Getting Rid of Fleas and Ticks

Readers of MOTHER EARTH NEWS provide their advice for eliminating fleas and ticks from your pets and house.

| January/February 1973

  • 019-051-01
    The generally ineffective canine solution to fleas and ticks.
    ILLUSTRATION: CRAIG SPONSELLER

  • 019-051-01

In a prior issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS Larry and Nina Knapp ask about getting rid of fleas and ticks in their house . . . we recently went through a similar problem and were turned on to a very sane cure.

What we discovered was silica gel, the main ingredient in two commercially available products called "Dry-Die" and "Superkill" (although we've seen these only in hardware stores).

Silica gel has been used experimentally as a permanent termite control sprinkled in a building during construction. Its effectiveness comes from the fact that it's extremely absorbent . . . when it touches an insect's shell, it actually dries a hole in it and then goes on to dehydrate the critter.

Because insects have exoskeletons, they're the only ones affected by silica gel . . . and if it's sprinkled into carpets and chairs, it lasts long enough to kill the eggs left by fleas and their ilk. Of course, the best part about the stuff is that it isn't a nerve gas type of insecticide . . . it's totally non-toxic to folks and other animals.



David and Jackie Browning
Brownsville, Ore.

Hope this will help Larry and Nina with the flea and tick problem. We've found an inexpensive solution, but it only works if you're going on vacation. (Go camping for a weekend if you have to!)

Will LeBlanc_1
7/30/2008 6:09:32 PM

Does anybody know of an effective way of eliminating Bed Bugs ?







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