How to Kill Fleas
Most everyone that has pets, except those lucky enough to live in a flea-free zone, has had to deal with a flea infestation. Fleas can be difficult, though not impossible, to get rid of. Their life-cycle makes it possible for eggs to live in your carpet or fabrics for up to 200 days before becoming legless pupae. Then, the pupae can sit dormant for more than a year before growing into an adult. What does this mean to you? Well, eggs can accumulate over time, and then when the conditions are just right, transform into a huge infestation in a very short amount of time.
There are tons of flea products on the market. You can buy powders, foggers and sprays for your yard, your house and your pets. There are also any numbers of flea solutions on the market for your pets, from shampoos to collars to oily treatments that only require application once a month. The down side is that each pet will react differently and that many of these so-called solutions only work for a limited time and can be very toxic, not only to your pet, but to your family. Flea collars, for instance, give off an invisible and mostly non-odorous fume that has even been known to cause illness with regular exposure. You also need to use different products for cats than for dogs. What is supposed to be safe for a dog can kill a cat.
The other side of flea elimination is that you have to treat the environment as well as the pet. For example, you can steam clean your carpets and furniture to kill the fleas and the eggs, but the minute your pets venture outside, they are going to pick up more fleas and the cycle starts all over again. You also have to take into consideration your pets' bedding and places they like to hang out, like under your bed. When treating for fleas, almost all of this needs to be done simultaneously.
When it comes to your pets, though there are tons of shampoos on the market, mild soap and water will work just fine. Soap will kill the eggs and the adults and the larvae and will probably not irritate your pets' skinor yours. You can choose a nice smelling soap, or one that is odorless and you don't have to spend a fortune on it. In fact, we carry a number of very inexpensive and nice smelling doggie shampoos with conditioners that won't break the bank but will leave your K9 friend smelling nice and with a well-conditioned skin and coat. We also sell an organic pet dip that will do the job. Then, once you have bathed your pet, isolate him or her to one area of the house, or even in a crate while you do the rest. But, make sure their bedding material has been washed in detergent and water before putting them in a crate or in a room with their bedding. The soap and water will kill on contact but has no residual effect, which is the reason for further treatment.
Now you can address your environment. Yes, steam cleaning will work for your carpets, but keep in mind that you also need to do your furniture, draperies and even your mattresses. This can be ridiculously time-consuming; a lot of hard work, and is also really effective. But you can't steam clean your lawn.
When it comes to the yard, there are also a huge number of products to choose from. Most of them are chemical in nature and can be toxic to your family and your pets. Even rain runoff can cause these insecticides to get into ground water or ponds and kill turtles, frogs and other wildlife. But, they are usually very effective. If you choose to use such a product, read the labels carefully and definitely avoid using around your children or pets. You will probably have to keep your kids and pets out of the treated area for a period of time to allow it to dry or to water-in the powder, or whatever the directions happen to be for a particular product.
The employees here at Garden Harvest Supply have found the all around, all natural solution. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)! This fine fossil dust has a devastating effect, which simply put means that it kills them, on the exoskeleton of fleas, ticks and other biting insects. It is clean, it is all natural, it is non-toxic and you can use it anywhere, even directly on your pet.
You can simply spread DE with a spreader or applicator throughout your yard and the fleas and other insects that are in it will quickly die, as will all others who dare to cross it. Now that you have a flea-free zone of your own, you can turn your attention to your pet and the interior environment. You can powder your pets with DE and unless they get wet or you bathe them, you shouldn't have to reapply it until you see signs of fleas again. You may want to shampoo them first and let them dry before application. Long-haired pets may require a bit more application. Make sure you rub it through their fur so that it comes into contact with their skin and you can use it from head to tail. In fact, some people even make sure they get it between the toes. J This application should protect them even if they venture out of your flea-free environment.
Finally, sprinkle DE throughout your house. You can sprinkle it in the carpet and in very short order it will sift through, even to the padding, coating all of those surfaces. You can steam clean your carpets and furniture first if you know that you have a bad infestation, then wait until its completely dry to use the DE, or you can skip the steam cleaning. You can sprinkle DE along the baseboards, under your couch cushions and even on your mattress and between mattresses. You will probably want to use a mattress cover after dusting your mattress though. You should also wash all bedding in the house, including your pets'. Hot water isn't necessary, unless you prefer it. The detergent will kill the adults, their eggs and the immature pupae.
Using Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is less labor-intensive than many solutions and much safer for you, your family and your pets. Its uses are almost endless, so visit our DE Product Details page and scroll down to see a great number of the uses that DE can be utilized for.