Pest infestations are one of the worst nightmares of a household. Apart from the fact that they cause illnesses to humans and animals, they also bring damage to our belongings. If you were asked to name your most hated pest, what would it be? A mouse, cockroach, bed bug, or a bee? For dog-enthusiasts like me, the worst pest that I encounter is fleas. This article can help you learn about how to go about flea control without pesticides.
These creatures are small and acrobatic insects that feed on the blood of our pets such as cats, dogs, birds, and many more. In great numbers, they cause relatively extensive damage to the skin of animals. Believe it or not, they can cause skin allergies and infections to human beings as well! Especially if infestations are severe, it’s no surprise that some of them will look to us as a substitute.
Facts about fleas
Controlling fleas and ticks is not an easy task. The overall pest control systems are not a regular topic for humans. There are different natural flea treatments and other non-toxic chemicals that can be used to prevent fleas and ticks outbreak. To understand more about these pesky creatures, here are some interesting facts we need to know:
A flea’s life cycle varies
Other pests have a fixed time interval for their growth. Because of this, they become more predictable. Hence it is easier for us to eliminate them. Fleas, on the other hand, have a flexible lifecycle schedule.
Before fleas turn into adults, they need to change from being an egg to a larva, then to a pupa. The interval of their development varies depending on the situation and their environment.
According to doctors, fleas wait for the environmental circumstances to get better before they turn into larvae. Since this stage is when they are most vulnerable, they have to wait for the optimum condition before they turn.
This makes them maddeningly unpredictable. Hence, we need to upgrade our methods to eliminate them. Nowadays, some flea powders natural pet products contain zero chemicals, and they are safe to use around your pooch.
Flea activity is at its peak during the summer flea season
Fleas are considered winter pests not because of their ability to withstand the cold temperature but because of the opposite. By the time winter comes, they should have had a stable host and a shelter to outlive the season. Without it, they are left in the cold to die.
By the time summer comes, they start to latch off of their animal hosts and bask in the warm temperatures. This is where they breed and reproduce more of their kind to infest. During this time, they are more common outdoors, such as in gardens and lawns. This is what we need to look out for to prevent our pets from catching them.
Fleas can live without eating
Fleas are one of the most durable creatures to deal with. When they have filled themselves with animal blood, the female fleas will look for a secure space to lay eggs. During this period, they do not need any sustenance from its animal host. This is the reason why we still get fleas long after the animals are gone. The worst part is, they will look at us next as a part of their menu.
Fleas set a world record for laying eggs
If I were to ask you how many eggs do you think a female flea would lay? Some of you might answer five, ten, or twenty. The truth is, one female flea can lay up to 50 eggs in one sitting. Imagine having five female fleas in the house. In a couple of days, you’ll have more than 10,000 to 20,000 inside your house. So, if you think that flea infestations are not that big of a deal, think twice. This could cost the life of your pet.
Fleas set a world record for jumping
This might not be a surprise to everyone because we experienced firsthand how high a flea can jump. According to entomologists, fleas can reach up to one hundred and fifty times their body length. It’s no surprise they can latch onto a moving animal whenever they want.
If you think knowing these facts are not relevant to eliminating them, think again. This will give you a huge insight into the specific techniques to deal with diverse forms of flea infestation.
Diseases from fleas
According to experts, fleas can bring anemia to our pets. This happens on rare occasions, but we need to keep a close eye on our pets, so they don’t experience this illness. Anemia on pets happens when the amount of blood consumed is greater than the amount of blood produced by their bodies. In severe flea infestations, smaller breeds are greatly at risk of having anemia.
Another disease from fleas is tapeworms. Yes! I thought this was impossible until I read the insights of scientists. When animals chew on their skin to relieve the itch, they have a great chance of ingesting fleas. When the flea is carrying tapeworms, it could affect the internal organs of your pet, which is why we need to take this more seriously.
Fleas may be small creatures, but they are so agile. Also, fleas are one of the most difficult pests to catch and eliminate. Plus, they easily reproduce. How can normal people like us prevent and eliminate fleas on our own? Down below, you can find different natural flea control treatments during flea season.
How to eliminate fleas without pesticides
Pesticides are harmful synthetic chemicals that are used to kill insects. Yes, it is effective. However, there are consequences to using these products. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), pesticide users are more prone to help diseases such as cancer, organ failure, skin disease, and other issues. This is why the agency is limiting its use to only severe infestations that DIY and natural insect methods can no longer fix.
