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Fleas - natural remedies, inside and out

Flea infestation
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(NaturalNews) Spring is here and here come the fleas.

When your cat or your dog starts scratching and little red bumps appear on your ankles and itch like crazy, a flea infestation is already underway. Although there are more than 2,500 types of fleas (with about 325 species in the U.S.), you are probably dealing with the cat flea, one of the peskiest creatures known to cats, dogs, or people.

Fleas can consume up to 15 times their weight in blood. They are so tiny, this doesn't seem like much, but a serious infestation can cause your pet to suffer from anemia (which could be life-threatening, especially for puppies or kittens) or to suffer from a mild to severe allergic response. Fur loss, chewed skin, scabs, and hot spots may result. Some animals exhibit a severe reaction to a single fleabite. Animals also swallow fleas, which can result in tapeworms.

Essential Oils and Other Repellents

Peta suggests the following spray to repel fleas on dogs: "...add five drops each of tea tree oil, citronella oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil to one cup of water, shake it, and put it in a spray bottle."

Another dog spray recipe:

Put 3 cloves of garlic, the peels from 1 orange and 1 grapefruit, 1 tablespoon of rosemary and 1 pint of water into a blender. Blend until liquefied, and then heat the concoction at a simmer for 20 minutes. Allow it to cool and strain. Put the liquid in a spray bottle and spray your pets before they go outside.

Cats don't do as well with essential oils. Lemon water or vinegar water sprayed on the skin or food grade diatomaceous earth used as a powder on the skin will do the trick.

To make lemon water, use one sliced up lemon to a pint of water. Bring it to a boil and let it sit in the pan overnight. To make vinegar water, just mix one part vinegar to three parts water.

Alternative treatment for the indoors

Boric Acid is a long time standard, a powder that can be beaten into the carpets and sprinkled on the floor and other furnishings. Though it has been touted as a natural way to combat fleas and kill other insects, including roaches, it is not entirely non-toxic. It is best to use it in cracks and crevices where children and animals are not exposed.

The first line of defense indoors, is vacuuming and washing bedding. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Place the used bag in a zip-locked plastic bag and freeze it. Re-use and refreeze until you seal it and throw it away.

Wash your pet's bedding, daily if possible. If your pet sleeps with you, wash your bedding daily or as often as possible. Remember, up to 40 eggs from each adult female flea are falling off your pet each day.

You can sprinkle Diatomaceous earth on the carpets. Do take care not to inhale it and remove your animals from the area. Leave it on carpets for a few hours before vacuuming and use a mask. Do not use the variety that has been chemically treated for swimming pools. Peta suggests salt or borax can also be used. Just leave it on carpets for a day before vacuuming. These three substances help dry out larvae, thus killing them.

Outdoor Treatment

Diatomaceous earth can also be sprinkled around the perimeter of the house and any areas where you suspect or have seen fleas. You can also spray beneficial nematodes on lawns and around shrubs. They are safe for beneficial garden dwellers like ladybugs and earthworms, and they are non toxic to children, and pets. They eat the fleas. Problem solved.


The best way to defeat fleas is to be proactive. Wash your animal's bedding regularly and spray or powder your pet. If you had an infestation last year, treat the yard. And feed your animal a super diet. Raw is best! And you may want to supplement your pet's food with Total Nutrition Powder for a boost of vitamins and minerals.

Learn how to make your own Total Nutrition Powder (great for you or your pet!).









About the author:
Allene Edwards first became interested in alternative medicine and holistic treatment modalities when she successfully used diet therapy to manage her children�s ADHD. Later when she became chronically ill with an auto-immune disease that multiple doctors could not identify, much less cure, she successfully treated both the symptoms and the cause through naturopathic treatment and nutrition. She is the Managing Editor of Organic Lifestyle Magzine and a regular contributor.

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