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Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

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Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  Windmere on Mon 25 May 2015, 10:47 pm

And I'm not talking flea beetles.  I'm talking about blood suckers.  I was horrified to come inside from my garden to find a flea hop off of arm and onto my shirt.  I would love to use something non-toxic to repel them, but I am allergic to tea tree and eucalyptus oils.  So....  Off it was.

We actually have a serious problem with fleas in our yard.  I did not realize just how bad it was until just a couple days ago.  It seems ludicrous that, while I won't put poison on my plants, I am putting it on myself.   Does anyone have any idea about what I could use instead of something like Off (but does not have tea tree or eucalyptus)?
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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  AtlantaMarie on Tue 26 May 2015, 7:55 am

I know feeding dogs garlic will help stop fleas.  So what about sprinkling garlic powder around?
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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  littlejo on Tue 26 May 2015, 9:41 am

I have not tried this on sand fleas, which is usually yard fleas. But on dog/cat fleas, on animals and in the house, maybe yourself too, in the house, spray listerine full strength. I buy the blue, Dollar general brand,  smells good and the smell goes away in a few hrs. On the dogs, I mix about 2 tbs. in a spray bottle with water and spray them, avoiding eyes. my dogs  have no fleas. For yourself, I'd test a small area first. Use as strong as you can stand for repelling fleas.
If it works for repelling, you might try spraying the yard. Wait til you don't expect rain for a few days, start where you know they are and go to property line. The dollar store will have to order plenty!
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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  sanderson on Tue 26 May 2015, 1:58 pm

An Insect Growth Regulator, IGR, for fleas, cockroaches, and ticks used to be available for inside use. It interrupted the larva to pupa stage thus wiping out future generations. It was usually combined with a pyrethrin to kill the adults. A repeat application was needed for the pupa, that were safe from the pesticide, for when they hatched into adults. I'll have to research a bit to see if it is still available.

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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  Marc Iverson on Tue 26 May 2015, 3:06 pm

Garlic and onions both are not good for dogs.

I found simple borax quite effective for use in the house, but it needs to be applied frequently for weeks at a time, as new eggs are constantly being laid and hatching one day after another. What it does is dry up the eggs, if I recall correctly. Sprinkle it in the carpet and vacuum it up every few days.

You may find it as 20 Mule Team Borax in grocery stores.

Of course, if you or your animals are bringing more fleas into the house all the time (which they will, if your yard has them), then the indoor borax will only cut down the population, not eliminate it. Still, that's wonderful when your infestation is severe.
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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  sanderson on Tue 26 May 2015, 3:29 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Garlic and onions both are not good for dogs.
I've read/heard that, also.

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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  Goosegirl on Wed 27 May 2015, 8:04 am

Here is a link to a list of several different essential oils that can effectively be used in flea repellents.  I personally have, and have used, almost all the oils on the list!  (plus about a zillion others) I am very sensitive to chemicals, so I started making my own lotions, potions, and concoctions over 15 years ago.  


http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/homemade-flea-treatment.html

Happy Anti-Bloodsucking!
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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  littlejo on Wed 27 May 2015, 9:05 am

windmere


Sorry but I need to take back my above post! Depending on the mouthwash used, it may contain Eucaluptus of some sort, so don't use. I was trying to get the ingredients to find out why it worked for me and found this.
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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  Tilth on Wed 27 May 2015, 10:46 am

