Kill those Dirty FleasEven if you don't have pets, it is entirely possible that fleas may invade your home and use you and your family as a food source.
At the very onset of any sign of fleas, you need to start the battle to get rid of them before they take over.
About 2000 different species of fleas exist world wide. They all have one thing in common; they feed on the blood of animals and humans.
Fleas do not need to feed every day and can go without a meal as long several months. Depending on the species, individuals can live anywhere from a month up to two years. A single female can produce up to a thousand offspring in her lifetime.
As tiny as they are, fleas can become a big problem as well as transmit illness, parasites and diseases to you and your pets. It is well known that fleas are instrumental in transmitting tapeworm to dogs. Another reaction is flea allergy dermatitis which is caused first by the bite itself, then aggravated by the constant scratching that results. A puppy or kitten which is heavily infested can be afflicted with anemia which can become life threatening. In addition, some fleas are carriers of typhus, plague and other dread diseases.
In order to get rid of fleas, begin your war outside. Use Sevin dust in your garage, yard, and on your lawn. It won't harm anything and will also take care of other undesirable critters. You can also broadcast lime over your lawn - they won't like that at all.
If you have fleas in your home, it is important to treat your carpets and upholstery where fleas like to hang out between meals. Here are some suggestions:
Provided you have no pets and or small children, use a powdered borax laundry product and broadcast lightly over your carpeting. Distribute with a broom to get the loose stuff down into the fiber and vacuum after 7 to 10 days. This is also a good way to kill off roaches.
A variation of the above is to mix equal amounts of ordinary table salt, borax and baking soda. If you have kids or pets, leave out the borax and use just salt and baking soda. As an extra measure, put a cut up flea collar inside your vacuum cleaner bag.
To kill fleas on your dog, shampoo him with liquid dishwashing soap like Dawn, Ivory or Joy. This will kill off the fleas that are on the dog and appears to help keep others off - at least for a time.
A good safe home made remedy to repel fleas on your dog or cat is to dilute apple cider vinegar by one half with water and apply to pet's coat with a spray bottle, sponge or washrag.
Here is another flea repellant for dogs and cats:
Cut up 2 lemons and drop in a quart of boiling water. Let steep overnight. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and use liberally on your dog, especially around the neck, behind the ears, tail and armpits. Don't use this on pets if there are open sores on the skin.
Some people suggest putting garlic in your dog's food. Please don't feed your dog garlic. It can have severe side-effects and cause health problems.
Flea collars contain a number of caustic ingredients and may be harmful to your pet.
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