Wednesday, August 07, 2013

How to Kill Fleas

I rarely post anything on this blog that is purely practical, because I figure that's what everyone else's blog is for. But when I discover something that works and solves a problem, how can I not share.

We have three cats. These three cats have fleas. When these three cats have fleas, the humans in the house share in the flea action. And we dislike it greatly.

Nothing from the pet store or the vet seems to work very well at killing or preventing the fleas on the cats. We've tried the expensive brands, flea collars and a product made with essential oils, and the fleas have persisted.

Bathing the cats with dish soap followed by meticulous combing actually did kill off quiet a few fleas, but it increased the level of paranoia significantly in the cats.

I read the completely uncomforting statistic somewhere that if you find one flea on your cat, you probably have thirty living elsewhere in your house. Great. So I reasoned that the most pressing need was get eliminate the fleas from those other places in the house, where the cats frequented before they blessedly became so fond of our porches and backyard that they hardly ever come in any more.

Everyone's going to sell you some product to kill fleas, but what worked very well for us is something that won't cost you much of anything.

Take the reading lamp you have, the one with the bendy neck. Plug it in somewhere near where you find yourself getting bitten a lot. Aim it down to the floor, and place below it a shallow pan (11x17x1 baking sheet, for example, or a pie pan, or a 9" cake pan, etc.) filled with water and just a drop of dish soap. Leave the light on, especially at night, with no other lights on around it.

In a day or two, you will have a tidy collection of dead heat-seeking fleas. Yes, it is a gross sight to behold, but I consider that every dead flea is one that is not jumping onto my ankle for a snack. And of course you can dump and refill and count the dead as often as you like, to track how the population is dwindling.

Simple, cheap, and effective.

You are welcome.

The only downside is that today I am getting ready to make my son's birthday cake, and I realize that the pan I need is the flea trap in his room. I'm hoping maybe he won't notice.

P.S. If you've already been bitten, the best thing I've found to stop the scratching is Purification oil from Young Living.

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