Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Natural Way to Kill Fleas

  Mr. Mutt & I are very conscientious of chemicals in our life & opt out of using harmful, chemical laden items in our home. We make a point of shopping at local farmers markets♥ (organic produce only, thank you) & the neighborhood co-op.  I have an arsenal of essential oils...I just love my oils, & can create anything from room freshener to tooth powder (yes, powder & it IS amazing). Deodorant, soap, laundry, dish & dishwasher detergent all homemade, all natural, all money saving.  Best of all, Mr. Mutt & I have learned that not only are we in control of what comes into our environment, these items work better than the expensive, detrimental store equivalents.   I could go on & on about this stuff...can't you tell?

Switching from the "convenience" HA! of pre-made, chemical products has been a slow evolution but one that we embrace whole heartedly now. We can't imagine spending the money or endangering our (& our pups) health with these types of items. As a side note: these homemade items take very little time to prepare. Honestly, I love the process as I'm making one concoction or another, figuring out a new recipe or trying a new one that I've found on the web.

Recently, a couple friends of ours have had some uninvited guests in their home. Fleas. ugh.  Having been flea free for years (with 5's a must), my friends gave me a call to ask for help.  I thought, in the next few blog posts, I'd pass along things that have worked in our humble abode & perhaps you may enjoy making these items, along with saving lots of $$$, yourself.

  Here are three items that are in powdered form & *non-toxic (*always use caution with young children or pets when placing anything in their path).  I'll post liquids in a future blog. These items can be used separately, in pairs or all together.  Most of us have several or all of these items on hand but if you don't they are easy to get & can be used in other homemade recipes.
You will need: Borax, Salt (yup, regular old table salt) &; food grade Diatomaceous Earth

If you haven't heard of diatiomaceous earth here is a brief description of what it is:

{ Diatomaceous earth is one of the least toxic options you can choose for natural flea control. It’s a powder containing the skeletal remains of tiny sea creatures. While too small to present a danger to mammals, these microscopic particles act like shards of glass to insects, puncturing their bodies and eventually dehydrating them. It is important to only buy food-grade DE as the heat-treated product sold for use in pool filtration systems or for gardens can contain other chemicals that aren’t safe for pets or people to ingest }

 It's non-toxic but you don't want it in your lungs, it's a severe irritant. If your pet will tolerate wearing a mask, put one on them too. Ours pups won't so when I apply DE to their fur (keeps fleas off their body), I do it very carefully to not kick up dust. 

The Mixture: Follow this ratio of ingredients no matter how much you need to use to cover your lawn { not your garden, just lawns ;) } or carpet:
 Two parts borax, Two parts diatomaceous earth and One part salt. 
 Let this powder sit for a couple of days. We keep our pets out of the room when we have this mixture on the carpet just to be safe, again it's non-toxic but we don't want them to breathe in the DE as it can be an irritant.

Yes, you read right, this recipe will also work for your lawn. However, your lawn has to be DRY for at least 3 days after you apply the mixture or it won't work.  Do not use this in your garden since it will kill all bugs, good & bad.

If you choose to use each item independently here's how long you should let each sit (carpets only) until you vacuum it up. Liberally, sprinkle salt, borax or DE on carpets & while wearing your mask, carefully "sweep" it in with a broom. 

Salt should sit for 24 hours
DE should sit about 4 days.
(remember it can be a lung irritant, keep your pets & young children off treated area).
Borax should be left about 6 weeks.
(keep pets &young children off treated area & wear a mask when you vacuum it up).

There are so many different home remedies to choose from. We also use a lemon spray on our pets but I'll save that along with other uses for DE for another post. Hope you find just the right mixture to get rid of your flea trouble or if you have one you already use, please let us know about it!


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