Request: I need to find out a economical way to get rid of fleas. Something that would not be toxic to us or all of our pets. Our beloved family dog, Happy is infested with fleas. We have sprayed him with vet recommended flea spray, but it does not work.
We live in an old house and I suspect that the fleas are in the carpet and also I am beginning to suspect that they may be in our yard, as well. I have to be very careful about what I spray in the house as I have 2 birds and they are very, very sensitive to things like that. If anyone can help I would appreciate it.
Kelley in Texas
Lime your yard to kill them out there. If you have pets spray them with white vinegar and water (1/2 and 1/2 mixed in a spray bottle) as the pets are about to come into the house. If pets get to scratching and carrying on, spray them with more vinegar and water. You can also use the mix in the house. (06/04/2004)
My house was also infested and I got this tip from a professional. Take two boxes of salt and grind them to powder in a blender. Vacuum well and start you pets on flea treatments right away. Take the fine salt and using a super fine sieve, sprinkle the perimeter of each room and under chair and sofa cushions. Do not vacuum for "two weeks". Make sure you have a fresh vacuum bag and then empty it again. You should be flea free in two weeks. Repeat if necessary. I did it again in three weeks just to be extra sure. We've never had another flea.
Eucalyptus: Can be found at craft stores, probably flower shops; put some in a flower vase or what we do is gets lots of it and toss it under the couch, chairs, beds, and other dark places I guess I'm saying. I don't remember how long it takes, but it won't be long before you`ll realize you don't have fleas anymore.
I'm referring to the leaves on their branches. I recently saw it for sale at Wal-mart like a tree. I would love some to plant outdoors I'm sure it would be very beneficial. But just use what you can probably more is better. It doesn't have an odor, fleas just hate it for whatever reason (06/04/2004)
Sprinkle Borax on your carpet, use a broom to spread it around so it goes all the way to the base of the carpet fibers. Let it set for half an hour, then vacuum up and throw the bag away. Keep any cats, ferrets or crawling babies out while doing this, it isn't as toxic as some chemicals, but since these three are most likely to ingest it, better to be safe than sorry.
Some sprays only kill fleas that are on your pet at that moment, most of a flea's life is spent as an egg or larva in the environment. Wash all of your dog's bedding, any stuffed toys and soft area rugs in hot water and regular laundry detergent. Plant Fennel, Marigold, and Chrysanthemums around your property as a natural barrier. Clean up any brush piles or piles of leaves (look under the porch), fleas like warmth and moisture.
Brush your dog daily, outside if you can, then comb with a flea comb. If you pull off any fleas, drown them in a dish of soapy water. Fleas are attracted to heat; set up a small lamp (use a regular incandescent bulb) over a shallow dish (pie pans work well) of soapy water. As the fleas jump at the heat source, they fall into the dish and the soap residue prevents them from jumping out again.
Fleas can remain dormant as an egg in the environment for a long time, so it is important to keep up with the washing and vacuuming. It may take 3 months or longer to rid the house (90 days is the average time from egg to adult). If you don't like the sprays, ask your vet about Program. It is available as a chewable for dogs, a liquid (put it in their food) for cats or as a 6 month injection. Program doesn't kill adults or keep them from biting your pet, it prevents the eggs from hatching out and breaks the lifecycle. We recently had good luck with BioSpot on our dogs and cats and we could have used the wipes on our rabbits if they picked up any fleas. I usually avoid all chemicals, but the poor cats were absolutely miserable and natural treatments weren't working. Some people swear by garlic and brewers yeast, but this still hasn't been scientifically proven. A dip made from boiled citrus peels, strained, then mixed with warm water can be poured on the dog, then allowed to dry naturally. Hope some of this helps.
My dogs used to suffer badly from fleas. I now use "Frontline" which is a liquid that you squirt a few drops from a syrette into the fur between the dog's shoulders. The fleas come to the dog and die. I haven't had to spray the house or yard since I started using it, and haven't seen a flea in years.
By Jon in Birmingham
We have used sulfur powder and found it pretty effective. We have a parrot also and it did not seem to bother him. (06/04/2004)
Avon Skin So Soft repels fleas. Spray on your dog, he will love the scent and a little goes a long way.
By M. Kahl
If you eat oranges, cut off the peels with a small layer of fruit left on the peel. Cut up the fruit and put it in a jar in your fridge to serve anytime you want. Cut the peels into small pieces, simmer them til they're almost clear in enough water to slightly more than cover.
