In many parts of the USA Spring is in full bloom which means fleas and ticks are back! Or perhaps they never left your part of the world 🤪 yikes! Flea and tick control is very important. If your pets come inside with just one flea- you can bet there’s 10 more hopping around that you didn’t see. As for ticks, they carry many diseases and put humans and all pets at serious risk. Therefore, it’s important to keep those pesky fleas and ticks in check!
I personally do not use any flea / tick collars nor do I use the liquid tooicat deterrent. Many of these on the market today have many unsafe chemicals that can lead to major skin irratations and in worst cases illness or death. For the last 4 years I have lived in rural Missouri on acreage with a pond and tree line… I have yet to use these harmful products and have had great success. Pet parents who do not want to use chemicals on their pet’s to ward these critters off should have at minimum these 3 things on hand to prevent an infestation:
1) Food grade Diatomaceous Earth aka D.E
2) Nature’s Specialties Quick Relief Neem Shampoo
3) Cedarcide (or Wondercide)
What is D.E? D.E is the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. This creates a sharp dust. When pests come into contact with the dust it scratches their exoskeleton and agitates them which in turn let’s the D.E. get to work on killing them. D.E completely dehydrates them fast.
So how do I use D.E?
I treat our property (50-75 yard radius since I’m not doing the pasture) with D.E in early spring (before dandelions pop up!). To do this you’ll need a mask to cover your mouth and nose because D.E is hazardous to your lungs should you inhale it. I also recommend wearing long sleeves and gloves. I use a gallon jug filled with D.E and put a few holes in the cap. This allows a small amount to flow out as your shaking it low to the ground which will produce less dust in the air. A little goes a long way!
*Take note that Diatomaceous Earth will kill bees if you dust flowering plants they come into contact with them which is why we dust PRIOR to blooming. Also a light rain will wash away D.E and return it back to soil so don’t worry about it harming the ground!*
Another way you can use D.E if you don’t want to treat your yard, is to directly brush/fluff it through your pets hair. This is much more difficult to do and not produce dust in the air though. A flea bath is recommended instead.
I love the Nature’s Specialties Quick Relief Neem Shampoo. You apply the shampoo onto DRY hair. Be sure to avoid your pets eyes and work it into the fur. Leave on 5-10 mintutes. It kills the fleas! You’ll know you’ve killed them because you’ll see a rust color “bleeding” off your pets fur when rinsing. Some people do 2 rounds of this before drying. This shampoo also works as a nice flea and tick deterrent for a couple days. It is also a great shampoo for itchy pets. I give flea baths 3 times between May- September just to be sure we didn’t pick anything up from friend’s houses or outings.
After the bath (and the pet is totally dry), spray Cedarcide on their coat. I’ve heard many people say Wondercide also produced great results so you can use it instead of Cedarcide if you want. You can use this spray all over your house to deter fleas and ticks. It’s recommended to apply the spray to all of your pets bedding as well (after they’ve been washed and dried if they’re flea infested). This spray works for a few days so no need to apply it daily.
Keep in Mind
If your pet already has fleas or brings one in the house it’s VERY important to treat the entire house. One flea becomes 10 then 100 fleas so quickly! Table salt can be sprinkled on your carpet and wood floors then vacuumed up the following day. When fleas touch the salt it dehydrates them leading to death. You can also use D.E for this process However I find that it’s more difficult to vacuum up on carpet which is a concern for those with crawling babies.
If at all possible, keep your dog secluded to one room during the treatment time to help prevent a back to back infestation. Wash all bedding- act like you have a lice infestation… Because this works the same way! Throw stuffed animals in the dryer on high and vacuum every corner.
You Got This!
It seems intimidating but truthfully, it’s easier to prevent fleas and ticks rather than deal with treatment!
I know you all love your pets and want the best for them! Trust me- if I can do this, you can too! Don’t be discouraged if you spot a random flea or tick , it’s going to happen! Repeat the prevention cycle!