I know there are people who will say, “Bomb the place and have it done!” I’m sorry but bombing my house isn’t something I want to do. I live here. Twinkle lives here. Spiders live here and I learned long ago to Be Nice to Spiders. Plus there’s Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web. Any arachnologist will tell you most spiders are on our side and should be protected and not wiped out wholesale to do away with the dreaded fleas. Bombing is not an option.
You say, “You are still living with fleas?” Well, sort of. Not really. They are definitely on their way out. Finding a safe, effective, relatively non-toxic approach has been a long-drawn out process for me but it’s been a blessing, too. “WHAT?? Your experience with fleas has been a BLESSING?” Yes. It has been a blessing. I have discovered there are more ways to do the fleas in or keep them away than using methods that endanger the health of those creatures that inhabit my house with me.
Before you ever have to cope with an invasion (which may or may not happen) feed your pet brewer’s yeast. That will protect him/her from the outset. Now, don’t tell me some animals can’t tolerate brewer’s yeast. I already know that and if yours can’t more’s the pity. Try it and if Fido or Fluffy has an unwanted reaction, don’t give it to him/her again. BUT IF NOTHING HAPPENS, FEED IT TO YOUR PETS DAILY. You can google it and find out how much to give based on body weight, etc. I used to give Twinkle commercial cat vitamins that listed brewer’s yeast as the first ingredient but I quit giving them to her when I transitioned her to raw. Looking back, I should have continued to give her brewer’s yeast tablets, anyway. They are cheap and you can get them at Wally World or any number of other stores. I give her a couple a day and I mix the powder into coconut oil which she willingly laps up. The powder is a little more difficult to get if you don’t live close to a health food store.
If you carry fleas into your house from the local population of untreated animals and you don’t have the brewer’s yeast powder, toss some of the tablets into a spice grinder or coffee mill and whirl them until they are pulverized. Mix them with water, strain and put into a spray bottle. Mist your clothes and yourself and the fleas will not like the way you smell/taste. I wouldn’t advise doing this when you are going out in public. It definitely leaves a savory smell. For a wonder, Twinkle will hold still while I spray her with this mixture.
You can even spray the carpet and furniture with the brewer’s yeast and water but don’t saturate. It can spot solid colored fabrics so it’s noticeable. Unless you are desperate like I was, test it on a hidden place to see if it will stain. If your life is being taken over by fleas you might not care.
Another repellent involves boiling your orange peels after you make your OJ in the morning. Let them simmer in water to cover for 15 minutes, then let it steep, covered, all day. Strain that evening and put the liquid in a squeeze bottle or pressure sprayer. Lightly spray carpet and furniture but don’t spray yourself or the pets. This may even kill some of the fleas but it doesn’t last long. It’s more of a stopgap measure. It will make the house smell good, too.
Now, start on the house. This will require mothballs and salt. It won’t take many of the first but I bought a case of the second for less than $5 including tax. Buy the cheapest salt available. You aren’t going to be eating it.
Put a few mothballs in your vacuum cleaner bag or bin (I have a Dyson Animal so it’s a bin for me), clear the floor and vacuum it. One of the girls at work told me about this method. She saw it on either DIY or HGTV. It must’ve been one of those little “tips” they put between commercials because I haven’t been able to find it.
After you vacuum and dispose of the bag or contents of the bin in a sealed plastic bag, sprinkle salt on the floor and furniture. It won’t look pretty but we aren’t going with pretty here. We want results. We want them fast and we don’t want to poison the place. I did a lot of research on using salt to kill fleas and found one little comment that it made the carpet wet. I was prepared for what, otherwise, would have been a surprise. It didn’t make all the carpet feel wet but it did attract moisture in my bedroom, the bathrooms, and the kitchen.
Leave the salt on the floors for as long as you can tolerate it. I’m so educated on this subject I impress myself. You can read all about the life cycle of the flea here. Based on the fact that some eggs take up to six days to hatch, I can live with salt on the floors for a week and be fine. It’s like being on vacation and tracking in sand from the beach. Ha! That isn’t even close but I can still handle it.
I’m still in the leaving-salt-on-the-floors stage. The next step for me will be shampooing the carpet (which it needs, anyway). There’s a lot of work ahead of me but I eat raw so I’m up to the challenge!