After the water cools, squeeze the peels and put them on the compost heap or however you dispose of them. Strain the water into a spray bottle. Spray the animals. It won't hurt them unless by any chance you are unlucky enough to have one that's allergic to citrus. Grapefruit peels work almost as well, but not quite.
You can spray your yard and house with it too. It's another good reason to eat oranges. The animals lick it off and get vitamin C in the process. (06/05/2004)
By Linne D.
Capstar is wonderful. It is a pill that you give and within an hour, all fleas will be dead. Only works for 24 hours, but is a great way to start your flea program. Then get Frontline Plus from your vet or groomer. Apply directly on your pets skin, not the hair. You should be flealess in no time. I am a dog groomer and love these products. A lot less flea and tick infested doggies. (06/07/2004)
We used to bathe our dog in baby shampoo. This is gentle on their skin. Then when doggie was almost dry, we would scatter baby powder over their body and bellies. The talc is slick and helps keep the fleas from hanging on to the fur. If the fleas are really bad, I would repeat this several times a month.
Also, you can look into your local "feed and seed" type store. I was raised in Oklahoma and as a service to the community the local feed and seed set up a horse trough once a month through the summer for you to come and dip your dog and de-flea them. It is worth asking. It is possible now that they charge a small fee, but it may be cheaper than taking them to a groomer. I wouldn't recommend it if the dog has open sores or sensitive skin though. (06/07/2004)
I have used the borax on the carpet tip for years with success. Also, buy a cheap flea collar, snap it to activate (read the box) and put it in your vacuum cleaner bag. That way, if you suck up flea eggs and they hatch, the flea collar will kill them.
I would not recommend putting Avon Skin-so-soft on your dog. A friend had a dog who got very sick after licking Skin So Soft off his paws. (06/09/2004)
By Becki from Logansport, IN
Frontlline is a great product. We could not manage without it. But it's also too expensive for year round use if you have several animals. We found a great way to save and still get our flea protection. We have 3 small dogs and 3 cats. Did you know that 1 tube of Frontline can be used by multiple animals? Just add up the weights of your dogs (ours are 15, 20 and 20 = 55 lbs), and buy the Frontline for that size animal (we buy the one for 45-88 lb dogs). It's easy to put 1/3 of drops on each dog. I buy the 6 packs on Ebay for about $45. 6 months of flea protection for 3 dogs is a pretty good deal.
As for the cats, the fleas are not a problem except in the hot weather (110 degrees) so I just get the Hartz drops at Walmart and treat them once or twice during the summer. Hopefully this will help if your dogs are med size or smaller. (06/09/2004)
Use Advantage from the vet. Simple and easy. (06/13/2004)
If you go to your local pet shop, they should sell some dog tablets, which are called "4fleas". They start to work in just 15 minutes and are supposed to get rid of the fleas in a day, it is getting to work on my dog at the moment, we have tried everything. You can also use "brewers yeast" to put with their food, which helps repel fleas, and it also is very good for your dog because it is a vitamin, be warned though they smell awful, the tablets do. Cheers for the info and I hope mine comes in useful.
Lavender is a natural deterrent for all sorts of pests (fleas, ticks, mosquitoes) and it smells nice. Plant a bunch of lavender plants, I think you use it the same way as the citrus spray people have mentioned. (06/30/2005)
Just whatever you do, don't use the flea meds from Walmart. We tried it on our cat because he was infested with fleas and he got really sick to the point of where he couldn't even stand up. If you have used it, and you noticed your animal becoming sick, put him or her in the tub with luke warm water and wash with Dawn dish detergent. (07/19/2005)
I have also found if you put cedar chips in there bedding they helps also. (08/22/2005)
I recently had a severe problem with fleas. We have a momma kitty with two babies who are just now 5 weeks old. We also have a 15 year old dog and 3 other cats. It seemed like we were bombarded with fleas this year and I don't like to use chemicals due the fact that my youngest suffers from asthma.
I found a recipe for the animals that is 100% natural and quite effective. Take 2 fresh lemons and cut into slices. Place into 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Turn off and let it set overnight. The next day pour into a spray bottle and use on animals, just be careful not to get into eyes.
