers out of your home. If you use a bagless, be sure to empty it somewhere else – not in the kitchen trash can. If your vacuum has a bag, dispose of it outside the home immediately.
Ok, and here’s that nifty collar we mentioned earlier. This comes courtesy of EveryDayRoots. I encourage you to visit them for a lot more cool, safe and natural, homemade pet products.
Things You’ll Need:
- 3 to 5 drops of lavender or cedar oil
- 1 to 3 TB water Bandana (You can use your dog’s collar, but hey, the bandana looks cool!)
- * Optional eyedropper
Instructions for making your all natural flea collar
Simply dilute a few drops of the scented oil you chose into the water. Using the eyedropper (or another method you might choose) drop the liquid on the bandana and rub together to spread it around. Reapply a water/oil mixture once a week. You can also dilute the oil with olive oil instead of water and rub it on the base of your dog’s tail.
Dealing with Bites
If you have fleas in the house, then you most certainly have flea bites to deal with. They’re especially bad for young children, or heaven forbid, infants. Do everything you can to not scratch them, as it will only make them worse. It can also increase the odds of infection finding its way into the bite. The first thing you should do is wash with an antiseptic soap and apply cool pressure or ice pack (helps prevent swelling).
A few things you can do to treat flea bites naturally are:
- Wash the area with green tea or black tea to alleviate swelling. You could simply use tea bags from your morning tea, too.
- Combine water and baking soda into a paste and apply to the bite
- Use a small amount of lemon juice to ease the itchiness. It may tingle a little bit, but that’s the lemon juice at work to prevent bacteria growth (a bonus!)