The flea and tick season is upon us and whether you have a pet or not, if you spend any time outside, there is a chance these bloodsucking pests will find you. Keeping dogs and cats pest free can be challenging and finding fleas and ticks on a pet or in the home can drive just about anyone to the store for costly bug sprays and incesticide bombs.
It is difficult to tell how many people are bitten by fleas and ticks each year, and often, the bite seem like that of a mosquito with slight pain, a small amount of localized swelling and itching. Both fleas and ticks prefer to live on animal hosts but if those animal hosts are unavailabe, or sometimes even if they are, they will seek out a meal of human blood as well. Generally the bites are not dangerous, but fleas have been known to carry fleas and typhus while ticks are known carriers of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever as well as a few others.
Before trying toxic sprays and incesticides to rid your life of fleas and ticks, try these all natural tactics first.
Vinegar bath. Bathe dogs or cats once a week in water treated with white distilled vinegar. A spray can also be made with equal parts water and vinegar. Put in a spray bottle and sprinz pets frequently. As well as repelling pests, the spritz is also a nice way to cool pets down on a hot summer day. Just as vinegar is great for human skin and hair, it also works nicely on animal skin and fur, keeping dander to a minimum and helping fur shine.
Vinegar drops. Adding a few drops of vinegar to pet’s drinking water is another way to control fleas and ticks. Just a few drops in the water does not effect the flavor of the water and seems to repel the pests from re-establishing on the animals.
Carpet control. If you have an infested pet, chances are, the fleas found their way into the carpet where they can thrive . Getting them out can be difficult and expensive. The horror of finding fleas living in the carpet can send many folks to the store for a chemical spray or insecticide bomb, but these options can be avoided with some all-natural alternatives. To eradicate fleas from a carpet, begin by throughly vaccuming the carpet, chairs and other furniture. Pay particular attention to the edges of the room. After vaccuming is complete, throw the bag away in a plastic trash bag and tie it tight. It is possible for fleas to survive the vaccuming and escape the bag, so dispose of the bag right away. Sprinkle the rug with borax and allow to sit for several hours or overnight, then vaccum again. If this does not work, spritz a solution of equal parts vinegar and water on the carpet. If these solutions do not work, a professional exterminator may need to be called.
Treating a bite. Flea and tick bites can be painful and itchy, but usually not dangerous. The itch and swelling of a bite can be alleviated with a bit of ice applied to the area. If itching persists, dab a bit of aloe on the area. Seek medical attention if symptoms of an allergy develop or if symptoms of one of the diseases transmitted by the insects appear.