Natural Flea Control: Q&A
Last Modified on May 23, 2008
Fleas in My Hair
05/23/2008: Anonymous : "At this time I feel like that man lying on the road. Please help.....Please. Since April I have been dealing with itch. It started on my neck and moved to back of hair. Have bean to hospital 3 times to be told I did not have body, head or pubic lice. When I followed up with emergency room day after clinic with some specimens I was told that these specimens were nothing and not to come back with same complaint. Afterward I went to derm clinic & was asked by head DR (how many doctors have told you do not have any lice? I responded with the number 5. He left and had his asst prescribe a med for stress. Even though crushed, I continued to research & ordered neem.While waiting for order tried not to use vinegar, tea tree oil or anything that would give me another dermatitis contact allergy. When neem came I used it and found in tub something that looked like tiny piece of broom stick. Picked up & when I went to examine it it jumped out of my hand. My God (fleas). Found "Fleas in my hair" on website & cried(please read).Since, have come to realize they are in my hair & pubic area also. There is not any info on web site other than that site, but understand common in other countries. Please from what I read it would be borax bath. How often, how much to put in tub. I've tried spraying borax with peroxide formula but still finding lots of larvae especially in buttocks area. If this info is too strong to put on website then please adapt so that others can have this vital knowledge & especially a remedy or cure. PS Salt Borax Baking Soda Vinegar not working in home, called exterminator to get control..Dog put out last winter in yard. I guess I became host. Now 12 yr son has symptoms but is in denial. Ted I don't know where else to turn or who will even listen. Thank you."
05/23/2008: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Basically a borax and peroxide remedy mix when used is not rinsed. I have noticed changes in newer fleas where it jumps from animal and they are not getting really hard to get rid of, not just the fleas, but mites, ticks, and many other insects. Even in Thailand the Railroad authorities were completely overwhelmed with killing of certain blood sucking leeches that are not having much success getting rid of. It is my observation that obviously they may be resistant to insecticide, but I think GMO used in plants which produce it's own insecticide is responsible for the sudden resistance as the evolution of insect has gone an evolutionary jump through the natural process of horizontal gene transfer as nature exchanges genes from the new GMO plants.
There is a still certain other observations I have noticed the changes in behavior of fleas, mites, and ticks, that these insects, once laid eggs on the host, but not they are changing in behavior as well perhaps from the GMO or other effects in laying eggs not on the host, but in the surrounding environment, such as the bed, carpet, rugs, walls, crevices and even on the ground. So when they need blood, they just come and take it, and full they go to their hiding place, or lay eggs on the host. The host meanwhile will be dipping or spraying with insecticide, which is not going to kill their eggs or the insect directly since they are now outside or away from the host. They have also walked farther, for example from one house to another house at a much farther distance than even ants. Ants can't travel as far as nearly 500 meters so why is these parasites are becoming somewhat super parasites, is it genetic engineering? It makes great difficulty in eliminating them since I
noticed one tick was running as far as 500 meters or more just to jump on a dog! Dogs that are in same area gets infected badly while the stray dogs can just run away preventing a major infection. They are even more resistant to insecticides than even cockroaches now! What's not even mentioned in the mainstream media is how these insects are destroying the non GMO crops badly, while the GMO crops, are doing well, but field rats also die from eating these GMO crops too.
Therefore the best strategy in reduction of this, assuming the use of natural materials that I used to get rid of infestation in the environment from these hives of parasites that hide in crevices is the orange oil 30% mixed with 70% alcohol or just pure orange oil, or d-limonene, which is a major component of lemon oil and orange oil to kill the eggs and mites.
As for the infestation that exist on our body I will still use borax and hydrogen peroxide 1% solution, although the use on the head may cause the color of hair to be orange. Therefore, I may use a weaker solution, such as 0.5% to 0.75% concentration if this is needed to be applied to the head but a slightly higher concentration can be used at 1% in other areas, which won't effect the hair color. The most important thing is not to rinse and applied during the night and rinsed in the morning.
It is important that the surrounding environment be cleared of these insect in the entire living area since what I found, is they travel very far.
It is also most important based on their change egg laying behavior that I used DEET applied every 8 hours or 12 hours so that the newer fleas, ticks, and other parasites are not attracted to us. And it needs to be applied for an entire month at least to see improvement.
