Homemade Pet Flea Control

Pet flea control has changed in the last decade since owners are becoming more concerned with the pesticides in traditional pest control. There are several options for naturally controlling pets around your home, both before and after your dog has acquired them.

Removing Fleas

Discovering fleas on your dog doesn't mean you have to dump on the pesticides. Instead, get a fine flea comb and place a little petroleum jelly on it so the fleas will stick to it more easily. Comb your dog over white paper or a white surface. If fleas are present, you will see the black flecks on the paper.

Once you find a flea, drop it in soapy water to kill it. Don't forget to check the common places that fleas hide: between your dog's toes, in and behind the ears, around the head and tail and in the armpits.

Removing Fleas from your Home

One important step to keeping your dog's flea-free is keeping them from your home. Flea larvae can live dormant in your carpet for up to a year, so it's important to clean thoroughly for that amount of time after an infestation. Vacuum carpets completely and throw away bags in an airtight container so flea eggs cannot hatch in your house. In addition, clean all dog bedding in hot water.

Purchase nematodes, which feed on flea larvae, and put them in your yard. You can also plant fleabane flowers in your yard to repel fleas.

Sprinkle equal parts baking soda and salt in your carpet and leave it over night. This will dehydrate the fleas. Vacuum them up in the morning. You can get the same effect by substituting the soda and salt with three cups of diatomaceous earth for every 1/2 cup boric acid.

Dietary Prevention for Flea Control

There are many ingredients that can be added to your dog's diet that naturally repel fleas. B-complex vitamins improve your dog's health so they are less likely to be bothered by fleas. You can add this to your dog's diet through a supplement or a teaspoon of brewer's yeast for every 30 pounds of your dog's weight. Adding omega-3s to your dog's diet can also improve their health.

Garlic makes dogs taste bad to fleas, so add a small amount of garlic, such as one to three chambers of a clove, grated on top of his food. Don't overdo it as garlic can be harmful to dogs in large amounts. You can also add a teaspoon of powdered kelp, safflower oil or seaweed to the food or a teaspoon of apple vinegar to water.

Preventative Oils and Rinses

  • In lieu of adding apple cider vinegar to your dog's water bowl, you can use it to rinse off your dog after a bath as fleas don't like the smell or taste of it.
  • Lavender, lemongrass, citronella and peppermint also repel fleas so place a few drops between your dog's shoulder blades, just as you would flea repellent. You can also put drops of lemon oil or rosemary oil on your dog's collar.
  • For a homemade flea spray, boil water and allow six halved lemons (including the peel) to sit in the water for a few hours. Then, put the solution in a spray bottle and spray in on your dog daily, being careful to avoid the face.

Not all of these methods are necessary, so try a couple and see which work the best for you and your dog.