Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fighting Fleas Naturally... Still

I don't even know how long it's been since one of my two cats brought fleas home. She'd been escaping into the backyard and ignorant Alaskan that I am I didn't think much of it. Fleas in Hawaii are bionic beasts that never know winter, they just keep breeding, growing more resistant to flea medications every generation. 



The first time we tried to get rid of them the day went like this: We took the cats for a flea dip, and while we were gone we bombed the house with three bombs. Before leaving I sprayed the carpets with a very expensive flea killer from the vets office. When we got back it seemed like maybe our ordeal was over. I mean, the house was filled with chemicals, and the cats were covered in chemicals, but that was better than fleas right? Wrong! Not only did the fleas not go away, but they decided that my kids were a lot safer to live on than the cats! I picked fleas off my kids for two weeks until the flea dip must have worn off and they moved back to the cats. I'd had enough of crazy chemicals in my house, obviously it was a waste of time and money. 

In my quest to rid my home of fleas here are a few things I've tried that seemed to work. 

1. Place a bowl of water onto a tray and squirt a little dish soap into the bowl. It doesn't have to be a lot, just enough to break the surface tension of the water. Test it out with something that would normally float, if it sinks to the bottom you've done good! Put the tray where ever you think the fleas are hanging out, under the couch, bed, in the back of the closet, you get the picture. The fleas will jump into the bowl of water and sink! Suckers! 

2. Use tip number 1 when you are combing the fleas from your animals and knocking them into water. I had read that a bowl of bleach water would kill fleas, but they float and jump back out! You have to break the surface tension by adding soap to the water. 

Fun Fact! Did you know that fleas have been around since the Jurassic? Once upon a 165 million years ago, giant fleas sucked dinosaur blood! These fleas were 5-10 times bigger than modern fleas! - Source



3. Salt. Sprinkle fine salt into the carpet and let it sit over night or for a day. The salt apparently has jagged edges that cut the fleas and eggs. Let the fleas jump through the salt all day then vacuum them up! 

4. Continuing from tip 3.. a study from Ohio State University several years ago showed that the majority of fleas were killed once vacuumed. The theory is that the brush and suction wears away the waxy coating on the fleas that keep them hydrated. Basically they die of dehydration in the vacuum. This is good news for those of you, who like me, have been throwing out vacuum bags or burning contents! The study showed that 95% of adult fleas were killed when vacuumed, and 100% of juvenile fleas. Eggs were not tested but the scientist interviewed stated that he believed they, too, would be destroyed. 

If these work for you let me know! If these don't work for you, let me know! 

I'd love some more tips or tricks for getting rid of fleas if you have them. Like I told the vet today, I'd dance under the full moon naked if it meant these fleas would up and disappear! :D 



4 comments:

  1. Fleas are awful. It takes a lot of time to get rid of them naturally. My legs got ripped apart by them when my old big doggies were alive. I found that using old fashioned baking soda and sprinkling it over the carpet and letting it stay for 10 minutes or so and then vacuuming it helped to kill a lot of fleas. I still had some but I think if you do it over time, the numbers will decrease.

    If you have time, come check out our Aloha Friday Blog Hop! :) http://www.whatjeanlikes.com/2012/11/aloha-friday-blog-hop-32-december-is-in.html

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  2. I'm going through this right now with my cats. They only got outside for an hour a couple of weeks ago, but that was enough, we've been experiencing a full infestation, which is very strange for this time of year in Nor CA.

    What works for us is essential oil of lavender. I buy the Now brand, it's quality at an affordable price. I add quite a few drops with some shampoo into a bottle, the soap emulsifies the lavender, then I add some warm water to the bottle, about 2 cups.

    Like any other flea shampoo I begin around their neck and ears, then the tail area, and then I go after the rest of their fur, this prevents fleas from into their eyeballs/butts.

    After I have worked their entire coat into a full lather I allow it sit on them for 10 minutes. Usually I stand in the tub with them to reassure them it's going to be okay.

    I rinse & towel dry them and repeat this every 10 days until the flea are completely gone. Usually after the 3rd week, sometimes it takes a fourth.

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  3. sometimes I have to repeat the process every 7 days verses 10, depending on fast I see them return to the cats fur.

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    1. Thanks so much for the advice! I just recently purchased new shampoo and some lavender essential oil! I'm going to try this tonight and will report back!

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