More Getting Rid of Fleas

Back when I was in my high school years, I learned some nonsense rhymes. Some of them were for Speech and Journalism and some were ones I happened to find on my own. The ones for S&J served a purpose. The theory was that if we made big enough fools of ourselves in front of the class, we could get up and speak to a group with no problem. I’m not claiming this to be one that was required. I learned this outside of class and it’s taking up space in my brain:

A flea and a fly were in prison,
In prison so what could they do?
“Let us fly” said the flea.
“Let us flee” said the fly
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

Strange how it does seem to fit the situation, though. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last Sunday I’d tried to find some brewer’s yeast powder with no luck at all. I did buy a bottle of brewer’s yeast tablets. Since necessity is the mother of invention, my ingenuity took over. I poured a goodly number of the tablets into my spice mill (aka a Black & Decker coffee grinder) and let it whirl them until they were a fairly fine powder. Nothing like I really wanted but okay in a pinch. I took the tea strainer DD had given me one Christmas years ago (it was part of my gift) and put it through. There were some coarse pieces I tried to break up with the handle of a table knife but it didn’t work too well. I had enough for the purpose I had in mind.

I tend to be a packrat and I’d saved one of the empty Frontier spice bottles. It was clean and dry so I took a funnel and put the resulting powder in it. Then I hunted down Twinkle. She looked at me with a baleful eye like, “What are you planning to do to me now?” She had definitely not liked the tea tree oil spray even though the fleas had left her alone until it wore off. Since she liked the tablets, I thought she surely wouldn’t mind the powder. I shook some on her back from her neck to the base of her tail and started rubbing it into her fur. It did not make her happy. She put up with some more shaking and rubbing but finally got away. With a sniff or two she went to work licking it off. I’d read that’s probably what would happen but it should still do the job.

Do the job was right! The fleas left her and settled on me! What’s sauce for the cat should be sauce for the human, don’t you think? I started sprinkling it on myself but it didn’t want to stick except for what I put on my head. My hair held it but the other kind of slid off my skin. There had to be another way. I had a lawn and garden spray bottle I’d put a molasses solution in to spray the tomato plants. I took what was left and poured it into my Square Foot Garden box and put water into the now empty bottle. I poured the rest of the powdered tablets in and shook it up. Voilà! I had something that would work for me!

I took off my clothes and sprayed my nekkid bod, then put my clothes back on and sprayed them. Later, I found that it was easier to spray my clothes when I didn’t have them on. Ah! sweet relief! I was repelling the fleas without toxic chemicals. It wasn’t killing them but it was making their lives most unpleasant.

You might remember from last week’s post I’d bought borax and a push broom. I started having second thoughts about using them. The fact that I could taste the borax on my lips without opening the box wasn’t making me comfortable. There are all sorts of warnings associated with its use.

The light (LED) and sticky paper were working well. This is the second sheet I’d put down:

Flea Trap

There was an unfortunate spider that ended up on it, too, but it was the only critter other than fleas.

I started thinking. Sometimes that can be a dangerous thing for me to do. In this case, though, I feel it was inspired. You see, I’d been praying and other people have been praying that I’d be able to get rid of the pests. I wanted to do it without poisoning ourselves or the environment. Hmmmmmmm. If something kept the fleas off Twinkle and me, why couldn’t it keep them out of the house? I’d already kept them out of my bed by spraying the sheets, pillowcase and comforter. It smelled funny but that was okay. I could sleep.

That’s when I went to work. I vacuumed the floor and started spraying. My hand got tired but I kept on. I switched hands and sprayed some more. The fleas started trying to jump back on me but they found more of the same stuff they were trying to escape.

When it dried out, it seemed to wear off some because here they came back. I turned on the air conditioner and there was another invasion. What was going on? There had to be an answer.

Later that night, I was google talk-ing to merm about my problem and he was alarmed he’d get eaten up when they visit. We were batting ideas back and forth about where the critters were coming from when a light went on. The cats under the house! That had to be it! He agreed.

