My Dog Has Fleas – OMG.
Well, had fleas. Because we finally beat the little blood suckers. This was the first time we ever seriously had fleas…more than one or two that happened to catch a ride with our dog. And the ferret got them too.
It took us three weeks to get rid of them. Living with bugs in the house for almost a month made my skin crawl all the time. They got in the blankets and the bed, in the couch, and, of course, on our poor, itchy dog.
With the birds and the ferret upstairs, bombing our house was not an option. Besides, I really don’t want that kind of chemical yuck in our house. I was determined to get rid of them naturally.
I tried every home remedy I read about on the internet. I bathed the dog and ferret in Dawn. I sprayed all the furniture with vinegar daily. We washed everything fabric in the house – twice. I even left salt on the carpets overnight, which supposedly dries their little crunchy flea bodies out and kills them.
None of it worked. I finally broke down and put over-the-counter flea preventative on my dog, which was supposed to kill the adult fleas. IT DIDN’T WORK. He still had fleas AND toxic gunk in his system on top of it.
I went to Petco as a last ditch effort to find something natural before I called the vet for prescription medication.
I bought a bottle of Vet’s Best Natural Flea + Tick Home Spray to spray the house and a bottle of Vets Best All Natural Flea & Tick Spray for the dog. Ferrets are sensitive to a lot of things, so I went with Marshall Small Animal Tea Tree Shampoo, which is made for ferrets.
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Holy flea killers, Batman – they worked! The ferret was flea-free after one bath. Within three days, the dog had no fleas when I combed him with a flea comb. I’m seriously impressed. Plus, they’re made with peppermint and clove oils, so they made the house smell really good.
It is possible to get rid of fleas naturally, but you have to be super vigilant.
Here’s what I did, in addition to the sprays, to get rid of them for good:
- Vacuum – Every. Single. Day. Carpets AND hardwood floors (ours are unsealed). Those buggers like to hide anywhere they can, and they lay eggs that can hatch out later. Suck ’em up! And throw away the vacuum bag or the canister contents right away so they don’t hatch or crawl back out.
- Flea comb twice a day – this tool is underrated and amazing for getting fleas off of pets. I trap them with the comb and then drown them in soapy water.
- Wash bedding, blankets, and any clothes or towels that have been on the floor twice a week. This has been the worst part for us, and I’m sure my electricity bill is going to be sky high next month after all the laundry we’ve done, but it really does help. Besides, nothing is creepier than lying in bed at night and feeling the tickle of a flea hopping up your arm. That happened for real. Eww.
It’s a ton of work. My war on the fleas took about an hour and a half every day for several weeks, which is annoying when I have blogs to write, clients to see, and a ton of office work to do. I will probably have to continue the toned-down version of this daily chore through the rest of fall until flea season is over.
So yes, it is possible to kill fleas and cleanse your house of them naturally, without harmful chemicals. It’s just kind of a pain in the ass. The Vet’s Best sprays really saved us, and I will recommend them to everyone I know over putting Frontline or other treatments on their dogs.
Everyone is saying fleas have been awful throughout PA this year. Have they been bad where you live?
P.S. Here’s another picture of my dog. Isn’t he darling?