I called the vet and they said that it wouldn't hurt the baby kittens or my elderly dog. The vet also said that Dawn dish soap can be used on young animals to kill adult fleas. So we bathed them with the Dawn first and while wet we sprayed them with the lemon mix, works great. (10/06/2005)
To get rid of fleas plant Fennel in a pot at your front and back door and by the sleeping place of your pet, it should prevent fleas invading your home and carpet. For all those people who find it hard to pay for worm tablets for their cat or dog and would like a less expensive way to treat them try mixing mashed carrot and parsnip with a bit of pet food. (01/11/2006)
I found a spray in a pet store its called "de flea" its made by Natural Chemistry. It's an all natural spray safe for kittens, puppies, as well as adults. It can also be used on ticks, lice, and fleas. It will work on the pets, carpets, and upholstery and all surfaces. It doesn't smell all that great, but it works and simply. It's a no bath way for a dog, but with cats/kittens you have to wash it off. The bottle is 500 ml and I paid $14.99 for it. It lasts a good amount of time and is well worth the price. (05/11/2006)
Fleabusters is the only way to get rid of fleas, it is less toxic than table salt. Guaranteed for 1 year or your money back. You don't have to leave your house. I tried borax and salt, they do not work. Lemon, garlic, vinegar and nothing worked, but Fleabusters.
They also spray a worm type of thing outside that eats fleas, termites, ants, cockroaches, and all kinds of different insects. It is non-toxic. I have four kids and three dogs, who have been flea free for over a year. (05/28/2006)
Please try Basic-H a vegetable soap sold by Shacklee. I don't sell. Just put a few drops in water and spray everything. It is safe on your skin and your pets and plants. It will not stain and has no odor. It is good for all sorts of things. Remember to empty the vacuum every time you use it on fleas, they can crawl back out. The bites will scar if you scratch them. If you cover the bites with liquid bandage or clear nail polish they will quit itching. Luck to you on extermination.
Fleas lay eggs in your pet's coat and the eggs drop off as it moves about the house. In a few days the eggs hatch to larval stage and live in rugs, bedding and furniture cushions. At this stage they can be easily vacuumed away. Be particularly careful of dust, because it is one of larva's favorite habitats. After you vacuum, sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth in all the affected ares to destroy any remaining larvae. It can be purchased in organic gardening supply stores or on-line. (07/02/2006)
Use borax like you heard. A lemon steeped in hot water over night use more than 1 and spray or wipe on your self pets etc. Put a desk lamp on the floor, use a large white dinner plate and put dish soap with water in and place under bulb. The white and the heat attract fleas and the soap breaks up the surface tension so the fleas sink and drown. This will give you an idea how many or if they are still around. (09/12/2006)
By they suck every thing out of you
To rid your yard of fleas and flea eggs, buy some Tide with bleach laundry soap (powder) and sprinkle it lightly around your yard. Then, spray thoroughly with water. It will sterilize the eggs, and kill off the adults. I do it at my house once every spring, and even my outdoor cat doesn't get fleas. (09/20/2006)
I read about mixing baking soda and table salt on paper plates and putting them under your furniture to kill fleas. I told a lady at church and she tried it. She said it works great. (10/25/2006)
By Ms April
On the website www.aspca.org there is a list of things that are poisonous to pets and garlic is on the list. (12/08/2006)
We had a pretty bad infestation a couple of years ago here in Houston (super humid and hot, i.e. perfect conditions for fleas to flourish), and we found out about a product called Revolution. You have to get it from a vet, and depending on the size of your pet, it can be pricey (roughly $70 for 6 month supply). But it works. It will kill the fleas on your dog and in their environment and protects them from heartworm and other pesky pests. (04/04/2007)
One year I had a bad infestation with fleas. I used every type of bomb I could find, even bombing the basement (somebody told me that a lot of people forget to do their crawl space and basements, so fleas will just hang out down there til it's safe). I used Dawn on the cats, bought borax and washed everything and let it sit for about two weeks. Nothing worked. I had tile, wood floors and carpeting. They were everywhere. I was in tears thinking I had to pay 100's of dollars to have a professional come through.
Then I found a spray, made by ORTHO called Home Defense Max at Feed-n-Seed. It is a large jug for $19.95. I went through the whole house spraying every crack and surface I could find. The problem ended that day. This summer I found a couple of fleas, hurried up and sprayed the house down. Haven't had a problem at all.
