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Three Simple Steps For Solving Pet Flea Problems Naturally
There are three steps that must be taken to get rid of fleas. One, you must get rid of the fleas on your pet. Two, you must get rid of the fleas in your house. Three, you must prevent flea re-infestation. All three of these things can be done naturally and without the use of pesticides.
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Step 1 - Getting Rid of Fleas on Your Pet
Give your pet a bath using a natural, pesticide-free pet shampoo. Let the suds sit on your dog for a few minutes to drown the fleas. After the bath, most of the fleas will have drowned and will be dead, but the eggs will still be alive.
To kill the eggs and capture any remaining fleas, use a flea comb. A flea comb is a fine toothed comb that can be purchased in pet supply stores. The fleas and flea eggs get stuck in the teeth of the comb. When using the flea comb, have a cup of water nearby to dip the comb into whenever there are fleas or flea eggs in the teeth of the comb. Rinsing the comb off in the cup of water will contain and drown the fleas and prevent the eggs from hatching.
Thoroughly comb every part of your pets body, making sure to be gentle so you don't hurt your pet's skin with the pointy comb teeth.
Comb your pet with the pet comb daily until there are no more fleas or flea eggs.
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Step 2 - Getting Rid of Fleas in Your House
Fleas and flea eggs can survive in carpet for quite a long time. The best natural way to get rid of them is with baking soda and salt. Both baking soda and salt dehydrates the fleas and kills them.
Sprinkle equal amounts of baking soda and salt on dry carpet. Note: Make sure the carpet does not get wet, or the baking soda could leave a white residue.
Leave the baking soda on the carpet for as long as possible or up to overnight. Vacuum carpet to remove all traces of baking soda and salt. The dead fleas and flea eggs should vacuum up along with the baking soda and salt mixture.
In addition to treating your carpets, launder pet bedding and human bedding frequently to get rid of flea eggs.
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Step 3 - Prevent Flea Re-Infestation
If there are fleas on your pet and fleas on your carpet, there are probably fleas in your yard.
The best way to prevent fleas from jumping on your pet and coming back into the house is to use a natural deterrent. Diluted lemon juice water kills and deters fleas.
To make diluted lemon juice water:
- Slice one whole lemon (leave the peel on), pour 12 ounces of boiling water over the lemon and allow it to sit overnight.
- Remove the lemon slices and pour lemon water into a spray bottle.
- Spray lightly on pet.
- Watch to make sure that the lemon water does not irritate your pet's skin or make your pet itchy.
- If the lemon water does cause problems for your pet, discontinue use and regularly use the flea comb instead.
It is always a good idea to regularly brush your pet with a flea comb to catch fleas and flea eggs before they become a big problem.
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Flea eggs can survive for weeks and even months before hatching. A couple fleas can quickly multiply into a full-blown infestation. So, it important to regularly treat your pet and home until the infestation is completely gone. Follow the above three flea control steps daily until there are no more signs of fleas.
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Outdoor Flea Control
Sometimes the backyard becomes infested with fleas.Two environmentally friendly outdoor flea control options are flea nematodes and cedar.
The best and safest way to get to get rid of outdoor fleas is to use flea nematodes. Flea nematodes are microscopic parasites that kill flea larvae. The nematodes are harmless to pets, humans and plants. You can purchase flea nematodes online or in some garden supply stores. To apply the flea nematodes to your yard, sprinkle them in a moist, shady spot.
Another non-toxic option for outdoor flea control is to spray cedar spray around your yard or sprinkle cedar chips or granules around your yard. Cedar is toxic to fleas and acts as a flea repellent. However, cedar is short acting and needs to be reapplied often. Purchase cedar sprays at pet stores or online and cedar chips and granules at garden supply stores.
- Do not use cedar shavings or cedar products that contain a lot of dust. Inhaling the dust can cause respiratory distress in pets.
- Do not allow pets to eat cedar. The ingestion of cedar is toxic.
- Do not apply cedar oil directly on cats.
- Some pets may experience skin sensitivities to cedar. Remove the cedar if your pet exhibits skin reactions to it.
- Image Credit: Beagle scratching ear, Wikimedia Commons/Rlevse