Fleas or ticks are annoying pests to the dog and its owner. They multiply very quickly and thrive in warm weather. A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day. Most of the eggs laid on the host fall off onto the areas where your dog rests or spends most of its time. The eggs hatch into larvae, and larvae transform into pupae before becoming adult fleas.
Flea/tick bites are itchy and can cause an allergic reaction (flea allergy dermatitis) in some dogs. The constant scratching can result in open sores, hot spots and other skin problems. Ticks can transmit tapeworm and Lyme disease to dogs.
Getting rid of fleas involves treating your dog, house and outside environment. Flea products come in various brands and forms (sprays, powders, shampoos, collars, dips, etc). Flea pesticides are toxic and can cause side effects to your dog. Be sure to read the product label and follow the instructions carefully. Here are some natural flea remedies that are safer for you and your dog.
1. Treating your dog
Bathe your dog with a natural flea shampoo such as EasyDefense Herbal Shampoo. Then, apply a natural flea powder made from diatomaceous earth to your dog. Diatomaceous earth powder kills fleas, larvae and eggs by dehydrating them.
For skin irritations or infections from flea bites, the vet usually prescribes steroid ointments. Alternatively, try Ark Naturals Neem Protect Spray as it can relieve itching and skin irritation without chemicals.
2. Treating your house
This involves killing adult fleas and inhibiting the flea growth cycle.
Vacuum carpet, wells, cracks and crevices on the floor every day to remove adult fleas, larvae and eggs. Put some flea powder into the vacuum bag in order to kill fleas in it. After vacuuming, remove and throw away bags from vacuum cleaner immediately.
Wash your dog’s bedding in hot, soapy water once a week. Add some flea shampoo to the water. If flea infestation is severe, throw away old bedding and replace with a new one.
3. Treating your yard
Nematodes are effective for getting rid of fleas in the yard. Nematodes are worms that prey on adult fleas, larvae and eggs. They are safe, non-toxic and fleas cannot develop resistance against them. You can buy nematodes from certain pet stores, nurseries or gardening stores.