Every pet owner knows how annoying fleas can be. These minuscule insects can multiply in days and easily infest your pet from head to paws.
They will even jump off Fido or Kitty, turning to your family members for their next tasty meal. While flea bites are definitely itchy and can cause a rash in most cases, the bigger problem is ticks.
These tiny parasites can not only cause huge health problems for your furry companion, but they can put your own life in danger.
Ticks carry a number of nasty diseases, including Lyme disease, caused by a bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, in the tick’s saliva. (1) While one harmful bacteria is bad enough, new research shows there may now actually be a second bacteria called Borrelia mayonii that is far worse, causing even more intense Lyme symptoms like vomiting and neurological issues. (2)
There are many commercial treatments to keep these tiny blood suckers at bay such as flea and tick collars, topical solutions, powders or sprays, but they are also highly dangerous to your pet (and anyone else in your family).
These treatments work by poisoning the ticks or fleas using harsh chemicals like imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen. (3)
These highly toxic chemicals have been shown to cause multiple and significant health problems in pets including cancer, organ failure, nerve damage and endocrine disruption to name only a few.
And your pet is not the only one at risk according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). (4) Most of these products are registered as pesticides and as such, are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US.
Some of these, however, like the organophosphates and carbamates, are known poisons and have even been banned for household use, yet they are still used in pet collars and sprays.
In fact, in 2008 alone, the EPA received more than 44,000 complaints of “adverse reactions” from these products that ranged from rashes to seizures and even death. The EPA further admits these reports have increased by a staggering 53 percent and that they are looking into finding ways to make these products safer, but in the interim, they remain on the market. (5)
So what is the alternative? The fleas and ticks aren’t going anywhere so we have to look at safer more natural products that will get the job done. Luckily, nature can do just that!
Natural Remedies For Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and Ticks have been around for eons. While they do not live as long as some other animals, they can definitely do some real damage in their short lifetime.
For instance, a flea can live up to 18 months in ideal conditions. And during that time, a female can lay as many as 5000 or more eggs!
So, it’s easy to see how one pesky flea can quickly out number us in a matter of days. (6)
Before the advent of dangerous, toxic chemicals as a means to get rid of or deter these parasites, nature provided us with everything we needed to get the job done—safely.
Some of these tried and true remedies are so effective, in fact, they rival commercial treatments that pose significant dangers to both your pet and your family.
Here is one recipe that is both safe and effective and even better, it is easy to make and uses just three ingredients:
Herbal Flea and Tick Powder
- 1 cup of food grade diatomaceous earth
- 1/2 cup of yarrow powder
- 1/2 cup of Neem powder
Mix all of the ingredients in a container with a shaker top (a dollar store will have something suitable). Apply the powder directly to your pet’s dry fur and then brush it in to ensure it comes into contact with their skin. Always avoid your pet’s ears, nose and eyes as the powder can be an irritant to these areas. Make sure not to inhale the diatomaceous earth.
If your pet already has fleas (or you suspect they do—it can be hard to see them on thick and long coated animals) apply the powder 3-4 times a week until the fleas are gone (your pet should stop scratching). Also, make sure to apply powder to any place your pet frequents such as a bed or the carpet. Sprinkle a generous amount on the bed or carpeted area and leave for a few hours, then simply vacuum it up. As a preventative during tick and flea season, apply the powder to these areas at least once a month or more if you see any insects.
Also, make sure to apply powder to any place your pet frequents such as a bed or the carpet. Sprinkle a generous amount on the bed or carpeted area and leave for a few hours, then simply vacuum it up. As a preventative during tick and flea season, apply the powder to these areas at least once a month or more if you see any insects.