Living in SOCAL, fleas can be a huge problem, especially as I have a dog that is allergic to them.
Indoors: The best thing that you can do is to get rid of your carpeting! Also, buy furniture with a covering that isn't "fluffy", or cover it with a fabric that won't provide a place for the fleas to hide in. What this does is takes way most of the places that the fleas can and will hide and lay eggs. We got rid of ours many years ago and haven't had a problem with indoor fleas since. Also, my wife's allergies improved markedly. If you can't or won't do that, I can vouch for using borax as someone mentioned above. I used to by it at the big box stores as roach powder and apply it once a week to our carpets. Wear a dust mask as it gets dusty when you apply it. Sweep/rake it into your carpets once a week. I have also heard that Diatomaceous Earth(DE) will also work, but I haven't tried it. The Essential Oils(EO) also mentioned above sounds interesting, but I haven't tried that either.
Note: Neither Borax nor DE should be used if you have little ones crawling around on your carpets. Or, put a blanket down.
Outdoors: This is a simple one for gardeners, Insecticidal Soap! During the flea season, put a liquid dish soap into a hose end sprayer and spray the yard once a week. If your yard is huge, you might want to restrict your pets to a portion of it, if possible, so that you don't have to spray the whole thing. The soap doesn't kill the fleas, but it forces them to find other, more suitable, accommodations. A side benefit here is that the surfactant, in the soap, allows the water to penetrate compacted clay soils and greens all of your plants. You can buy and treat your yard with beneficial nematodes, of the correct type, that will kill fleas. Again, I haven't tried this.
Pets: As with all of this, the situation will vary, depending on where you live, your life style and your pets. I have two dogs, one, the fleas don't bother him. My Golden is allergic and even one flea can be a big problem. Cats are a whole different issue with which I have had no experience. If I had to start with a new pet, I would probably start with the least toxic treatment and work my way up. Putting drugs and other chemicals on/in our pets is not an ideal situation, but is sometimes necessary.


Last edited by Tilth on Wed 27 May 2015, 10:59 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling - Damn keyboard! Lol)
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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  Windmere on Wed 27 May 2015, 11:57 am

Wow!  Thank you all so much for your wonderful input!  I am going to research/use these.  I never knew there were so many options.

Littlejo, thanks for the update about the mouthwash.  I never knew some contain eucalyptus!
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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  CapeCoddess on Wed 27 May 2015, 12:31 pm

I use food grade DE on my floors, carpets and cat - works great.  

Outside I recently applied beneficial nematodes.  I may be wrong, but I think it kills flea larvae.  My cat doesn't have fleas at the moment and that's unheard of, so I'm thinking it works.  Do the research before ordering though.

Halfway down this page are recommendations under "My Recommendations for Safe, Natural Flea and Tick Control"
http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/03/31/dangers-of-flea-and-tick-problems.aspx

Here's to flea-free living!

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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  Razed Bed on Wed 27 May 2015, 7:57 pm

Today, I tried the new spray I made.  It is white vinegar and a blend of essential oils including eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, and lime.  It is cut with water and sprayed on the skin and clothes through a spray bottle.

I worked in the garden for 2 hours today, and there were no chiggers or ticks.  I guess this also will work on fleas, and it doesn't smell terrible like citronella nor dangerous like the poison sprays.

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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  Windmere on Thu 28 May 2015, 3:36 pm

I love all the responses I've gotten to this question.   I likely will try many of these suggestions.  



Last night, I was thinking about neem oil and the various ways I use it.  Of course, I use it as an insecticide.  I also use it to coat the poles that support our hummingbird feeder, meal worm station and suet.  The later way of using it is extremely effective.  No ants to be found so long as more is applied after rain.

Well... last night I applied it to myself.  I mainly did this for mosquitos, with the thought of fleas being secondary in my mind.  It kills me (and not just metaphorically) that I have to apply something like "Off" to escape mosquitos.

The only place I got mosquito bites was on my ankles (where I forgot to apply some neem oil).  I also got a stray bite just above my wrist.

Neem oil has been referred to as the shea butter and cocoa butter of the East.  After using it more than two years, the smell doesn't bother me at all.  Please, I'm not recommending the use of neem oil as I have... it just seems to have worked for me last night.  I'll let you all know if this continues to help me.
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Re: Is there a non-toxic way to deal with fleas?

Post  CapeCoddess on Thu 28 May 2015, 5:21 pm

It's so automatic for me to use Shoo-fly during mosquito and horse fly season that I forgot to mention it. A friend gave me a bottle of the Shoo-fly oil many years ago that I mix with a glycerin/water spray that I make. I see it can be used on animals, too. And sprayed around everywhere. Doesn't look like they have the oil anymore, which is too bad, but I see sprays.

http://www.pureplacid.com/shoo-fly.html

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