How to Control Fleas Safely

Heal dry, itchy skin. Dry skin is the preferred environment for fleas, and can be a sign of inadequate nutrition. Feeding the right diet can bring the skin back into balance, and is an effective way to stop flea problems before they start.

Bathe the dog or cat. If a dog or cat is infested with fleas, try bathing with a natural flea shampoo. Some shampoos have pesticides added that will kill fleas on the animal, and some have residual repellents. Care should be exercised when selecting a shampoo for a cat, as some contain permethrin, which can be toxic to cats.

Check progress with a flea comb. Flea combing is an excellent way to track the severity of an infestation, though it is unlikely to help reduce the overall number of fleas.

Eliminate fleas in the home environment. While fleas prefer to spend most of their adult lives on a host animal, adult fleas represent only about 5% of the flea population in any given environment. Eggs, larvae and pupae must also be eliminated. Vacuum regularly to eliminate eggs and larvae. Treat places the dog or cat spends a great deal of time, such as sleeping areas, cat trees, furniture, by vacuuming, laundering or using a dessicant like diatomaceous earth or boric acid.

When natural methods are not enough. For dogs or cats suffering from flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), natural methods of flea control are unlikely to be enough to relieve the problem. Dogs and cats with FAD are allergic to compounds in the saliva of the flea, so a single bite is all it takes to start an allergic reaction. If you suspect your dog or cat is suffering from FAD, speak with a veterinarian as soon as possible.

We’re not veterinarians. Mud Bay staff are well educated, and our writing is well-researched, but neither the advice of a Mud Bay staff member nor reading Mud Bay's written materials can substitute for visiting a veterinarian. We offer carefully chosen, natural solutions, but we believe that veterinary conditions should be diagnosed and treated by professionals.