Does the arrival of Spring have you shaking in your boots about the arrival of “flea & tick season?” We had a very warm winter and fleas and ticks are already plentiful. We oftentimes think of flea season in the summer time but now is the time to begin to build your flea defenses naturally. Flea & tick prevention is the key.
The truth is, if your pet is glowing with good health they will attract fewer fleas. Fewer fleas means you’ll feel less of a need to apply the riskier treatments available now, and that you’ll be able to manage them quite easily with safer, more natural products.
A multi-level approach is the most successful, so here are some tips to help you and your pet lead a less scratchy life this Spring.
The first step is making sure you have a healthy pet. Taking this holistic approach is very important. Good nutrition and a natural diet is key. We would strongly encourage you to consider a raw fresh food diet for your dog and cat! You want to make sure your pet is getting all of their nutrition in a bio available form and a natural, raw fed diet does exactly that. Check out our Nutrition page on the benefits of a fresh, raw food diet.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is also the season related to the Liver & Gall Bladder. This is why many animals will begin to scratch a bit more, eat a bit more grass, and in the worst cases break out in hot spots and other skin and ear inflammations. This is the liver struggling to filter the blood of a backlog of pollution like pharmaceuticals, herbicides, pesticides, and toxic cleaning agents. In order to help your pet start out the season right we suggest that you not only increase the percentage and range of fresh food they’re eating, but use some herbal supplements to help their liver function better. Detoxifiers, Digestive Enzymes, Herbal Multi Vitamins, and Kelp are great additions during this potentially stressful time of year. We have great natural products on hand to deal with these environmental allergies too.
The next step is outdoors. Obviously your pet comes in contact with fleas outside. As the fleas begin to emerge in the Spring this is the time to begin the war on fleas.
The best way to combat fleas in your yard is to do it naturally using beneficial insects. Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic and live below the soil surface and like a moist environment. Looking like short non-segmented worms these voracious predators make their way through your lawn and garden looking for food; in particular any insect with a larval stage. Nematodes do not harm worms, birds, plants or the environment; in fact they are part of the environment and are found the world over.
More than 230 pests are susceptible to these little underground fighters including cabbage root maggots, gypsy moth larvae, Japanese beetles, strawberry weevils and white grubs, as well as fleas. They are also effective against slugs and snails. We have used Nematodes in our yard for many years and our yard is virtually slug and snail free – our hostas certainly appreciate it!
When the nematode comes in contact with a pest they attack by entering through body openings or simply by boring through the body wall and once inside the Nematode will release a bacteria that kills it’s host within 48 hours. They will feed and reproduce before exiting in search of fresh prey.
They are very easy to apply to your lawn or garden and are safe, effective and best of all chemical-free! You can find them locally at Worm’s Way either directly from their store or via their website.
Here’s their info:
800 – 274 – 9676
In addition, a flea comb is the easiest and safest answer to fleas. Just comb through, trap the fleas on the comb, and wipe them off into a small amount of any kind of soapy water (any soap kills fleas). You can do a lot by spending less than a minute a day on this easy grooming task.
Remember to wash your pet’s bedding weekly to reduce flea reproduction.
If you’re heading out on a trail walk or have a pet that spends a lot of time outdoors, apply one of our natural flea deterrent sprays as needed (they aren’t long lasting, but they are safe.). Diatomaceous earth is also a great natural desiccant (drying agent) that will kill fleas and ticks within 72 hours both on your pets and around your house.
Remember that if you find a flea on your pet, there’s ten more that you haven’t seen laying hundreds of eggs each day. As everyone knows, the best offense is a good defense! Get started this Spring and have a wonderful, flea-free year –naturally and keep those ticks under control too!