natural flea protection?

January 12, 1970

For the pets, for the house...a few yrs ago I sprinkled some kind of herb around the floors, and it worked. But I don't remember what it was. Any ideas?

Comments (39)

  • culpeper_bigpond_com

    Can't know which one you used to use, but any of the following are effective against fleas.

    Centaury, Derris, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Marigolds, Mints (especially Pennyroyal), Pyrethrum, Rue, Tansy, Wormwood (more details below)

    "Fennel near the kennel" is a well-known cliche. Grow it nearby, spread it inside the kennel, rub it on your dog, use some to stuff bedding, make a large quantity of the tea and use it to bathe the dog. It works. I've also used lavender and basil and thyme with some success in much the same way. My own dog is allergic to fleas. I've tried all the above except centaury which I don't have, depending on quantities available, and I've even used mixtures.My dog has smelled pretty at times!Just about any strong-smelling herbs does the trick. I'm lucky, my dog is very small, for larger dogs try rubbing fresh leaves (on a biggish branch!) over the coat, or make a strong tea and use a pump-action spray bottle to squirt the liquid over, and rub it in. You have to keep repeating the treatment on a regular basis of course.

    Flea treatments:
    * ON DOGS:
    Feed 2 large teaspoons powdered yeast daily for large dogs.
    * Feed 2 cloves garlic per day for large dogs, added to the usual food.
    * Put DRIED bracken ferns under the dog's blanket.
    o Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water in which the dog is washed to kill fleas.

    * TO DETER:
    Take a 'tea' of lemon peels and water, by steeping overnight, then sponge it over the dog's coat.
    * Bathe dog in eucalyptus wool wash solution.
    * Dust some derris powder (from garden suppliers) through the animal's coat, leave for half an hour, then comb or brush it out over some newspaper. Do not allow the pet to swim in creeks or ponds, as derris is deadly to fish, but it breaks down in sunlight after a few days.

    Vacuum regularly, remembering to do areas like under beds, around skirting boards and window sills.(speaking of vacuuming, I've even run the nozzle over the dog while the machine is running, gave her a thrill or two she didn't mind!But some dogs mightn't like it)

    * Sprinkle with borax and leave for 48 hours, then vacuum. Keep pets and children away during treatment.
    * Wet pieces of newspaper with oil of cedar, scatter these over the floor, under beds or on rugs, and leave overnight. Fleas will gather on the newspaper, and you can put them, newspaper and all, into plastic bags and dispose of them in the garbage bin.

    Place some sprigs of mint under mattresses.
    * Dissolve 3 blocks of camphor in 2 cups methylated spirits, and rub onto the mattress and nearby furniture.
    Rub over with tea-tree oil.

    On Cats: Put some chamomile flowers into the cat's bedding.
    Regards and good luck. Annette

  • Traute_Biogardener

    I am surprised that I did not see this question sooner. You have received a lot of good suggestions above. You wanted to know, however, what herbs to sprinkle against pests. Chamomile has been mentioned, but there are herbs which are stronger and therefore more effective. They are the same plants which are used in the garden to repel flying insects like mosquitoes, butterfly moths (the ones whose little caterpillars devour cabbage). They do a good job to keep your veggies as well as your pets free of pests, and they keep your clothes closet free of moths.

    In the order of effectiveness, they are wormwood and tansy. Tansy is on the forbidden plants list in some US states, because it has killed cattle. You may, however, not even be allowed to grow them where no cattle are ever found, so inquire first. I prefer wormwood, because it is easier to pull out where it is not wanted.

    I know of other herbs, but none are as effective as those two. Of the remedies mentioned above, I will vouch for the nutritional yeast. Do not buy brewer's yeast, because it is bitter from the hops used in brewing beer. I have never seen an animal who will eat it. I just put the yeast in a separate dish rather than on top of other food. Animals, especially cats, do not like their food tampered with. I have heard of animals not wanting the yeast. You can buy tablets instead or rub the yeast into the fur. The most popular yeast in my house is Torula flakes, and they don't fly like powders.

