Fleas can be a nuisance as they cause discomfort to both you and your pets. Getting rid of fleas takes a lot of determination and commitment, as it is hard work and it requires consistency. It is essential that you treat both your pet and your house on the same day, so as to break the flea cycle. This is because only a small percentage of the fleas actually live on your pet’s body. A large percentage of the pests live in your house and in your yard. There are some effective home remedies that are effective in getting rid of fleas.
CLEAN YOUR HOUSE
Vacuum your house
Vacuuming will help to get rid of the eggs, larvae and pupae of the pests. When the fleas on your pet lay eggs, the eggs drop off on your seats, bedding and carpets. These eggs go on to hatch and become fleas. Vacuuming will help to get rid of this cycle. This is particularly important considering that while the pests are in the pupae stage, their cocoons are immune to insecticide sprays, as the cocoons are watertight. Vacuum your house before spraying it and not after spraying.
Put some moth balls in the tank of the vacuum to kill of any fleas that may have survived. After vacuuming, empty the vacuum bag, seal it off properly and dispose it off as far away from your house as possible. Alternatively, make sure to cover the bin where you dispose off the bag to ensure that the pests do not find their way back into your house.
Clean linens and rugs
Fleas tend to hide in carpets, curtains and bedding. It will be hard to remove them using a vacuum cleaner, so you will have to wash them. You also need to wash your pet’s bedding, pillows and rugs.
Use warm water to trap fleas. To do this, place a bowl of warm water in the middle of a room at night. Add a cup of dishwashing liquid in the water and then place a tea candle in the middle of the bowl or next to the bowl. Light the candle and leave it overnight. The fleas will get attracted to the light and when they jump to get close to it, they will get trapped in the liquid soap and die.
You will find the fleas bodies floating in the water the next morning. If you have a high level of infestation in your house, it will be necessary to repeat this exercise for three to four consecutive nights until you notice there are no more fleas floating in the water in the morning. Be careful with the candle to ensure that you do not start a fire.
Salt dehydrates the eggs of the fleas. Sprinkling salt evenly all over your house helps. You can use ordinary salt. Leave the salt for 12 to 48 hours before vacuuming it off.
CLEAN YOUR PET
Homemade flea spray
To make your own homemade flea spray, add one cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to water and then add two to three drops of lavender oil and mix this up. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray the dog. Avoid spraying the dog’s eyes or ears. The best option to clean around the dog’s neck is to soak a piece of cloth with this mixture and then use the cloth to wipe around the dogs neck and behind its ears. You can also use this spray on the dogs bedding and to spray around your yard.
Comb the dog
Use a special comb to comb the dog’s fur thoroughly. To enhance the effectiveness of this method, dip the comb in a mixture of lemon water before combing the animal. Lemon has limonene, which repels and kills fleas. To make the lemon mixture, boil a pot of water and add sliced lemon pieces to it. Let this steep overnight and then use it. Instead of a comb, you can also use a brush or a sponge.
Tying a treated flea collar around your dog’s neck will help to discourage fleas from living in their fur. The major advantage of this method is that you will not have to keep reapplying stuff on your dog in order to keep off fleas. It is also quite easy to pull off this strategy. You need a bandana or dog collar, a few drops of an essential oil like lavender or cedar oil, five drops of water and an eye dropper.
Mix one to three tablespoons of water with two to three tablespoons of the essential oil. Using an eye dropper, apply five to ten drops of the mixture onto the bandana and then rub the fabric together. Tie this fabric around your dog’s collar.
This will keep off fleas from your dog. Repeat this process once a week. Be observant and check if your dog reacts to the oil. If it does, use another oil that it is not allergic to.
Add one tablespoon of white vinegar or apple cedar vinegar to your dog’s drinking water. This will deter fleas from living on their fur. This strategy is also good because it improves the condition of the animal’s coat.
CLEAN YOUR YARD
If you have a yard or garden then you must clean these areas too. This is because your dog spends time in these places, so it is highly likely that there are fleas in those areas. Just use the same spray that you used while cleaning your house. Special areas to spray include crevices, kennels, sandy areas, verandahs, patios and gravel.
If you experience a reinfestation, you need to repeat the whole cleanup process on your pet and in your house. Be on the lookout for any signs of reinfestation two weeks after your initial clean up exercise. If you notice your pets scratching themselves, it could be a sign that they have fleas.
To minimize chances of a reinfestation, keep your pet away from other dogs that have fleas. This may means asking visitors to your house not to bring their pets along when they visit.