DIY





Natural Flea Control

Don't spend the summer singing "My dog has fleas." Use the following tactics for natural flea control to change that tune.

| May/June 1985

Fleas.

At times they seem to be taking over the world. These bloodsucking pests not only are irritating to man and beast alike, but can also cause severe skin problems in both dogs and cats. Worse yet, as fleas become increasingly resistant to the synthetic chemicals science has produced for their control, pesticide manufacturers are making their products increasingly stronger — and more dangerous — in an attempt to keep pace with the parasites.

As a result of this unhealthy race, household pets are suffering twice: They're chewed on by fleas, and they're used as a battleground for the chemical warfare being waged by their well-meaning owners. In fact, I've often encountered cases of severe poisoning in dogs and cats due to the overzealous application of synthetic-chemical flea treatments. And many of those poisoned animals still have fleas!

Fortunately, there are effective, nontoxic ways to achieve natural flea control that won’t harm our pets. But before we can attempt them, we must understand the tiny monsters' life cycle and purpose in nature’s scheme.



The Enemy: A Biographical Sketch

The adult dog flea (either Ctenocephalides felis or C. canis) is a wingless insect equipped with a set of powerful hind legs that enable it to jump nine inches straight up or five feet sideways. Like vampires, adult fleas feed only on blood.

But the most important thing to know and remember about the flea is that the majority of its life is spent away from the host animal. Fleas invade our pets only when they need a transfusion.

Lynne
8/10/2016 6:33:51 PM

GARLIC IS EXTREMELY TOXIC TO CATS!!! (not sure about dogs). PLEASE DON'T FOLLOW THE ABOVE ADVICE. IT CAN KILL YOUR CAT.


Suzanne
6/17/2016 3:26:23 PM

Pine Tar Soap will KILL fleas immediately and try out any eggs left on pet after shampooing. I've also used a cup of Pine o Pine in a tub of water to sit my dog in when she really gets bad infestation on her back by her tail. She is a 9 year old German Shepherd. Before her I had a 12 year old Sheltie. I've even mixed it up to spray the hocks of my horses to keep barn flies from pestering them.


MissyMoo
6/24/2015 9:36:22 PM

Garlic can be a toxin to both cats and dogs. It damages their red blood cells, so you may not see an interaction for a time. I ask that you please revise the article to include proper dosages per critter for their weight. I'd hate to think that someone might give too much to their animal and accidentally cause them harm or even death. I appreciate the rest of the article, though!







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