Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Natural Pet - Flea & Tick Control

From my herbal blog :) HealingHouseTeas.blogspot.com

The Natural Pet - Flea and Tick Control

There are many fairly simple and natural ways to eliminate and prevent parasites. Fleas, worms and mites are at the top of the list and can also lead to much worse things. Today I'll focus on fleas.

** To start any natural flea control, a good bath should come first if at all possible. A gentle child's soap is fine but follow with a diluted vinegar rinse (a couple of tablespoons vinegar to a gallon of warm water) to remove any residue. Furred creatures have natural occurring oils which they need for a healthy coat and to say cool in summer and warm in winter. A good bath never hurts but to much bathing could actually cause fleas to be worse and weaken the natural system.

** Tea Tree oil can be diluted and used in a rinse after the vinegar rinse or as a stand alone rinse instead of bathing. A Tea Tree oil rinse (1 tablespoon Tea Tree oil per one gallon warm water) can be used like a flea dip in the summer, if fleas and tick are very bad, or before a long hike in the forest. You can also make up a batch and keep it in a spray bottle to lightly mist the coat when it's warm out (always be careful to avoid the eyes! and don't over use)

** Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can be used outside with great effect and is fairly safe to use (everything should be used with respect and care). It can be sprinkled along foundations of buildings and in animal pens under a layer of straw or raked into a layer of pebbles. I would not recommend using it indoors because the dust is harmful if breathed but a small amount will likely be tracked in by the pets anyway.

** Cedar has long been used for it's ability to deter fleas. Cedar chips make an excellent bedding and leaves the coat smelling like cedar as well. Cedar can also be used as a filler for pet beds indoors and in small cedar pillows kept in closets and under furniture.

To make a soft pet bed with a refillable cedar pocket, just sew a pillow whatever size your pet needs and, stuff as usual. But, when you're ready to close the opening sew a long sock or open weave pouch inside the pillow. That way the stuffing stays in but the pouch can be filled and refilled with cedar chips.

** Garlic can be fed to cats and dogs to help eliminate fleas and keep them at bay. It also has the added benefits of deworming, helping to strengthen the immune system, good for the heart and circulatory systems. However, to much garlic can irritate the stomach lining, to much of anything, no matter how good, usually turns into a bad thing.

I recommend 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder per 10 pounds of body weight, fed at least twice a week.

******* NEVER use garlic salt, it can dangerously thin the blood.

** Brewers Yeast is a great addition for natural flea control. It can be added to wet food or given daily in tablet form. Most dogs and cats love it and gobble it right up. The general recommended dose is about 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.

Brewers Yeast can also be rubbed into the coat to repel fleas instantly. This should be done outside to keep the fleas out of your home and be careful they don't jump on you. This is only a temporary fix but can be used to jump start a natural flea routine.

** Pennyroyal is a good flea deterrent. It can be grown around animal enclosures and dried to use in natural, temporary, flea collars. But, should always be used with caution!

********* Although Pennyroyal is of the mint family it is poisonous if ingested and should never be taken internally. If you're pregnant or even might be, you shouldn't handle it at all!

If growing around enclosures be sure to keep it out of the animals reach. Grow it along the outsides of fences or near the backs of houses where the animals can't get.

For a natural, temporary, flea collar ... take about a teaspoon of dried herb and roll it in a cotton bandana and tie loosely around the neck. You can also add it dried to a removable pouch that can be secured inside a dog bed or the like.

** Borax powder can be used on carpets and floors and is very effective in killing fleas. Sprinkle a good layer on, leave it for at least 1 hour, then vacuum thoroughly. When leaving anything on the carpets or floors remove pets and children to a safe area until properly cleaned.

** Vacuum carpets often and immediately empty the canister or bag and throw outside.

** Wash bedding regularly and thoroughly. Yours and theirs.

Please remember to consult your Vet or animal care provider, before trying anything new :)

Recipes .....

~ Cat Yum ~

2/3 to 1 c wet food (store or homemade)
1 beaten egg
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (never garlic salt or raw garlic)
1 Tablespoon brewers yeast (or distillers yeast)

very warm water ** but not hot

Mix all ingredients except water and store in airtight container in fridge. When ready to feed, mix 1 teaspoon warm water per Tablespoon of Yum. cats rarely like to eat cold things so the very warm water warms to Yum and most cats love it.

Feed 1 Tablespoons per 10 pounds per day

~ Flea Biscuits ~

2 c flour (whole wheat is best but all purpose is fine too)
1 c cornmeal
2/3 c brewers yeast (or distillers yeast)
2 t garlic powder (never garlic salt or fresh garlic, both are very harmful to dogs)
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 c boiling chicken broth ( I make my own by boiling the leftover chicken bones) (you can also use beef broth)

Put the broth to boil. Mix all the dry ingredients together then add the egg yolks and work in with a heavy spoon. Add the broth to the mix and mix well with heavy spoon. Set aside and allow to cool. When it's cool enough to handle use a little flour/cornmeal mix to dust hands and form into a large ball. Add more flour/cornmeal if it's to sticky. Now you can either pinch off pieces and flatten or roll out and cut like biscuits. Any shape will do (bones, circles, stars ...) but they shouldn't be more then 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 375 for 15 mins then turn and bake 15 mins more. Allow to cool fully and store in an airtight container. Makes about 70 medium biscuits.

I make 2 inch circles, between 1/8 and 1/4 in. thick, and give them for fleas and ticks, 1 cookie per day for every 50 pounds. You can break them in half for 25 pounds or make smaller biscuits.

It may not seem like enough at first but the garlic and yeast build up and work wonderfully.

**Can be stored on the counter, the dryer they are the longer they last.


Carol said...

Thanks a ton, Julie. My Border Collies thank you, too.

Diana said...

Julie, This sounds wonderful. My mutly crew will love them. Thanks.

JoyceAnn said...

Thanks , for posting the great info. I need to make some cat yum too. Since I have lots of garlic growing , I plan to make garlic powder this year. I'll be trying both of these recipes.

Thanks again !

~ Many Blessings ~

Anonymous said...

Thanks Julie

I am going to use your ideas and also send this link to friends.

barefoot lindy

Anonymous said...

yo... cognitively text.

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