People need to remember, animals do not create fleas, they are just a carrier. If your animal has them, then the fleas were already on your property. I know people that do not even have animals that have had flea problems in their homes. (08/15/2007)
Try Diatomaceous Earth. It is a fine powder and you can put it on your pet (dogs and cats) in your carpet and it works. Best of all it is 100% organic. Also, you can buy nematodes a beneficial insect that will help eliminate them in your yard. (12/19/2007)
Buy a Halo vacuum. It kills the fleas and the eggs in the carpet and floors. It is expensive, but worth it and safe. (04/08/2008)
We live in the country, my husband found 7 baby squirrels, abandoned. I guess either my dogs or cats ate the mama. So, now I'm taking care of the babies. Anyway, they have fleas. I don't have any animals in the house, but these little babies need to be indoors. So, I called the number for abandoned squirrels; I told them my dilemma, they said, "Now this sounds odd, but, so far it's working put in bowl, half Listerine or cheapy brand and half water, and mix, get a rag, soak it in the mix, and wash them with the mix. To me it works, try it. If it works for dinky lil' squirrels, it must work for bigger animals.
Eleni M. (04/18/2008)
Salt works. After you use the salt clean your carpets with hot hot water and a carpet steamer. Then go back over the carpets with vinegar instead of the shampoo. It will kill the fleas, vinegar is a mild acid. It is safe for kids and expecting women. Also do the furniture. For your pets use Dawn soap and in between washings after potty breaks outside use wintergreen alcohol. Dilute 10% alcohol 90% water and wipe your pets down especially in between toes and under their armpits and hind end. Fleas don't like the wintergreen smell. (05/03/2008)
Garlic will not hurt your pet and is a vermafuge, a wormer. As for fleas, I am about to try lavender oil in combination with lemon dish soap. Bath first. Also, Lemon Balm and Verbena are both a bug deterrent that keeps biting insects at bay for a short time. (05/31/2008)
I have used sulfur in my yard now for over 15 years to get rid of those pesky fleas and it works great. It was recommended to me by a vet and it has always worked. You need to go to a feed store and ask to purchase at least a 20 to 50 lb bag of sulfur; remember to ask for the powder form. You then poke some holes in a plastic butter dish and coat your yard with it. Sulfur is non toxic to dogs, cats, all animals and children so it will not harm them. Dogs can even eat the grass and it will not hurt them.
I also recommend taking all your animals, including birds outside in cages and setting off a few roach bombs in your house to get rid of the infestation in your house. Remember to turn all pilot lights off before setting off any pesticide bombs in the house. Depending on the square feet of your house, I only use two bombs for a two bedroom house, but leave all of my doors open to allow it to reach all of my rooms. After you have your yard and house clear of fleas then all you need is to wash your animals in flea soap and put on either a Frontline or some flea protection on your animals and you should not see another infestation for the rest of the summer. Remember that you should only have to treat your entire yard only twice a year with sulfur, and a large 50 pound bag is only 25.00. (07/09/2008)
I have been reading all the feedbacks, borax will not work unless you do it correctly. Sprinkle the borax on the carpet especially in corners and under the furniture. Then get a course broom and sweep the borax in the carpet thoroughly. The most important part in fact, then let it sit for 48 hours then vacuum, then do it again in 2 weeks the same thing. Borax dried the eggs and pupas up, 90% of the infestations are eggs and pupas and 10% are fleas. so you if you have tons of fleas that means you got 80X more eggs and pupas. (07/23/2008)
I'm not sure if everyone knows this, I think it's common sense to know not to bathe your dog for a week after the application of Frontline (or other flea control) but I didn't know you're not supposed to bathe them "before" application also.
I also take a flea collar and cut it up and suck it up in the vacuum cleaner so when I vacuum and get the fleas that way they will die in the vacuum for sure. (09/04/2008)
One thing that my vet has told me and I have found to work, is after so long the fleas become immune to certain kinds of flea prevention like Frontline. I had to switch back and forth from Frontline to Advantage and it seems to be working great. (09/26/2008)
By Kimberly C.
Don't ever use over the counter flea drops on your pet. I almost lost my beloved cat from the Hartz brand. I read another post here describing the same symptoms. He went into convulsions in the middle of the night, I had to rush him to the animal hospital and they said he was poisoned by the product. But thankfully we didn't lose him, the vet treated him as he would a poisoned animal and it saved his life. (10/06/2008)
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