November 10, 2009

Here are some home remedy tips and ideas for winning the war on summertime fleas.

Control of all life stages in the flea life cycle in both the environment and on all animals in your pet’s vicinity, is crucial.

Diatomaceous Earth is a great product for killing fleas that live in yards and homes. This product does not contain chemicals and can be used freely on furnishings and carpets as well as outdoor areas. Vacuuming of excess product (as well as fleas, eggs and larvae) is a vital step in controlling fleas, too.

Pennyroyal herb is another renowned flea repellent, although it should not be used around pregnant animals or people. Pennyroyal, which is a member of the mint family, can be planted around yards and particularly near doorways to homes, to help keep fleas at bay. In addition, Pennyroyal Essential Oil can be diluted in water and sprayed liberally in indoor and outdoor areas.

Nematodes are a highly effective option for lawns and other outside areas. These microscopic organisms feed on flea eggs and larvae and help to control flea populations, naturally. Ask your local gardening shop for details on ordering nematodes.

An electronic flea trap may be another worthy investment, to combat fleas inside without chemicals.

For topical application directly on the pet to repel fleas and soothe irritated skin that can result from flea-bite dermatitis, try one of the following.

To keep fleas away:

Lemon Water – Dr Pitcairn recommends steeping lemons in water over night and spraying the solution on pets the following morning.
Tea Tree or Citronella oil on inside of collar works as a natural flea collar to repel fleas.
Lavender, lemon balm, rosemary and other woodsy essential oils are also thought to be helpful- add 2-3 drops of essential oil to ½ litter of water, spray pet and surroundings.
(Remember, dogs have very sensitive sniffers so be sure to dilute essential oils well and do not apply near face).
Neem Oil (be aware that some pets can be very allergic to Neem) can be found in many commercial products including shampoos and sprays.

Try one of the follow for irritated flea bit dermatitis:

Evening Primrose Oil is helpful for direct application to skin that has been irritated by fleas.
Tea rinse- To help sooth irritated skin (external rinse), steep a couple bags of black tea in 1 gallon water. Allow tea to cool and soak pet.
For an herbal tea rinse, steep a couple of Chamomile teabags in 1 gallon water, add a tablespoon or two of comfrey leaf and / or aloe leaf for additional soothing relief. Allow tea to cool and soak pet. Refrigerate unused portion.

Fighting fleas from the inside out

Building a strong immune system is crucial for helping pets to fend off fleas as well as overcome the effects of allergic reactions to flea saliva (flea bite dermatitis). First off, a natural diet is key. Homeopathic Urtica Urens (nettle), Sulphur, Rhus Tox (Poison Ivy) and Pulex Irritans (Human Flea) are all used for various flea bite reactions.

Along with a fresh, natural diet, dietary supplementation with Vitamin C as well as an Essential Fatty Acid such as flax or fish oil are also thought to be beneficial for immunity and reducing any inflammatory response.