How To Get Rid Of Fleas
There was an article published in the Guardian this week about the consequences of dog and cat flea treatments on the environment.
Pet flea treatments poisoning rivers across England, scientists findThe Guardian
Did you know that as a dog or cat owner, you can easily avoid the problem described in the article? You do not have to pollute the environment to keep your pets free of fleas.
Now that winter has arrived and central heating is on, fleas get a second chance to start hopping around. You don't want fleas to end up living on your cat or dog.
But there are a few ways of dealing with a horrible, irritating flea problem, without polluting the environment. You can :
- feed your pet raw food
- kill the fleas and larvae by desiccation with salt and/or Diatomaceous Earth, or
- use an oral flea and tick killing chemical which is not excreted via the skin, but metabolized by the liver
Sprays And Spot-Ons
Sprays and spot-ons are easily washed off into the water supply when your pet is bathing, swimming or even when soaked in a rainstorm. The chemicals all drip off onto the grass or street and thence into the environment. After that, they have to be reapplied which adds to the environmental pollution. This is not a good idea at all.
Oral Flea Solutions
The quick chemical route of oral administration of a flea and tick killing tablet only affects insects that bite, such as the fleas, ticks and mosquitos that commonly enjoy feasting on your furry friends. Orally administered drugs are not applied to the surface of the skin so cannot be washed off. They are really long-lasting, quick and very effective. But these chemicals can cause negative side effects so I prefer to use natural methods and avoid chemicals completely.
In Colombia, when we rescued the starving dog and kitten, they were both absolutely covered in fleas and ticks. We decided to give them the chewable flea treatment tablets Bravecto as they were on death's door. It was astonishing how many dead fleas there were in their beds the next morning! But ... they also became very aggressive, a side effect of Bravecto which has recently been reported. It has taken 3 months for their aggression to start to reduce, so I would avoid the use of chemicals to control parasites.
If you decide the oral route is the one you want to follow, then please always get the flea tablets from your vet. Don't try to buy them yourself online.
The Salt Solution
But if you have patience and determination, there is really no need to reach for toxic chemicals when salt works perfectly well. You do need to be prepared to do a bit of a household workout and get fit ... and be persistent as the flea generally has a 3 week lifecycle, so you need to treat both pets and environment for at least a month. It will cost you virtually nothing. Just a bit of sweat!
Over a decade ago, VIRBAC, a French pharmaceutical company, produced a wonderful flea treatment comprising salt. Yes, just salt, borax and Diatomaceous Earth. The sales rep at the BSAVA Conference told me that applying this to the pets and the environment weekly for a month killed the larvae by desiccation and broke the life cycle of the flea.
No toxins were released into the environment and the VIRBAC product worked.
You can try a simple DIY method which will cost you less. The simple solution is to vacuum your house absolutely thoroughly. Move all the furniture. Suck up everything on the floor and in the furniture. This is a serious bit of spring cleaning! Get that vacuum cleaner hose down all the cracks and crevices everywhere, including between and underneath all sofa cushions.
Give those carpets a serious beating. Get in the angles of the staircase. Fleas love to snuggle up in quiet, warm, cosy places, to breed like mad. Can't blame them really. You might want to rent an industrial vacuum cleaner, but I always managed with my Henry.
Tip some salt into the vacuum cleaner bag to kill the fleas and larvae you manage to suck up.When you have really thoroughly cleaned out the entire house and had a cup of tea to recover, get the salt out.
I'd suggest you buy a big bag of salt. Sprinkle this everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Down the back of the sofa. Under and between the cushions. All over the carpet. Any bits you miss will rapidly re-infest your house and pets. Rub it in so it reaches the deep areas where the fleas love to hide. Do the same for your pet. Many dogs love being gently massaged with the vacuum cleaner. Cats generally run for the hills!
Please note!! You must NOT apply salt directly to your pets!
However, you must not apply salt to your pet. Your pets will lick their fur and thereby consume an overdose of salt. This is highly dangerous and is therefore not recommended. Instead, for direct application, I use Diatomaceous Earth on them instead.
Rub it in everywhere really thoroughly on your pet. It's also an effective worm killer, so I mix some in water and give it to them by mouth for the parasites inside. I take a big teaspoonful myself every morning too. I don't know why we are so concerned about worming our pets, but never worm ourselves! We must be mad!!!
Leave the salt in place for a week, then vacuum it all up and repeat the entire process. Do this every week for 4 weeks. At the end of that, you'll be fitter and your house and pets will be flea free.
It's important to prevent the fleas returning, so unless you enjoyed this month of hard labour ... read on!
How Raw Food Changes Everything
Feeding raw food with Pet Plus makes your pet much less attractive to fleas, ticks and in fact, all parasites. The body becomes healthy and the immune system balanced.
You see, nature is brilliant and so supplies parasites and numerous different microorganisms to clear up the mess created by unhealthy habits.
Did you know that fleas live off the by-products of the awful food we feed to our pets? For a good explanation of how this works, watch this video.
Unhealthy habits such as eating cooked and processed foods, being treated with chemicals, drinking chemically laden water (tap water full of chlorine and the rest) and damaging the delicate electromagnetic frequencies our cells depend upon for our complete health and accurate neurotransmission. The latter is caused by constant over exposure to unnatural electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) polluting our lives in the form of Smart meters, cell phones, WiFi, computers, TVs etc.
Yes, we are now dependent on these fantastic electrical devices, but the key is to turn them off whenever they are not in use. Yes, turn them all off. That will cut your overexposure massively. Pets, being much smaller than us, are more sensitive to the entire toxic load, so can be regarded as the proverbial canary in the mine. When the canary falls off its perch, it's time to escape the mine ASAP.
When our kids were at infant school, they were sent home one day with suspected chickenpox. I could see the red marks were not pox, but flea bites. How embarrassing! Call yourself a vet? I had a close look at our dry kibble fed cats and sure enough, there was flea dirt. I had been too preoccupied with the 3 kids to even notice the poor cats' plight.
A friend suggested feeding the cats raw food. It had never occurred to me before! So immediately, I started feeding them raw minced meat and bone.Within 24 hours there were no more fleas.I was astonished. I never needed to use the flea spray I had rushed out to buy. That was the beginning of my exploration of the benefits of raw feeding for our pets and ourselves. We have all never looked back. I now advocate raw food and Pet Plus for all cats and dogs!
The same logic applies to us humans. As our pets' health deteriorates and parasites become a problem, investigate the lifestyle habits you are forcing on your innocent pet and make some positive changes for the whole family. This will help you, your kids, your pets and the entire environment. The time is now.