Many commercial flea and tick preventatives are unsafe, containing toxins or chemicals that can make your pet sick or even harm your family. Cancer, seizures, and many other illnesses have been linked to oral and topical flea and tick control products. This is scary, but before you panic, know that help is here. There are several naturals, safe flea treatment options to keep critters off of your pet and out of your home.
Safe flea treatment for dogs and cats starts by eradicating chemicals. And Essential Oils are a great way to keep fleas away from your pet, without using any chemicals. These oils are made entirely from plants and are 100% natural. My go-to recipe for repelling pests is as follows:
- 2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 30 drops Lavender
- 20 drops of peppermint
- 10 drops of Eucalyptus
Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle, and mist your pet about once every 24 hours for the most effective results. You can also spray their bedding and any other soft surfaces that they frequent, to keep any wandering pests away.
Always test essential oils (or any topical product) on a small spot on your pet’s skin, before you douse them in the solution.
If you can’t mix up the solution yourself, Wondercide offers an amazing array of natural products to control pests, that are essential oil-based. They have pet products, as well as products you can use in your home and yard.
It may seem counterintuitive to use critters to get rid of critters, but this is one of my all-time favorite hacks! Flea infestations start when fleas make their way onto your pet and into your house from the outdoors. So, it makes sense to start your pest control from the outside.
Nematodes are the perfect flea control to use in your yard, without the risk that your pet will accidentally soak their feet in dangerous chemicals. They are microscopic roundworms that eat organic matter like decaying plants, as well as fleas and other garden insects. You can easily order nematodes online, sprinkle them throughout your yard, and wave goodbye to any pet-feeding pests lurking there.
If fleas do happen to make their way into your home or yard, there is still a way to get rid of them without harsh chemical treatments. Diatomaceous Earth powder is safe for both humans and animals. The powder is made of fossilized diatoms and can be used inside your home or out in the yard.
For use indoors, the powder must sit for several hours before it’s vacuumed away (and should not be inhaled by humans or pets - wear a mask while you apply it as an extra precaution), so plan on using this treatment when you can be out of the house for a short spell.
Fleabusters Rx works a lot like Diatomaceous Earth, with the addition of orthoboric acid (a totally safe ingredient to use around your pets). This is a product that’s best used for safe flea treatments indoors. Sprinkle the powder throughout your home, and vacuum after a couple of hours. Remember to keep pets (and people) away from the powder, as it’s not meant to be inhaled, and thoroughly vacuum after home application.
Because Fleabusters only kills eggs and larvae, it could take up to two weeks to clear up a serious infestation. Continue to vacuum and clean your house more than usual, to get rid of any fleas that may have hatched prior to treatment.
The 0Bug!Zone tags (you might know them under their previous alias, as Shoo Tags), are another great chemical-free way to ward of fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. The tag attaches to your pet’s collar, and uses electromagnetic frequencies to create a protective barrier from pests.
These tags can also be safely used for humans, worn on clothing for camping, hiking, or spending time outdoors. I guess you could say this is an all-around family safe pest control product, that is especially great for pets that spend a lot of time outdoors.
If you do need some extra help keeping fleas and ticks off of your pet, the Seresto Collar is a great way to go. I’ve used Seresto Collars for my own pets and patients for many years to provide safe flea treatment and prevention. The collar is worn around your pet’s neck, with the active ingredients only on the inside of the band (NOT the case for other fleas/tick collars). This is going to deliver the very smallest amount of product to your pet’s skin at once and is the least toxic option for chemically-based flea control.
The Seresto Collar can be removed and placed back into its container when you don’t need it, and stored with minimal loss of efficacy. Because the effective compound is released in very small amounts, and so slowly, these bad boys are effective for at least eight months, so you don’t have to worry about constant reapplication or purchasing.
Overall, the best way to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and other pests is to be aware and to stay vigilant in your practices. You don’t need to use cancer-causing chemicals, or toxic treatments to prevent or treat infestations. But it’s important to keep your home and pet free of pests, to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Keeping your yard free of debris, and using one of the aforementioned products will help keep the critters away from your home’s boundaries. Pay extra attention to places like woodpiles or compost heaps. If you’re using essential oils or Wondercide, reapply often and liberally. If you live in an area that’s very prone to pet pests (like the Southeast US), you may need a little extra help from something like a Seresto Collar. And that’s ok!
Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re unsure of a product’s safety or efficacy, reach out to a natural health expert or holistic veterinarian. I’m available for Live Q&A on Facebook Live every Thursday at 12:30 pm EST, and for a one-on-one consultation at a time that’s convenient for you. I am your pet’s ally for all things big and small, and you don’t have to compromise your pet’s health (or your family’s) for safe flea treatment.