Letís face it. Fleas are the WORST, but applying pesticides to our pampered pooches doesnít make us howl with excitement either. In an attempt to find non-toxic flea control remedies, Care2 staff stumbled upon this amazing technique that kills fleas fast without toxic chemicals. While citrus peel extract (d-limonene) works well for dogs, cats can’t tolerate it, so this is an especially great choice.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a powder comprised of microskeletons of deceased diatoms, which are a type of algae (both fresh water and sea water varieties occur). You sprinkle the powder on your pets and your carpets, and the fleas die from dehydration. As a foster care provider for hundreds of dogs, this stuff has been a miracle. You can use it on dogs, puppies, kittens, and cats.
How it works:
When applied to the animal’s fur, DE scrubs on the hard exoskeletons of fleas. The tiny granules of silicon (think finely ground sand) work in the tiny holes of the flea’s respiratory system and in the joints of the fleas. Every time the flea moves or breathes, the silicon grinds away at the exoskeleton, eventually killing the flea through blocking/maiming the respiratory holes or by water loss, as the exoskeleton helps keep in the flea’s body water. It works the same way when applied to carpets instead of fur.
How to use it:
1. Wear a mask and put one on your pet. Even though it’s nontoxic, you don’t want to get it in your lungs.
2. Sprinkle the DE along your dry pet’s spine. Massage it along the body, working your way carefully to the extremities, avoiding the eyes.
3. Spread some diatomaceous earth on the carpets, brush it in and leave for about four days. Then vacuum it up to remove most of the fleas in the carpet.
4. Repeat the application frequently during an infestation. You should notice a decrease in fleas within a couple days.
NOTE: Make sure not to use the kind of DE used in swimming pools. Use natural diatomaceous earth; it is available in gardens supply centers, some health food stores, and from natural-pet catalogs.