Fleas are tenacious, troublesome and abundant. They hitch rides on pant legs, socks and shoes, and even if you don’t own a pet, fleas can still be a problem. However, you do not need to turn yourself and your home into a battleground of chemical warfare. Just a few common, natural products can keep fleas off you and out of your home.
A flea adapts easily to its environment, can live up to 90 days, can lay 60 eggs a day and can survive weeks on a single meal of your blood. For every flea you see in your home, there may be up to 30 more living in the vicinity.
Many essential oils have bug-repellent properties. Mix 5 drops of lavender oil, citronella oil, cedarwood oil or pennyroyal oil with 1 tbsp. of witch hazel. Add 4 tbsp. of water. Either wipe or spray the mixture on skin and clothing to repel fleas and other insects.
Around the House
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth, a natural fossilized algae available at garden stores, on carpets and upholstered furniture. Leave on overnight and vacuum. The diatomaceous earth particles penetrate the fleas’ exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate and die. Re-treat weekly until the infestation is gone.
In the Yard
Plant fleabane daisy erigeron to repel fleas in your yard. Yards can also be treated with nematodes that feed on fleas, their larvae and their eggs.