If you, or someone that you know, has pets it is likely that at some point or another you will have come into contact with fleas. These nasty little parasites love to live on the skin of our furry friends sucking their blood and if given the chance will also do the same to us humans too. There are numerous flea control remedies on the market, but most of these contain harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals, so is there another option for keeping your pets, your home and you free from fleas?
The most common species of flea is the Cat Flea which, as its name suggests, can often be found living on cats, however this is also the species that most readily infects dogs and other pets too, and is also the most likely to bite humans. An adult flea usually measures between 1mm-2mm and are reddish-brown in appearance. The female flea can lay up to 30 eggs per day.
If you pet has fleas you will most likely notice that they are scratching more than usual. If your pet has a light coloured coat you may be able to part the cat and notice either the fleas themselves or their droppings or small pieces of dried blood on their skin. If your pet has a darker coloured coat thought it may be worth brushing your pet over a piece of white paper and then examining anything that comes off onto the paper or the brush. If you then sprinkle this with water and it turns red, you know that you have a flea infestation.
So how can you get rid of fleas without resorting to the often expensive and, in some cases, potentially dangerous, chemically based flea products?
Many pet owners report having great success in controlling fleas on their pets using essential oils such as lavender essential oil, rosemary essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil. To ensure that your pets are happy and flea free you can use essential oils in a number of ways including:
- Turn your normal pet shampoo into a natural flea shampoo by adding a couple of drops of any, or all, of the above essential oils. Fleas will either be killed on contact with the shampoo or the fragrance that remaining will discourage their inhabitation.
- Create a quick and simple natural flea spray by adding a couple of drops of lavender oil (or other from the list above) to a spray bottle of water and then spritz into your pets coat. Not only will this control fleas and leave a wonderful fragrance but will keep your pets cool and refreshed too.
- Make a herbal flea powder by mixing 3 tablespoons of cornflour with 1 teaspoon of finely ground dried lavender buds and rub this into your pets coat whilst grooming them. Make sure that you do this outside as the fleas will exit sharpish!