holistic health care approaches, we need to try to look at the flea
issue differently. It's not holistic to just switch to an herb from
a chemical to attempt to kill all the fleas. We do not just address
the symptoms that the fleas cause (itching), but to get to the cause
of the allergic reaction that the flea bite stimulates in a vulnerable
pet. Fleas, like all parasites, prey on the weak, sick, and malnourished.
An animal infested with fleas is an unhealthy animal and we must
ask ourselves why are the fleas bothering the them in the first
place, rather than solely focusing on the elimination of the fleas.
Holistic therapy does not begin with shampoos, coat dips, rinses,
or sprays; it begins by strengthening the animal and making their
home less hospitable to the fleas. It means getting your pet healthy
enough, with a healthy coat and properly functioning immune defenses,
so that fleas will cause no allergic reaction in him (itching) and
ultimately the fleas will have no interest in him. The real key
is a good, nutritional diet.
To a your pet's
nutritional diet, you can add garlic and brewers yeast with Vit
B. These exude odors or tastes that discourage fleas. Add a clove
of garlic or 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic to your pets meal. Add
1 tablespoon of brewer's yeast (1/2 Tbls. for small dogs and cats)
to your pets daily meals. Every two days, sprinkle brewer's yeast
on their coats and work it in with your hands. This dose not kill
the fleas, it just makes them want to leave, so make sure to let
your dog outside and give the house a good vacuum.
to your pet's diet that could be burdock root, dandelion, and red
clover. These serve as useful dietary adjuncts by helping the body
eliminate waste and allowing natural defense systems to work more
freely in coping with fleabites. Nettle
may be sprinkled onto your pet's food to lend nutritive support
and a mild antihistamine action that may reduce the severity of
an allergic reaction. Giving 1/2 -1 teaspoon of dried herb for each
pound of food fed is a good starting dose.
To address fleas
by external methods, your pet's living quarters can be sprinkled
with diatomaceous earth (also called DE). For more info on DE, please click here. Vacuuming
is a great way to keep down fleas.
Beneficial nematodes: These are microorganisms that are parasitic to flea larvae that you apply to the yard once in the spring with a hose-end sprayer. They work pretty well for keeping fleas from your yard. You can find more information about, and purchase these little critters here.
You can look
for herbal flea powders that contain garlic as well as various flea
deterring herbs such as wormwood and pennyroyal. I make an herbal
pillow stuffing for our dog and cats' beds, which helps discourage
fleas (Note: The FDA does not allow the use of the
word "repellant" on any natural insect "deterrents.").
You can find the recipe for the pillows below.
Lately, I have
used my Shoo-Fly Spray on our dog to
aid in deterring fleas, ticks and bothersome flies when she is outside.
If your pet
has a real infestation that needs to be taken care of right away,
or if some of the nontoxic products you have tried just aren't working
for you, there are some over-the-counter chemical treatments you
can safely try. Look for products containing citrus based d-limonene,
and herbal insecticide. If you have a real severe problem, I recommended
Front Line. I do not recommend any other the other products that
come in the small plastic vials, they are not all the same and some
are down right dangerous. Frontline is a different chemical and
the only one I recommenced (and it really works). If you look around
on the Internet, you can find this product at a fairly low price
(much lower than buying it from a vet).
this Anti-Flea Herb Mix in these various ways:
little pillows (8 "X 8" or so) stuffed with the
following mix and place in the animals bed or sleeping area.
The little pillow cannot be washed and you will have to replace
it every couple of months.
your pet has a cedar stuffed bed (cedar is a great flea deterrent).
Stuff the bed with cedar chips and throw this herb mix in
with the chips as you fill the bag. Change the entire filling
of the bag every couple of months.
Flea Deterrent Pillow Filling Recipe:
(if you can't find this, use Wormwood)
* Do not
let the animal eat this herbal mix. Pennyroyal should not
be consumed. If there is a chance the animal will tear up
the pillow, use peppermint instead of Pennyroyal, it will
not be quite as effective, but will be safer.