The treatment of fleas doesn’t have to involve chemicals and nasty unnatural products. In fact, there are a number of excellent products on the market that provide pet mums and dads with alternative, natural flea treatments for dogs and cats.
Unfortunately, cats and dogs from small to large breads are all excellent hosts to those wonderful six-legged pesky fleas and their little friends ticks and mites. It’s also around this time of year – well from March to September that they come out to play.
Fleas’ in particular have the ability to host hope with insane ease. Their flat body and their ability to live within fur and then jump 50 times their own size make them difficult to catch, see and deal with. So, flea treatments are the best way to prevent a flea infestation.
Why is treating Fleas so hard?
Small and large dogs and cats are particular breeding grounds along with carpets and pet bedding. So, prevention is the best solution all round. The last thing you want is to deal with not only your pet but pest control. Let’s just take a look at the flea life cycle in more detail.
Adult fleas’ lay eggs that hatch into larvae. This little white worm like pest then spins a cocoon and becomes a wonderful, little pupae where the adult flea then emerges from.
For a flea larva to survive they need a warm moist environment (70 degrees F/21 degrees C) so your fury friends are the ideal host and in the perfect condition’s eggs will hatch in about 12 days from being laid. This gestation period, if you like, is what can make ridding your pet of fleas very difficult as the majority of flea treatments kill the adult but not the flea eggs.
Here is a scary little fact for you – in a flea population half are eggs and about 5 percent are in fact adults. The adult also only lays eggs once it has eaten and they lay about 30 eggs at a time and 500 in an adult’s lifetime!
The flea eggs are smooth and because of this they have the ability to come off their host and lay in bedding and carpets and floor cracks. Here’s a really disgusting fact – the black specks you see on flea infested animals and their bedding is in fact little bits of dried blood and flea droppings and the larvae feed of this detritus along with skin cells. Had enough yet?
What about Mites and Ticks
So, what about mites. Well left untreated this can lead a very nasty and contagious condition in dogs called Sarcoptic mange which is also known as canine scabies. The spider like mite’s burrow into your pets’ skin where they lay their eggs which then hatch in 3 to 10 days.
Again, like fleas’ their eggs turn into larvae that then grow into adults and the unfortunate cycle repeats itself. Unlike ticks which are bigger than and live on plants and live hosts – Mites live on plants, animals and non-living hosts.
And then there are ticks which, like mites have a spider-like appearance but these little pesky pest suck blood from fury hosts filling their little body until it swells in size and changes a dark red colour. Ticks however are particularly sedentary! Unlike fleas, they don’t fly or jump.
They climb or drop onto your pet’s coat when they brush past or sit in long grasses. Whilst most ticks’ bites are harmless, they can carry harmful germs that cause Lyme disease in humans.
How to treat and prevent fleas, ticks and mites naturally
So, let’s take a look at some effective flea treatments for dogs and cats that kills fleas, mites and ticks. Treatments can come in a variety of applications, spot on solution which can be applied to the neck of your pet, powders that you sprinkle on your pet’s food and flea spray on liquids or flea tablets.
What we want to look at in more detail is the effectiveness of natural alternatives which in all honesty is safer and better for your pet as you are not using toxic chemicals on your pets to rid them of or prevent an infestation of fleas, ticks or mites.
Natural flea treatments for dogs and cats and products use natural occurring essential oils from plants and herbs like Mint, Lemon Balm, Fenugreek, Seaweed and Neem Leaves which are used in CSJ – Billy No Mates which don’t kill but do a very effective job of repelling dog fleas and ticks. A natural defence spray Like DermaDog natural Defence Spray carefully combines a blend of essential oils to create an aromatic blend that not only deodorises your dog from ‘woofy’ dog odours but also deters those pesky bugs. Here’s a wicked little tip for you. If you dilute your DermaDog Natural Defence Spray with 50% water you can use this spray on yourself as a natural insect repellent and it smells pretty good too.
The most effective way to treat your pet for ticks is to prevent them in the first place, but should you encounter that odd little lump when you stock your pet and it turns out to be blood sucking tick there is an effective and safe way to manually remove and dispose of it.
Step one – Use a fine tipped pair of tweezers to get hold of the tick as to your pets’ skin as possible
Step two – Pull upwards with steady and even pressure. Don’t jerk or twist; a nice, steady pressure straight up will remove the tick.
Step three – clean the area and never rush the tick with your fingers. Dispose of the tick outside.
Step four – If in doubt consult your local pet store or your vet for further advice and help.
Alternatively, if you don’t fancy using your tweezers because, let’s face it, they should be for personal use – The Dermadog Tick Pick provides a safe and easy way to remove ticks from your pets and should you need to also you! Tick Pick comes in three handy sizes, which can be washed and reused again and again.
If you do have an invasion
Unfortunately, if your pet or home has an invasion of fleas then you will have to call pest control to have them chemically removed. Going forward look to healthy prevention methods like DermaDog Natural Defence spray or CSJ Billy No Mates.
Always on hand to help our furry friends
If you have been using chemical-based flea treatment and want to understand more about natural alternatives our team here at My Pet HQ are on hand to help give you advice and talk to you about any concerns you may have. You can ask us on Facebook or Instagram or give us a call at our My Pet HQ Morpeth store by calling us on: 01670 512 895.