Killing fleas can seem like a full time job.
Getting rid of fleas in the house requires diligence, persistence, and a multi-pronged approach. Chemical pesticides are the traditional method.
More natural techniques and products are available, however, and can be just as effective.
We'll take a look at both the traditional house, cat and yard pesticides, and some natural methods. In addition, I'll publish some home remedies that I've collected.
One question I often hear is, can fleas live on people? There are many types of fleas, and the cat flea is probably the one you'll most likely encounter. While they prefer cats, they will bite people as well.
Killing fleas often involves the use of chemical agents. As I'm sure you know, these chemical agents may be harmful not only to fleas, but to beneficial insects, and mammals as well.
Be extremely careful when dealing with these pesticides. But, just because something says it's "natural" doesn't mean that it's safe for humans and pets. Many substances in nature have "natural" toxins in them, including many plants.
Hemlock is natural. So are bacteria and many deadly viruses. Even botulism is natural. They can also be deadly.
In the book, Low Cost Natural Cures for your Dog and Cat by John Heinerman, he mentions the use of products made from pyrethrum (pyrethrins) for killing fleas. He states that "they are quite effective and can be safely used indoors without harming pets or crawling infants."
Pyrethrins are made from chrysanthemums, and are therefore said to be "natural." The Natural Resources Defense Council, however, warns that pyrethrins are "Very toxic to cats."
Do your homework before using any product, and consult with your veterinarian. Natural can be safer, but not always.
Is there such a thing as a natural flea killer? Yes, and there are substances that are much less harmful than chemical pesticides that can get rid of those pesky fleas on your cat.
The traditional approach to killing fleas in the home usually involves treating your home and your cat with chemicals. Chemical insecticides and growth inhibitors kill live fleas and work to prevent flea eggs from turning into mature fleas.
But, where many people fail with this approach is in not treating the outside of the house as well. The answer to that is often to call a company and have them treat the lawn with poison.
The good news is that there are some non-poisonous products that work for both inside and outside the home, and you can buy and use these yourself.
Diatomaceous earth can be used as a natural flea killer inside the home and around the perimeter, and beneficial nematodes can be used to control fleas on the lawn.
Is there a home remedy for fleas? There are a number of home remedies which may work to varying degrees.
For severe flea infestations, many people will end up resorting to the use of flea bombs, such as those made by Adams. These products can be effective, but often need to be used more than once and are highly toxic.
Since they only treat the inside of the house, you'll still need a solution for the outside, since that is where the fleas are coming from in the first place. Without treating the whole problem, inside, outside, and pets, you'll be flea bombing often.