Put your rubber gloves on, it’s cleaning time!
Every summer the fleas return, hitching a ride indoors on your unsuspecting pet. Try these non-toxic ways to take back your home from those little bloodsuckers. It’s nothing a few cleaning products can’t solve. Does this Spark an idea?
1. Vacuum all carpets and furniture at least twice a week, even before you spot a flea. Physical removal of the eggs, larvae and adult insects is the safest way to keep flea populations under control.
2. Pay special attention to high-traffic areas, such as stairs and those places where your pet spends a lot of time–for example, next to the bed or under a favorite chair.
3. Empty, dispose of, or seal off the vacuum bag every time you vacuum. Adult fleas can easily crawl back out.
4. Wash area rugs and floor mats regularly with hot water or in the washing machine. Dry each thoroughly to avoid creating a perfectly humid breeding ground for the prolific bugs.
5. Make your own flea remedy by mixing 3 cups diatomaceous earth (DE) for every 1/2 cups boric acid. Sprinkle the powder lightly, yet thoroughly over carpet, under beds and in closets while wearing a safety mask to avoid inhaling the dust. With a broom, work the granules deeply into the carpet. Vacuum after two days.
6. Try an alternative recipe using 8 parts cleaning powder to 1 part table salt. Follow the above procedure, except you should vacuum after 1 week. These powders work by drying out the fleas’ habitat and dehydrating both the larvae and adults.
7. Sprinkle DE in pet runs and shady areas in the yard where pets frequent to keep outdoor populations down. Fleas can only survive in moist, shady areas, so there is no need to apply the powder in places hit by direct sunlight.
8. Introduce the beneficial nematode Steinernema carpocapsa to your yard by using a spray available for purchase at your garden store or online. These tiny parasitic worms feed on and destroy flea larvae. Again spray only in shady areas. Reapply if further infestation occurs.