Waging a Guerrilla War Against the Flea

Try a Holistic Approach to Battling Fleas

When it comes to fleas, the best defense might be a good offense. Attack fleas before they attack your dog!

Holistic veterinarians recommend that your efforts to kill fleas be directed toward the places where your do spends most of his/her time.

Nematodes, microscopic worms that actually eat fleas, are your best choice, they said. Nematodes kill fleas in the cocoon stage, which are resistant to many chemical-based products.

And nematodes won’t hurt your pet, lawn, garden or you.

Nematodes are easily sprayed on lawns and should be applied in early spring before the start of the flea season. The only drawback is that the lawn must be kept moist, which requires frequent watering.

Battling the flea indoors means regularly washing your dog’s bedding, pillows, and blankets. Hardwood and vinyl floors should be vacuumed and mopped. Room perimeters can be easily sprayed with a citrus-based oil.

For carpeted areas, using borate products specifically made to kill fleas hiding at the base of the carpeting should be used. These can be applied by you or a professional exterminator.

The original version of this column, “The Natural Vet” by Shawn Messonnier, DVM, was published in AKC Family Dog.