What are your options for flea and tick control if you do not wish to use sprays, pills, or injections? Several healthy alternatives exist.
• Apply herbal flea powder “sparingly” to your pet’s coat.
• Use herbal flea collars.
• Apply natural skin tonic as a general skin toner, parasite repellent, and mange treatment.
• Add nutritional or brewer’s yeast and garlic to the animal’s diet.
• Treat your carpets with a special antiflea mineral salt.
• Occasionally (once or twice a year) sprinkle natural, unrefined diatomaceous earth (which kills insects) along your walls, under your furniture, and in cracks where you cannot vacuum, but not directly on your animals.
• Use sprays or powders containing pyrethrins or natural pyrethrums, which are the least toxic of all insecticides used on pets.
• Another gentle weapon against fleas is a good flea comb with tightly spaced teeth. Your pet should be combed frequently during flea season, probably every day. When you find fleas, drop them into a bucket of soap suds to kill them and stop their spread.
• Try all-natural, preservative-free foods that are good remedies for or preventors of fleas: along with brewer’s yeast, try raw garlic, zinc, and barley grass concentrates. Check with your veterinarian regarding the proper dosages depending on weight.
• Natural repellents do exist. Essential oils such as citronella, tea tree, wintergreen, and eucalyptus have been shown to work.
• Vacuum all surfaces where fleas and their eggs may live, and wash blankets and sheets in hot water.
Adapted from The Healthy Pet Manual: A Guide to the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer by Deborah Straw (Healing Arts Press, 2005).