They sneak in undetected on pets, clothing and even garden flowers. If you ignore the pesky critters, for even a few days, you could end up with a full-blown flea invasion. Unwelcome in any number, fleas can be carriers of diseases and parasites, and if you find one in your home, more are probably lurking nearby. An adult female flea can lay up to 2,000 eggs within three weeks of hatching. A few home remedies and natural products can get help rid of fleas but the keys are prompt treatment and persistence.
Fleas can jump quite high, but they typically congregate at floor level -- burrowing deeply in your carpet, where they rapidly breed. Successful flea treatment involves laundering towels and bedding, vacuuming carpet, upholstery and even hardwood floors frequently -- as well as applying one of the following three products:
- Borax: common laundry detergent booster
- Salt: finely powdered
- Diatomaceous earth: pulverized fossil powder found in farm-supply stores
You can find finely powdered salt in some grocery stores, or you can whir it to a fine powder in your food processor. Both salt and diatomaceous earth are desiccants and kill fleas by drying them up. Borax has insecticidal properties that kill fleas. Use one or more of the products in the ensuing manner.
Sprinkle carpet with enough powder to look "dusty."
Sweep the carpet with a broom to work the powder as deeply as possible.
Leave the powder in the carpet for one to two days.
Diatomaceous earth may also be mixed with water and sprayed on animal bedding, but don’t use salt or borax on or around your pets. Purchase only food grade diatomaceous earth – not the kind used in swimming pool filters – to ensure your pet’s safety.
Flea and Tick Repellants
Stuff your pet’s bedding with fresh cedar chips, to repel fleas and ticks. Sprinkle some ground fennel, rosemary or eucalyptus leaves around the bedding or make small fabric sachets and tuck them in the doghouse to send fleas scurrying.