Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pet safe flea control

Let me start by saying that many flea remedies contain "nerve poisons" that can cause nerve damage to humans and obviously to pets.
my uncle's dogs in Southern Italy
Prolonged use of such "poisons" on our pets will naturally weaken their immune system. ***For example, some flea collars and powders can cause severe conditions such as 

skin irritationsand permanent hair loss on pets. Flea bombs are extremely dangerous, as they virtually explode and fill your entire house with particles that are not only poisonous, but also highly flammable. Dips are dangerous too. One study found that more than 3 dips per year led to an increased incidence of cancer in dogs.***
How about "spot-on" products? 
According to one veterinary report there are about 45,000 reported cases a year, of pets developing reactions to spot-on products. These reactions ranged from skin problems, digestive disorders to more serious nervous system disorders and even death. Two common chemicals that are responsible for most of these reactions in such products are cyphenothrin and permethrin.
Olimpia, she belongs to my brother and sister in law love
So, what's the alternative? 
Controlling fleas naturally.
Let's now look at some natural (and frugal) flea control methods.
Bruno, our first furry baby
Cedar Chips
  • Cedar wood repels fleas so I sprinkle the bottom of our dogs' house...comfort and flea protection all in one. (cedar chips can be used indoors, just put some under the dog's bedding)

  • Sprinkle a bit of garlic powder in their food and watch the fleas disappear. Just like cedar, fleas are repelled by garlic and it's not detected by the human nose. This method will not work overnight as it takes a little bit of time to accumulate in your dog's blood stream. Start now. I sprinkle garlic powder in their food.
    Potter, our second furry baby
Homemade Flea Collar
  • Try a few drops of lavender oil, or cedar wood oil on a bandanna, or a piece of rope. Tie it around your dog's neck. You can also use pure eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, citronella or geranium. Be sure to refresh the collar every few days.

    And finally,
Diatomaceous Earth

We have successful used this natural product for 4 years, in killing fleas (and other creepy crawlies for that matter...such as ants and crickets in our garage, but will work also with cockroaches, mites, bed bugs, etc.): diatomaceous earth (DE) . 
my dad and I feeding my uncle's puppy
 DE is the fossilized remains of some prehistoric planktons. The fine particles in the DE cut through the exoskeletons of insects when they walk on it, resulting in dehydration and the insects will usually die in a few hours.
If you want to try using DE, be sure to get the unrefined type (NOT the type used for swimming pool filters and found at home improvement stores). 
Sprinkle DE indoors along the walls, under the furniture, and places where your vacuum cleaner cannot reach AND you can use it outdoors in the grass, pet area, it's even safe in controlling bugs in the garden (vegetables and flowers). 
Obviously after the rain, you should reapply.

Me and the Bruno-nator
DE is safe for pets and humans...and being a mom of 3 children and 2 dogs, I consider DE a fantastic product.
(it's a fine white powder with NO odor at all)
I bought a 10lb box four years ago...and I still have plenty left over.
***no sales pitch here...just sharing with you what has worked for us***

Me and Bruno when we first brought him home from the animal shelter
So, are your pets ready to go au naturel ?

Stay Frugal,


Cristina Garay said...

Oh, those puppies are so cute, Daniela! Of course, Bruno too! He looked pretty happy to come home with you! We had no pets, but if that changes I'll be back here to check your recommendations!

Marissa said...

Wow that is good to know! I'll be buying tons of garlic for my nieces dog!

Meredith @ The Laundry Can Wait said...

I LOOOOVE those nose-in-the-fence pictures of Bruno and Potter!! And I had no idea about the downside of those flea "remedies". Fortunately, our gals, Penny Lane and Lucille have never battled fleas, but this is good information to have just in case. Thanks, friend.


Mary Palumbo Collings said...

Grazie Daniela per queste buone idee... I cani sono preziosi ! Ciao a presto!

Kerry said...

I love the pictures! Thanks for sharing this, I know someone who needs to know this.

Mindi@MyLove2Create said...

This is so great to know....I will have to pin for future reference, as for now my dog is getting a sprinkle of garlic powder in his food today! He has never had fleas but it can't hurt to prevent it for the future.

Sandi Reagan said...

Thank you SO much for the tips! I will be using several of your suggestions! I have 5 dogs and 2 cats. Living in a 110 year old country home we battle bugs all the time! I can't wait to get started on your suggestions!
Sandi Reagan
Central IL

Tanya Runkle said...

Your fur babies (and Dad's too) are sooo cute! I never knew there were natural alternatives, we have a lot of rain and fleas in the Northwest, this is good to know!!

xo, Tanya

Mimi said...

Please make sure your animals don't inhale the DE powder!
I've had success using rose scented geranium essential oil (100% pure) put a few drops on their collar or harness, not directly on them. Pleasant and effective!

Anonymous said...

Sei Brava. Another great post. My little girl dreams of having a dog so this was just info gathering for me. Her first word in English was "DOG" so I guess I better break down at some point. But not yet.
Thanks again.

Carla said...

Do you know if this is safe for cats also? Your puppies are adorable. Thanks for this information.