Our intrepid Kate Coffey is taking a break this week while she moves back home from South Korea. While she is settling I wanted to keep up her Wednesday Cafe column, which specializes in vegan pet treats. But today I will talk about killing things (gasp!)–namely those pests that not even vegans want around the house: fleas.
Most pets will be infected with fleas at least once, if not more. Even if your pet stays indoors 24/7 (like my cat Zeus), there is a chance that fleas might sneak in through the crack in the door–or worse, on the backs of mice. (In New York, even the best buildings have mice–don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.) Of course, dogs and outdoor cats are constantly exposed to the risk of fleas. But constantly using topical flea meds on your pets are not ideal, since these are basically pesticides. If you’re worried about pesticides in your food, why would you rub your animal friends with those toxic chemicals? (By the way, here’s why you should go organic: What You Need to Know About Pesticides)
I turned to my trustworthy vegan guide, How It All Vegan, for some guidance. Here are 4 all natural ways to get rid of fleas:
1. Brewer’s yeast: mix 1 tsp a day with food. But note that some animals are allergic to brewer’s yeast; if your pet gets itchy patches, discontinue use.
2. Calendula (marigold) oil: This healing oil repels fleas and soothes itchy skin. (Side note: calendula also has medicinal benefits for humans, too. It reduces stomach cramps, helps bring on menstruation, and has a sedative effect.)
3. Vinegar: Mix 1 tsp vinegar with 4 cups drinking water to repel fleas.
4. Eucalyptus or Wintergreen essential oil spray
Add 1/4 tsp eucalyptus or wintergreen essential oil to a spray bottle with 1 cup water. Spray your pets, the carpet, furniture, car, pet beds, and anywhere fleas might be lurking. Spray up to 3 times a week.
You’ll get rid of fleas and your pet will smell so fresh! Safe for you and your pet, the natural way to get rid of fleas is a win-win solution.
More in Wednesday Cafe: How to Prepare Your Pets for Hurricane Season
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling