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Holistic flea control is accomplished by naturally creating an atmosphere that is hostile to fleas. Fleas and flea eggs can be removed from the home by treating rugs and carpeting with certain natural substances. Pets can be given nutritional supplements and baths to make their blood and skin repellent to fleas. Herbs and essential oils can provide lasting protection against infestation of one’s pets and home.
The first step is getting rid of fleas and flea eggs in the home. Carpets and rugs should be treated with borax, salt or diatomaceous earth. Some professional holistic flea control companies use a mixture of the three. The borax and salt are desiccants that dry out the insects’ bodies. Diatomaceous earth particles have sharp edges that rip and tear at the hard shells of flea bodies and flea eggs.
These powders are applied to any carpeting in the house. They should be worked into the weave of the carpet with a stiff-bristled broom and left on for about 15 minutes. The carpeting should then be thoroughly vacuumed to remove the powder residue.
Pets that are healthy will be less attractive to fleas than those with immune or other health problems. A natural diet free of by-products and grains is recommended to keep pets in optimal health. Supplementation with raw apple cider vinegar, brewers yeast, garlic and B vitamins will protect pets from flea bites. A few spoonfuls of the vinegar can be added to the pet’s daily drinking water. Pet stores offer a full range of chewable, flavored tablets that combine yeast, garlic and B vitamins for natural flea control.
Herbs such as pennyroyal, red cedar, eucalyptus and rue are effective at holistic flea control. They are commonly used in shampoos, coat sprays, bedding sprays and herbal flea collars. Bathing a dog regularly with an herbal shampoo will kill any fleas that are living on it, and the residual fragrance will repel any new fleas.
One can make holistic flea control shampoos and body rubs with essential oils. These can be found in many health food stores. Sweet orange, lavender and rose geranium essential oils are concentrated oils that are especially effective in controlling flea populations. These oils can be added to a mild shampoo or crème rinse. Applying 10 drops directly onto the dog’s collar once a week acts as a natural flea control collar.
Essential oils should never be rubbed directly onto the fur or skin of a pet. They can burn or irritate the skin. Essential oils should be added to another oil, such as sweet almond or olive oil. This mixture can then be massaged into the skin. These oils have calming and appealing fragrances that animals enjoy, and they are deadly to fleas.