History is full of great battles and natural events of historical proportions, but it has come to my recent attention that the battle of man against flea is a long hard fight that challenges many of the great ones. Understanding that the flea has the collective intelligence of 160 million years of survival and the ability to live on pure instinct alone for that long; you quickly see why it takes some moral, physical and emotional sacrifice to become victorious in the fight against the flea and why keeping your flea battle natural, may just not be in the cards.
I don’t know if it was a widespread epidemic this year or just here in our neck of the woods, but a crazy strain of fleas moved in that was next to impossible to control. This was so widespread that people all over town were talking about their pets and not being able to get rid of the fleas. We recently had a flea infestation at our home that was torture and if the fleas weren’t bad enough, making the tough decisions between going natural and breaking out the chemical warfare had out house in a tizzy.
I was never a big user of Frontline and other applicator style flea treatments for my first dog who survived 13 years with minimal flea troubles. I remember making her garlic collars as a tiny puppy and how she always smelled like pizza. My life partner however plays by the rule books with all the household pets and the pets we have now are “family” pets and decisions regarding their care are family decisions. Mind you, our pets were on regular Frontline treatments until one month; a cat treatment was missed and the fleas were waiting for that exact moment to make their move.
Ugh! It’s only so bad when you see the cat being taken over. We dipped her first (a completely unpleasant task I might add-cats really don’t like water) in a natural soapy water pool (it doesn’t take long to drown a flea) and we treated her immediately, but it was all too late. The cycle had begun and within no time, the children and I were totally eaten alive by nasty little fleas. Sides note here, the fleas we had never bit my husband; only the ladies of the house suffered. This I cannot explain. Anyway, it has been almost 2 months of non-stop battles against the fleas and I am confident that we (humans, feline and dog) are finally on the winning team.
It was a tough road fraught with tough “staying natural” decisions, so I am going to share the sequence of events that took place here in hopes that you will have equal success in winning the battle of the fleas:
1: Give your animal a bath/dip. Fleas are easy to drown, if you can get them underwater.
2: Treat the animal with a spot flea treatment (this is a chemical treatment, but I tried all the natural options and nothing worked).
3: Strip everything and bomb your house (again, this is chemical, but it HAS to be done-just once).
4: Wash everything that can go into the wash. Blankets, towels, wash it all!!!
5: Boraxo your carpets. Leave on for at least 2 hours then vacuum up (always dispose of vac bag immediate and outside of the house).
6: Construct flea traps for multiple areas of your home. You can make your own by taking a nightlight and placing it above a bowl of water with a drop or two of dish liquid. Empty and fill as needed.
7: Spray cedar oil and lemon oil anywhere you can and especially on pet bedding.
8: Retreat animals after 10 days with another dip and spot flea treatment.
9: Vacuum daily; Boraxo at least once a week if not every other day (always dispose of vac bag immediate and outside of the house).
10: Reapply cedar oil and lemon oil as soon as your eyes stop watering and you think some of your nostril hairs have grown back.
11: Be diligent with the washing. If it was on the floor, wash it. If it was on your bed, wash it.
12: Repeat until the battle is won.
It is so hard to see your babies all full of itchy bites and even more frustrating on those days when you think they couldn’t possibly still be in the house only to wake and find more bites or have a flea appear directly on your person, but be confident. Don’t be afraid to go a bit chemie on those tiny pricks and make sure your vacuum cleaner and washing machine are in working order cause they are about to get a workout.
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Nature Is Random…So Are These