As to how other people deal with these problem they use a combination of borax and peroxide, and Frontline, where Frontline might be applied to the surrounding environment area.
Hopefully this might answer just some of your questions. I don't have all the answers, what I do know most important is the use of DEET, frequent application to our body, and the necessity of spraying pyrethrin sprays, or perhaps orange oil to prevent a hive or eggs from coming back that is most effective that I know of right now. Also take note whether this comes from outside that further supply fleas from another neighbor, mine did, and that's the major problem."
Needs Remedy for Ferret
04/03/2008: Kirsten from Newcastle, Australia: "I need help for a ferret with fleas. We have used commercial flea treatments, which make me nervous because he is so small, and I am afraid of overdosing him on some of the natural remedies I have read about on this site for larger animals. Nothing I have tried so far gets rid of the fleas completely, despite treating him and the house regularly. He is so distressed by them, I would really appreciate some advice."
08/15/2009: Jj from Akron, Ohio replies: "Go to the pet store and get ferret flea shampoo OR spray.
Never use both at the same time.
We rescue ferrets so thats what we do plus there is a flea treatment for dogs where you put 1 drop on the ferret and it kills any fleas.
The product starts with a R it is for fleas,
If you need more help feel free to contact me"
09/01/2013: Dpl from Orlando, Fl replies: "Lemon Dip
1 gallon of watter and 1 lemon.
Place lemon in boiling water, Let stand overnight, this can be sponged on the ferret. Let dry. Do not rinse off!"
Needs Dosage for Small Dogs
03/30/2008: Norma from Cleveland, Tenn: "I've read just about all the testamonies about ACV & people really should tell how to use it. All my Babies (dogs) are 25 pounds & under. Thanks"
06/27/2008: Kat from Beechgrove, Tennessee replies: "I've found there to be no real difference in dosages for different sized animals or between dogs and cats. I'm using ACV, QUITE successfully to treat a population of stray cats I care for, as well as my own cats and dogs. All of the cats are definitely under 25 pounds and the vast majority are under 10 pounds. In my research, I've found the 'dosage' info to vary. I've seen "1 tsp in their water bowl", with no indication of the actual size of the water bowl, to "3 tablespoons per gallon of water". The first thing I found out was to START OUT SLOW! Give your pet some water with a ratio of 3 tablespoons ACV to 1 gallon of water right off the bat, and they will look at you like you are trying to poison them. I use water bowls that hold right at a quart of water. What I did was to start out with a few drops and have worked up (over 3 weeks) to almost a teaspoon per quart. It's already working fantastically and I've seen a huge drop in the number of fleas I find. However, I plan to continue increasing the dosage in small increments every couple days until I find next to no fleas. Therefore, in my experience thus far, there is no real drinking water dosage. You start small and work up to the dosage that works the most effectively for your pets."
Apple Cider Vinegar Dosages
03/28/2008: Carrie : "Hello, I have read several testimonials talking about how people have cured flea problems with ACV, but it doesn't say how much I should use?' Can you please give me a ratio of ACV to water?
My all white cat has been scratching and itching, her ears are scabby and she has a couple spots that are bleeding (really looks terrible with all white fur) - this is AFTER I applied Revolution. She appears to still have fleas - I don't like to use any chemicals on her, but don't know what to do."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Usually I would use just pure ACV or just white distilled vinegar applied, without adding any water. For some reason or another certain insecticide seems to accelerate egg laying or proliferation of blood sucking insects much more by forming hives in other areas as it causes it to leave the animals while they are "immuned" for a month's period, whereupon another dose is needed and this is then used every month for the rest of the animal's existence. Whether that was intentional or unintentional it has cause an unending epidemic of mites, fleas, ticks where I live, so such an extent that if the animal is left untreated to only 1 days, there would be a significant numbers of them even more so than before. Therefore, it is best to treat the animals, everyday to prevent the fleas, for example from forming a hive, which seems to come back after the chemical is no longer effective. I have as yet to identify what that is, and whether some of these fleas are newer breed that seems to be resistant with nearly all forms of insecticide. The ones I used were just borax and peroxide, used everyday, and the premises must be quarantined, the cats treated daily to have an impact. It should be noted that fleas sometimes come from a nearby area where they use other similar chemicals that causes them to leave the animal and find another surrounding area. The ticks and fleas in my home, most of them come from a nearby house infestation on dogs that are about 1/2 kilometer away from my house (they are still coming to my house everyday whether there is a dog or a cat or not). These insects do travel very far, but it seems many chemical insecticide simply cause these fleas to leave the area (not dead) and find a new home where there is cats or dogs. That's the main problem. Therefore some barrier might be considered to that newer fleas do not come into the house if there is a known infestation from the nearby area. I think a sensible thing to do is used bentonite clay used as a powdered form applied lightly so that it will dehydrate the eggs or applied around the premises of the house."
