Natural Puppy Flea Control

Puppy flea control needs to be less harsh than treatments used for older dogs, since their immune systems cannot cope with harsh chemicals. Herbal flea collars, dog beds filled with aromatic wood chips such as cedar, and oil sprays can prevent flea infestation. Most natural puppy flea control products can be acquired at pet stores or the veterinarian's office.

Life Cycle of a Flea

In order to stop a flea infestation, you must stop the life cycle of the flea or disrupt it enough to render the cycle dysfunctional. The life cycle of a flea spans from three to six weeks, from egg to larvae to adult. Therefore, treatment must interfere with the egg, larvae or adult part of the cycle. Fleas feast on the blood of an animal by biting and sucking out blood. The flea regurgitates into the bloodstream as it is sucking blood, which can cause skin irritation or spread disease.

A pair of fleas can produce 20,000 fleas in three months' time. Eggs can be laid on bedding, carpet or animal hosts. After 2 to 12 days, eggs hatch and move into the larvae stage. Larvae are about three to four millimeters long and feast on anything they find in their environment. Larvae molt twice within the larvae stage after which they spin a cocoon, remaining there for one week to one year. Warmth and humidity cause them to emerge from this stage. During their cocoon stage, insecticides and even freezing temperatures do not harm them.

Natural Puppy Flea Controls

Natural flea control methods imply ridding the animal and environment of fleas (at all stages) by using methods that do not involve chemicals. The following is a partial list of natural flea control methods:

  • Cedar repels many insects, including fleas, so the use of cedar in shampoos or in bedding will repel them.
  • Fleas cannot survive on moist skin. Using vegetable oil or garlic mixed in the pet's food will keep the skin moist.
  • Do not shampoo or bathe a pet so often that the skin gets dry and flaky.
  • Garlic and Brewer's Yeast sprinkled on pet food results in a body odor that may help in repelling fleas.
  • Bathing with natural herbal shampoos can help prevent a severe flea infestation. Be sure not to dry out the skin. Fleas cannot adhere to the moist skin or fur.
  • Pyrethrins are from the chyrsanthemum flower and are highly toxic to fleas, but not to dogs or people. Their use involves spraying the environment. Permethrins are synthetic pyrethrins and last longer.
  • Methoprene (Precor) for indoor use and Fenoxycarb for outdoor use disrupts the life cycle of fleas by preventing flea larvae from maturing to adulthood. This spray can be combined with adult flea pesticides like pyrethrins for added effectiveness.
  • Proper grooming using a flea comb and vacuuming the environment will help with a flea infestation.

Consulting a veterinarian for other natural flea control remedies will ensure that young animals will not be exposed to toxic materials and still be treated for fleas.