Yesterday, I picked up the bulk package of brewer’s yeast the lady from church had gotten for me. I had plenty of ammunition now. It was a little over a lub. I put more in the shaker and went to work last night. I sprinkled it into the ductwork through the registers. Today, I took a shower and washed all the armor I’d been wearing off. I was a little jittery about living without it but I haven’t been attacked except when I went outside.

Wally World had a pressure sprayer that’s the right size for me to handle. Tomorrow, I’d planned to spray the yard with beneficial nematodes but I think I’ll try the brewer’s yeast first. It isn’t nearly as expensive and it’s working for the house. And Twinkle. And me.

Note: Just after I posted this, I found a flea on my leg. So it isn’t perfect yet but I’ll still stick with the program unless there is another outbreak.

10 Responses to More Getting Rid of Fleas

  1. Pebbles September 2, 2008 at 5:34 am #

    My grandmother used leaves of her sasparilla tree. Every summer she would cast branches and loose leaves on the hardwood floors and leave them to be walked on for a few days. That released the oils in the leaves and the fleas stayed outside.

  2. Tommie September 2, 2008 at 6:24 am #

    Is that the same as sassafras? That would smell better than brewer’s yeast but I don’t know what Twinkle would think about it. I could still use the BY on her and the leaves in the house. With the equipment we have now (blenders, food processors) I could make an extract and not have to depend on traffic to do the job. Hmmmmm. Thinking again. Can you hear the wheels turning? Thanks for that, Pebbles!

  3. Pebbles September 2, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    Found on Greenlivingideas.com:

    You don’t have to depend on toxic pesticides to get a handle on your pets’ mobile flea population!

    Some of the best natural flea deterrents can be found in your kitchen or herb garden . . .

    If your dog or cat is suffering from fleas, make a “tea” of lemon peel and water, and let it steep overnight. Citrus naturally repels fleas—if you sponge the tea on your flea-infested pet, the fleas will die instantly.
    Rub your pet all over with tansy, fennel, basil or mint, pennyroyal, or another strong smelling herb. You can also grow these herbs, as well as wormwood, rue, pyrethrum, or marigolds around kennel areas or parts of the yard where your pet likes to play or bask in the sun.
    Add salt to the water that you bathe your pet in to kill fleas.
    Add brewer’s yeast to your pets’ food—animals that eat brewer’s yeast are distasteful to fleas. This natural “additive” will give them a shiny coat to boot!
    To keep fleas at bay in your home, sprinkle 20 Mule Team Borax on carpets, sofas, and under furniture and cushions. Be sure to first test the product on a small, unobtrusive area to make sure it is safe to use on your fabric.

  4. Tommie September 2, 2008 at 8:52 pm #

    Wow! That’s a lot of information in that one short article! How did I not find it? The WWW is such a big place…Thanks, Pebbles. I’ll have to bookmark one of my own pages now. As I said, I bought the 20 Mule Team Borax but I’d rather not use it. Looks like there are plenty of other options, though.

    I would like to say one thing. Twinkle would have me torn to shreds if I tried to bathe her. Bathing Twinkle is not something I will attempt in this lifetime unless I completely lose my marbles and then I might try it.

  5. Anonymous September 6, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    try using some diatomaceous earth. safe, non chemical way to kill the fleas.

  6. Tommie September 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    Not good to inhale it, though, and using it outside can be harmful to critters like earthworms. I considered it but decided against it after weighing the pros and cons.

  7. Fruitloop September 14, 2008 at 11:03 am #

    Wow, what a ‘pickle’ you were in.

    XO
    FLoop

  8. Tommie September 14, 2008 at 11:22 am #

    And it wasn’t Bubbies!

  9. Gordon November 25, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    One way to kill fleas is to keep your environment clean especially your backyard. This can be achieved by utilizing one of many yard sprays particulary made for this purpose.There are a lot of this products available in the market.

  10. Lisa May 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    I use dawn and a little water in a pie pan then put under bright light.

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