Borax and H2O2 Bathing
12/31/2007: Liza from Orlando Florida: "Hello Mr. Ted, I have been reading up on all the remedies you have given the public reader through this great site. I have been extremely upset with the amount of money spent and the continuous desperation my poor girls face each day with these darn fleas. I have done it all! From paying a company to come a spray the yard, to bathing them with everything you can imagine, to cleaning and bombing the house, to cleaning their cages, washing the clothing,and bedding, to you name it, I have done it! lots of $$$$$$$ down the drain if you know what I mean. The latest I have started using has been the borax, purchased at Walmart for less the 3 dollars a box. I live in Florida where the weather is extremely hot most of the time and I own three female dogs: a golden retriever mix, a pure breed austrailian shepard, and my latest Chinese Crestad. It seems that one is always more infested then the other. I have spend hours washing them and taking fleas out with a hose. Can you please tell me how to use the borax with the Hydrogen Peroxide and if to use this, do I have to take the girls into my tub? Or is there a way to do this outside using the hose? Also, the same solution used in the tub is same one I would spray on them after the the bathe or should this been done days later. How long should I wait till their next bath? I have used the borax to just sprinkle it around the yard, it has kept the fleas down, but still lots remain on the girls. My oldest dog, the golden retriever mix has been losing her hair and has a severe skin infection due to these demon critters!!!! I hate them!!!!! Please HELP!!!!!!!
Thanks so much for caring enough for helping dog owners like us out here going crazy and going broke with it all!!!! Hahahahah. Look forward to hearing from you soon!!"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Liza: I have the same problem but was successful with controlling it. Therefore, you are not the only one with the extreme infestation. This has just happened here in Bangkok just this year and the climate is hot and humid, but it is a nightmare during the rainy season. The problem of extreme infestation never did occured but these newer fleas, ticks and mites for some reason or another are what I sometimes called "superbugs" that are maybe part of genetic engineering that gotten out of hand or intentional, I do not know. This has never happened before hand seems this problem is worldwide now, and was non-existent only 1 or 2 years ago as of today (December 2007). The only effective remedy that can best handle this grave problem is to buy a large tank of hydrogen peroxide and dilute them down to 3% usually mixed with saturated borax and spray this on the entire yard, trees, shrubs, house exterior and outside the house area, the surrounding house area and inside of the house is also sprayed. Insecticide seems almost useless. The borax and hydrogen peroxide seems to hold quite well in this instances. The only useful way I have found is a termite spray be used in cracks and crevices where these fleas hide. I have found fleas and mites source to be coming from OUTSIDE of the house where these newer superbugs of fleas, mites and ticks to be able to live almost 6 months without any dog or anything. My own problem here is my neighbor owns a lumberyard adjoining my house and the come from that area feeding endless supply of fleas, ticks and mites. The key to resolving this nightmare is that the dogs are quarantined inside the house that are sterile or fleas ticks and mites free, or in close confinement where the areas are controlled to prevent mites and fleas from lining up going in doors. While a tub is effective in covering the area, the use of hydrogen peroxide will be a waste and costly one. Hence a small tub for the dog to dip in maybe useful and more economical and done only once a week dip. The shampooing and application of borax and peroxide use must be applied on the dog EVERYDAY for at least a week or two. Finally when the dogs dried the use of DEET spray which are insect repellant must be applied on the dog at least twice a day, or every 12 hours. A more effective way is to apply it every 8 hours. Once the DEET spray is on the dogs, fleas, ticks and mites won't find the dog and this is the key. If I have any more tips that help stop this flea infestation, I will post more as newer information becomes available through my experiments. The problems about all these experiments is it divert me from answering all the emails that come from earthclinic, so that's one of those tradeoffs I have to make on a daily basis. However, I have managed to successfully do deal with flea infestation, but even AFTER SUCH success, the dog must be taken a bath at LEAST twice a week, using borax and hydrogen peroxide plus DEET sprayed at least twice a day. Therefore the key is: quarantine the dog away from outside and in a close confined area, where fleas and mites from outside are no longer accessible. Quarantine time is about 2 weeks. Daily hydrogen peroxide and borax treatment plus DEET after bath is used. A dip in a small tub for the dog can be performed once or twice a week, depending on the budget. After the quarantine period the DEET spray must be used at least twice a day."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Borax one tablespoon in one liter of water and water the entire yard. Preferably it may be more effective if the borax one tablespoon is added to a 1% hydrogen peroxide. I will not destroy all of the fleas, but it will kill off most of them, depending on how it is watered on the lawn. A reinfection of the fleas in a dog is best prevented with DEET sprayed twice a day, at 12 hours apart. It's not a perfect one, but it seems to work with me."
