When your pets have fleas, it can be very frustrating. In addition to the discomfort that your animals experience, the fleas often jump to the humans in the household as well, spreading itching, irritated skin to everyone. While many pet owners use chemical products such as Advantage to get rid of fleas, natural flea control is an option for health conscious pet owners. Not only is natural flea control better for the animals, but it is also better for the environment at large, because it does not release harmful chemicals.
Natural flea control starts with constant vigilance. If you take good care of your animals with a regular natural flea control regimen, they will not be as subject to infestation. At the first sign of fleas on your animals, get aggressive to eliminate the fleas before they spread. If you have an existing flea problem that you want to tackle using natural flea control, you need to thoroughly wash all bedding used by people and animals in hot water with plenty of soap, and bleach, if it will not stain or damage the bedding. In addition, you can work natural diatomaceous earth into carpeting and pet bedding, but make sure to vacuum up the residue after two to three days. The fine powder will dehydrate fleas, ultimately killing them.
You may also want to consider steam cleaning your carpet, using an essential oil like peppermint, pennyroyal, or rosemary in the steam water. Fleas dislike these essential oils, and will avoid areas where they are present: you can also apply the essential oils in a diluted form to the back of your animal's neck, just like you would with a chemical product. Maintain clean, dry bedding and carpets to prevent fleas from moving in.
If you plan to switch from a chemical method of flea control to natural flea control, the task is made much easier because your animals probably have a limited flea problem to begin with. You can succeed in controlling fleas with regular use of a flea comb, a product readily available at most pet supply stores. Plan on flea combing your pets at least once a week, more frequently if they are long haired, and keep a dish of warm soapy water to dunk the flea comb in if you find fleas. Flea combing will also remove dead and dull hair, improving the health of your animal's coat. Apply diluted essential oils or use a natural flea collar to help keep fleas from settling on your pet.
You can also use diet as natural flea control. Brewer's yeast will give your pet a smell and taste which fleas find distasteful. Some pets enjoy brewer's yeast treats immensely, and in addition to acting a form of natural flea control, it will also improve the health of your animal's fur. Your veterinarian can advise you on other dietary changes which will improve the health of your animal's skin, making it a less appealing place for fleas to settle.