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  • Jillrob

    I'm in the Sandhills of NC where fleas and ticks are as numerous as grains of sand. I keep my cats on tablets I buy at the pet shop of brewer's yeast and garlic. The cats LOVE them and have never had fleas or ticks.

  • robynlacy

    Also, being that I am from San Francisco, the sand flea city, remember that flea eggs can live (even in wooden floors) for up to 8 years, so a temporary measure isn't going to stop them......unfortunately!

  • sammiandfargo

    Does fennel work on cats? How about bronze fennel?

  • ARUM

    MuleTeam Boraax. Sprinkle it on carpets, leave it for couple days, Vaccum. Do again after a week. Dehydrates them. Arum---Make sure it's not plain Borax, but MULETEAM Borax, the kind you do laundry with.

  • earthworm2

    fleas are a big problem here in SW Florida . garlic helps if added to their food, Pennyroyal is excellent and I love the smell. Just discovered another remedy the other night for my cat. Mixed a few drops of eucalyptus and lavender essential oils together and applied half a dropper to the back of her neck where you would normally apply Advantage . It's been 3 days and I havn't seen her scratching. Sprinkling Borax and regular vaccuuming helps.

  • texfinn

    So how do you get rid of the ones in homes with wood floors? We have no carpets. Our pets are on the way to flea-free, but there are still some inside.

  • Debbie0108

    Guess I am wondering if the things that work for fleas just naturally work for ticks? Or are there more things to try for ticks?

  • trudyjean82

    A friend of mine had a flea problem and used Wax Mrytle placed all throughout the house overnight (I think) and got rid of them. Wax Mrytle is native here and easy to get. trudyjean

  • wolohobe

    If you have fleas in the house here a trick I learned from a friend of one of my teens who lives with 5 cats. Place a votive in the center of a shallow soup bowl on the floor where the fleas are. Add about 1 cm or 1/2 inch soapy water to the bowl and light the candle. the fleas jump to the light and drown themselves in the soapy water. Note #1: a white or light colored bowl works best. #2: must be done in a darkened room so fleas are attracted to the candlelight. #3: obviously be careful whenever using fire in your house.

  • Violet_Z6

    Use Diatomaceous Earth to get rid of fleas. It is completely organic.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Diatomaceous Earth and Fleas

  • nbergau

    I read that orange peel can prevent fleas.... so I carefully saved the peels in the freezer for weeks, then chucked them into the blender to make a mash which I spread on the dog- a local Bali dog from the mountains of Kintamani- nice long, white fur..... that turned orange.....but wasn't sure if it was the citrus or color that kept parasites at bay......

  • hemnancy

    You can also hang a light bulb over a 5" pan of soapy water 1" deep, so the fleas come to the light and warmth then fall in and drown. We had a major flea infestation in our house when we first got a cat but someone gave me some Advantage and we didn't see another flea for months. Lately it's not working as well though. I bought the size for large dogs and just use a little 1/2" strip on their backs, but it's been in the refrigerator for a long time so may be out of date. Anyway, why is everyone so against Advantage? I haven't noticed any harmful effects to my cats.

    I have read about Guinea hens as sensational for clearing out fleas and ticks from your yard, and also being loud "watchdogs." They sound a little hard to control, though. Has anyone tried them?

  • ARUM

    DO NOT use pure borax on the carpet. It is posionous!!!!! Use 23 Mule Team Borax, a laundery detergent inhancer. ARUM :)

  • limhyl

    I'll ditto the DE suggestion. You just apply it like a flea powder and it works great and as mentioned is completly organic. It kills the fleas by mechanical action not chemical. If you sprinkle it on their food it kills all maner of internal worms. I treated my cats tapeworms very successfully with DE and again it is not a chemical reaction so is completely safe for the animal.

  • Rosieposie269

    HI There I have had a rabbit for 4 years and recently discovered fleas, she is a first floor house rabbit so naively we didnt protect her. The thing is we still seem to have a problem after 3 days of treating.