Treatment for Flea Control
04/20/2007: Katyea : "I have several feral cats that cannot be touched and would like to treat them for flea control. I heard that putting brewers yeast and/or garlic powder in thier food would help alleviate the fleas. How much and how often should I do this? No one seems to know. Thank you."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Katyea: Generally garlic is never recommended, but in case you want to know and some who had success using it, it is worth the explain further.
Garlic is toxic at large dose for cats and dogs, but onions are the most dangerous, even to farm animals. Only small dose can be used, not exceeding 1/2 teaspoon (garlic powder or crushed clove not given directly) applied to average size cat, externally.
I think it is risky to use garlic to rid of fleas and if used it is heated and only one half clove are used, and only the liquid portion of garlic juice and the rest of it is discarded. The use of garlic while helpful with cat's sickness and liver problems, I think is still controversial and potentially dangerous.
Garlic has a small amount of N-propyl disulphide (recent research points to N-propylthiosulphate) which destroys red blood cells in the cat causing anemia, but more well known in onions.
While it maybe true that some people did it with success, I think it is likely that the disulphide was destroyed in the heating of food, during such preparation. Another possibility is the use of a dried form of garlic powder was used and applied lightly over the cat's or the dog's body.
Cats and dogs have a very different metabolism from humans. A lot of food deemed safe in humans are quite toxic to them. The ones I know to be poisonous or toxic are garlic, onions, chocolate (theobromine), yeast dough, coffee, tea, wine, paracetamol, mushrooms, macadamia nuts, cayenne pepper, any spices, certain aromatherapy oils, high fat foods(leads them to obesity, pancreatitis, fatty tumors under their bellies, diabetes and sometimes hair loss). The high fat foods include margarine, cheese, lard, and butter.
The best way to get rid of the fleas is just a taking a bath saturated solution borax in 1% hydrogen peroxide, no rinsing. They kill both the eggs and the fleas."
08/23/2011: Edith from Orlando, Florida replies: "I prefer to use natural flea repellents for my dogs and cats. They are very effective in repelling fleas and ticks and other insects they are safe to your pet, your family and the environment.
Toxic chemical pesticides have been known to cause immediate health crises in some dogs and cats, and perhaps worse, these chemicals can circulate and accumulate in our pets' bodies, doing unseen damage to vital organs that may go undetected for years. And then there is the damage these chemical residues can do to our children, ourselves, and the environment. There are natural alternatives to the harsh and harmful chemical based flea and tick repellents.
One really good remedy in repelling fleas and getting rid of parasites is food grade Diatomaceous Earth for Flea and Tick Control. You can sprinkle it on the coat of your pets for flea control or sprinkle on food for parasite control.
Diatomaceous earth is a geological deposit made up of the fossilized skeletons and tests of siliceous marine and fresh water organisms, particularly diatoms and other algae. These skeletons are made of hydrated amorphous silica or opal. When crushed, they break up into tiny pieces of glass'' (so tiny that the material feels like talcum powder). This is easily picked up by the hairy bodies of most Insects. Whereupon it scratches through their protective wax layers; and they also absorb some of this material. The result being that the insects lose water rapidly, dry up and die. Further protection is provided by the powder's property of repelling many insects. A similar principle probably accounts for the fact that birds frequently take dust baths, presumably to rid themselves of parasites.
Some other great natural flea repellents use essential oils for repelling and killing fleas.