Here are natural ways to get rid of flea infestations:
1. Use Essential Oils
These oils are an essential topical treatment used to repel insects such as fleas, cockroaches, ants, and mice. Their smell may be relaxing for human beings, but it is irritating to various insects. Essential oils are one of the most natural methods of flea control.
You can use essential oils as a preventive spray for your pets when they go outside. To use, combine essential oils such as lavender, citronella, neem, or tea tree oil with water. Mix it in a spray bottle and then apply it on your pet’s fur whenever they go for a walk.
But before you apply it on their fur, make sure that they don’t elicit some form of reaction. Some pets are allergic to specific oils. You need to make sure that your dog or cat is not one of them. If they are, consult your vet for preventive measures against pests.
You can also spray this on their bedding, toys, and other pest-infested areas inside your house as a repellent. The downside to using oils as an alternative to pesticides is that the smell easily fades. For it to become more effective, you need to apply it more frequently.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
This is a cost-effective method used to prevent and eliminate or use types of pests. Unlike cats flea tick pesticides, DE works mechanically by destroying the exoskeleton of pests, dehydrating them from the outside. This way, they have no escape.
Some pests like cockroaches develop some form of immunity from the constant application of pesticides. This does not work for DE because it targets their skin, not their insides. They only need to get in contact with the powder for it to work.
3. Bathing your pets regularly
This is the most obvious way to eliminate fleas for good. However, you need to research the best anti-flea shampoo to increase your chances of eliminating them. Try to use a natural product to avoid any kind of skin irritation.
We have discussed that pest activity is at its peak during summer. During this time, you need to bathe your dog and cat as often as possible. This is to prevent any flea from totally infesting their skin.
Whenever you use anti-flea soaps, lather their coats and let the suds work wonders for 10 to 15 minutes. This is enough time to drown the adult fleas that still latch onto their skin. Rinse their coat thoroughly, and when you’re done, check the skin for any remaining flea and handpick them.
4. Use a flea comb
This is a practical way to get rid of these pesky creatures. A flea comb is a specialized tool that is used by pet owners to segregate the fleas and flea dirt from the animal coat. You can purchase this in any pet store and department store worldwide. If you don’t want to go out, you can have it delivered to your door.
Run the flea comb on their fur and see If it catches any flea. If it does, Do not squish the bugs using your hands. This could put you at risk of having the tapeworms be discussed before. Instead, fill a bowl with water and dish soap then put the fleas there.
Fair warning, we discussed how agile and acrobatic these creatures are. Before they getaway, you need to be slicker and faster than them. A flea bite can be very annoying, that is why most pet owners use insect repellents as they go to spoton treatment. An action alert is if you notice you do consistently scratching themselves.
5. Clean the carpets
Fleas will find cracks and crevices or will just simply get inside of your house because your pet brought them in. You don’t want to have flea eggs and larva infestation in your home’s carpet.
A very common trick you can use is too poor boric acid lightly before you vacuum your carpet. However, this practice is not recommended as a natural remedy. Boric acid is known as one of the most used insect control pesticide products today.
Your carpet can be a place that can accumulate a lot of flea feces. An insect growth regulator will recommend washing your home’s carpet with soapy water on a regular base to prevent pests infestation. This is a less invasive method that is not toxic to cats but still proven that kills adult if combined with brewers yeast and garlic.
Wrapping It Up
There are so many ways of getting rid of fleas without using pesticides. However, you need to apply these strategies regularly for it to work. If you don’t observe patience and persistence to use these methods, the infestation will only get worse. If your dog needs a quick solution, try using the Seresto spoton flea collars, or natural flea sprays.
Once you decide to use these tactics, you need to commit your time and effort to do them regularly. This is for the protection of your pet and your home. What are you waiting for? Start with the list now to get rid of fleas as early as possible. Always check the active ingredients on any flea killers if you decide to go that route. Pets and people can be allergic to some of the chemicals used as methods of flea control.
It is essential for all pet owners to stay on top of their pet’s oral care and ear care. We strongly recommend you start eliminating these pests without using any toxic chemical flea and tick treatments. Natural remedies combined with garlic and yeast are proven to be very effective without causing any adverse reactions.