Although I use Front Line on the animals regularly and you can buy it easily over here in Italy, I really don’t like using chemicals on my pets. So I’ve put together a few natural flea remedies. Please add your own in the comments box and perhaps together we can defeat the little blighters!
Please notethat you try these at your own risk, use your common sense. I can’t vouch for their efficacy!
FOR YOUR HOME (not the pets!)
- Salt. Simple, cheap and quite
- effective it basically dries them up. You sprinkle it everywhere a flea
- might go (down the backs of settees, cracks in the floor, under pet
- bedding and so on.) Leave it there as long as possible – a few days or
- longer is ideal. Vacuum up. I have heard it’s a good idea to pulverise the
- salt in a coffee grinder, but I couldn’t be bothered!
- Try leaving a bowl of soapy water – a few drops of washing up liquid – overnight near a lamp in a dark room. (Safety tip – pets, electricity and water DO NOT MIX – so be careful when you try this one! Exclude the animals and small children) The theory is that the fleas are drawn to the light and then throw themselves in the water, get covered in the soap film, sink and drown.
- Vacuuming. Obvious but regular vacuuming can suck up fleas and their eggs. Remember to get rid of the contents of the hoover bag afterwards, preferably by burning. However adding salt to the bag will also dry them up.
- Borax – easily obtained this is a real flea buster as they hate the stuff it fries them up – hooray! Mix it with salt and use on rugs and carpets, in cracks and so on or in the hoover bag. Be careful with exposing curious pets to this and don’t use it for too long.
FOR YOUR DOG
- Fleas hate garlic, so try
- adding some garlic to your dog’s food as well as some drops of vinegar to
- his drinking water. Cider vinegar is best, which is aceto di mele
- . Don’t try this with cats (the garlic) as it has been known
- to cause damage to feline red blood cells.
- Talking of drinking water, you can try adding a few drops of homeopathic crabapple flower essence (NOT OIL) to your dog’s drinking water. A lot of farmacie in Italy have a homeopathic bit and crab apple is mela salvatica. If you can’t get it where you are you can always try online.
- Buy one of those plastic spray bottles and fill with a fragrant mix of 50:50 water and cider or white vinegar. Throw in some crushed garlic cloves, a few drops of olive oil and washing up liquid. Shake it up and spray the poor pooch ensuring you avoid sensitive areas like the nose and mouth. I have tried this and it does work, but you may find the smell makes you resort to Front Line again!
- A more pleasant smelling alternative is to steep lemons in boiling water and let stand overnight then put in your spray bottle and spray your hound, again avoiding sensitive areas.
- Obvious but make sure you brush your dog and cat daily as it does get rid of the gritty flea poop and loose hairs and makes them easier to spot.
- When shampooing make a ring of soap to stop the varmints fleeing (groan) to higher ground. Of course there are flea shampoos you can buy here but for a gentler alternative try a herbal shampoo with rosemary, bergamot, lavender, citronella, pine, juniper, geranium or geranium. Be careful about the eyes and nose as always when shampooing your dog.
Have you got any favourites? Add the to the comments below!