Thursday, August 9, 2012

Getting Rid of Fleas, the Cheap and Green Way.

Fleas.  I hate 'em. 

It's been a tremendously bad year for bugs here.  We have two boxers that are in and out the back door, so now they have fleas.  I should say WE have fleas.  What I really hate is that my dogs have fleas...uh.. on their rear ends.  In some research, a vet referred to them as "asshole" fleas.  That pretty much says it all.

Alrighty, then.  First thing I did was fill up an empty shaker bottle (it used to have cinnamon in it) with some DE (diatomaceous earth).  It was an easy way to powder my dog's butts and undercarriage.  Yes.  And under the tail-ish.  I'd sprinkle it in my hand and just pat away.  The dogs ended up loving this extra attention.  I ended up wishing I had a brain scrubber.  We had the male dog neutered when we adopted him, but you know......  Try to keep the dust down and be careful if you're going close to their face.

I powdered dog butts two or three times a day for about a week before our dogs totally quit trying to scratch (they couldn't reach the area!).  Remember that it takes a bit of time for the flea to die, plus most likely, there are fleas in various cycles. 

That's step one.  Next is to attack the yard!  It doesn't do any good to treat Fido if you aren't going to deal with the area where he's getting the fleas to begin with.  Get a couple boxes of Borax from the laundry aisle of your local store.  Sprinkle that all over the yard where Fido runs.  Do it again the next day.  Water it in a bit if you want to.  It will stay effective for all kinds of bugs for two to three years.  DE won't work after it's wet, but Borax will.

Back to the house.  Dogs powdered, yard treated.  Now wash their bedding and vacuum, vacuum.  You can sprinkle some Borax or DE in the vacuum bag to take care of any fleas that end up in there.  If you have a bagless unit, don't just empty the cannister in the kitchen trash or you'll have recycled fleas.  You have to be vigilant with vacuuming.  Every day.  Every crack (not dog crack, though).  Plan on doing this for a few days.

It took about a week or so for our dogs to quit scratching.  Initially they stopped scratching after a few days, then started again for a couple days.  I'm guessing it was the last batch of flea eggs that hatched and we're done with them.

One of the best pages I have read about fleas is Paul's:
He doesn't like Borax, but since I'm not using tons of it that often, I'm not afraid of it.  People have added it to their laundry wash for generations.  You decide what you're going to use.  :o)

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