General Question

Jellie's avatar

Does anyone have a home-made solution for fleas/ticks?

Asked by Jellie (6474 points ) October 9th, 2011

One of my dogs has a lot of fleas and ticks. The other one doesn’t have any funnily enough. I need to frontline him almost every week and it still doesn’t work. Front-line spray and flea shampoo is chemical obviously, I’m wondering how it will effect him if I do it so frequently? He is old and I’m sure these are pesticide based, I don’t like spraying him all the time. Is there any natural or home made solution to fleas and ticks?

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12 Answers

Nimis's avatar

I’ve heard good things about Fleabusters. They use a salt-based solution that prevents fleas from breeding.

Nematodes might also be another option for outside.

Your pet’s diet can sometimes be a factor. Though I imagine you’re feeding them the same food?

This might be helpful too.

gailcalled's avatar

The only organic remedy for ticks is a large herd of guinea hen. Then you have to worry about the coyotes eating the guinea fowl.

Frontline or similar products should be only used every 30 days. Once a week is really dangerous, as the label tells you.

What does your vet recommend?

I am not in favor of anything toxic, but I still use Frontline on my cat.

What to do about fleas? I cannot help there. I do know that once your house and you are covered with them, you have to leave for several days and get a company in to use really nasty bombs.

You have a choice of the lesser of two evils, I am afraid.

Here’s an article that recommends Revolution/Stronghold by Pfizer.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Not spam, guys, honestly, just a ringing endorsement, here.
Fleabusters lifted directly from @Nimis link is a great solution for treating the area. DO NOT APPLY TO THE ANIMAL!!! I use Fleabusters and have had great luck for keeping them from infesting the house. The basic ingredient is “orthoboric” acid, which dehydrates the fleas, their larvae and their eggs.
Adding brewer’s yeast to the food, and a wash of a marigold infusion on the dog (check your health food store) might help to repel. Good luck!

Buttonstc's avatar

In most cases, using Fromtline results in the death of all adult fleas within 24–48 hrs.

I have read online reports of some cases where the local flea population has apparently developed a resistance to Fromtline. If this is the case, even dosing him every week would not do any good but the overkill might very well sicken or kill you’re dog.

Check with your vet to see if a different brand will help.

Pandora's avatar

I don’t like frontline. I think all those things are too strong. I started to notice my dog would get siezures every time I applied it to him. I can’t say for sure but after 3 seperate episodes I stopped and so has his seizures.
But this is what I do for my dog when he gets fleas. I bathe him first and then dip him in Hartz 2–1 flea in dip. Just a few drops is needed in the water. (follow the instructions on the bottle). It will kill the bugs and keep it off him for at least a week. Make sure not to get it in his eyes.
As he dries he won’t smell like raid. I have the same bottle since he was a pup and he is now 11 years old. The bottle is only half empty. So you have an idea that it is not something I apply all the time. Only for extreme emergency. I make sure to pick off any ticks.
Now for the next two weeks. Bathe your dog once a week.
Then when he is dry. Put some of the dip into a bucket with water. Take a cloth and dip it in and wring it out. Just run the damp cloth over his fur. Try not to get it on his skin so he doesn’t absorb it through his skin. Do this also if he get caught out in the rain.
If you see no evidence of any more fleas then switch to filling a bucket with vinegar and water and do the cloth thing again and run it over his coat every morning and evening.
Don’t worry about the smell. Once it dries the smell will be gone. It also works great to get rid of any smell your dog may have. I found when I would do this to my dog, I could walk him through flea infested areas and they would jump on and jump off just as fast.
Make sure to clean his bedding and the other dog as well.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Yes.

Indoor pets.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@GabrielsLamb : I have indoor pets, but the dog goes out for walks on leash, never in brush or even more than two to three feet off the sidewalk onto grass. Fleas, in a bad year can come into the house on shoes and pant legs. “Indoor pets” as a solution means nothing unless no one in the house ever goes outside or has contact with those who go outside.

Coloma's avatar

Eucalyptus bedding/leaves is a natural flea repellent, but, not if the animal is already infested.
I’m lucky where I live, no fleas, it gets too cold in the winters, but lots of ticks in spring and fall, so I treat my cat with Advantage a few times ayear, but not year round.

Meego's avatar

Homemade solution…don’t have pets.

Whether they are indoor or not they can still get fleas. There is no homemade solution for these critters that I would trust.

I sort of went through something like this but with ants. From ppl telling me to sprinkle talcum powder to baking soda to cinnamon. Honestly it didn’t do anything but make a mess :(
I decided vacuuming them up was the best option until I found the right insecticide. My vacuum on the other hand is a Rainbow┬« and all dirt and debris it picks up goes into a bin of water which helps me because it drowns bugs on contact. My husband bought me this before he died it is the best cleaner I’ve ever had.

I have also heard that buying the flea collars do nothing, and the pet store flea liquid is bad.

You can get pills or liquid from the vet. My dogs were on pills and then we were told the pills only inhibit eggs to hatch and do not kill adult fleas as my cat (indoor) was the only pet to have fleas! Also the pills have a slight drawback, and they have side effects that are not nice. I stopped those when I found all that out.

I ended up using Frontline, until I could no longer bear the expense of it for 3 animals. They have not (knock on wood) had fleas. These are some good tips on e-how

rooeytoo's avatar

Any shampoo will kill fleas (especially pink ones) if you let the dog sit in the later for 15 or 20 minutes. Lather them really thickly then pop them into a crate or lock them in the bathroom for the time. Then rinse with hose with good pressure. This will blast the fleas off. Ticks not so easy, only think I know natural that will get them is to pick them off one at a time.

Honestly I hate to give my dogs poisons but sometimes there is no choice. I have been using Comfortis and it is like a miracle. Within a short time after giving it you will see dead fleas. And it seems to have something in it to ease skin irritation or perhaps the skin improves because there are no more fleas causing allergic reactions. It says give monthly but I find I can go for 2 – 4 months in between dosings.

For ticks we use a cattle dip containing Ivermectin. It is not approved for dogs but I know people who have been using it on their dogs for about 20 years and I have been using it for the last 7 and it too is like a miracle. I found out about it when I lived in the NT and the dogs in the aboriginal camps were so tick infested they were dying from blood loss, a couple of cc’s of ivermec on a piece of bread hidden under anchovy paste and they would be good in a day or so. I use the kind that you squirt on the back of the neck. It kills all internal parasites, including heart worms (except tapes) so no need for extra heart worm meds.

I had never heard of the guinea fowl solution until a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a woman who had a flock of them for just that purpose (she was very offended when I said they were good eating as well). She was losing hers to dingos and wild dogs, no coyotes here.

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silky1's avatar

For some reason this year the fleas and flies were out of control. As rule I wash my cats and dog with original Dawn dish washing liquid. This stuff is amazing and it really doesn’t have all that chemical to do about it. After the bath I let it sit for several hours before rinsing the animal then I use a light garlic powder and water rinse to void off any lingering pests. This procedure has to be repasted often but it’s pesticide free and relatively cheap. A light sprinkle with a flea powder in the end works wonders. The reason I don’t really like the powders and sprays is because the fleas jump off the animal and start to infest the home.

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