When summer comes around, so do fleas — Bed Bug Bites that can make your dog’s life (and yours) miserable. There are things you can do to minimize the chances of flea infestation and other measures you can take if they have already invaded your home.
First let’s look at the steps necessary to keep the fleas away; without using chemicals. This natural flea prevention will work best to prevent fleas from taking hold and can also be used if you have a very light flea infestation.
Keep your carpets vacuumed! Vacuum daily and get some wide tape to seal up the vacuum bags as soon as you remove them from the vacuum cleaner. If you DON’T have small children around, use pennyroyal leaves either fresh (if available) or dried and spread them around your carpet to repel fleas.
Keep your dog’s bedding clean by washing it in warm water and soap. When it is dry apply some cedar oil to the bedding to help repel the fleas. Keep the area around your dog’s bed free of dust and dirt.
Give your dog a bath once a week with cedar shampoo (bathing more frequently may dry out its skin). If your dog does get dry skin it will attract fleas — just what you don’t want. Give a dog with dry skin some Linatone oil mixed with its food. Something else you can mix, in very small doses, with your dogs food to repel fleas is a mixture of garlic and brewer’s yeast. With this mixture in the dog’s system, it will give off a scent that you won’t be able to notice but fleas will notice it and they hate it.
If you mix lavender oil (60 ml) with rock salt (2.8 liters) you will have a great flea repellent that can be spread around the places where your dog goes and can also be used as a dog shampoo.
Fill your outside flower beds with marigolds — they have natural flea repellent properties and also repel other bugs.
Try boiling either lemon peels or orange peels in water to create a solution that can be used as a dog dip and can be used on the dogs bedding before washing it.
Another effective dog dip, if you are experiencing a light infestation, is warm water, shampoo and laundry detergent; immerse the dog’s body in this for ten or fifteen minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
If you have a heavy flea infestation you may have to resort to chemicals — all these products can be used safely if you follow the directions that come with the products.
Advantage. Advantage is a flea poison made by Bayer. Apply the Advantage (liquid) to the dog’s coat as directed. Advantage should work for about one month, Advantage’s active ingredient, imidacloprid, upsets the nervous system of any flea that comes in contact with it. Advantage kills flea’s fast and should kill all the fleas on the dog in about two days; but it is not absorbed into the dog’s bloodstream or internal organs. The active ingredient, imidacloprid is a chloronicotinyl nitroguanidine, integrated from the nitromethylene class of a compound. The imidacloprid affects the nicotinyl receptor sites of insects and upsets the flea’s normal nerve transmission, resulting in death. Advantage costs $15 to $20 for a set of two vials.
Frontline. Frontline is very similar to Advantage but it is not water soluble; this means alcohol is required to wash it off the dog. Frontline is safe for use on puppies as well as adult dogs, kittens and adult cats and it will work for approximately four months.
The active ingredients in Frontline include: Fipronil 5-amino -1- (2, 6-dichloro-4 [trifluoromethyl]phenyl) -4- (1,R,S)- (trifluoromethyl0sulfinyl) -1H-pryazole-3-carbonitrile 0.29% inert ingredients 99.71%. Fipronil, from the new phenylpyrazole class, is very effective at killing fleas by attacking their nervous systems. Fipronil is safe for use on dogs and cats that are not allergic to it. Tests have shown that Fipronil will kill up to 95% of a pet’s fleas within two hours and all the fleas within the first 24 hours — ticks are killed instantly on contact.
Knockout. Knockout is as effective as Frontline and works in the same way but Knockout can not be used on cats.
Knockout’s active ingredients are: Pyriproxyfen: 21[1-methyl-2-(phenoxyphenoxy)ethyoxy] pyridine….0.05% cyclopropanecarboxylate 2.00% inert ingredients 97.95% Knockout also contains NYLAR, a flea-growth regulator.
Biospot. Biospot is used topically, like the other products and, in tests, killed up to three quarters of the fleas, ticks and their eggs; like Knockout, Biospot can NOT be safely used on cats. Biospot works for about one month and can also be used as a mosquito repellant. Biospot has been known to temporarily turn the white hair on a dogs coat to yellow.
Biospot contains permethrins and IGR.