    Weve used flea powders on her and spot on, weve treated the carpet with powder and used a flea bomb, ive tried sticky tape on white cardboard and soapy water in a pan with a light. Have I got industrial strength fleas or am i being impatient, how long does it take to get rid of them? Ive been bitten all over and am now taking vitamin B complex on reccomendation and they have slowed their feasting of me a bit. PLEASE HELP A FRUSTRATED RABBIT OWNER (if you can!!!!!!)

  • Rosieposie269

    HI There I have had a rabbit for 4 years and recently discovered fleas, she is a first floor house rabbit so naively we didnt protect her. The thing is we still seem to have a problem after 3 days of treating.
    Weve used flea powders on her and spot on, weve treated the carpet with powder and used a flea bomb, ive tried sticky tape on white cardboard and soapy water in a pan with a light. Have I got industrial strength fleas or am i being impatient, how long does it take to get rid of them? Ive been bitten all over and am now taking vitamin B complex on reccomendation and they have slowed their feasting of me a bit. PLEASE HELP A FRUSTRATED RABBIT OWNER (if you can!!!!!!)

  • Rosieposie269

    HI There I have had a rabbit for 4 years and recently discovered fleas, she is a first floor house rabbit so naively we didnt protect her. The thing is we still seem to have a problem after 3 days of treating.
    Weve used flea powders on her and spot on, weve treated the carpet with powder and used a flea bomb, ive tried sticky tape on white cardboard and soapy water in a pan with a light. Have I got industrial strength fleas or am i being impatient, how long does it take to get rid of them? Ive been bitten all over and am now taking vitamin B complex on reccomendation and they have slowed their feasting of me a bit. PLEASE HELP A FRUSTRATED RABBIT OWNER (if you can!!!!!!)

  • gubbins69

    I think my mattress has fleas as every morning I wake up with new bites all over me; my boyfriend doesn't get bitten annoyingly!. I think it is due to our neighbour's cat sneaking in through the open window and sleeping on our bed whilst we're out (I caught it one afternoon).
    Everyone I asked told me that the only way to get rid of them is to burn my mattress or get someone to fumigate the room! But I'm trying to find an alternative, fail safe method of eradicating them. Can anyone confirm if the soapy water, sprig of mint, or any other alternative method works?
    Thanks, Nicola

  • Onion

    Hi there,
    Interesting advice, everyone, thanks!!

    I'm here to learn about the herbs, I don't have any advice, but I did want to jump in about Advantage - Hemnancy - my vet has told me to NEVER use the dog product on cats. To be honest, I don't know why, but he was very emphatic about it. The packaging also says this.

    Just want to help keep your kitty safe!

    Also - these garlic and yeast pills for cats... they like them? Do you just rest them on top of their food and they eat them?

    Good luck to everyone,

  • Onion

    Hemnancy, I'm sorry, I think I spoke too soon. After writing my last post, I wondered why dog formulas shouldn't be used on cats. Reading all sorts of info on the web - it sounds like maybe it really is fine to use the dog formula, you just have to be extremely careful about dosage. Which you were, it sounds like. So sorry about that!

    As for why Advantage is bad/good, the link below also has lots of different perspectives on that...


    Here is a link that might be useful: Holisticat Website with lots of discussion on Advantage

  • vasilken

    Below is a possible explanation of your problem:

    "There seems to be no consistent way to determine the difference between bed bugs and flea bites. Pets, birds, rats or mice may help support bed bug populations. These pests are also common in poultry houses and occasionally infest areas where animals are kept. Bed bugs closely resemble bat and swallow bugs which exhibit similar behavior."

    "Bed bugs usually feed at night, but very hungry bed bugs are less likely to wait for darkness. Bed bugs inject a fluid into their host to help them get their blood meal. This fluid makes some people sensitive to bites, causing irritation, itching and inflammation. Other people can live with bed bugs and not be aware of their presence. In spite of their feeding habits, bed bugs are not known to carry diseases."

