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Fleas! (x-posted in Nat.Home and body care)

483 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  rainsmom
ok so we are currently living with my parents, who have two cats, both outdoor/indoor cats, and four dogs whom are allowed outside as well.

they have fleas.

they arent infested badly, however now the carpets ARE!!!
after playing on my bedroom floor with Addy i had four fleas on my legs, and Addy had one on her head!!!! *yuck*!

so, i dont want to use chemicals on the carpet, the animals are getting flea meds from the vet, but the carpets... oh i am almost in tears thinking about the infestation cycle, carpet>dogs>carpet>cats>carpet>both cats and dogs>carpet. *shudder*

ANY advice is greatly appreciated
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I don't know how natural this is, but I use Borax powder for fleas. We had a rental house that was infested. The landlord (my BIL) had bombed and there were still fleas. We bombed again (before moving in.) I was at the end of my rope when I used Borax powder (mixed with salt) and sprinkled it all over the carpet. Within 2 weeks, we were flea free (our cats were indoor only and this was before we had our dogs.) I wouldn't put it down if I had a crawling baby, but I think it's ok other than that (and much better than chemicals.) I also put dried mint leaves between the matresses and the sheets and some mint extract on blankets to repel them from the beds.
Use baking soda! Baking soda and/or vinegar solves pretty much anything.

Here are the instructions for eradicating fleas from Frugal Living (

Mix equal parts of table salt and baking soda together and sprinkle over the carpets. Instruct several children (or volunteers) to run all around on the carpets until the soda and salt is no longer visable.

Let set overnight. Vacuum carpets carefully, going over it more than once. All adult fleas should be dead or too thirsty to breed. Fleas go through at least one life cycle in which they are impervious to nuclear devices, so you will need to salt and soda your carpets two more times to kill all the fleas and potential fleas. Dusting your dog with baking soda several hours before a bath will kill a lot of fleas and a lot of odor. But be sure to wash or rinse the baking soda off the dog or the dog could be at some risk of skin trouble.

Caution! Do not try this on a rainy day! You will wake up to wet carpets as the salt pulls the moisture out of the air. If you live in a damp climate, sprinkle soda and salt in the morning. Vacuum 3 - 5 hours later.
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I know you x-posted to natural home and body care, so you may not like this answer, but the consensus here is that the natural remedies don't really work, or don't work consistently. Fleas were here long before we were, and they're incredibly resistant to environmental changes, including things like dessication (borax and salt are dessicants, which is why they do work on some insects). And fleas are not just nuisances--they're health hazards. Fleas give animals (and, rarely, people) tapeworm infestations, and they cause infected bites, hot spots, and other nasty things. I haven't owned a can of OFF in years, but I will and DO use Frontline and Advantage for fleas.

What meds are the animals getting? That will stop a lot of the cycle right there if they're getting good stuff. For the carpets, I think that the "bombs" are pretty bad and I know they trigger my sensitivities like crazy. What worked for us the one time it got bad (new house; I think that fleas take advantage of changes, like construction or new moves) was Frontline (that particular brand name, not anything else) spray along all of the edges of the room, under couches and beds, and vigorous, multiple-times-a-day vacuuming with a very good vacuum. Since my kids don't generally play at the edges of a room or under the couches, I felt that their exposure was minimal, and when it was paired with Frontline on the dogs and cats our problem was over in a week or two.
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I agree that the "unnatural" remedies such as Frontline and Advantage are a good choice of action... you will be amazed at how fast they work. Advantage was literally a lifesaver for an old dog of mine with severe allergies (sadly, passed due to other reasons a few years ago). I use Advantage when needed, we live in a fairly flea-happy city (hot and humid!) and havent had any problems in a LONG time (animal or human)....usually we administer it in late spring/early summer and maybe again in late summer, thats it.
I just want to add that I do use Advantage on the pets, but use the Borax as an extra step when we've had to get infestation down. Pre-dogs, I only needed to treat the cats for a short time since they didn't go outside.
I live in we dont get alot of fleas or ticks, but last summer we did and I used Flea Busters and another product from this site ONLY NATURAL PET:

they have a money back guarantee and can be used inside and out......cant beat that! and they carry Flea Busters which is also a great product. My fleas were gone in a week. I had a kitten at the time, so I was really concerned about using toxic products. Thankfully I didnt have to use Advantage. When I lived in N.Calif......I did have to use it once bc my dog had severe flea allergies. We put her on a natural food diet, treated the yard and the house, and it took care of it.
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