Many of us prefer to totally avoid the use of toxins in our home, and particularly on our pets. Fortunately, there are many natural flea control methods available.
The first thing to realize about natural flea control remedies is that just because something is natural, does not mean it’s not toxic. Pyrethrins, insecticides derived from the African chrysanthemum, are both natural and toxic.
Natural flea control with essential oils
Some essential oils can be toxic in large doses as well, particularly to cats. Since cats do not metabolize essential oils very well, they can build up in their systems and cause problems. Although many cat owners use natural flea control remedies that contain essential oils, it is advisable to use caution.
Here’s an interesting video about making your own homemade flea and tick spray.
Good nutrition and flea control
Feeding your pet good quality food is not just the right thing to do, it can also provide better protection against fleas. Poor nutrition can make your pet more susceptible to fleas since a healthy animal is less appealing to adult fleas. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Brewer’s yeast can be used for both dogs and cats. Use about one teaspoon for cats and small dogs, and about a tablespoon for a fifty-pound dog. If your pet develops a skin rash, they may be allergic to yeast
Thoroughly combing your cat or dog with a flea comb is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to control fleas. Regular baths for your pet are as well. In most cases, plain soap will suffice, and there’s no need to use chemical flea shampoos.
A simple way to trap adult fleas is by placing a light next to where your pet sleeps. Then, under the light, put the dish of soapy water. The fleas will be attracted by the light and drown in the soapy water. You can even build your own flea trap very easily.
This method only works for adult fleas, but if it’s done consistently, it can be remarkably effective.
Diatomaceous earth kills fleas by damaging their skin and dehydrating them. It can be sprinkled under furniture, on carpets, and in other areas of your home that may be infested by fleas. It can also be applied directly to your pet.
Nematodes are microscopic worms that eat flea larva and are an effective, natural way to control fleas. Nematodes can be purchased at pet and garden stores. Apply them to moist, shady areas in your yard and around your home. They multiply rapidly, so a small amount will produce the desired result.
Many Common Herbs Can Help Repel Fleas
One effective, non-toxic method of repelling fleas is planting certain herbs in your yard. If your pet spends a lot of time in your backyard, try planting some of these herbs to repel fleas and other pests. These herbs can also be used in conjunction with other natural flea control methods, such as nematodes and diatomaceous earth.
As well as being a lovely smelling, aromatic herb with many uses, lavender will repel fleas. It also attracts many beneficial insects. In addition to repelling fleas, lavender will help protect nearby plants from insects such as whitefly.
The pennyroyal plant will repel fleas, and the leaves can be crushed and rubbed into your skin as a natural insect repellant. Please note, however, that pennyroyal is highly toxic to cats. DO NOT plant pennyroyal where cats might ingest it, and never rub the crushed leaves into the cat’s skin.
As well as being well-loved by many cats, catnip will also deter fleas, beetles, aphids, ants, etc. Plant this herb to both repel fleas and make your cat happy.
Planting mint can also be an effective deterrent to fleas, not to mention a key ingredient in a mojito. Mint can be very invasive, so be careful about where it’s planted.
Wormwood is an excellent deterrent to most insects. Use it as a tea to repel fleas, moths, and snails. Be aware, wormwood produces a botanical toxin, so keep it away from any food crops.
Try these and other herbs as a natural flea repellant in your yard. But, don’t forget that any effective flea control program requires treating your pet and treating your home consistently in order to be worth the time.