Proban and Prospot. The Proban (cythioate) and Prospot (Fenthion) products are also for use on dogs only and they are very popular. Proban and Prospot are actually absorbed in the dog’s bloodstream, poisoning any fleas that bite the dog. The fact that these products are poisonous to fleas combined with the fact that you are actually allowing this poison to be absorbed in the dog’s blood stream, may be cause for concern. There are no published (or known?) side effects. Another factor to consider about these last two products is that they do not repel fleas, they will only work if a flea bites the dog — if the dog has a flea allergy this would not be the product of choice.
One of the most irritating things about fleas on humans is the bite. These may cause red and inflamed wheals on the skin which are excessively itchy and irritating. Expect the following Flea symptoms if you do get bitten by these tiny parasites.
The first thing that you will see is a wheal on the affected area. Usually, those would be located on the feet and the legs, since fleas do jump from one area to another, but not so high. This will redden and swell a bit more.
Fleas have a very small head, compared to the rest of its body. However, its mandible is huge enough to bite your skin and suck in blood. Besides that, its saliva has a certain toxin which has anti-coagulant properties. You will then see that the blood will continue to flow in the bitten area.
It will be very itchy. Scratching it will provide relief - but that would be so temporary only. Besides that, it may cause the lump to open up and get infected. Secondary infections would be your biggest problem in this case so try not to scratch so much because you really do not want to add antibiotic cream to your pharmacy shopping list.
Learning how to get rid of fleas in your surroundings would be the best cure / prevention. Even if you have boxes of calamine tubes at home, you will not be protected from the parasitic insects if you do not practice good pet hygiene and clean your environment well.
If you think that the infestations of fleas in your home is just starting, simple sweeping the floor, vacuuming the carpet and laundering your pillows and curtains will do. However, if you think the problem is serious already, call in the big guns or the professional pest killers.
Easy Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Fleas
If you have pets, you would know that having fleas on humans is not that impossible. There are several species of fleas and the one you will see on cats, dogs and other animals are different in certain ways.
However, you can still be bitten by fleas which infest your pets. Most of the time, you will see red, itchy wheals (bites) on your feet and legs. Flea symptoms are pretty irritating. But you do not have to go and run to the pharmacy to buy a tube of expensive calamine lotion. You do not even have to consult your doctor just to ask how to get rid of fleas and its bites.
All you need to do is check out what's in the toilet, your kitchen, in your fridge, and surely, you will find some of the best and most effective home remedies against flea bites there.
The most important thing that you should do is to wash the affected area immediately. Any regular soap will do, as long as you kept the area clean.
Next, get your ice pack, fill that with ice and then put it over the bite. This will help lessen the redness and swelling and might also help with the itchiness. If you do not have an ice pack, any regular kitchen towel will do.
It is very important that you do not scratch the area - even if you really want to already. If the wheal opens into a wound, secondary skin infections may arise.
For most people, the inflammation and itch will die down in a few days. If yours do not, then it would be time to go to the doctor. Have this diagnosed and then buy the medications that your physician prescribes.
In any flea control efforts you must eliminate and treat fleas in the environment (both indoors and outdoors) and from the animal AND these efforts must be done concurrently to be effective. There is a lot of inaccurate information circulating around the Internet so I thought I would get into some of the better natural flea treatment alternatives and one of the best is cedar or cedarwood.
Many flea treatment alternative remedies are actually repellents. This means that they won't actually kill the fleas (or insects) but instead keep them away from pets and out of the environment. Not too long ago folk medicine and old fashioned home remedies actually used a lot of common sense and products found from right within the household (or garden) to effectively get rid of fleas.
Growing up, I remember the soothing smell of cedar chests, the fresh scent of the cedar chips in the morning dew out in the garden, and was amazed at how many closets were made of cedar to repel moths. Now I loved the smell, but the reason cedar was used so frequently is that cedarwood acts as a great deterrent and repellent for many different types of insects.
In the middle ages, the bubonic plague was being spread by fleas so cedarwood was burned to fumigate the streets and homes to eliminate the ecto-parasites. In more contemporary times, cedarwood oil was officially registered as a pesticide in the United States in 1960. It was approved for repelling moths and for use as a pet tag (or collar) and a liquid that could be sprayed on animal bedding.
Cedarwood oils come from trees in the botanical family Cupressaceae (true cedars, junipers, and cypresses) and in the United States the cedarwood oil is harvested four different sources:
- Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar or Virginia cedar),
- Juniperus ashei or Juniperus mexicana (Texas cedar),
- and Thuja plicata (Western red cedar).
