According to the American Veterinary Medical Association more than 37% of American households have dogs as companion pets and another 32% own cats. With more than 150 million pets in the country, the presence and impact of domestic parasites like fleas can be a significant problem for the pets, their owners and the homes they live in. Adult fleas are only about the size of a sesame seed. Once on the pet, the flea stays with the pet constantly. Fleas can produce more than 50 eggs per day on your pet. The eggs of the fleas can fall from the pet, hatching and burrowing into carpeting, furniture and bedding in the pet’s home and surrounding areas. The fleas can cause irritation in the pets and can develop scratches, open sores and redness in the pets. The pets can develop anemia or allergies to the fleas . If the fleas contain tapeworm eggs, the pets can develop tapeworms as well. The fleas can also transmit diseases from the pets to people, although it is rarer.
Thriving in warm weather, fleas make their way on to pets in tall grassy areas and wooded areas.
Old Home Cures for Fleas
Fleas can live in various stages of their life cycle from 12 weeks to 6 months, so it is especially important to clean the bedding, floors and carpets where your pet travels most frequently.
In order to effectively eliminate fleas it is essential to treat the yard, the house and the pet. Since flea eggs can lie dormant for long periods of time the remedy will need to be repeated throughout the life span of the fleas.
It is believed that certain scents will repel fleas. Cedar shavings in outdoor pens may repel fleas, but many dogs are allergic to cedar and may have a reaction to the bedding materials.
There are a number of plants that are said to be repellent for fleas including pennyroyal, eucalyptus, sage and peppermint.
Sprinkle salt or boric acid (20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Soap) on the carpet and in hard to reach corners, wait 1-2 hours then vacuum up.
Wash pet bedding in Dawn laundry soap.
Washing your pet with Dawn dishwashing detergent may aid in eliminating any fleas they may be currently hosting and if a citrus scented soap is used, the scent may repel future flea infestation.
Adding garlic to your pet’s diet may prevent flea infestation as it is said to repel them. Brewer’s yeast is also said to prevent infestation, but since large quantities of brewer’s yeast is necessary it may create health complications for your pet. It may be better to put the yeast on the pet, rather than in it.
Many home remedies suggest adding organic apple cider vinegar to the pet’s drinking water.