To protect themselves, certain plants have developed highly effective defense mechanisms against potentially harmful insects. The essential oils of these plants were combined in a solution to form a natural pest control barrier for pets.
I have dogs and cats and since I use these natural pest controls there are no fleas anymore and they not getting bothered from ticks, mosquitoes or such."
08/24/2011: Kattis from Auckland, New Zealand replies: "I also am researching everything on natural flea control. I am so over vets and their products etc."
How to Cure Fleas in Dogs
12/21/2006: Bertha from Altamonte Springs, FL: "my question is regarding fleas not mange. I bought the Frontline in a pet shop to use once a month on my dog but she still scratches and she I can see some blood somethings on her bed. I also bought the frontline spray to put on her but she has a lot of fleas. DOES VInegar works to kill fleas I am scared that I am going to poison her with so much frontline. thanks a lot."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Fleas sometimes carry mange with them too. So apply the peroxide and borax remedy."
Scratching in Dogs and Cats
08/21/2006: Jeannie from Beloit, WI: "I have 1 dog and 3 cats all of who are scratching non stop. The has bite marks and sores all over her under side. I am at a loss as far as what to do. I would appreciate any help I could get, including amounts of and what to use. All my pets share a common water dish which happens to be a 5qt. Ice Cream bucket. I'd use different if it wasn't for the fact that all are big drinkers and won't leave each others alone. Please help oh fleas and flies are also a problem. Thanks for any help you can give me."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Jeannie: Assuming it is not a fleas and flies first, your pets appear to have the problem of fungus. Which can be quite contagious and cause extreme itching. At the same time it is difficult to see the cause. The cure is actually easy. Try mixing vinegar and hydrogen peroxide 3% 50-50 solution plus adding some water. For example: one cup vinegar plus one cup hydrogen peroxide plus two cups water. This is rather a mild solution, but if you are desperate, then just use it undiluted. Always start with mild solution first. Then add a couple of tablespoons of borax. Stir and dissolve. Get your cats, dogs, and carpets (or rugs) and soak them all in this solution for at least 5 minutes done twice a day for about three days in a row at least. Repeat weekly if necessary since fungus is quite infectious.
For fleas and flies, you can easily deal with this using eucalyptus sprays, or flea collars, or just bathing them regularly in borax"
Cure for Flea Bites on Humans
Anonymous : "I am looking for a cure for flea bites on humans. How do I keep fleas from biting me? Is there anything you can recommend? I desperately need help. I am being eaten alive by fleas!"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "When you take baths DO NOT use soap or detergents or shampoo. Take baths only IN BORAX. Borax is a common cleaning used for washing and cleaning. While it is safe for human use it is a stomach poison for fleas. Try sprinkling a powder borax all over the house or some clothes. Make sure you have some borax residue on your skin - in other words don't rinse out borax solution after you take baths. The fleas will eat them and they will die. Once the condition is better, after a day or so, you can take baths with borax, but rinse them completely with water. borax are usually non irritating for the skin. However, if it is irritating, then you can rinse them out with water. Most importantly, make sure you laundry after spinkling borax and water on carpets so you don't get reinfected."
02/14/2013: Oceanman58 from Los Alamitos, Ca, 90720 replies: "I may try the Borax as a preventative.. Has anyone found the right combination of foods in their diet that changes one's chemistry so that the fleas don't want to bite? I've tried garlic, b1, b6, b vitamins, brewers yeast, eradicating all sugar in my diet and on and on and on. I have successfully treated my dog, she is fine; however when I walk the dog, the fleas get me. I've tried certain things that repel the fleas from jumping on me but what I want to know is there anyone in any country that knows of a vegetable, fruit, combination of both or herb etc that literally changes the taste of one's blood so that these terrible little curses don't want anything to do with me anymore. Incidentally, can someone tell me what purpose do fleas have in the food chain? How can anything catch them to eat them? It's something I want to ask God about.. LOL. I can see the purpose of mosquitoes, food for birds etc. But fleas, that's another story... I would love people's input but truely I tell you, garlic and b vitamins don't work for me so please if it works for you that's great but in a world of 7 billion people there must be someone that stumbled on a natural internal anti-flea concoction for humans?"
02/20/2013: Mmsg from Somewhere, Europe replies: "Oceanman58, I may be wrong but I think I read somewhere about lemon being unpalatable to insects. Try drinking lemonade for a few days...."