We've all heard the horror stories (if not experienced them ourselves). The evacuating the house for a weekend after "bombing" it with some horrid flea killing chemical. The trips to the vet for flea dips. The collars, drops and shampoos. Then, the worst part, doing it all while trying to keep your children, hands and other pets away from the toxins.
While all of these methods are effective, there are a few natural ways to get rid of fleas that can and should be tried first. They do not require jeopardizing you and your family's health.
1.) Flea Combs –
While this is a time consuming solution, it is an effective one at removing adult fleas from your pet. Specific areas to concentrate on are the neck and hindquarters. This should be done as frequently as possible, particularly during the summer months as the warm climate provokes the flea cycle to its peak. Lay a towel underneath your pet to catch any fallen fleas, larvae and pupa. Be sure to dispose of these somewhere other than your garbage can or the like, as adult fleas can easily climb back out.
2.) Steam Cleaner –
Your carpets become a home for fleas during three specific periods in their life cycle. The first being the egg form, after it falls off of your pet. It then goes to its larval stage (at which point its ability to travel is minimal). Then, the last point before it reaches the adulthood form of an adult flea, the pupal stage. The high temperature of the steam is capable of killing the flea in every stage of its life cycle, with the exception of the egg. Combining this method with frequent vacuuming to get the escaping eggs is a powerful tool in your arsenal (as long as you immediately get rid of the bag when finished.)
3.) Pet Bedding –
Your pet's bedding is going to be the place where you'll find a large infestation of each and every stage in the flea's life cycle. In fact, if you examine this area, you'll likely find what is frequently referred to as "salt and pepper." The salt being the flea eggs, and the black referring to the specks of dried blood that have fallen off your pet (prime food for the flea in it's larval stage.) You'll want to wash this as frequently as possible. Daily is best. Be sure to do it in hot, soapy water and finish by drying it on the highest heat setting your dryer is capable of. This will eliminate the flea in all stages of life.
These three tips are most efficient when combined. Using one without the others will help, but will not be nearly as efficient as using them together. Unfortunately, even when utilizing these methods, there are those that will continue to see a flea problem. It may not be as bad, but the goal is to eliminate them all together. This will generally push the consumer to the level of using insecticides. This is the normal response to the headaches a flea problem can cause.