Quantcast

8 Ways to Keep Your Pet Flea Free

We'll do anything to prevent our poor pets from getting fleas. But we shouldn't have to expose them to toxic chemicals to keep the fleas away. The insecticides used in common flea-control products can be poisonous to pets, causing vomiting, permanent nerve damage, and even cancer. (Permethrin ingredients in certain dog products are often fatal to cats, too.) The good news is that you can still prevent fleas while avoiding these harsh chemicals.

"Your important ally in the battle against fleas is cleanliness, both for your pet and for your home, particularly in your pet's sleeping areas."

Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD, says, "Your important ally in the battle against fleas is cleanliness, both for your pet and for your home, particularly in your pet's sleeping areas." This is critical, since he says regular cleaning interrupts the life cycle of the fleas and greatly cuts down on the number of adult fleas that end up on your pet.

Here are some of Dr. Pitcairn's top tips for keeping your pet safe and naturally flea free:

1. Know when flea season will strike. Flea season hits in the summertime. Dr. Pitcairn advises that, while a normal flea life cycle can take up to 20 weeks, it only takes an average of two weeks during the hot summer months. This means that fleas breed and grow to adulthood at a more rapid rate.

2. Steam-clean your carpets. At the onset of flea season, have your carpets steam-cleaned. It may be expensive, but Dr. Pitcairn admits that it is extremely effective and might be worth the cost.

3. Vacuum at least once a week. Since the flea life cycle occurs in around 2 weeks during the summer, make sure you vacuum at least once a week. This will suck up live fleas and also their larvae and pupae before they can attack your pet.

4. Put a natural flea collar in your vacuum. If you don't plan on throwing out the contents of your vacuum right away, make sure you put a natural flea collar (or part of one) in your vacuum bag or bag-less container. Natural flea collars contain herbal oils to repel insects. Some can even be "recharged" and used again and again. (Note: If there are feline members of your household, make sure the collar is one made for cats, as some essential oils are toxic to cats).

5. Launder pet bedding at least once a week. Wash your pet's bedding in hot, soapy water at least one a week. Just like vacuuming once a week, this will interrupt the fleas' life cycle and prevent them from spreading.

6. Encourage ants. Or, as Dr. Pitcairn says, "Don't discourage them." Ants actually love to eat flea eggs and larvae, so try to avoid using pesticides that kill ants.

7. Mow and water your lawn regularly. Keeping your grass short allows sunlight to penetrate and warm the soil, which kills flea larvae. Watering your lawn helps to drown developing flea larvae before they can hatch into adulthood.

8. Add brewer's yeast and garlic to your pet's diet. Studies and anecdotal evidence support the claims that brewer's yeast and garlic have natural flea-repelling abilities. You can add them to your pet's diet and/or actually rub them directly into your pet's skin (just be prepared for the smell!).

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Want to Go Glamping?

7 Nutrients You Can’t Get From Plant-Based Foods

Why Eating Bugs Will Soon Become the New Normal

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

American bison roaming Badlands National park, South Dakota. Prisma / Dukas / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

By Clay Bolt

On Oct. 11 people around the world celebrated the release of four plains bison onto a snow-covered butte in Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Read More Show Less
An EPA sponsored cleanup of the toxic Gowanus Canal dredges a section of the canal of industrial debris on Oct. 28, 2016 in Brooklyn. The Gowanus is a Superfund site from years of industrial waste spilling into the water, and it is listed in GAO's report to be at risk from a climate disaster. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis / Getty Images

The climate crisis has put at least 945 designated toxic waste sites at severe risk of disaster from escalating wildfires, floods, rising seas and other climate-related disasters, according to a new study from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
Rob Greenfield pictured above is driven by the concept of "living a life where [he] can wake up and feel good about [his] life." Rob Greenfield / Facebook

For one year Rob Greenfield grew and foraged all of his own food. No grocery stores, no restaurants, no going to a bar for a drink, not even medicines from the pharmacy.

Read More Show Less
Apple has removed all 181 vaping-related apps from its App Store. VioletaStoimenova / E+ / Getty Images

Apple has removed all 181 vaping-related apps from its App Store, the company announced on Friday. The removal of the apps comes after thousands of people across the country have developed lung illnesses from vaping and 42 people have died.

Read More Show Less