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Monday, November 19, 2012

Kitties, Puppies and Fleas! O MY!!

     I don't know about you, but as much as I LOVE our animals, I absolutely HATE fleas equally as much. This year we went from having two indoor bunnies and a couple outdoor cats to adding two indoor cats and two outdoor dogs.
     We acquired the cats through a complicated series of events, but at an opportune time... We live in a rural are that was hit by early morning tornadoes on April 27th, 2011. Most of the chicken houses in the area were completely leveled or so badly damaged that they were later torn down. An unpleasant result has been that after 15 years of mouse-free country living, we now have to deal with them trying to occupy the house with us. NO THANK YOU. So when the opportunity to bring the two kittens inside, we thought maybe they would help catch the little critters. I promptly bathed them with flea shampoo, got them some trinkets to play with and showed them their litter box.
Spot & Yeller
Brotherly Love


Hubby had been wanting to get our son a dog for awhile now and someone he knows had a dog that had puppies; part lab, part retriever. They were exactly what he had been looking for - good-natured, kid friendly dogs. And they were FREE. So they left one day to go get one. When they returned home, I was surprised with TWO 7 week old puppies...... that were roughly the size of miniature ponies! :) It was instant love for all of us! They are the friendliest dogs! I started training them right away and was surprised again by how fast they learn and how well they obey.

Cotton & Rusty
Happy Dogs!

     This being one of the worst years for fleas in recent years (at least according to our vet), we had an all-out infestation not long after the arrival of kitties and puppies. Hubby took the kitties to get their first shots and some flea pills, which helped get the majority of the fleas off the cats, but did nothing for the ones on the floor and in the carpets. I try to use natural cleansers around the house to limit our and our pets exposure to the harmful effect, but I was ready to use the most toxic bug bombs in the world! We began a ritual of spraying with some stuff a friend had given mu husband that was safe around pets and food. It was a small bottle of a concentrate that normally sells for hundreds of dollars for a bottle. It helped noticeably, but not enough. When we ran out of that, we used another pest spray we had, but because it was mainly for outside, I did not like using it in the house. We did some research on the internet found all kinds of different remedies from DE (Diatomaceous earth) to stuff so toxic, it is suggested you leave your home while treating.... Ummm.. NO.
     One day Hubby's work led him to be at the local Animal Shelter. He overheard an employee tell a customer that was upset at having spent over $100 because they cat they had adopted had fleas, that salt worked and was way cheaper and that it was what they used. SALT? Regular old salt? The kind that is under a buck? When hubby got back to his office he did some research and found several articles and references to salt being used for fleas. It apparently works by altering their PH, working similar to DE. He emailed the article and after reading it, I grabbed the salt from the cupboard and got to sprinkling! I put it everywhere the cats had been sleeping and playing. In the carpeted areas I made sure to sprinkle all along the base boards and in lower traffic areas just sprinkled it all around liberally. I then gathered up the cats for a salt water bath. It did not take long to notice a change. The fleas seemed to disappear very quickly and I am thrilled to report that this has worked wonderfully!  No more fleas jumping on us and happy cats! And salt is WAY cheaper and safer than flea shampoos, chemical sprays and carpet powders!


Directions for using salt to eliminate fleas: Sprinkle salt liberally on floors, rugs and carpets. Make sure it gets to the edges by the baseboards, even on the baseboards. As long as it remains dry it won't hurt anything. Leave it for at least a  few days ( I left it in our lower traffic areas for a couple weeks to ensure they didn't have hiding places). Then just vacuum up the salt. It is that simple! If you see them in your house again, just sprinkle some salt again.

How I bathed our cats: I have a pitcher I use to rinse our kitties. I do this in the bathtub so I filled the pitcher with warm water and added a generous amount of salt. I poured this over them to wet their fur (avoiding the face), working it into the fur. I then washed them with a gentle soap. I rinsed the soap off then refilled the pitcher and added salt again for a final rinse, again working the salt water through the fur. :)

1 comment:

Kelley @ TheGrantLife.com said...

Oh wow! I didnt know that salt can kill fleas! SO good to know!