It happens to the best if us, and our furry companions. Fleas, ticks, mites and other irritating creatures invade your home and snack on your dogs and cats. How do you get rid of them? You can bug bomb your house, evacuating your animals, kids and sensitive belongings, and then come home and wash EVERYTHING you own. You can buy flea shampoos, which don’t always work. Flea collars went our of style in the 90’s, and topical treatments are expensive, and if you have different sizes and species of animals, it’s even more expensive.
My solution? Cedar. My Granny was right, cedar repels bugs. Plus it smell very nice, which you can’t beat. For using it in your home, it can be messy, but I found a few ways to help keep it clean. As the owner of cats, dogs, chinchillas and other various forms of wildlife my family brings home, it works well enough for me, and it’s cheaper than dirt.
For using cedar chips or shavings you need to put it in something. You do not want to sprinkle it right on your carpet. If you have some old pillow cases, bedsheets or cloth laying around, you now have use for it. Make cedar packets with a square of cloth, placing a good handful of cedar in it a tying it with string. Toss it under your furniture. My measurement is one under a recliner, two under a love seat, and three under large couches and beds. Place the packets around your house in discreet locations as to prevent the pests from running and hiding in a new locale of your house. I even keep them in my closet, because they also prevent moths.
If you want to use a cedar oil spray, you can make your own with 2 cups water, 1 cup alcohol and about 30 drops of cedar oil. Spray it around your house, on your furniture and on you if you’re the outdoorsy type, it’s great for mosquitoes. There is even a ready made spray at Petsmart you can use in the same way, and on your pets. Small animals are slightly trickier. You cannot, unless you want a very sick animal, spray cedar on small animals such as rodents, reptiles, amphibians, aviaries, rabbits, and especially chinchillas. it causes respiratory illness, and sometimes failure. But have no fear, there is still a way.
In the event that you have a small animal, such as listed above here’s what you need to do.
A) Keep them in there cage! Don’t spray any cedar oil in the room that you small animal inhabits. Use the packets, but don’t leave them around the cage. B) To rid your fuzzy of bugs, place enough cedar to cover the bottom of a carrier or box that fuzzy can’t escape from. Leave the fuzzy in said box for about an hour. This does NOT mean two, three or longer hours. Like I said cedar is bad for small animals, but when using it correctly, is fine. One hour will be long enough to kill the bugs, and isn’t too long to affect your animal. While your fuzzy is detoxing, go clean their home, and put fresh bedding down. Otherwise, you just wasted an hour of your life.
To prevent pests from being around your house and or getting inside, garden with cedar mulch or plant some cedar trees outside. There are several types, and when has a tree ever hurt the environment? You can even plant some in pots so as to move them inside and outside when needed. They repel, look nice and smell great.
In closing, cedar is cheap, smells great, repels bugs, and is safe for most animals!