Fleas and Ticks, Oh my!

You are not the only ones that need to protect your skin during the summer months. You can't forget about your pets and their special needs! Aside from the basics of extra, clean, fresh water and temperature control, you need to protect your pets from the insects of summer. Yes, I'm talking about the nasty, dreaded fleas and ticks that are easily acquired from a single trip to the back yard. Certainly there are chemical means to control these pests. You can treat your yards, even your pets with strong, life depleting chemicals. While these are proven to reduce the number of pests that can attack your pet, they can certainly affect the health of your pet too, not to mention that pets tend to build an immunity to them. Many people find that what use to last a month, now needs reapplication every two to three weeks. You may not know it, but there are some herbal alternatives available! There are natural, herbs that are known to help repel insects such as fleas and ticks. They may not be as strong or as reliable as the chemicals, but they do not affect the health of your pet like the chemicals either. You will need to reapply often, and you will need to be vigilant about checking your pets for pests, as well as providing regular bathing and grooming. You can even go to your local herbalist, garden shop, or large chain store and obtain all natural treatments for your yard. If you put together a yard treatment, a soap, a spray, and a dusting powder, you will have a comprehensive, all natural, herbal plan of care that will meet your pets summer needs. I encourage you to look at these herbal alternatives. I personally have to use them for my Gizmo because he has seizures after the application of topical monthly flea treatments. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that the Vet says that he has never known the treatment [for fleas] to cause seizures. However, Gizmo has only ever had a seizure after I applied the monthly flea treatment [on three seperate occassions]. Once I stopped applying the treatments, his sezures stopped, and have never returned. I refuse to take the chance with my little guy, so now I only use herbal remedies on him. Here is a recipe that you can whip up to use for your carpets, rugs, pet bedding and cloth covered furniture. It deodorizes, freshens and naturally repels fleas. To use, simply apply the powder liberally to the chosen surface, then leave on for 15 to 20 minutes, then vacuum as usual. Repeat once per week.
Carpet Dusting Powder
2 1/4 Cups of Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 2 Tbs. Borax 2 Tbs. Dried Tansy flowers (finely ground) 2 Tbs. Dried Lavender buds (finely ground) 1/2 tsp. Orris root powder 5 drops patchouli oil 1/2 Tbs. witch hazel 1/2 Tbs. cedar leaf oil (some people prefer cedarwood oil) 1/4 Tbs. lemon oil or lemon grass oil Mix all of the dry ingredients together, except for the baking soda. Once mixed, add the essential oils into the powder and mix well. Once combined, store in a plastic, air tight container, preferably one with a shaker lid for easy dispensing. This mixture has a shelf life of approximately 1 year.

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