Fleas are extraordinarily hard to get rid of, especially once theyâ€™ve made their home on your pets. This is due mostly to the fact that they are similar to roaches and are easily adaptable to pest-controls and chemical compounds. And while there are some very powerful chemicals on the market that would kill fleas (at least for now), they also have the tendency to affect our dogs – mostly negatively.
While fleas have the ability to adapt to chemicals, their need to feed in a particular environment never changes. Animals and even humans are often subject to these nasty creatures, and the worst part is that they are bound and determined not to simply go away.
We must therefore find out what it is that these parasites donâ€™t like and use that to our advantage. Most flea repellants are Cholinesterase inhibitors, which paralyze and kill insects that come in contact with it. Most work for a short time before fleas adapt and return. This leaves us with the most effective solution: make your dog, home, and yard undesirable for fleas.
The natural solution
Apple Cider Vinegar: A spoonful of this in your dogâ€™s water will turn a dogâ€™s skin slightly acidic, which will deter ticks and fleas from wanting to turn your dogâ€™s furry coat into their new home. If the flavor isnâ€™t favorable, it can also be used as a spray deterrent.
Lemon water: Quarter a lemon and place it into boiling water and let cool (almost like a tea so as to eliminate any toxins and bacteria). You can now use the liquid as a spray to repel ticks and fleas.
Brewerâ€™s Yeast is one of the most favorable of natural flea and tick remedies. It is also a great source of natural vitamins and is known to increase the health and luster of your dogâ€™s skin and coat. Because of the sulfur content in the yeast, many studies have shown that a dogâ€™s skin becomes unpalatable for housing, keeping your dog healthy and repelling those nasty parasites.
Garlic: Renowned for its ability to ward off just about any parasite that likes to bite (including vampires), garlic is an age old remedy for making the flavor of your dog very undesirable. Much like Brewerâ€™s Yeast, it is the sulfur compounds that help to naturally repel annoying parasites.
Keep your dogâ€™s environment flea-free
Fleas do not usually live on your dog. They, in fact, prefer to eat on the go, residing in your petâ€™s belongings and bedding (sometimes your bedding!). For every flea you find on your dog, there are likely thirty more living in your home. And do keep in mind that while the lifespan of a flea is only ninety days, their eggs and larvae can survive up to a year without feeding at all.
This means you must also take measures to kick those unwanted squatters off your land.
Diatomaceous earth is perhaps one of the best yard solutions you can find. Itâ€™s completely natural and doesnâ€™t hurt larger organisms like people and their pets. Much like a sand or fine powder, it is the fossilized remains of ancient creatures. When small organisms, like insects, worms (yes, the ones that are a threat to your dog), and fleas crawl over the substance, the granules cut them up and either kill or deter them. Itâ€™s completely natural and can usually be found where swimming pool equipment or livestock feed are sold.
Of course, donâ€™t forget the insides of your home. Most natural remedies will help to deter ticks and fleas, but you want to eliminate the threat of nesting. Regularly wash your dogâ€™s bedding. Dust and vacuum often, and donâ€™t forget to clean out the vacuum and spray it with some deterrent. The insides of vacuums arenâ€™t usually considered but they are perhaps the best breeding ground for fleas.
Strange as it may sound, and not exactly recommended, is the fact that ants have a very interesting purpose. While they on their own can be pests, they do enjoy hunting and snacking on parasites like fleas, ticks, termites, and just about any bug that wanders in their territory. While itâ€™s not a solution, there have been many accounts where after poisoning an ant pile and eliminating the colony, fleas and ticks took nest and became the next issue to deal with.
The trick isnâ€™t to eliminate fleas. Rather, it is to eliminate your flea problem without turning your dog into a host for multitudes of chemicals that donâ€™t always work. Instead, work towards making your dog and home inhospitable for those annoying fleas and best of all, do it the all-natural way that your dog can really appreciate.
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