We have all spotted them, the small black specks that flit across the house, jumping onto your pet’s hair and your own.
Fleas are a major concern amongst pet owners and non-pet owners alike. They are wingless but still can maneuver quite quickly as they are world-class jumpers of the animal kingdom – second only to the froghopper.
Even in the winter fleas can nest in your home, where they lay eggs, feed off our pets, and burrow into our hair. Is it any wonder we go great lengths to avoid them?
Not so much. But there is the question of how to avoid them.
Though there are chemical repellents on the market, it seems ironic that when protecting our pets from fleas we would expose them and ourselves to toxins in the process. A safer way to prevent fleas that won’t defeat its own purpose can be found in a bottle of white vinegar.
Lucky for us, fleas detest vinegar. As such, equal parts white vinegar and water mixed together will create an effective flea repellent. Pour this solution in a spray bottle and apply to your pet’s fur as well as their beds and other areas of leisure.
Small amounts of vinegar can also be added to your dog’s water bowl to achieve a similar effect. Just avoid adding vinegar to your cat’s water bowl, as its acidity is toxic to cats. Essential oils make good repellents as well. However, as with vinegar some essential oils are toxic to cats. Oils that can be used for both cats and dogs are lavender and cedar wood oil.
Remember, fleas don’t just piggyback on your pets. Most of their time is spent infesting other areas of the house. If you should spot fleas on your furniture or carpet, sprinkle either baking soda or table salt on the spot. This will cause dehydration in fleas and is fatal to them. After using the salt or baking soda, simply vacuum it up.
Along with the fleas themselves, itching and skin irritation may occur with exposure to them. You can curb this by applying a few drops of tea tree oil or peppermint oil to your pet’s coat. In addition to calming the skin, tea tree oil can get rid of dandruff.
To be safe, it is best to keep pets inside. Cats should never go outside, if they do be sure they stay nearby you the entire time. Unless engaged in exercise and play – or relieving themselves – dogs should stay inside as well, especially if it is cold or wet out.
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