We have been battling a flea infestation all week. We live in the South, and this happens to be a high infestation summer. We don’t have pets or carpet now, so you would think fleas would not be a problem. Not on high infestation summers apparently LOL. Even if you have air tight windows, they can come in with traffic through your front door.
Fleas on your pets
When we did have a cat with a flea infestation, we shampooed her with flea shampoo daily, using a toothbrush to loosen the eggs from her skin, until she was flea-free. This was a two-person job: I held our cat in the sink while my husband shampooed, scrubbed, and rinsed. Then I wrapped her in a towel and snuggled her until she was dry and calm again.
Fleas in the house
If a pet has fleas, or a family member has flea bites, you probably have them in your house as well. Even one flea can turn into an infestation if ignored.
Bug bombs will kill fleas, but they do not kill eggs. You can kill every adult flea in your home but when the eggs hatch, you will have to do it all over again.
We set a flea trap near the front door to catch fleas coming in before they set up housekeeping. The one we used works beautifully.
But once they are in, you must thoroughly clean your upholstery and rugs or carpet for fleas and eggs.
Wash your clothes and bedding, and treat your mattress.
If you still have fleas after cleaning, use salt and borax for deep infestations.
Fine grind a cup of table salt in a mini food prep until it is a very fine powder. Mix equal amounts of finely ground salt with borax (the same used for laundry). Take off couch cushions and sprinkle the powder in every crevice of upholstered furniture. We had a bad infestation from our cat one summer, and I used a toothbrush and really scrubbed the powder into every crevice, even into the piping. After treating the upholstery, sprinkle on rugs or carpet. Then leave the house for several hours and go to the park or go shopping. Before the kids and pets come in again, vacuum up the residue.
Once the house is free of fleas, you can prevent future infestations by using this effective cleaner to damp mop your hardwood or laminate floors.
2 oz white distilled vinegar
1o drops rosemary essential oil
10 drops cedarwood essential oil
6 drops lemon essential oil
Add water to make 16 oz.
Preventing and treating flea bites
Cedarwood essential oil is toxic to fleas, ticks, and bedbugs alike.
10 drops cedarwood essential oil
10 drops citronella essential oil
10 drops lemongrass essential oil
1 cup water
Combine in a spray bottle, and mist your skin and clothes. (Be sure to shake up thoroughly before each application.) It smells nice, and it not only repels fleas, but it is supposed to repel bedbugs, ticks, mosquitos, no see ums, biting flies, and all those nasty blood suckers. We have tested this and it really works!
Once bitten, do not scratch!
Treat the bites with calomine lotion.
If you need help to control the itching, an old wives’ remedy that I have used successfully is to put a metal spoon in a cup of boiled water for a few seconds to heat the metal, and then press the back of the hot spoon carefully to the bite. I tap the spoon on the bite so as not to burn my skin. The heat breaks down the protein in the insect venom that causes itching. No protein, no itching.
Add 10 drops of cedarwood essential oil to your bottle of shampoo, and shampoo daily, leaving the shampoo on your hair for 10 minutes before rinsing. I also used cedarwood essential oil- infused shampoo as a body wash after being bitten just to be sure. You can also add 10 drops cedarwood essential oil to 1/2 cup coconut oil or olive oil and rub into your skin every day after your shower to repel fleas and prevent future bites.
These measures have worked for us, but are not intended as medical advice. Be sure to consult your vet and your doctor for your specific situation.