Monday, September 24, 2012

Dealing With Fleas The Chemical-Free Way

One of many unfortunate facts of life is that dogs. get. fleas. And this year my dog got them while we were at my in-laws farm. My daughters "house kitten" (a kitten that is hers but only lives at grandma's house) had fleas and the very moment my husband noticed them I knew our dog was doomed.

We became suspicious that she had fleas but had seen no immediate evidence so I tried two quick tests to find out if we did in fact have fleas.

1) A plate of syrup.
          Place a plate of syrup out in the floor over night. When you wake up - check it for fleas.
                          I think I may have even done this twice and not found any fleas.
2) Warm soapy water.
         The fleas are supposed to be attracted to the heat, jump into the soapy water, and die.
                          The article I read suggested that I place the dish of water under a lamp to keep it warm and enticing for the fleas. I used the lights for my light box. In the morning there were no fleas.

Eventually the fleas made their obvious appearance. The dog, thankfully, wasn't covered with them but seemed to have three or four that we could easily spot on her behind.

We tried the standard attack of using medication, but it didn't work (we tried three different applications). Months later we still had them. One night I sat eating carrots and hummus when I looked down to see a flea had jumped into my cold hummus and died. I was fed up.

Care 2 Make A Difference mentioned something I could try to fight the fleas.

Again, I turn to borax in my time of need. I put a very small amount into a measuring cup and sprinkled a bit on the areas my dog spends the majority of her time in the hope that the release of boric acid would kill any remaining fleas.

The Care 2 Make A Difference post doesn't say how long you should leave the borax on the carpet so after a super quick Google search I had my answer.

I could barely get the dog out of my way to put down the borax in the first place so it was no surprise that after it was down she went back to the area I was most worried about so I didn't bother using a broom to push the borax down into the carpet.

Because we have a toddler that likes to drop food on the carpet only to pick it back up and put it back in her mouth if you're not looking, I was nervous about letting the borax sit too long. We vacuumed it up after 17.5 hours.

We were left to play the wait-and-see game.

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