Natural Methods for Controlling Fleas
by www.vacuum-home.com (guest article by Shirin Shah)
As most pet owners know, fleas are often unwanted companions that cause a number of health hazards to both you and your pet. While health risks rung bigger for your pet, flea bites on humans can still transmit other parasites such as worms. Fleas are also notorious for finding niches in your home and will get into any area where your pet sleeps or plays. Normally, the tell-tale sign of a flea infestation is when you see gnat like critters in your home or on your pet. But if you're unsure, run a fine tooth comb and groom your dog or cat. If you find little black knits that look like dirt, then you have fleas; the little black speckles are actually flea excrement stuck to your pet's fur.
Most pet owners revert to flea treatments to solve this problem. However, many flea treatments have toxic elements that are harmful to your pets. There are natural effective ways to eliminate fleas without polluting your environment or poisoning your pet.
While many pet owners thing grooming pets regularly is an adequate way to control fleas, the fact is that fleas are notoriously hard to detect and exist in stages that go beyond just their final adult stage - at which point they become detected. For effective flea control, consider two battlefronts: indoor and outdoor.
Scientific Studies Show Vacuuming Kills Fleas
Fleas have multiple life stage, while adult fleas mate and feed off of their initial host animal, females lay eggs on the floor, furniture, and bedding. After about fourteen days these insects then go through three larval stages before they reach the adult stage.
Recent scientific studies have shown that by merely vacuuming, fleas in all stages of their lives can be eliminated anywhere between 96 to 100 percent, through the combination of brushes, fans and powerful air currents. The flea's journey into a vacuum is a one-way trip that begins when the vacuum brushes rapidly wear away the cuticle, a waxy out layer found on most insects that help them stay hydrated. Minus this protection, adult fleas, larvae and pupae have a tendency to die of dehydration. While often seen as a just a mediocre household tip, vacuuming fleas have now been proven to work quickly quietly and effectively.
The same goes for the unhatched eggs, which also cannot survive the stress of a vacuum. Focus your efforts to the areas where your pet spends most of his time. The problem with this, however, is that although your pet might spend 23 hours a day sleeping in one nook of the room, the other 1 hour a day is spent running around your whole house. Logic dictates that anyplace your pet goes the fleas can (and will) follow. So unless an area is absolutely off limits to your pet (and your pet actually obeys these rules), it will need to be vacuumed just as much as anyplace else. Remember, the goal is total eradication of your fleas; there are no acceptable levels of infestation.
Vacuuming is a great strategy
because it involves
no chemicals and physically removes the problem. If you are in the
market for a new one, try to find a bagless
model; this makes it a lot cheaper and easier to use for flea control.
Any extra hoses or attachments it might have are good because they will
let you get into the nooks and crannies a little easier.
While pets play and roam outdoors, they're walking flea magnets. If you have pets, you definitely have fleas lurking in your yard, which is why this is one area that has to be target for effective flea control. However, this becomes difficult since you can't exactly vacuum your yard. There are options you can consider if you choose to take control of fleas both indoors and outdoors. One of the the best natural method to kill outdoor fleas is by using diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth is soil that is essentially crushed up sea-shells. It's an all natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. These plants have been part of the earth's ecology since prehistoric times. About 30 million years ago, the diatoms built up into deep chalky deposits of diatomite - which are mined and group up to a powder much like talcum powder. The material won't seem that much different to you -it will, however, make a big difference to the fleas.
This type of soil has microscopic, jagged edges that will make tiny cuts on the outside of insects that crawl over it. You and your pets won't notice it, but the soil will cut fleas and cause them to leak water; they will gradually dehydrate and die. Diatomaceous earth is a safe, environmentally friendly way to kill the fleas and other pests that are living in your backyard. You won't do any permanent damage because no chemicals are involved - however, if you have some other insect that you want to live in your back yard for some reason, you shouldn't put this out there.
This lets us breathe a sigh of relief as we no longer have to rely on chemicals or toxins and instead have a simple, easy and efficient way to remove fleas. This is especially reassuring as effectiveness of insecticides has been shown to diminish as time goes on and insects develop a strong immunity to the chemicals.