Some of us are lucky and experience flea season only during spring and summer. However for many of us flea season is a year-round occurrence. There are natural ways to fight fleas and although they may take a bit more effort, they do work.
There are 4 stages in the life cycle of a flea.
Eggs – adult fleas lay about 20-28 eggs daily.
Larva – the egg than turns into larva which looks like a worm.
Pupa – This is similar to a cocoon where further growth takes place from 10-20 days until complete. At this stage fleas are most difficult to destroy.
Adult – To give you an idea how quickly fleas reproduce – 10 females can produce 250,000 fleas in a month.
Pets that are healthy are better able to fight off fleas and respond well to treatments. Feed your pet a healthy diet, watch your pet’s weight and give your pet the proper amount of exercise.
Keep in mind that using certain drugs (antibiotics and corticosteroids) can play havoc with your pet’s immune system. Probiotics and immune strengtheners can help, especially during those times when your pet is on medications. Just check with your veterinarian to be sure there are no contraindications.
One of the things you can do to stop fleas in their tracks is use a flea comb daily. Put a light-colored cloth underneath the comb so you can check for any fleas or flea dirt.
Bathe your pet more frequently, at least weekly, during summer months. There are many natural flea shampoos available that won’t harm your pet’s skin.
Diatomaceous earth, the food grade type, can be sprinkled indoors, around baseboards, carpeting, bedding floors, furniture and outdoors in the garden. You can even put a small amount of the food grade type in your pet’s food. Be absolutely sure it’s the food grade type. Check the amount for your pet’s weight.
Cedar oil and cedar oil based products can be used on your pet and the environment. Melrose oil works double duty keeping fleas and ticks away.
Sodium polyborate powder can be dusted about. But keep children and pets away while dusting. Once the dust settles, it’s safe for them to re-enter.
Apple cider vinegar, good for so many things, can be a flea repellent as well. Place equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spritz your pet (careful with cats, check with your holistic vet first). While it doesn’t kill fleas, they don’t like the taste and it will make fleas flee.
It’s an ongoing battle, but we can fight the invasions following these steps.