Conventional flea fumigation covers your house in harmful chemicals that can linger for months. Here’s how to combat and prevent fleas naturally.
Anytime your pet spends time outdoors there’s a greater risk for picking up fleas.
Fleas multiply fast.
We’re talking lightning fast.
Spotting one on your dog or cat might mean your house is already infested. Once fleas have taken up residence in your home, getting them to leave is a chore.
Many think that the only answer to an infestation is to fumigate. But conventional fumigation covers your house in harmful chemicals that can linger for months. If you are pregnant or have young children at home, leaving during fumigation may reduce your exposure to the chemicals, but it won’t eliminate them completely.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area with a natural pest control provider, get in touch and ask what they use. There are plant-based options that work extremely well, and a qualified expert can determine which option is most effective for your home.
How to Prevent Fleas Naturally
If you don’t have a full home infestation, you can keep fleas away naturally with a little patience and touch of diligence.
Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas
Diatomaceous Earth is a powder made from fossilized water plants, similar to algae. When the powder comes in contact with fleas, its microscopic razor sharp edges puncture their exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate and die.
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is all-natural and completely safe if consumed by people or pets. It is a powder, though, so caution needs to be taken when using it so that it’s not inhaled, which could be harmful to the lungs. Sprinkling a light dusting over your yard once a month can help prevent fleas from making it their home. During high flea seasons, sprinkle some at each entryway to your house. Be sure to use the food grade version; the pool grade version is dangerous to humans and pets.
Natural Flea Spray
Sprayed regularly on your pets, an all-natural flea spray will help protect your pets from attracting fleas, and kill any already there. Ingredients to look for include peppermint and Neem oil, as both act as natural flea deterrents. If your pet is sensitive to being sprayed, spray a washcloth instead and rub your pet with it. Try Flea Flicker Tick Kicker by Ark Naturals as an effective solution.
Nutritional Yeast for Fleas
Sprinkle a teaspoon of nutritional yeast on your pet’s food at each meal and it acts as a great deterrent for fleas. Fleas do not like the taste of yeast, so when they smell it on your pet, they turn the other way. You can find nutritional yeast in the bulk section of your local health food store or online.
Wash Your Pet Regularly
The simplest solution: Giving your pets a bath twice a month can help keep fleas away. Choose a natural shampoo like Earthbath which is gentle and effective for keeping fleas at bay.
Handling a Flea Infestation
If it’s too late for strictly the prevention stage and you already have a flea infestation on your pet or in your house, here’s how to get rid of fleas naturally.
Bathe Your Pet to Wash Away as Many Fleas as Possible
Immediately bathe your pet with a shampoo that contains flea killing ingredients, like DERMagic Flea shampoo bars. This bar contains ingredients such as diatomaceous earth, Neem oil, and peppermint to aid in ridding your pet of fleas.
If they tolerate it, give your pets a daily bath for a week, and then once a week for three months.
Comb Fleas Our of Your Pet’s Fur
A flea comb can be extremely helpful in relieving those biting, itching bugs from your pet’s fur. It’s great to use after the flea bath to catch remaining fleas. Or you can use it for preventative measures just to make sure there’s no fleas or flea debris hiding in their fur.
Keep a bowl of soapy water nearby so newly-combed-off fleas can’t escape. If your pet sheds – think cat fur – leave some of the fur you comb off in a pile. If any fleas do get away, they’ll most likely jump toward the fur and you can deal with them there.
Wash Everything Your Pet Touches
Upon discovery of infestation, immediately wash everything you can in a hot, soapy wash. This includes couch cushion covers, curtains, clothes, pet bedding, etc. Do this right away, and then repeat twice a month for three months.
Freeze What You Can’t Wash
This is extremely helpful. If you have a large enough freezer, freeze items that can’t be washed, such as couch cushions and stuffed animals. Place items in pillowcases so fleas don’t jump around your freezer. Freezing will kill the fleas and eggs.
Try this Diatomaceous Earth and Vacuum Treatment
Diatomaceous earth (DE) can be used to both treat an infestation and prevent fleas naturally.
At first sign of fleas, follow these simple steps to rid your home and pets of those pesky buggers, and prevent a re-infestation from occurring.
Note: wear a mask while applying the DE in order to minimize inhalation.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth into your vacuum canister/bag and then thoroughly vacuum all surfaces. Repeat three times the first day.
- The first night, sprinkle all carpeted and non-washable surfaces in your house with the diatomaceous earth. This includes couches, carpets, chairs, mattresses, etc. Leave the DE down for 24 hours, then vacuum in the morning.
- Vacuum twice more on the second day, then repeat the diatomaceous earth treatment, this time leaving the DE in low traffic areas for a week if feasible.
- Vacuum multiple times a day for two weeks, then repeat the 24 hour diatomaceous earth treatment.
- Vacuum daily for another two weeks, and then repeat the treatment again.
- After this first month, repeat the process once a month for three months. If the infestation is bad, you can repeat the treatment more often.
- In between treatments, keep about ¼ cup of diatomaceous earth in your vacuum bag so that any fleas vacuumed up will die in your vacuum. A daily run of a robot vac can help get under tables or desks that you can’t reach as well with an upright, but be sure to keep diatomaceous earth in the dirt catcher area of the robot vac so fleas aren’t breeding in it.
- Lastly, sprinkle some of the diatomaceous earth in the corners of each room in your house to help prevent future infestations.
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how long items need to stay in the freezer to make sure all fleas have died?
Amity Hook-Sopko says
Our vet said anywhere from 6 to 10 days to make sure the fleas die and any eggs don’t hatch. Hope this helps!