(NaturalNews) Nothing is more aggravating then finding fleas on the family pet. Even the best pet parents have their work cut out for them when flea season begins, and that doesn't include a possible infestation of chiggers or other creepy, crawling, mite-like invaders taking up residence in the home. Conventional flea treatments and topical applications may kill fleas; however, they can be dangerous for pet health. Insecticides leave toxic chemicals on pet fur and skin that eventually find their way into the animal's body, poisoning the liver. Other natural treatments may eliminate fleas in the yard, but can't be used in the house or directly on the animal. There is a way to treat pets and even barn animals that does work to eliminate the annoying, parasites -- and it's safe, natural and inexpensive.
Getting rid of fleas is a two-step process -- treat the pet and then, treat the house. The combination works, but both steps are necessary.
Treating your pet
Using diatomaceous earth is not a new idea when it comes to treating animals for fleas. DE is a naturally occurring rock, similar to pumice, and is comprised of the fossilized skeletons of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. The shells are abrasive, and when crushed into a powder, create a deadly insecticide for fleas, ticks, mites, bedbugs, chiggers and other insects. DE works by making microscopic cuts in the exoskeleton of the insect as they pass through the powder; and then absorbing their bodily fluids, killing them. It's safe to apply DE to pet fur as a powder and gently rub or brush it through. Leave it on the pet, and within 24 hours, fleas will be dead. However, take care to protect the pet and owner from inhaling the dust, which can cause damage to the lungs. Shake the powder on carefully and close to the pet's body to avoid creating a dust cloud. Ingested DE will not harm an animal and is useful for deworming instead of using veterinary chemicals.
In addition to applying DE to pets' coats, it can also be sprinkled around cracks and crevices in the home and on furniture. Vacuum up after allowing it to sit for several hours or longer. Use only pure food grade DE, which is available at feed stores and online.
Treating your house
Staphysagria is a homeopathic remedy known for being able to protect against the bites of certain insects, especially mosquitoes. Additionally, it makes an excellent flea repellant and insecticide when used as a spray around the house. No one knows exactly how the remedy works to kill fleas and other parasitic pests; however, anecdotal evidence indicates that mixing several pellets of Staphysagria 6C with water and spraying around cracks, crevices, and furniture will kill adult fleas and prevent eggs from maturing. Repeat twice a month or more frequently to keep the house free of fleas during summer.
Combining these two methods should rid pets of fleas and protect against new infestations. To ensure that dogs and outdoor cats remain free of fleas, apply DE to the yard with a fertilizer spreader. This must be done on a dry day where there is no threat of rain for several days afterwards. DE will not only destroy fleas, but will also kill ticks. To treat bushes for pests, place DE powder in a kitchen strainer and sprinkle throughout foliage. Repeat every few weeks during flea season.
JB Bardot is an herbalist and a classical homeopath, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine. You can find her at The JB Bardot Archives at www.jbbardot.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jbbardot23 or on Twitter at jbbardot23 or https://twitter.com/jbbardot23