Make Fleas Flee and Ticks Take Off
Eddy Van 3000/Flickr
Every spring and summer, fleas and ticks cause misery to people and animals. On pets, they can spread disease and parasitic infections. Then, once they're bored with frolicking in fur, they may decide to feast on you! With the sudden spike in cases of tick-born illnesses like Lyme Disease, it pays to be prepared.
How do you get rid of fleas and ticks without harming your pet, your family or the planet? Here are some tips:
- Most commercial flea and tick sprays contain carbaryl, which works by attacking pests' nervous systems. But carbaryl also can harm developing fetuses in both animals and humans.
- Prevention first: remember to wear long sleeves, pants and socks when hiking or gardening and do a "tick check" after to make sure you haven't picked up any unwanted stowaways.
- Take a shower after spending time outdoors to wash off any un-embedded ticks and use only unscented deodorant, soap and shampoo.
- To keep fleas off pets, add garlic and brewer's yeast to pets' meals, which makes pets taste bad to bugs. Many such products are sold in pet supply stores. But pets may need to take these remedies for several weeks before they work.
- Don't overlook the basics. Keep your pet clean. Use a fine-toothed flea comb or lint-roller on your pet to remove existing fleas. And don't forget to dust and vacuum regularly. Fleas simply hate clean homes.
(NOT SO FUN) FACT: For every flea found on your pet, there may be as many as 100 more lurking nearby!