Fleas can be extremely difficult to get rid of once they have infested your yard, home or pet. Though you can acquire medications and chemical sprays and repellents to control and prevent fleas, you may also opt for a more holistic approach to flea control using natural, non-toxic products.
One of the best non-toxic ways to control fleas in outdoor areas is to purchase and apply tiny worms called nematodes to the soil with a lawn sprayer. Nematodes eat flea larvae in the grass and soil and are harmless to everything else in the environment. According to the Alt4Animals website, nematodes cause about a 90 percent decrease in the number of flea larvae in outdoor areas within 24 hours. Nematodes are available at pet stores and garden suppliers, as well as online. They need to be reapplied periodically according to the instructions, as the worms die when their food--the flea larvae--diminishes.
Treat Indoor areas during flea season along with outdoor areas to prevent fleas from entering the home or to get rid of an existing flea infestation. Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossilized algae. Though it's non-toxic, you should nonetheless wear a mask while applying it to carpeted areas. Vacuum diatomaceous earth from your carpets after letting it sit for several hours. You can also apply regular table salt or borax to carpets, and vacuum the next day to kill adult fleas and larvae. For existing flea infestations, take care to remove the vacuum bag or canister contents into an airtight bag and throw them away or freeze them to prevent the eggs from hatching.
Non-toxic flea control on your pets is the most important step in ridding your home and animals of an infestation. If your pet is already infested, purchase an extremely fine-toothed flea comb at a pet supplier and thoroughly comb your pet several times a day to remove fleas and eggs. Dip the comb into a bowl of warm, soapy water frequently to remove and kill the fleas caught in the comb. Chemical flea shampoos are usually unnecessary. Regular pet shampoos or even dish detergent can kill fleas and soothe your pet's skin. You can also add essential oils, a natural flea repellent, to a dog's bath. Cats, however, can get ill if they ingest essential oils left on the fur or skin after bathing.
To deter fleas from biting and making your pet their home, feed them a diet rich in nutrients. Flea-repelling black walnut is available in liquid or capsule form. High doses of black walnut can be toxic to pets, so read the label thoroughly and carefully monitor the dose. Consult your veterinarian before changing your pet's diet or introducing any flea control products, even non-toxic ones.