    Here is a link that might be useful: U of Maine: Bed Bugs info

  • Sherie1

    Thanks to all for suggestion on natural flea protection. Those that mentioned Diatomaceous Earth(VioletZ6,limhyl)can you tell me if this would be safe for a 4 week kitten to take orally and to rub on?

  • Gourdlvr

    WARNING about DIATOMACIOUS EARTH. They don't tell you it's made of silica-glass- from dead diatoms. It's tragic to have to put a cat down when she inhales it and gets silicosis of the lungs. Mine started coughing up blood and I only put the stuff on her and the carpets once, she inhaled it and had to be put down at 7 months. Think about this please, my vet said it didn't take much at all for an animal the size of a small dog or cat. It rips their lungs up.

  • grandmaof6

    PLEASE don't use DIATOMACEOUS EARTH. It effects the lungs of cat's. My cat passed away within two day's of having a small amount mixed with his food like the company said to do.

  • luckygal

    I regularly give our cats nutritional yeast flakes and 2 of the 3 love it. The Siamese won't touch it. I either put it on a little bit of their dry cat food or give them about a teaspoon plain in a dish. We don't have a flea problem here in the cold north but I feel it's a good nutritional supplement.

  • brendan_of_bonsai

    grandmaof6, I think your cat probably had something else going on. Silicosis takes years and years to develop, literally unless your cat has hydrofloluric acid in its lungs its a matter of cold hard solubility. DE is very safe stuff for mammals.

  • duncable

    I use Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the "mother"). Dilute it with appx. 3 parts water and spray/rub their coat. I only have to do this every 2 weeks or so, and in the summer months (I live in central FL) once a week. It makes them pretty stinky, but for only a few hours, and it has the added benefit of improving the shine and thickness of the coat.

    One of my cats is VERY sensitive to fleas and breaks out with sores when he's bitten, even just once, and I live in a region that is notorious for fleas, so I can attest that this method is effective. They are indoor cats, so that helps, as well.

    I reccomend NEVER using Frontline or Advantage or the like, because I have heard way too many stories of animals, cats and dogs alike, being affected negatively. When I used to use it on my own cats, they would develop bald spots that were very irritated in the exact place the medicine was applied, and it didn't even really stop the sensitive cat's itching and scratching anyway.

    I know lots of people that put a few droplets of ACV in their pet's food or water, but mine won't touch it, and I also know a few people, and have heard many times, that brewers's yeast and garlic work in similar fashion, basically making the animals smell so bad, though only to the fleas/ticks/etc, that they steer clear!

  • rusty_blackhaw

    The "natural" remedies touted for flea control in dogs and cats seem to have one thing in common - there's little evidence any of them work effectively.

    It's virtually guaranteed that none will do any good if there isn't a comprehensive program to also treat the yard, the house (including keeping it vacuumed) and limiting pet exposure to fleas (i.e. keeping cats indoors). Re brewer's yeast - I've seen it mentioned that this is actually used as a food for fleas raised for scientific research. Apple cider vinegar (even when its Magical Properties are compounded through "organic"
    preparations which contain "the mother", is another waste of time, unless possibly if you constantly spray it on your pet, who will no doubt be very unhappy as a result (if you wanted to try this, ordinary vinegar would work just as well as apple cider vinegar, which has no special properties of its own).

    Commercial over-the-counter products including flea collars don't work all that well either. If good hygiene and preventative practices aren't getting the job done and there's a persistent infestation, herbal remedies won't solve the problem. A spraying program will be needed to eliminate fleas from the home for starters.

  • brendan_of_bonsai

    Duncable, do you have a study to show that the side effects of those products are remotely as bad as the effects of flee infestation on the animals? You have provided Anecdotal evidence, and that can be very powerful, but if we run from one problem due to anecdotal evidence in to a bigger problem than really it is a powerful force pushing us away from good health for us and our pets.

