HELP. My Dog Has Fleas!
Fleas are a problem for dogs and their owners alike. These tiny insects will live on the body of your dog, sucking the animal’s blood and laying eggs. The bites and presence of fleas will cause the dog to itch and if the dog happens to be allergic to fleas (the allergy is technically to the insects’ saliva) he can experience extreme itching, loss of fur in some places, inflammation, and infections.
Regardless of whether the dog has an allergy to flea saliva, infestations must be dealt with or they will go on and on and the fleas will also infest your home, other pets, and can even live on humans. In short; you can be directly and adversely affected by an uncontrolled flea infestation.
If you suspect that your dog has fleas because he’s been scratching more than usual, there are ways to check for their presence. Fleas are very small (about an eighth of an inch long), but visible to the naked eye, and brownish in color. Because they prefer dark places they will try to hide beneath the dog’s fur, under the collar, or on the underbelly. Their fecal material can also be seen on the dog’s coat and looks like multiple black flecks or specks – almost like pepper. If fleas or their droppings are found it is time to treat your dog to get rid of them.
Treating Your Dog for Fleas
While flea collars, powders, and sprays may help to prevent infestations to some extent, they will not help if the dog is already infested. When fleas are infesting a dog the female lays eggs at a rate of about thirty per day. These eggs fall off the dog and into the carpet, soil, or wherever the dog may be. In these areas they hatch and pupate, eventually growing into adult fleas which can then re-infest the dog. In order to halt the cycle all the fleas on the dog and in the environment must be killed or the life cycle must be interrupted.
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home.
Herbal Flea Spray
You can make your own herbal flea spray with such natural ingredients as lemons, rosemary and certain essential oil. Here’s the recipe.
- Lemons (thinly sliced)- 6
- Rosemary leaves- from a handful of sprigs
- Boiling water- 1 liter
- Geranium essential oil- 3-4 drops
- Spraying bottle- 1
How to Make and Use:
- Take a large bowl and place lemon slices in it.
- Take off the rosemary leaves from sprigs and chop them.
- Add the chopped rosemary leaves to the lemon slices in the bowl.
- Add boiling water to lemon and rosemary.
- Add geranium oil.
- Cover and leave overnight.
- In the morning, strain the water and fill it in the sprayer.
- Your homemade citrus flea spray is ready to be used.
Spray the solution on your furniture, bedding and anywhere you want to. As it is a safe herbal solution, you can even use it for your dog’s bedding. This spray will repel the fleas.
In a spray bottle, add: 1/4 distilled white vinegar to 3/4 water. If you want, you can also add 1 tablespoon of dish soap to get rid of dirt.
How to Use
This mixture makes a safe cleaner for your counters and surfaces. It is also a very effective flea remover from all of your fabrics. Spray it once or twice a week on your fabrics and your flea problem will be over.
Common table salt can get you rid of tough fleas, especially from your carpets.
How does it work?
Salt becomes a dehydration agent for fleas and dries out their bodies.
How to use.
- Grind your salt to a fine powder
- Fill up your salt shaker
- Sprinkle over the flea infested areas evenly.
What is it?
Diatomaceous Earth or DE, is the microscopic remains of fossilized algae, diatoms. It is a very fine powder, just like flour. Diatoms are the type of algae that can be found in freshwater as well as in saltwater.
How does it kill fleas?
The cell walls of Diatom are made of silica which in turn is a component of glass. The exoskeleton or the hard shell of fleas or such other insects are vulnerable to the sharp edges of microscopic diatoms. The silica shards in DE cut through the hard shell of fleas and dry them out. This leads to death of fleas as well as of their larvae.
Note that ONLY the food grade version of DE is non-toxic to human beings and animals. So be sure to check and buy
Citronella oil has been used traditionally as a natural flea repellent.
It is a safe oil to be used not only for pets but also for human beings. Citronella oil effectively repels insects such as fleas and ticks, mosquitoes, black flies etc.
How to use?
Mix about 20 drops of Citronella in about 4 liters of water
You can mop your floors with this mixture. This will help keep fleas away from your home.
If fleas are a problem in a specific area of your home, fill a dish with soapy water and set it out in the area (i.e.under a bed).
The fleas are trapped on top of the water due to the tension of the surface of the water. Change the water daily until there are no more fleas.
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dog
- In 1 liter of boiling water add 2 cups of Rosemary sprigs.
- Allow to boil for about 30 minutes.
- Strain and add about 3 liters of warm water.
- Let mixture cool and pour it over your dog.
- Don’t rinse. Let your pooch dry out naturally.
In addition to repelling fleas, the Rosemary is an anti-inflammatory, so it can help relieve itching and scratching from fleas.
Rosemary can be used around the house as well as on your dog to help repel fleas. Grind up rosemary leaves into a powder. Sprinkle in areas your dog sleeps and in areas he frequently plays around the house.
- Cut a lemon into 4 sections (including the peel) and place them in a glass bowl.
- Pour boiling water over the lemon wedges, and leave it overnight.
- The next morning, pour the lemon water into a clean spray bottle and spray your dog’s coat with it.
Make sure to get behind your dog’s ears, all around his head (but not near the eyes), under his armpits, and around the base of his tail. Just be careful not to spray on tender parts!
Lemons contain limonene, a chemical that kills and repels fleas. It can be used daily on your dog’s skin and coat.
Fleas can be a real nuisance for dogs and their owners, but catching them and treating the dog quickly is the key to eliminating the infestation and preventing the insects’ return.