Sweetie Pie and Frieda were born and raised in the high desert of Northern Nevada, where fleas do not live. So we were not even prepared for the onslaught of the parasitic creatures who thrive in the humid swamps and rain forests of Ohio. We were consumed and inundated with fleas immediately upon arrival… they must have smelled us coming. It took me about three months to finally rid our home of fleas.
I tried every natural method (that I knew of) at the time. Ultimately I had to go for the strong chemicals of a Frontline product, but I hated putting that poison on my dogs.
This season I’m experimenting with the natural plant medicine of essential oils… hoping that I can keep the fleas away without going back to the poisonous methods I used before. So far, so good! I’ve been using the TerraShield blend from doTERRA. I put about 10 drops in a spray bottle with water and spray the dogs before they go outside (I live in a very woodsy area… lush with bugs of all sorts!). If I don’t have any TerraShield on hand, I use a combination of lavender and lemongrass… bugs hate it! I also spray the outdoor rug that my dogs like to lounge on while they are sunbathing. No fleas!
It smells so nice that I don’t mind spraying it all over me when I go for an evening walk or hang out in the backyard with the pups. No mosquito bites!
Of course the most difficult part of this procedure is remembering to spray yourself (and dogs) before you go out. You must reapply frequently with this natural method. So when I do forget and get mosquito bites, I apply a drop of melaleuca oil and that takes the itch away remarkably well. I always have melaleuca with me in my keychain kit.
What a great discovery after all these years!
In the meantime, vacuum a lot! As an added flea/bug deterrent, sprinkle this DIY Carpet Freshener on the floor. Fleas hate lemongrass and all bugs and other creatures hate peppermint, so I take a Dollar-store cheese sprinkler, fill it halfway with baking soda, add 20 drops lemongrass and 10 drops of peppermint. You could also add lavender (I don’t because my dogs don’t like it!) Put your hand tightly over the openings on top and gently shake the container until oils are mixed into the baking soda. Sprinkle this mixture all over, especially in corners and crevices. Let it sit at least 10 minutes or even overnight. Then vacuum. This will also make your house smell awesome!
Here’s another excellent blog about natural insect repellents: Bug Spray and a trip to Africa