Are fleas driving you and your pet crazy?  Before you turn to chemical solutions, learn more about the fleas's lifesycle and natural aversions.  This way, you'll be able to make your enivornment flea-free without harming yourself or your pet.

The Flea's Lifecycle

Every part of the flea's lifecycle is designed for survival.  From egg to adult the flea is a stubborn warrior!

  • Adult female fleas can lay 20-30 eggs per day.  Both males and females can live for a long period of time without a blood meal.
  • Eggs are usually laid in the environment - not on your pet.  Due to their thick shells, these eggs will withstand any insecticide.
  • Larvae are found only in the environment.  They prefer dark places away from busy areas.
  • Developing pupae are protected by thick cocoons that allow them to remain dormat for as long as 20 months.  Like eggs, flea pupae are not affected by insecticide, freezing or pressure.

Fleas and Your Pet

Only a portion of a flea's life is spent on your pet.  The rest of the time fleas live in carpets, on floors, on your pet's bedding, in closets, on furniture, in vacuum bags and in cracks and crevices throughout your home.  During the warm weather months they may also inhabit your backyard and garden. Flea season is generally between early spring and late fall.

To win the war, you must attack fleas on three fronts: on your pet, in your home and in your backyard.

On Your Pet

Powdered nutrional yeast (available from health-food stores) repels fleas; massage powder into your pet's fur or add a teaspoon into his or her daily meal of wet food.

  • Garlic tablets given as a vitamin, or minced garlic mixed in your pet's food, will send fleas running!
  • An orange skin minced in a blender or food processor can be effective.  Add one cup of water to the orange skin.  Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Once the pulp has cooled, smooth some of the liquid onto your pet's fur.  Fleas dislike the smell of oranges.

In Your Home

  • In a bowl, add 60 ml of lavender oil to 2.8 litres of rock salt.  Toss lightly until oil is absorbed.  Place several tablespoons of this mixture under sofas, rugs and bedroom furniture.  Fleas hate the smell of lavender.
  • Eucalyptus leaves and pods placed under rugs, sofa cushions and mattresses also aid in the flea battle.
  • Sprinkle salt on carpets before and after vacuuming.  Vacuum your entire home at least once a day.
  • Wash your pet's and other bedding in hot water regularly.

In the Yard

  • Plant plenty of marigolds.  For some reason, fleas can't stand marigolds.

 

Remember you must employ all these remedies at the same time to win the flea battle.   If you find you must resort to the chemical methods, use them only as directed and watch your pet carefully for any abnormal reactions.