However, the Chemical Abstract Service registry number also applies to:
- Chinese cedarwood oil (Cupressus funebris),
- Kenyan or East African cedarwood oil (Juniperus procea),
- and Moroccan or Atlas cedarwood oil (Cedrus atlantica).
Since its registration, cedarwood is considered to be a great alternative for less toxic flea control in the garden, the home, the laundry, and around pets. For example, when used in the garden with other biological aides, such as parasitic nematodes, cedar chips can help get rid of fleas before they can spread and enter into your home.
Within the household, many people use cedar shavings inside pet beds. For use on animals, there are commercial cedar pet shampoos, cedar pet flea repellent sprays (such as LiquidNet), and a whole company (CedarCide) dedicated to creating cedar products to thwart fleas and other insects.
Safer uses take place in the environment instead of on the animal--unless the product is labeled as safe for pets. Many cedar flea home remedy tips exist such as:
Add drops of cedar oil to their steam cleaner or floor cleaning solutions so that the cedar essence pleasantly permeates their home while adding to other flea control strategies.
Linen & Fabric Sprays
Add a few drops of cedarwood oil to at least two cups of water and place into a spray bottle and to spritz clothing and sheets (or other bedding). You can even add a little to dryer softener sheets.
Cedarwood Blocks, Cedarwood Hangers & Cedarwood Sachets
Used in closets and around the home these products can help keep insects at bay and can be placed almost anywhere.
Finally, when using any aromatic herb or essential oil on pets always check with your veterinarian--because many natural products can be toxic to pets. Don't forget that since our sense of smell is not as astute as our pets, use any aromatic with a bit of restraint.
Natural Flea Control - How to Have a Flea-Less Pet
You have always looked after your pet's welfare, especially when it comes to its health and physical well-being. Dog flea is one of the biggest problems encountered by your pet so you will have to face the challenge of getting rid of fleas. Fleas imbibed animal blood and can provoke countless problems, including: skin irritation, allergic reaction, anemia and in remote cases, even death. By means of flea control, there are guides and methods given on getting rid of fleas.
1. Experts suggested these common procedures for removing fleas:
* Inspect your dog daily to determine that it is bugged-free; better still, is to check for fleas and ticks on your dog after your outdoor walks.
* Search for those hideous fleas by using a flea comb dabbed with jelly petroleum so the fleas will stick to the tine. * Carefully check your dog's toes, behind the ears, in the armpit, tail and head where fleas are usually congregating.
* To find out if your dog has fleas when bathing; spread a large white towel under the dog. Fleas naturally fall off when you rinse the dog. When you find fleas, flick them with alcohol-soaked cotton balls. The solution will slow them down for you to catch the fleas easily. Then place them in a cup of water and flash water down the toiler bowl or down the sink.
2. Natural prevention: A healthy dog is antidote for fleas and other parasites cannot affect them; healthy animals recoup from illness faster. Parasites tend to pick unhealthy animals with weak immune system. Remember that when your pets are stressful, like humans, their immune system weakens too.
3. Dietary method: Dogs must have their fill of nutritious diet. In order to boost its immune system, include the following:
* Mix one teaspoon (per 30 lbs. of dog's weight) of brewer's yeast or nutritional yeast with their daily food.
* Give B complex vitamins at 50 mg. once a day for smaller dogs and twice the amount for larger dogs.
* Dilute one tablespoon of organic apple cider in the dog's water dish.
* Mix one teaspoon of safflower oil or powdered kelp or seaweed in its food bowl.
* Blend grated garlic and mix in your dog's food; fleas are repelled by garlic odor.
4. Traditional methods for getting rid of fleas:
* A flea collar has been an old stand-by and effective method. Just be careful in using this with your dog; be sure to read the instructions carefully.
* Topical treatment is available from your veterinarian. Frontline plus is a monthly topical flea and tick preventive for dogs. Frontline for dogs kills 100% of adult fleas on your pets within 18 hours and 100% of all ticks within 48 hours. It contains an insect growth S-methoprene which kills both adult fleas and larvae.
* Oral medication is also available from your veterinarian. Oral medication is very effective for it makes larvae incapable of reproducing during their life cycle. You can buy this from Petmed which is an online pet store offering pet supplies, medical products and supplements for your pets.
* Flea shampoo, balling dips, flea comb and flea powder are also effective applications to get rid of fleas. These are ways of getting rid of fleas; easy and time-tested. For more information, you can search the web.