Have any of you experienced fleas or ticks after taking your dog out this spring? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, many pet owners are talking about this after walking through the neighborhood or visiting our parks. The parks are not immune to these little critters, and neither are our own yards.
Fleas pose an issue all year long but become worse in Spring and Summer. Ticks are seasonal, showing up in Spring and Fall.
If you have ever had fleas in your home or on your pet, you may understand the gamut of issues that may result. Itchy, bumpy skin, hot spots from your pet chewing and tapeworms are not fun.
How do you know if your pet has fleas? One way is to use a flea comb. The fine-toothed comb, when brushed through the body, will pick up any fleas as well as what is generally called “flea dirt”. Flea dirt is dried blood and when added to a drop of water, it turns red. If one or both are present, you have fleas.
Without treatment, flea infestations happen quickly. In fact, every female flea lays on average 30 eggs per day. For every adult flea seen, 95 percent of the fleas are invisible to us, waiting to hatch. It’s known that to successfully treat them, we cannot ignore treating the environment. Traditionally, many of us have used “flea bombs” to fumigate our homes. Although somewhat effective, those are chemicals so there are downsides.
What to do if you have fleas? Natural flea control in the home & yard
Daily thorough cleaning, washing and vacuuming.
Bathe your pets. Completely lather the neck first to “trap” the fleas on the body. Use a flea comb to pluck off any fleas on the face and ears.
Pick up beneficial nematodes from local stores such as Al’s Garden Center, Backyard Bird Shop or Roots Garden Supply to name a few. These microscopic organisms feed off insect larvae. This only takes a few hours and your yard will be flea (and aphid) free in no time.
Natural preventatives that won’t hurt your pet or the environment
Flea comb daily. Dunk fleas in a bowl of soapy water.
Apply a natural, effective flea repellent to your pets. Flea Flicker! Tick Kicker! by Ark Naturals and Herbal Insect Repellent Spray by Mad About Organics are safe to use on both dogs and cats and can be found at many local pet supply stores.