Naturally Reduce Fleas

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We’ve been having some very hot and humid weather here in Los Angeles, which is the perfect recipe for fleas. Between our short haired Italian Greyhound Chihuahua, and our indoor cat, (and we don’t have carpet) we’ve had such a bad flea problem that I can’t even imagine how bad the families with long haired, outdoor pets (with carpet) have it. We’ve tried a handful of natural products to get a grip on the problem. We haven’t been able to get rid of the fleas entirely. I’m sure we just have to wait for the weather to change before we can do that. I do think that the products we’ve tried so far have helped to keep the flea population reduced a bit compared to not applying anything. These are the products we tried this season…

  • The most simple and basic routine for repelling fleas, when you aren’t having an abundance of them, is a regular bath with peppermint castile soap, followed by a rinse in apple cider vinegar. The soap washes your pets very well, without drying their skin out, and the vinegar scent doesn’t linger once it dries. Chemical free!

 

 

 

 

Reviewing products marketed as natural flea control and healthy options that really work.

  • Flea Away pills for Cats and Dogs. This is supposed to be an internal approach to combating the fleas. One crushed pill mixed into their food once a day and it is supposed to deter the fleas from biting them, therefore preventing the fleas from sticking around. I liked this idea, and since these are simply vitamins for your pets, I figured it wouldn’t be harmful to give to them. I don’t quite understand how vitamins help repel fleas, but we gave them a good solid shot. Taking these pills did seem to reduce the amount of fleas the pets had, but it did not get rid of them. I also had to mix them into their food really well or they would refuse to eat.

 

 

 

  • WonderCide Natural and Organic Flea and Tick Control Spray for Dogs and Cats in “Fresh Cedar”. This spray was by far the very best of the ones we tried! It smells amazing and doesn’t leave your pets greasy. I found this to be the best option to use on our short haired dog. Fleas tend to hang out in her fur (not sure how, it’s really short) and D.E. won’t stick around because she doesn’t have enough hair. This spray did a pretty good job repelling the fleas, though we had to apply a lot during the super bad days.  As an added bonus, the bottle we purchased from the local natural pet store came in an aluminum bottle. Less plastic is always better. It does have oils in it, so apply outdoors or over a towel.

 

  • Wally’s All-Natural Flea Control Pet Spray for Dogs and Cats. This flea spray uses essential oils to repel fleas and claims 85% organic ingredients, but it isn’t entirely natural. It does have sulfates in it, so it will get a little soapy on your pets fur. The scent in this spray is not nearly as pure as the WonderCide spray, but it isn’t bad. It left my pets slightly greasy and soft in a way that wasn’t natural. On one hand I thought the fact that the product stays in their fur would be beneficial to fighting fleas, but it really didn’t do anything to control the flea population on either pet. I have a huge problem with this spray bottle as well. I thought the design of the trigger would make it ergonomically better for application. This became irrelevant because as soon as this shiny plastic spray trigger gets wet during application, you can’t get a grip to save your life. If you can hold your pet in place with one hand, and do all the spraying with the other, then go give this one a try. I have carpal tunnel syndrome and found it quite difficult.

 

  • Sentry Natural Defense Natural Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs and Puppies. This spray is just another attempt at selling a product as “natural” because a few of the ingredients are. It’s not very good at killing or repelling fleas, it has a very artificial scent, it contains sulfates, the ingredients aren’t that great (though obviously not as bad as the full chemical ones), and it’s not clear if it’s safe to use on cats or just dogs. I prefer products that are safe for everyone in the house.

 

 

 

  • Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray Natural Formula. This spray is just like the last 2; not entirely natural, has sulfates, still has some frowned upon ingredients, leaves a soapy residue on your pet’s fur, and has an artificial scent. I just don’t think the scent of a product should smell artificial if they are marketing it as a product that repels fleas due to the natural oils it contains.

These last three sprays are what I call “middle ground”. They aren’t full of chemicals, but they are fully natural either. Still, we weren’t able to find one that reduced the fleas significantly. WonderCide came the closest, which is great because it really is all natural.

  • In the meantime, D.E., or diatomaceous earth, is the go to natural flea remedy these days, and for good reason! If you don’t already know, D.E. is powder made of finely ground shells (it contains mostly silicon dioxide). To us larger creatures, it’s just powder. To insects, it’s like millions of knives slicing through their exoskeleton making them vulnerable and easier to kill (if they don’t simply dry out once cut open). Food grade D.E. is what you want to use. Some say sprinkle it around the yard, but I have never felt this helped us very much. The best application to kill and prevent fleas is by rubbing the powder into your pets fur. As I already mentioned, this doesn’t work on OUR dog, but our CAT, perfection! The cat’s longer hair holds on to the powder very well. The best part is that the cat then takes his powder covered body to all his regular locations, leaves some of the powder, and house wide flea control is in effect. The cat did most of the work!

 

Hope this helps! Don’t forget to READ LABELS!!!

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