  • lmulnix_msn_com

    I live in Denver and my dogs and cat are absolutly miserable due to fleas. I have been fighting the infestation all summer and haven't had any relief from the itchy and scratchy nuisance. I have tried numerous flea baths, flea collars (which was a terrible idea), oil flea treaments, spraying the lawn... lets just say I have had quite the run around. I would just like some truly effective treatment.

  • nonniesharon

    Trudyjean82 suggested using Wax Myrtles. I live in south Louisiana and can attest that this is the safest and fastest way to rid your house and yard of fleas. It's absolutely amazing! And as she said, they're found everywhere around the south. Just break off some branches and place them in every room in your house and around the yard. Your flea problem will be gone!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Wax Myrltes repel fleas

  • naturesfix

    i am new to this site as well as internet an computers. would like to say that most of the solutions for fleas is great and effective however more information an suggestions should be included. leas from previous owners, other people bring in, regardless if you have pets or not is a process an dedication to eliminate the problem. if you have pets i suggest you kennel them a week, vacuum entire home beds furniture. immediately take vacuum outside empty into plastic bag tie securely. all floors should be sprinkled with a mixture of borax, crushed dried lavender,basil,cedar an citronella. let stand 24 hours. vacuum everything up an again empty vacuum outside in plastic bag tied. make a spray to apply to beds, couches, pet beds made with 1/2 of your spray bottle of witch hazel, 5 drops each of lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus fill rest of bottle with water. spray everything. mop all floors an floor boards with same mixture. bath your pets with an oatmeal shampoo and add few drops of lavender and tea tree prior to bringing pets back into home.. use the sray mixture weekly pet beds or where pet spends alot of time, if you dont want to use advantage or products of that nature should bath pet every 2nd or 3rd week in shampoo mixture. hope this is of help an relief to others out there. i also put cedar bow clippings under pet bed an around the yard

  • JPParker

    Cedarcide is amazing. It's 100% all natural and made from red cedar oil. They make it in higher concentrations so you can spray yards. They make in in people concentrations so you can spray yourself, and they make a lighter concentration so you can spray your pets. It was created originally by a company for the US Givt to use to kill Sand Feas and Bed Bugs. They also make pet shampoos and other products. This stuff is AMAZING! And all you are left with is the clean smell of cedar for a few minutes. They also offer it in all kinds of sizes from 4oz travel sizes to multi gallons.

    I've used this to kill everything from roaches to mosquitoes to ants. It also kills flying insects like flies. And when you have pets who pee in the back yard, it's great to spray the yard to keep flies away.

    The only downside, and it's minor, is not to get it on your plants. I've had it burn the leaves of some house plants and a few tomato bushes because I wasn't careful where I sprayed it.

    You can either buy it on their site or on Amazon. I don't work for them and are no way affiliated with them. Just love the product.

    Here is a link that might be useful: cedar cide

  • lucha2014

    Put a small tea spoon of vinager in your dogs water dish every day. It is good against fleas, Mosquitos, teeks, and their coat will stay clean and healthy. you will see a difference in two weeks.

  • OrganicAdam

    I use diatomaceous earth(food grade) I like this on my carpets cuz if your pooch has fleas u can bet their in your carpet too... so I'm constantly walking around the house spreading DE with a flour sifter... the down fall is it only affects the fleas if they are directly applied with it.... the silica in the DE cuts up the exo skeleton of the fleas an then they dehydrate.... I'm no scientist but its organic an works well. I even apply it on my dogs n cat. It can even de-worm your animals and even humans... a must Have for organic living... remember food grade Diatomaceous earth.... hope I helped ... try it on garden pest as well

  • JagJoe98

    To annette's post: DO NOT feed your dog garlic. Garlic and onions destroy the red blood cells in your dog and they will literally suffocate to death. We lost a Yorkie some years ago from garlic on its food.

  • Jessica1717

    DO NOT EVER FEED GARLIC TO DOGS! Some dogs are predisposed to have a blood disease and the garlic actually triggers it out of dormancy. We lost our beloved dog due to this and it happened out of the blue.

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