For those of you who love dogs, as I do, fleas are something that must be dealt with quickly or your home will be soon be overrun with them. Here are some eco friendly ways to kill fleas that I have used successfully over the years. You don’t need highly toxic flea sprays to get rid of this common pest. The reason that I like to avoid toxic flea killers is that there have been many studies done showing possible dangers of their active ingredients, such as permethrin, which can cause liver damage in dogs.
How To Tell If You Have A Flea Problem
Occasionally dogs will bring home a flea or two. If you do notice your dog scratching quite often, you can do a check for fleas in your home by wearing a pair of white socks. Walk around your home and see if any fleas jump on your feet. If you see any, you have a flea problem that must be dealt with quickly and effectively. Flea traps, which are similar to roach traps, are also an effective way to monitor your home for a flea problem.
Organic Dish Soap Is An Eco Friendly Flea Killer
The first step in getting rid of fleas is to remove your dog’s bedding and place it outside. Dust it off well and leave it in the hot sunshine for several hours. Wash the outer cover of the dog’s bed if it is removable. Next give Fido a good soapy bath. Ordinary organic dish soap is an eco friendly flea killer, no need for added poison. It is the soap it turns out, in flea killer, that does the job, not the more dangerous chemical ingredients. Make sure you get the soapy water all over your dog, including the tail and head, where fleas will go to to hide. Flea combs are available at most pet stores and can be helpful to remove fleas that are hanging on. Keep a good eye out for new fleas on your dog and bathe them often. Be careful of overdoing it, since some breeds are susceptible to skin conditions caused by frequent bathing.
Next you will want to steam clean all of the carpets in your home, to remove any fleas and larvae that may remain. Then dust, vacuum and then mop all of your floors. Be sure you empty your vacuum cleaner outside or throw the bag away, since fleas will hop right out of the vacuum cleaner after you are done if the contents are not disposed of. If your pet has a dog house outside, sprinkle diatomaceous earth around its perimeter. You can find this product, which is an eco friendly flea killer, at lawn and garden stores. Beneficial nematodes, which are small insects that eat flea larvae, are also an eco friendly flea control method. You can also find these in organic gardening stores.
Boric acid is also a good natural flea killer to use in cracks and crevices, just don’t let pets consume it, since it is toxic to animals.
Last Resorts In Flea Control
If you cannot control your flea problem with these eco friendly methods, you may have to resort to an oral, systemic flea treatment prescribed by your veterinarian. There are products available that work by regulating the life cycle of fleas, rather than killing them outright. These are safer flea control methods than poisons, and have a low toxicity to people and pets. Some of these products are available in the form of a monthly pill for your dog or cat.
A flea problem can be a nightmare for a pet owner but with proper bathing, housekeeping and hygiene, you can stop it in its tracks.
About the author: “Sunshine” owns four rescue dogs and and used all of the environmentally safe flea control methods mentioned in this article.