Living in Southern California certainly has a lot of perks like nearby beaches and great weather all year round. But you know who else enjoys the endless sunny days? Fleas! Lots of them.
This year has been absolutely terrible in regards to flea control. My husband and I purchased our usual summer supply of flea medications to keep on hand when things got out of control…and well, things are definitely out of control this year!
We suspect that our batch of flea medicine is no longer effective, meaning that this year’s fleas are already showing signs of resistance and are already biting less than two weeks into a flea treatment when it’s supposed to last four. Basically, they’re super fleas! Isn’t that great?
Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Flea Control Products from the Vet
I have never been comfortable using vet recommended flea control on my pets. I would certainly never use such toxic products on myself, so why would I put those on my animals? The cruddy thing is, what else is there to help control a flea outbreak? If you don’t act fast, fleas can multiply a hundred fold in just a few short weeks. A single female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day, with the next life stages only taking about 12-14 days to reach maturity… so it doesn’t take much for things to quickly get out of control.
Aside from the toxicity of flea medications, they don’t always work because new generations of fleas will build up a tolerance. Not only that, they can often cause some serious side effects like skin irritation, skin ulcers, convulsions, body twitches, loss of appetite, loss of balance, thyroid cancer, liver and kidney damage, infertility, and altered hormone levels.
So what’s the solution when you know flea medicine is toxic but you’ve got a flea problem?
Get Rid of Fleas on Your Pets Naturally with Just ONE Product
Yep. That’s right. ONE product.
After a ton of research, I finally remembered reading about a product that kills pretty much every insect including fleas!
It’s called Diatomaceous Earth and it’s as awesome as it sounds.
Diatomaceous Earth is an all-natural chalky substance that comes from tiny fossilized aquatic organisms known as diatoms. Their skeletons are made of natural silica which over millennia, accumulated in the sediment of rivers, lakes, and oceans. The diatoms fused together into silica deposits which are mined and then ground into a fine powder known as Diatomaceous Earth.
There are actually two types of Diatomaceous Earth and you need to be careful about which one you choose for your pets.
The first type is for commercial use in pools and is called POOL GRADE Diatomaceous Earth. This kind of Diatomaceous Earth is very harmful for both humans and pets and should be avoided!
The second type is called FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth and is safe for use in your house, yard, on your pets, and even for consumption.
The food grade version what you want, so make sure that’s what you’re getting!
How Does Diatomaceous Earth Get Rid of Fleas on Your Pets Naturally?
Diatomaceous Earth is very shard like, almost like broken glass when seen under a microscope. These shards are what puncture and make tiny cuts in the exoskeletons of insects, including fleas! This causes them to quickly dehydrate and die because Diatomaceous Earth absorbs a lot of moisture. In fact, it is often used near grain storage to keep things dry for this very reason!
Some Important Facts about Diatomaceous Earth Before Using it
Just keep in mind these facts before using DE:
• While natural, DE is a very fine powder that can irritate the lungs of sensitive humans and pets so take special care when applying it.
• Wear a mask (seriously!) while applying DE to your pets and while sprinkling it in your house for the reason stated above.
• Only buy FOOD GRADE DE (this is the one I use)
• Only apply it to DRY surfaces or it will lose its effectiveness.
• DE can be drying to the skin so use only small amounts.
• Treat not only your pet, but also your house and your yard for best results.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth on Your Pets to Kill Fleas
Less is more when treating fleas with DE! You do not need to use much at all which is great because that means this natural flea treatment is both frugal AND effective.
So here’s what you need to do to get rid of fleas naturally:
1. Make sure your pet is totally dry
2. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area like your back yard if possible
3. Wear a mask (you can get them here)
4. Make sure you have food grade DE
5. Next, put 1 tsp of DE in your hand and gently begin to work it into your pet’s fur. I recommend starting from one end and work your way to the other to ensure you don’t miss anything. use more DE as needed.
6. Concentrate on the ears, armpits, and groin area of your pet as these are the main areas fleas like to hide. Take care not to irritate your pet’s eyes or groin area as best you can.
7. Once you’re finished, you can leave the DE on until your pet’s next bath otherwise just do simple upkeep. You can reapply the DE every few weeks if needed.
8. Now you’ll want to treat your house sifting it over carpets, rugs, and your pet’s sleeping area. Let the DE sit for 3 days before vacuuming.
9. You will also want to sprinkle your yard, especially grass. Make sure the grass is dry before doing this. Treat the yard every few weeks as needed or after a rain to keep fleas and other pests at bay.
Speaking of Other Pests…
Did you know that Diatomaceous Earth kills cockroaches, wasps, bed bugs, ants, aphids, and every other insect? Yep! It’s pretty amazing!
However, keep in mind that it will also kill the bugs we love like bees, butterflies, and ladybugs so take a care when using DE in your yard!
Have you ever used DE to get rid of fleas on your pets naturally? How did it go?
For more ways to kill fleas naturally check out the articles below:
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