And I’ve come up with a game plan. About a week ago we were under full attack from the little critters. Now, having 3 cats we would occasionally see one, kill it and life would go on. But mid-last week I was standing in the middle of our huge bathroom, which is completely tiled, and at least 5 or 6 fleas were jumping cartwheels on and around my ankles. Needless to say I flipped completely out! As I was searching for natural ways to eliminate them I read that to test if you have fleas you should put on white socks (they are attracted to white) and walk around. They say if you get two or three of them on you within a one minute time frame you have a bad infestation. Well, way more than that was jumping on me. And right about that same time they were acting like that in every room of the house. Maybe the humidity and rains drove them in. Like I said, from one day to the next we were under full fledged attack. Apparently they do not like WET, so all the rains pushed them inside. At least that’s the conclusion I came up with since we did not have that many the day before.
Anyway…you are probably wondering what information I found on getting rid of them naturally. First I’ll list all the products I had to round up. Then explain what how I found out to use them. And even talk about additional things you can do that we haven’t gotten to yet.
List of things you will need:
Diatomaceous Earth (food grade)
Dried Pennyroyal leaves (as if you were going to make tea, but DO NOT drink it or take in internally in any way) Pennyroyal Essential Oil
Neem Pet Shampoo (can be purchased online or any health food store)
Seems like a lot of stuff ~ huh? Well, some of it I’m sure you already have around the house. Diatomaceous Earth is not expensive. I found a good online source for it GardenHarvestSupply. All of this stuff is going to last you a while. So if it seems it would be cheaper to just go buy a bottle of bug killer ~ think about how much healthier all these choices really are and how far they will go.
1. The first thing I did was make some strong Pennyroyal Tea. You want to make sure it’s cooled off all the way. In case you don’t quite know how to make tea from fresh or dried leaves ~ you just boil some water and pour it over the leaves. I put in a generous amount of dried leaves since I wanted to make a strong tea. I also boiled water and poured it into a bowl over a freshly cut up lemon. So basically I ended up with some pennyroyal tea and some lemon water. After both steeped for a while I combined them into one pitcher.
Fleas are repelled by lemons and pennyroyal. So I figured I’d combine them for a rinse to pour over the cats after we bathed them with the Neem Pet Shampoo. But I didn’t bathe the cats just yet.
2. I then stripped all the beds and gathered up all the rugs that fit in the washing machine and started washing it all with hot water.
With all the beds stripped we lifted up the mattresses and vacuumed real good under each bed and sprinkled the DE, baking soda and salt where the bed sits. Also we moved all furniture that we were able to move and sprinkled all of the above under there as well.
3. All that being done we moved onto the cats. Each cat got bathed with the Neem Shampoo and then I took the pennyroyal tea / lemon water mixture and poured it over them, kind of like you would a cream rinse, and did not rinse it off.
4. We did not feed the cats first thing in the morning because I wanted them to be good and hungry for this next step. As long as you bought Food Grade DE, it’s perfectly safe to give it to your pets in their food. I say “in their food” because most dogs or cats are not going to eat up some crazy powder you try to give them. LOL! Cats can have up to 1 teaspoon full daily. There are a host of benefits this provides to their digestive tract. More on that in another post. But the main benefit we are going for here is that it rids them of internal pests ~ worms. When you have a large infestation of fleas your cats are susceptible to getting worms. So as a safe guard we decided to give this to them. We figured we’d treat them from the inside out since we are “attacking” them already ~ or at least that’s how they felt. :~)
5. Next we spent a whole afternoon sprinkling the DE, baking soda and salt all over the rest of the carpeted and tiled floors. If you read thoroughly you would see that we had only sprinkled under the furniture so far. I also went out to the screened porch and sprinkled it all over that room too since this is the corridor from the outside to the inside. After we are done completely treating the house we will also sprinkle the DE all over the yard.
Anyway, this is where we left off. We are now letting the powdery goodness sit all over the carpets for a couple of days. This is the first time we’ve had to treat the house like this. And so far so good. The fleas are definitely slowing down. Slowing down is why we are letting it sit before vacuuming it all up. Now when one jumps on us my husband has started catching it and rubbing it into the powder that’s all over the floor. The first time he did this he noticed that immediately it just stops moving. Instant deadness! WOOHOO! That means the stuff works. And instead of 5 or 6 jumping up and down on our feet it’s just an occasional “one” that jumps up. That is a great sign.
I’ve kept some of the pennyroyal tea / lemon water mixture to put into a spray bottle. If I see any fleas on the cats I will immediately grab the spray bottle and attack. Of course the cats will love this.
Did you notice that I have not used the borax yet? Well that leads me to the last step that we have not gotten to do yet.
7. We have a landscape sprayer that has never had chemicals in it. We are going to dissolve some borax and salt (quite a bit to again attack full on) into water and fill the sprayer. After all the floors have been vacuumed of the above powder we will lightly spray all the carpets with this final mixture. Borax and salt are supposed to kill all flea larvae and eggs. This will ~ hopefully ~ keep us from having to repeat this whole process again in 10 – 14 days.
WHEW!!! Are you tired out just reading about this process. Well it’s a bear of a job let me tell you. But its worth it knowing that #1 it’s working and #2 we are not putting toxic volatile products into our home.
More posts to come this week… The stuff I ordered to start making Bokashi will be here on Thursday and we are starting up our worm bin again. So don’t forget to check back later on this week.
I hope you all have a great week!