Many of us prefer to totally avoid the use of toxins in our home, and particularly on our pets. Fortunately, there are many natural flea control methods available.
The first thing to realize about natural flea control remedies, is that just because something is natural, does not mean it’s not toxic. Pyrethrins, insecticides derived from the African chrysanthemum, are both natural and toxic.
Some essential oils can be toxic in large doses as well, particularly to cats. Since cats do not metabolize essential oils very well, they can build up in their systems and cause problems. Although many cat owners use natural flea control remedies that contain essential oils, it is advisable to use caution.
Good nutrition and flea control
Feeding your pet good quality food is not just the right thing to do, it can also provide better protection against fleas. Poor nutrition can make your pet more susceptible to fleas, since a healthy animal is less appealing to adult fleas. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Garlic and yeast
Bother garlic and yeast can help to naturally protect your pet from fleas. Cat owners should be aware, however, that garlic is toxic to cats, and can damage their red blood cells.
Brewer’s yeast can be used for both dogs and cats. Use about one teaspoon for cats and small dogs, and about a tablespoon for a fifty pound dog. If your pet develops a skin rash, they may be allergic to yeast
Thoroughly combing your cat or dog with a flea comb is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to control fleas. Regular baths for your pet are as well. In most cases, plain soap will suffice, and there’s no need to use chemical flea shampoos.
A simple way to trap adult fleas is by placing a light next to where your pet sleeps. Then, under the light, put dish of soapy water. The fleas will be attracted by the light and drown in the soapy water.
This method only works for adult fleas, but if it’s done consistently, it can be remarkably effective.
Diatomaceous earth kills fleas by damaging their skin and dehydrating them. It can be sprinkled under furniture, on carpets, and in other areas of your home that may be infested by fleas. It can also be applied directly to your pet.
Nematodes are microscopic worms that eat flea larva, and are an effective, natural way to control fleas. Nematodes can be purchased at pet and garden stores. Apply them to moist, shady areas in your yard and around your home. They multiply rapidly, so a small amount will produce the desired result.