- Pets and Animals
4 Natural Flea Repellents You Can Make At Home
Flea Season is Upon Us!
It is summertime and fleas are out in full force. They live in the tall grass and brush in your yard and are attracted to body warmth when you or your pet walks past. They are very good at detecting a warm body to jump on as you probably know. Here are some chemical-free things you can do to keep your yard, your pets and your home free of these bothersome creatures!
How Severe Is The Infestation?
Unless you see them jumping, or they bite you at night, you may not even know how infested your home can get. Fleas are tiny but hardy creatures. The picture at right is magnified many times!
If your home is severely infested, the only way to get rid of all the fleas at once is probably to use a flea bomb or fogger. If you choose to start off this way, read and follow all instructions very carefully to avoid harmful reactions to your pets or family.
If it's not too bad, buy an all natural flea killer spray at any major pet store or online. Spray your entire house, curtains, rugs, furniture...everything. You may have to repeat the process once to get all the fleas.
Now that your home is free of these pests, lets get them off your pets!
Safer Flea Remedies
Some natural remedies are already in your cupboard!
- Dawn dish detergent can be used to bathe your pets and it's even safe for puppies and kittens. The chemicals in the soap destroy the flea's outer shell, killing them within minutes.
- Also, try Head and Shoulders shampoo. It contains Pyrithione Zinc, which kills fleas but is safe for your pet. You want to use these products only occasionally, as they can be drying to the skin. In between flea baths, use a gentle baby shampoo.
- Fresh squeezed citrus juice. Yes, that's right! Lemon, orange or grapefruit juice can be used directly on your pet's skin to ward off fleas and it smells so much nicer than conventional flea shampoos. Word of caution, never use citrus oil extracts! Not only will it irritate your pets skin, it will cause liver damage if ingested. While they are great for cleaning and insect repellants, citrus extracts come from the peel of the skins and contain harmful chemicals not found in the fresh squeezed juice.
- Natural flea dip can be made at home. Mix 2 pints of water with 2 cups of rosemary leaves and boil for 30 minutes. Strain leaves, add enough cold water to cool it off and make it a safe temperature for your pet. Pour over pets coat and do not rinse or towel dry. Let your pet dry naturally.
Other Helpful Hints
- Vacuum your rugs every other day to keep new fleas from laying eggs
- Hang Pennyroyal plants around the inside of your home. Fleas are naturally repelled by this plant, but it is toxic to people and pets when ingested, so hang the plants out of reach.
- Light citronella candles, inside and out.
- If you have problems with fleas in certain areas, place a shallow bowl or pie plate with soapy water in the area. It will attract the fleas which then become trapped in the soap and die. Change water every day until fleas are gone.