Having a pet is a promise of loving companionship. While these furry companions bring lots of love and joy into a pet parent’s life, they also attract bugs and pests like ticks and fleas, which attach to their skin and fur. These pests are unhygienic and unsafe as they potentially also carry illnesses like tick fever, which can even be fatal. Here are some home remedies that should be used frequently to prevent flea and tick infestation.
This is a fine, powder-like substance which is made from silica. The same substance that makes up sand. This diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled on various furniture, rugs, and even bedding. One can use it generously around the house and even at the corners. This substance helps in drying up the fleas and the eggs, which means it can kill the infestation, if any, in the house. Leave this lying around for a couple of hours, and then vacuum it up. This is a safe and non-toxic remedy that can help keep ticks and fleas away from one’s pets. However, one thing to note is that the dusty powder can irritate the airways if breathed in. So it is important to not stay in the house while this is sprinkled around.
Citrus is a natural repellent for fleas because of its acidic nature, and it also kills their eggs. Citrus extraction from oranges or lemons is a useful home remedy for treating tick and flea infestation. Take a few orange and lemon peels and boil them in water. Let the water cool down and filter it out to bottle it up in a spray bottle. This spray can be used around the house to help kill the fleas and their eggs. Extracts from citrus peels, like d-limonene and linalool, are easily available in the market and can be bought to use at home for these pests. One of the best things about these extracts is that they are non-toxic to both pets and humans. Moreover, they add a citrusy fragrance to the room.
Similarly, there is a lemon wash remedy with salt, which can also be applied to a pet’s fur that helps in repelling these pests. To prepare this remedy, take 4 slices of lemon, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 6 cups of water. Boil the water and add the lemon slices and salt. Let this mixture cool down, and the ingredients steep overnight. The next day, spray the mixture generously on the pet’s fur. The lemon water coating will help keep fleas and ticks away, while the salt dehydrates the fleas and their eggs, which can ultimately help in killing them.
The evidence of how well this works still remains inconclusive, but herbal sprays are also a remedy option that some people suggest. Some of the essential oils that are used include:
Lavender oil: This oil is known to repel both ticks and fleas, and some suggest adding it to the pet’s bathing routine to help soothe any irritated skin issues and prevent infections.
Lemongrass oil: This has active ingredients like citral and geraniol, which are known to be natural flea repellents. Add a few drops of this oil to a spray bottle, mix it well, and spray it around the house and on the pet’s fur.
Peppermint, rosemary, cedar, citronella, and eucalyptus are all some of the popular options suggested by some. However, it is important to speak to a vet to know the best approach. If there are any noticeable signs of infection in the pet, it is recommended to seek immediate help from a vet for diagnosis and treatment.
This is a common ingredient found in most washing powders or detergents. This can be bought independently from a pharmacy as well. It is a completely safe product to use in a house with pets. Like diatomaceous earth, this boric acid can be sprinkled on furniture, carpet, and bedding. This comes in a powder form and can easily spread around the house. Keep it as it is for a couple of hours, and then vacuum up the whole house. This boric acid helps in killing these pests and the eggs left behind. While it is safe to use, it is recommended to keep babies away from it as they may get too close to it. Apart from that, it is observed that the upholstery and carpet may get damaged over time with regular use of this product. So, use some precautions while applying this.
Apart from the home remedies mentioned above, here are other preventive measures to keep these pests away from home and the pets.
This is another effective and non-toxic way to keep fleas away from pets. They work by emitting yellow-green light for 10 minutes and then flashing off for 5 seconds before starting up again. This on-and-off mechanism tricks fleas into thinking it’s a host, causing them to jump towards it and get trapped. This method can be used to attract any living fleas in the house, on furniture, carpets, or anywhere else as they jump to find their host.
Vacuum and steam clean
A regular deep cleaning can keep the house free of pests easily. It is very important to thoroughly clean the house every couple of weeks, especially if one has a pet. This includes vacuuming the carpet, furniture, small nooks and crannies, closet, pet bedding especially, small crevices underneath the furniture, under the bed, and cleaning the floor. Steam cleaning is also helpful similarly. Some also suggest sprinkling cornstarch before vacuuming to help dry up the pests and their eggs. Once the job is done, make sure to wash the canister properly with hot water and soap.
To ensure that the pet’s bedding is free of pests, it’s important to wash and dry the laundry in hot water and high temperature. A temperature of 60 to 70 degrees Celsius (140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit) for 10 to 20 minutes is sufficient to kill these small pests, which can infest by the hundreds.