Fleas, Fleas, Go Away

I am not at all fond of fleas.  In fact, I see no reason for their existence, especially on my dog or cats.  I have read too many horror stories about animals getting seizures from the new, improved animal pesticides, so I refused to use them on my dog.  Perhaps I thought that crossing my fingers would keep the fleas out.

But guess what — the dog brought lots of fleas into the house and infested the cats and the house, even though she was already on Sentinel Flavor Tabs heartworm-flea pills (a combo of milbemycin oxime and lufenuron, which had kept fleas away in prior years). Although these pills were supposed to prevent the fleas from reproducing once they had feasted on the dog, did you know that most of the fleas that dogs will bring into a home are actually cat fleas?  So at least some of the cat fleas hopped right off the dog and made a beeline for the unsuspecting cats, where they began having little flea babies.  Those particular babies aren’t really that cute, believe me.

Shampooing the dog in the tub with a hand-held showerhead and frequent vacuuming of the floor and upholstery were somewhat helpful in limiting the flea population.  Another thing that helped a little was an electric candle set inside a small clear glass bowl, which I placed in the middle of a glass pie pan filled with water and a little dish soap. I turned the candle on at night, which enticed the fleas to jump into the water in the pie pan, where they usually drowned.  Of course, this won’t work if your dog thinks it’s a good idea to drink the water, so you’ll have to keep it somewhere dog-proof. There are flea traps for sale, but the one I tried didn’t work – the tape wasn’t sticky enough to hold anything but the weakest bugs.

After reading about untold numbers of other useless and/or toxic natural cures, I discovered the miracle that is organic coconut oil slathered on our (short-haired) dog, especially on her hindquarters where fleas especially love to feast.  Our dog loves the taste of coconut oil, so she would roll around on the floor trying to lick it off, but enough remained that the fleas fled in horror.  Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s both sell coconut oil, as does Amazon or your local health food or grocery store.  If you have a fluffy or long-haired dog, I would recommend coating their legs and stomach if you don’t want to goop up the rest of their fur.

Next was the problem of the cats, who were now thoroughly infested with the fleas that the dog had introduced into the house.  This necessitated nightly flea combing of each cat with the trusty flea comb, hurling the horrid fleas into a bowl of dish-soapy water.  (Don’t buy one of those cheap, all-plastic flea combs you might find at a pet store – you need one with metal teeth.)

This, along with the vacuuming, helped, well . . . some, but not enough.  So the final addition to the flea removal program was lufenuron capsules from Little City Dogs, one pill per cat per month.  I opened the capsules and mixed the powder into soft food, but it seemed to be pretty popular on its own – must be the chicken flavor.

It took a couple more months, but finally good-bye, fleas!  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Want more info?  Visit our Natural Flea Control page